Tourschooling: How to Make Any Trip Educational

The following is a guest post written by Kara Anderson of The Very Next Thing.

Last year, my husband and I sat down to look at our finances and were not exactly shocked to see that we wouldn’t be heading to Spain for a family vacation.

But he had some time off available, and we wanted to spend it having a family adventure. It was around that time that his parents invited us to Wisconsin Dells — the land of wax museums, T-shirt shops and waterslides.

That sounded like a terrific get-away. But as homeschoolers, we like our vacations to offer educational opportunities too.

My husband and I often say that if we had the time and resources, we would be tourschoolers – traveling the globe as a family and learning along the way.

And so, we challenged ourselves to tourschool our way through our Wisconsin visit.

Since then, we’ve taken other family trips, and have realized that if you approach your vacation, long weekend or holiday travel with a solid plan, any trip can be both educational and fun.

Here’s how:
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Homeschooling Field Trips :: Planning an Adventure

The following is a guest post written by Linda Cerynik.

Field trips are one my favorite things about homeschooling. They make learning fun for you and your kids, and they give everyone a break from the routine of books, pencils and computers.

Field trips are a wonderful way to instill the value of lifelong learning in your children, as you both experience and discover new places together. Sometimes getting out of the house for a day gives you a little inspiration, or a spark of curiosity, reaffirming just why you chose to homeschool in the first place.

To make the most of your field trips, considering the following ideas:

Choosing your field trip

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Nature Study for Wimps

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

Spending time with your children in the great outdoors can be a wonderful learning experience. Not only are fresh air and sunshine essential to good health, but exploring God’s creation firsthand can be a fantastic way to solidify what our kids have read and studied about nature in books and videos.

If you didn’t grow up as an outdoors person, however, then creating hands-on experiences for your children may go against the grain. That’s okay. Just take baby steps and learn together.

Here are some ideas to get you started: [Read more...]

Vacations and Field Trips for Children of Varying Ages

Written by monthly contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

All of life is learning. Our children can learn so much, academically as well as socially, by a simple trip to the grocery store as well as by completing a math lesson amidst the distractions of a sibling.

And summertime is no different. Whether it’s exploring on the beach, strolling through a museum, or even waiting in line at Disneyland, our children are always learning about themselves, others, and the surrounding world.

However, some learning experiences, like gutting a fish on a camping trip, are more appropriate for certain ages than others. And in a large family, there’s the rub. We are eager to share the world with our children, particularly on vacation and family field trips, but with a large family or even two children born many years apart, it can be challenging to create experiences appropriate to all the ages and stages of our children.

  • What if the baby can’t handle such a long day in the mountains?
  • What if the older children are bored at the children’s museum?
  • What if it’s just too hard to take everyone to that amusement park?

Take heart — families with a range of children’s ages can foster meaningful vacations without too much extra effort. [Read more...]

Living History Museums: Going Beyond Textbooks

Written by Kara Fleck, editor of Simple Kids.

Would it surprise you to learn that my family and I are time travelers? It is true!  Our mini-van recently became our personal time machine when we visited one of our favorite local living history museums, Conner Prairie.

Living history museums are a way to interact with history, up close and personal, and in some cases at the very spots where the original events occurred.

A visit to a living history museum moves education beyond the page of a textbook. They offer a chance to experience history with your five senses: you can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the past.

Many living history museums provide an opportunity to interact with performers who portray the thoughts and feelings of their characters while demonstrating the daily chores, pastimes, and politics of the era.

If you’re planning a field trip to a living history museum, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your visit:

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