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#1 of 20 Old 10-06-2012, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My family returned a couple days ago from a wonderful vacation with another trip planned in the near future. Our most recent trip and one we took this summer proved so enjoyable and educational for all three of us that we're entertaining the thoughts of many more trips to come. 

 

I was curious to know how many other homeschooling families take advantage of the travel flexibility homeschooling affords and where some of your favorite "travel schooling" has happened? 


~Daisy~

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#2 of 20 Old 10-06-2012, 02:03 PM
 
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We are in a similar position to you in that our more recent trips are giving me wanderlust.  luxlove.gif  We have friends that live in NJ and are on the road ALL. THE. TIME. (the mom and 4 kids--ages range 2-7)

 

I'd love to do that, but where her hubby works 2nd shift and they see very little of each other, my dh works at home and we see him A LOT.  So I'm 1) not sure I'd like seeing him less, loveeyes.gif  and 2) not sure I want to be out on the road without him (I'm a big scaredy cat sometimes and wouldn't need him, but another adult would be ideal).  Plus, my 3yo has a REALLY hard time being apart from one parent or another for more than a couple of hours.

 

But I'm going to make a conscious effort to NOT enroll us in classes in the spring and potentially no camps next summer so we can just pick up and go.  We try to hit National Parks/Sites and do the Junior Ranger programs along the way.  This summer we did about 4 of them!  We're also going to look at one-way deals for getting an RV from one place to another (when the company needs that done) and see if we can coordinate it both ways.

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#3 of 20 Old 10-06-2012, 11:41 PM
 
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We still homeschool our 17, 11, almost 9 and almost 7 year olds. Since we live in interior Alaska, it's a little tougher for us to get everyone out of state, but we have tons of good travel opportunities here anyway.

We've had great fun traveling to and camping at places like Denali National Park, Seward (where the most amazing Sea Life Center is), and Homer (where there is a wonderful mix of stuff to do, one of the best of which is the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies).

If we could afford to travel for half the year, we would, but it is VERY hard to want to leave Alaska in the Spring or summerr...or even in the fall. I love the winters, too, but I admit they can be a little harsh.

Love, p

Bookworm Mama to 6 wonderkids and stepmama to one more: 21, 20, 18, 12, 9, 7 and our Z born 4/13. . Partner to mynut.gif   homebirth.jpghomeschool.gif     

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#4 of 20 Old 10-07-2012, 01:42 AM
 
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Our family puts a premium on traveling and we do it often :)  However, our adult jobs often get in the way even if the kids are free!

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#5 of 20 Old 10-08-2012, 02:00 PM
 
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We are a BIG travel family.  Travel was probably 50% of our decision to homeschool.  My husband and I travelled (mostly camped) for the two years before we had kids and were big travellers even before we met.  Most of our travel with kids is centered around seeing family and friends or being in the great outdoors.  We've been gone five out of the last ten days...sometimes it's nice to be home!

 

I'm curious to hear from you all: 

- What are your "learning on the road" strategies? 

- What are your biggest challenges for melding travel and homeschooling?

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#6 of 20 Old 10-11-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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We're newly online schoolers because of our life's travel demands. We live on two continents, have extended family on a third, and have an interest in seeing more of the rest of the world. My kids were public schoolers in US until we relocated last year for dh's work, and then we enrolled them at a private international school. We've just spent the summer back in US, and will be moving cities when we arrive back abroad this fall. It was a combination of our dissatisfaction with American school options and a need for flexibility that led us to choose online school this year. If I'd had more confidence and less chaos, I might have made the full plunge into homeschooling. But for now, this is a good option for us. Using an online school got dh on board, and the curriculum is so far a good fit for us.

So, we spent the summer in the Upper Midwest this year, and we will be heading to the Persian Gulf by way of North Africa, where we will spend two weeks over the coming Muslim holiday with family there. I anticipate linking our travel experiences there to my kids' current study in earth science, French and history (ancient Rome).

Next month, there is a chance we may spend a few weeks in another Middle Eastern country. I am also hoping to get in a family vacation somewhere in the Middle East or South Asia over winter or spring. I hope to stop in Europe next summer on our way back to the US, but this may or may not happen.

So unlike a lot of other families who travel when work allows it, we travel because work demands it. I am keenly aware that this is a temporary opportunity in our life together, so we are trying to make the most of it. Before we decided dh would take the position with the travel demands, we had kept a small farm, so I really do miss having a home.

