Sarah’s Biggest Homeschooling Mistake: Not Traveling More

Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

One of the things that really aggravated me when our son was in public school in first grade was being told that we shouldn’t go on trips that would make him miss school.

Really? So being in a classroom is more culturally valuable than going to a Greek festival? So he’ll learn music better if he’s jingling bells than if he is at a symphony? History is more likely to come alive for him within the four walls of school than at Gettysburg?

When we decided to homeschool, I knew that much of my children’s education would consist of hands-on learning that included going lots of places. I imagined us taking the Civil War trail along the East Coast, following Lewis and Clark’s adventures out west, digging up dinosaur bones in Utah, ogling masterpieces at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I even had it calculated that my husband would be eligible for sabbatical when our oldest was in high school, so we would spend six months somewhere far away (and per my husband’s career, botanically interesting), like Australia or South Africa.

The best laid plans, eh?

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Following Your Child’s Lead: Learning About Edible Wild Foliage

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

It all started with a little red berry. A little red berry and a toddler. I had taken my children to the park to play. My daughter, a toddler at the time, was roaming about the playground, just a few feet away, and then disappeared from my view around a corner.

I was after her immediately, only to find her in a clump of red berry bushes, saying “Eat. Eat.” Not knowing what they were or if she had managed to eat one or not, we grabbed a few twigs off the bush and loaded up in the car.

We stopped at my husband’s work, a mere 1/2 mile away where he went to the landscaping department with a twig to identify. I headed to the nearby City Hall and Library.
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Lessons Learned While Camping

Written by monthly contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

A note from Jamie: This post first published on June 11, 2010. With many of us gearing up to make smores and set up tents at some point over the summer, it seems like a good time to revisit these thoughts from Renee.

Summer is a great time to be outdoors. A time to get away from it all, relax and play as a family.

One way to make the most of summer and to really enjoy nature together is to go camping.

Camping is a fun, affordable and memorable vacation for many families. It also presents excellent education opportunities.

So why not get out there and take advantage of the following things you’ll learn when camping.

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Tourschooling: How to Make Any Trip Educational

The following is a guest post written by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

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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