Last year we spent six months in a caravan driving around Australia while homeschooling our two boys. Our trip was an awesome experience for them and it certainly helped bring many of their school lessons to life. We continued to homeschool as we travelled. Have you ever done homeschooling when travelling?
Not only was the trip fun, they learnt many new things along the way. It gave our boys the opportunity to stretch themselves and do things they never imagined they would get the chance to do. It also helped to shape their character and their perspective on life.
Not only were many character traits impacted; things like responsibility, courage, independence, cooperation, respect, curiosity, humility, assertiveness, problem solving, and patience, the increased presence of their father and the ability to spend more time as a family was a true blessing. The life skills that our boys also learnt will be an amazing asset later on in their lives.
Although it was unbelievable how much our boys character grew on the trip, their knowledge of Australia also grew through seeing and experiencing many things.
There are many ways for your child to learn while you are travelling. Google and libraries will become your best friend as you are able to search for the answers to the numerous questions that will arise.
- Out and About in the Field – Children are able to explore and witness, what they are learning. By visiting a dinosaur museum, our boys were able to see how big the bones actually were, watch and learn how these bones are found and then dug from the ground. They also were able to watch the workers prepare and preserve the bones. There are also many places where kids are able to be involved in hands-on activities.
- Visiting Historical Land Sites or Museums – This is a great way for your child to learn and understand the history of a particular place or culture.
- Learning about the States – Australia is made up of quite a few states and territories and on crossing the borders into these different states, questions have arisen. Through this our boys have learnt about quarantine rules as well as the symbols (floral emblem/flags/fauna emblem) for each state and emblem. We were even privileged enough to see some of the floral and fauna emblems in the flesh.
- Famous People – When visiting towns, we would search for famous people that were from the particular town. They loved read the biographies of these people and how they impacted the future of the place. Sometimes there were museums or areas in a museum that were dedicated to these famous people.
- Food – Many places also have their own traditional food which, if you are daring, you can sample. This is a great way to learn about the culture and history of towns and help you understand why they were built where they are. When in Denmark in Western Australia, we sampled some amazing cheeses and wines (not the kids) that were created on the property. We also completed a tour of a brewery which was quite fascinating, watching how everyday people turn their properties into amazing businesses.
- Audiobooks – Audiobooks are great when driving long distances. I found some books that the boys enjoy as well as some that aligned with the curriculum they were doing.
- Workbooks – To keep up with the curriculum for their grades, I took some workbooks, mainly concentrating on math and literacy, which they would complete during downtime or on rainy days.
- Ipad Apps / Computer Games – There are many educational apps and games that can be used on the iPad or computer which all help with revision, can supplement what they have been learning and even explain new procedures to them.
- Journals – On our trip, I gave our boys a journal each. At the end of the visit, they would write in what we did in that town and glue in a postcard as a memory of our time in each place. This is not only an amazing memory for them, it also encouraged them with their writing and spelling.
- Survival – While travelling, it is good to teach your kids survival techniques just in case something goes wrong. Teach them things like how to build a fire, basic first aid, how to use a compass and how to build a shelter and keep warm.
- Get creative – Sometimes you don’t have everything you need, so make the most of what you do have. Use shells on the beach as counters for math activities, use sticks for art projects, or use leaves for colouring activities.
Have you done any travelling and have any other ideas? I would love to hear them!