 

I'm still really new at this, but my strategy for learning on the road right now looks like this:

1. Making sure both kids have a compelling novel on hand

2. Encouraging kids to interact with people and their surroundings, and to practice their foreign languages

3. Journaling daily experiences

4. Checking in online when we have Internet access, in order to log educational experience as attendance hours

5. Taking lots of pictures

 

Big challenges we face include the most basics of logistics, hauling school materials around the globe, working within baggage limits and without a dedicated space with our materials organized on a shelf. As much as I might love to unschool through the experience, dh is very traditionally minded and wants to see plenty of book learning. This can be tough out of a suitcase in a hotel room.

 

Another challenge for me will be time zones. This may make it harder for us to communicate with admin and teachers in the online school, and to log on for online classroom activities.

 

Constant travel also makes it hard to really connect with other families. My kids are close with a few friends from "back home," as well as their cousins, and they make friends easily. But it's tough to feel really integrated in a community when every stay is a temporary one, and we can't commit to a full social calendar if we aren't there.

 

On the bright side, we now have a lot of great tools, like laptops and tablets, even iPods, which enable the kids to listen to podcasts, read books, practice math fact, and yes, play games. We have Skype to stay connected with family and friends from just about anywhere. We can blog about our experiences, in order to share with everyone, and to practice writing and publishing skills. Lots of things we can do. I know this is a pretty incomparable experience and try to stay in the moment.

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#7 of 20 Old 10-17-2012, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all of your responses. What fun to read everybody's thoughts and experiences!

 

spruce, I am a bit envious of you living in Alaska. Such a beautiful place!

 

1jooj, what a unique opportunity for you and your family. Your perspective on challenges is thought-provoking. The logistics is something I've wondered about quite a bit as my family considers international trips for the future. 


~Daisy~

Unschooling Mother to S, my 6yo "Moon Farmer"energy.gif

 

 

 

 

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#8 of 20 Old 10-17-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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We have always homeschooled, and have come to appreciate the huge traveling benefits our non-schooling status has afforded us over the years!  We mainly started traveling because my family lives on the other side of the country.  We've made those big trips since the kids were infants, but over the past few years we've expanded the trips to be more "educational" if you will.  Now, pretty much every trip to the East Coast is an excuse to go see something new :-).  A friends' wedding in Virginia also turned into a trip to Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg.  A visit to my parents in North Carolina provided an excuse to drive up to DC, stay with HS friends, and tour the city.  A family reunion in San Diego led us to a road trip through the Redwoods and the California coast.  All of the trip were prefaced by extensive "unit studies" about the places were were going to see.  For the California trip, we read books and watched movies about earthquakes, and learned about some California history.  The DC and Jamestown trips each provided tons of excuses to study those topics, and the kids were doubly interested in it because they knew were were going to actually GO there!

 

I should also say we have done all of these trips off season, and have enjoyed significantly lower cost and little to now crowds :-). 
 


~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#9 of 20 Old 10-18-2012, 12:55 AM
 
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We Travel ALL the time since we have become a "Roadschooling" family! We have bee homeschooling over 7 yrs, but started Roadschooling a little over a year ago. I just love that Homeschooling gives us the flexibility to include lots and lots of traveling. Our recent and favorite trip was Orlando, Florida. Yes! It was a Disney Vaca and we enjoyed all 4 parks very much! Of course my most favorite educational place we have went to was a trip to the Jacksonville Beach. Kids loved all those seashells we found. ~>Florida Fall weather is Wonderful :)

If anyone is interested in Roadschooling Check out these to great websites ~> FOTR and "Facebook" Roadschooling page .


Keri
Non-Vax~No-Circ~T4L-Homeschooler~co-sleep~EBF~"Crunchy" SAHM to DD &DS
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#10 of 20 Old 10-18-2012, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our recent and favorite trip was Orlando, Florida. Yes! It was a Disney Vaca and we enjoyed all 4 parks very much!

This was our most recent trip too. :) A first trip to Walt Disney World for both my husband and daughter and my first trips to the parks other than the MK. It was very nice to walk onto all of the rides with virtually no wait due to small crowds and FastPass, obtain ADRs to all of the restaurants we wanted to try, and enjoy every attraction we hoped to see. Plus the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot...yummy. Such a fabulous trip that I am now inspired to enjoy cool places sans crowds more often. ;)

 

Thank you for sharing those links. 


~Daisy~

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#11 of 20 Old 10-18-2012, 06:14 AM
 
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About to hit the skies this weekend, headed for Morocco. I've worked ahead with the kids for the past month and a half to build a cushion. One student is through the first quarter's requirements and the other has nearly hit that mark, so I don't have to sweat about "getting work done" on this trip.

