April 28, 2012

10 Days of Accidental Unschooling - Day 8: Carschooling and Fieldtripping

New series coming soon... Looking forward to blogging it! #hsbloggers #homeschool

NOTE: This is Part 8 of a 10 day series on Accidental Unschooling that is taking me LONGER than 10 days to write (sorry). If you are OCD and want to start from the introduction or Part 1, hop to the bottom of this post and use the conveniently provided links!

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.  ~Seneca

I talked to an old friend recently who had gone on vacation for the weekend with her spouse. They left the kids behind and traveled a few hours on a short road trip to a nearby town to stay in a bed and breakfast. During that time they went on a "field trip" so they could zipline together. They also spent time doing 'nothing' at the hotel - just laying around and watching TV. She admitted that it was silly to pay money and travel "just to watch TV", but somehow it felt different and more relaxing - just being in a new setting.

Can you relate? It may be the same read-aloud book - but the fresh air and picnic blanket add an extra sensory layer towards making it forever engrained in your memory as an enjoyable "experience".

I'm a big carschool advocate. We have a plastic box with handles (like the kind you get at Walmart and keep under your bathroom cabinet) and we pile our reading material in it and take it with us in the car all the time. Some of this habit grew out of necessity (when you have appointments at the doctor, extra curricular activities, and errands to run, you need to get creative and maximize your time). However, I would venture to say that most of why we love carschooling so much is because we really enjoy being on the go.

I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.  ~Mark Twain

Whether you are just driving in town and getting extra reading done while you are out and about, listening to books on CD between doctor appointments, or actually taking a field trip or vacation with the kids, there are a few great tips you might browse over that will help you turn your venture in to an educational experience:

  • Keeping Kids Busy Busy Busy on Road Trips (great tips)
  • Take along a snack bag in case the kids get cranky
  • Keep a box of books in the car if you are driving 
  • Print out maps for the kids to use to follow along
  • Utilize your VHS for educational flicks rather than playing just animated movies
  • Create a check list of things you want to have them do while you are out and about
  • Play some road games that encourage paying attention to their surroundings
  • Singing along with educational CDs is a great way to memorize things (Math songs anyone?)

I have always been a nomad at heart. Field trips feed my love for getting out, being on the go, being in the sunshine and having a different view (and not thinking about all the chores that need to get done before dinner). Not to mention, field trips add an element of physical education in (a subject most homeschools are deficient in). The "academic" part of the field trip is often just the icing on the cake. We field trip because field trippin' is fun!

Back in the ancient history of blogging (2005), I started a blog series called "Field Trip Foto Friday". I used to post about field trips almost weekly. After I had the last two little babies, our field trips dwindled off and I haven't posted much on my homeschooling because I felt so inadequate as a homeschooler who had fallen in to "Accidental Unschooling". It took a lot of seeing my kids blossom in spite of my perceived failures for me to realize that I wasn't a flop of a homeschool mom after all; which is kind of the reason I'm here today talking about field trips with you. I plan to continue updating my homeschool series now that the shame is fading. It takes a while to unlearn homeschool mom guilt. I'm also getting out and doing more now that the little guys are able to keep up.

Tweet #iphonedaily #birds #twitter #life #friends #tweet #love #cute #iphone4s
Cute wallet at Mardels ~ don't forget your wallet when you head out!

Have some great field trip ideas? Consider sharing your posts about field trips every last Friday of the month over at the Homeschool Post (which happens to be THIS past Friday - which is now Saturday, and since yours-truly was the one who was supposed to get it up, it's late!). I love seeing other homeschool families and their adventures in this great big world.

- - - -

Next up we're going to talk about what NOT to skimp on.
The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.  ~Henry Boye
- - - - - -
Below are links to the rest of the series so it's easier to navigate for those that surf in after the fact. There is also a handy button on my sidebar to bring you back to this series later, should you want to read at leisure.

Introduction to this series
Day 1: Not So Super
Day 2: Morphing Methods
Day 3: Out of the Box
Day 4: Learning From Life
Day 5: Grace is for Homeschoolers
Day 6: Taste and See
Day 7: Grease and Sugar
Day 8: Carschooling and Fieldtripping
Day 9: Reading to Succeed
Day 10

Be sure to join me each day. I'll be giving away a prize to a random winner in my comments section on these posts. Each comment counts as one entry. I love comments! Even if I don't have time to answer every comment or email, I cherish them and enjoy getting to know my fellow homeschooling moms.

This post is a part of the 10 Days of... Series at iHomeschoolNetwork. Check out the other amazing homeschool bloggers who are participating in the writing challenge by visiting the landing page there.

Thanks for joining me!

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wendy said...

I've got to read this series. This is our first year homeschooling, and boy does it feel like a flop based on my own expectations.

Jeannie said...

I will be starting to homeschool my youngest in the fall.Your series has been a great blessing to relieve some of my anxiety I have had about homeschooling.

Tonya @ The Traveling Praters said...

I love this post! Field trips have a special place in my heart.

My oldest son is graduating from our homeschool this year. It took me a couple years to realize what a benefit adding field trips to our schedule could be but once we got started exploring the world around us, there was no stopping us. I can only guess that we've been on hundreds of field trips over the years and though all of my children are now teens, we still travel and figure a way to add "field trips" to the lesson book.

One of our favorite outings was taking an afternoon as a family hiking along a mountain trail, stopping along the way to read My Side of the Mountain. Those are the moments that I'm really going to miss about homeschooling, but they are memories that I wouldn't trade for anything. :)

Lari said...

Just finishing reading through your series...loved it! We're about to start homeschooling w/ our 4 boys 15,13,9 and 3...

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog :) I had to giggle though, ' back in the ancient days of blogging" I've been blogging since '01 but back then I called it online journaling :) It was nothing more then a diary online .. man how times have changed!!!

I love gleaning wisdom from your posts! I hope you keep on blogging and sharing your wisdom for many years to come!

I love your Field trip Fridays. I need to incorporate that!




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