 

We're not really planners, but we are hoping to hit Roman ruins and let the kids get a good look at the old cities (medina) in a couple of places before we head up to the mountains to spend a week with family. The cultural experience there will be pretty deep, and at the same time, ds is doing rocks in earth science, and the Atlas Mountains are incredibly interesting in terms of fossils and minerals. Dd has been going through ecosystems, so she'll get a firsthand look at high desert. Both kids started French this year, and have been learning Arabic since last year, so I hope they pay close attention and try practicing with cousins as well as strangers. After a week in the mountains, we hope to head down to the coast and see something different. Packing plenty of reading for downtime and hoping for good weather.

 

When we're in cities, if we get access to wi-fi at night or something, I can check in and log educational time.

 

For dd, I'll pack along a week's worth of spelling and language arts. She's working on memorizing multiplication facts, and she's reading a novel for lit, so those subjects are quite portable.

 

Ds's load is less portable, but he can focus on French, Arabic and reading for lit, and I can worry about progress in subjects when we arrive in Abu Dhabi.

 

Excited to give this a shot!

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#12 of 20 Old 11-06-2012, 10:23 PM
 
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Well, we're now through the two-week trip, settling into our next home and recovering from the road, jet lag, and the inevitable cold.

 

As it turned out, most of the "school" materials went untouched. Dd practiced multiplication a few times and ds did his history reading, but beyond that, it was an entirely experiential couple of weeks. Even so, it was awesome. The kids got to explore the ruins of a Roman city. They got to see all four mountain ranges in the country. We hunted for fossils in the High Atlas, and visited old mining sites where mineral and fossil hunters still pick rare minerals. We spent the Islamic holiday in a tiny rural village and lived the week in mud houses without running water. The kids ate various organ meats that we can't even find in US groceries. We hauled water from the spring on a donkey's back. We visited olive groves and saw the presses. On the coast, we saw goats climbing in the argan trees, visited the Portuguese ruins, ate fresh seafood. We endured flash flooding and washed out roads and bridges during our trip due to major rainfall, and when we got to the ocean, we watched it wash into the sea. We saw the snake charmers in Marrakech and ate street food. Then we visited my best friend in the country, and there we bathed in an old-fashioned, country hammam. The kids practiced their French and Arabic, and especially dd picked up a lot of language.

 

We did work ahead before we left, but we still have a lot of makeup to do. Ds is plowing through the history chapter quizzes on the readings he did before, and dd was doing her lit reading, and will now do catch-up work there. Both have a lot of French to catch up on, but we should be back on track in a few days, and all is generally well.

 

Definitely looking forward to another trip, once we recover from this one. What an opportunity.

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#13 of 20 Old 11-06-2012, 11:55 PM
 
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Well, we're now through the two-week trip, settling into our next home and recovering from the road, jet lag, and the inevitable cold.

 

As it turned out, most of the "school" materials went untouched. Dd practiced multiplication a few times and ds did his history reading, but beyond that, it was an entirely experiential couple of weeks. Even so, it was awesome. The kids got to explore the ruins of a Roman city. They got to see all four mountain ranges in the country. We hunted for fossils in the High Atlas, and visited old mining sites where mineral and fossil hunters still pick rare minerals. We spent the Islamic holiday in a tiny rural village and lived the week in mud houses without running water. The kids ate various organ meats that we can't even find in US groceries. We hauled water from the spring on a donkey's back. We visited olive groves and saw the presses. On the coast, we saw goats climbing in the argan trees, visited the Portuguese ruins, ate fresh seafood. We endured flash flooding and washed out roads and bridges during our trip due to major rainfall, and when we got to the ocean, we watched it wash into the sea. We saw the snake charmers in Marrakech and ate street food. Then we visited my best friend in the country, and there we bathed in an old-fashioned, country hammam. The kids practiced their French and Arabic, and especially dd picked up a lot of language.

 

We did work ahead before we left, but we still have a lot of makeup to do. Ds is plowing through the history chapter quizzes on the readings he did before, and dd was doing her lit reading, and will now do catch-up work there. Both have a lot of French to catch up on, but we should be back on track in a few days, and all is generally well.

 

Definitely looking forward to another trip, once we recover from this one. What an opportunity.

 

This sounds awesome :0

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#14 of 20 Old 11-08-2012, 12:54 AM
 
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It was pretty awesome, and another cool thing is, both kids have an trip planning assignment for their French class, which involves developing an itinerary and budget for a week-long trip in a francophone country. Both kids are using Morocco, but developing different itineraries, and part of both of their projects are built around the experience there. It makes the project a lot more relevant to them, which turns out to be helpful in keeping up their morale while doing so much extra make-up work. 

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#15 of 20 Old 11-08-2012, 08:12 PM
 
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It was pretty awesome, and another cool thing is, both kids have an trip planning assignment for their French class, which involves developing an itinerary and budget for a week-long trip in a francophone country. Both kids are using Morocco, but developing different itineraries, and part of both of their projects are built around the experience there. It makes the project a lot more relevant to them, which turns out to be helpful in keeping up their morale while doing so much extra make-up work. 

 

What a cool assignment!  How old are your kiddos? My two are great travelers and have always been.  I am grateful for that :)

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#16 of 20 Old 11-10-2012, 08:32 AM
 
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Mine are 8 (almost 9) and 11, but I enrolled them both in MS French. Language comes easily to dd, and since I am learning coach to both, it made more sense to me to just to French all together.

 

I think we are finally getting over the jetlag, and so tomorrow we'll be jumping back in with full days of study. Now we're in an apartment in Abu Dhabi. We're close to the beach, which I suspect will be a major motivator to get work done early in the day, and head out for "gym" class. coolshine.gif

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#17 of 20 Old 11-10-2012, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, we're now through the two-week trip, settling into our next home and recovering from the road, jet lag, and the inevitable cold.

 

As it turned out, most of the "school" materials went untouched. Dd practiced multiplication a few times and ds did his history reading, but beyond that, it was an entirely experiential couple of weeks. Even so, it was awesome. The kids got to explore the ruins of a Roman city. They got to see all four mountain ranges in the country. We hunted for fossils in the High Atlas, and visited old mining sites where mineral and fossil hunters still pick rare minerals. We spent the Islamic holiday in a tiny rural village and lived the week in mud houses without running water. The kids ate various organ meats that we can't even find in US groceries. We hauled water from the spring on a donkey's back. We visited olive groves and saw the presses. On the coast, we saw goats climbing in the argan trees, visited the Portuguese ruins, ate fresh seafood. We endured flash flooding and washed out roads and bridges during our trip due to major rainfall, and when we got to the ocean, we watched it wash into the sea. We saw the snake charmers in Marrakech and ate street food. Then we visited my best friend in the country, and there we bathed in an old-fashioned, country hammam. The kids practiced their French and Arabic, and especially dd picked up a lot of language.

 

We did work ahead before we left, but we still have a lot of makeup to do. Ds is plowing through the history chapter quizzes on the readings he did before, and dd was doing her lit reading, and will now do catch-up work there. Both have a lot of French to catch up on, but we should be back on track in a few days, and all is generally well.

 

Definitely looking forward to another trip, once we recover from this one. What an opportunity.

Green with envy. What an amazing trip! Wishing you a restful recovery. :)


~Daisy~

Unschooling Mother to S, my 6yo "Moon Farmer"energy.gif

 

 

 

 

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#18 of 20 Old 11-11-2012, 02:13 PM
 
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I'm so looking forward to more Roadschooling!  We're trying to procure a camper van or tent trailer with a furnace, so that we can get on the road all year round.  We're going camping this week with another homeschool family, to a park in Washington State, where the kids will muck around on the riverbank, gaze at the stars, chase each other on their run bikes, eat outside, warm up with hot tea in thermal mugs as we sit around the fire, and search out bugs and sticks and rocks galore!  Better than any preschool I know of! 

As a family, we're hoping to shift our logistics to a place where we can work for 18 months and then travel for 3.  I can do that with my work, but my partner needs to find a more flexible work environment before we can do that.  I can't wait!


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#19 of 20 Old 11-11-2012, 07:59 PM
 
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That sounds wonderful! There is so much of the US that I have never seen, so much I would love to experience, and I'd love my kids to experience them. Life is SO short. I hope you can figure out the work logistics. We're trying to "live small," since right now we don't have our own home (we rent a small place in UAE but have not put any money into it), and put our effort into the experience of living while this is our life.

 

The one big thing I'm thinking a lot harder about right now is curriculum. We're online schooling with K12, which does offer a lot of flexibility within its system (we're in the International Academy, not a state charter), but there are still some expectations. I'm back and forth on it, though. I really like having objectives for the term, and I like that I can see measures of progress. I like the rigor of the math, history and sciences...but keeping up AND traveling requires a lot of work and discipline.

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#20 of 20 Old 11-28-2012, 08:01 AM
 
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:) this is the life!  I like all the flavors described above!  By the way, we camped in our camper van a bunch before we got an extra heater installed.  The water bottles would freeze in winter overnight.  It made for good cuddling and good down sleeping bags helped!

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