HS Themed Travelling - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-26-2013, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Recently I had a great conversation with a fellow homeschooling mom that got me thinking more about this subject.  Hoping other will share their experiences and ideas.  She was going from NC to a wedding in TX and on the way they did a civil rights themed travel plan.  They visited places in Alabama, Tennessee, etc where major civil rights activity had taken place.  Of course, this took a good deal of research before hand.  She even had things like scavenger hunts planned out.  This is an incredibly organized homeschooling mama, obviously, and I found her trip to be very inspiring! 


As I am planning our trip to NYC, I am now thinking how I could incorporate learning about the new places more into our trip.  I am very interested in the immigration parts and am excited to tour Ellis Island as well as the tenement house museums, etc.  My 9yo is excited to see the arts and architecture.  My 12yo I think is just wanting to see the places he's seen in various movies.  We're all excited for the food LOL!


This friend of mine suggested using the state-by-state alphabet books for a starting point on things like scavenger hunts, which I'll have to find.


I'm wondering if anyone has done trips like this.  Not necessarily to NYC, but I just found the idea of intentional homeschooling themed vacations to be very inspiring and would love to hear if anyone else has done them or has ideas. 

Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids jumpers.gif, living the dream on our urban farm chicken3.gif

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#2 of 4 Old 01-27-2013, 07:43 AM
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We've done this sorta: we hit up the National parks because we don't generally travel on a route where stuff falls into a theme.  I pretty much always find the National Parks along the way.  This past summer we hit up 4 of them (and missed a 5th).  Once we get somewhere, we generally hit up things of historical significance, but I love this idea of really making it a big thing.  Especially since we're planning to do more road-tripping this coming year.  Mine are 9 and 4.


I'm picturing maybe stories on CD for the ride and possibly a lapbooking thing (if I could get ds9 into it).  But yeah--I'd have to really sit down and think out the rest.


We live in IL but are from the NYC burbs so my trips home usually focus on a "theme" for "sight seeing".  So we did Statue of LIberty/Ellis Island; but next trip is "Revolutionary War"... so we'll visit a battlefield in Princeton (we spend time there anyway) or Morristown (there's a Nat'l park there), one of the countless places associated with George Washington, and likely a trip to Philadelphia since it's a relatively easy day trip.


NY is also thick with Dutch history.


Oh--and architecture (that's a neat theme!)


And art museums! (that would be a cool theme, too!)  Including a holography museum somewhere (I remember going as a field trip when I was a kid)


Or theater!  There are plenty of places to get discount tickets

Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
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#3 of 4 Old 01-27-2013, 08:26 AM
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Your NYC trip sounds as if it will be a wonderful and fun experience! 


We have with a more unschoolish sort of twist. My daughter is just now becoming old enough to start focusing on themes and to begin asking about the potential for unit study themed sort of travel. My husband is active duty military and the option to tag along with him for training and to move eleven billion (ha) times is part of the territory.


Our longest 'educational trip' to date took place when my daughter was three and we took a road trip from WA to NC during a PCS move and made lots of interesting stops along the way. We planned our route so we could stop at Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore and took the liberty of stopping at numerous unplanned roadside attractions, parks, and museums along the way. We drove through multiple mountain ranges and forest areas, tried regional cuisines in different states, stopped to hike at several state parks, and spent a couple days with different friends during the course of our three week road trip. Each friend showed us fun restaurants and attractions in their respective areas, including a friend in Iowa who took us to a park near her home where fossils could be seen throughout all of the rocks. My daughter even found a few treasures to take along with her. I took hundreds of pictures and planned our budget in such a way that we could pick up picture books, a small souvenir, and postcards at every place we stopped to learn more information later on in addition to the memory value of these possessions. Three years later and my daughter often asks to see the pictures and read the books from our trip.


We've done smaller trips since then, including an impromptu trip to Virginia this summer when my husband was set to graduate a certain training class with honors. He wanted me to be there to watch him graduate and I was tickled to find many cool places to visit in what had seemed like a boring rural area. I compiled a list of field trip possibilities for my daughter and she chose to go to a tractor museum, the world's largest Arbys, a living history park, a beautiful nature area, and several other locations in the area. Again we purchased picture and coloring books, took lots of pictures, and my daughter was sure to ask numerous questions of tour guides, historical actors, and docents. She also purchased some neat replica coins from the Civil War era and some craft kits, including a quill pen set, to continue learning about the places she visited and the time eras when we returned home. 


We're getting ready to move to Alabama and I'm currently beginning to compile a list of field trips en route for my daughter and for the first time she's doing her own research as well. We already have put together quite a list of weekend and day trips for Alabama. My daughter is astronomy and NASA obsessed and thrilled to be close to the space center in Huntsville and the Space Coast in Florida. Our brief stop in the deep south should prove very satisfying on the learning front. If I must have super humidity, it seems far more tolerable with a trip to Family Space Camp in the future. :)


Through our travels and moves my daughter has already set foot in eighteen states in her short little life and seems to relish the experience of traveling and learning about a variety of topics through our travels. I have also found the experience fascinating and valuable myself. IMO being able to travel and enjoy the educational benefits is one of the best benefits about homeschooling and one I didn't necessarily think deeply about until I found myself "in the field" of traveling schooling opportunities. 


Wishing you all happy travel vibes! :)


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





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#4 of 4 Old 01-27-2013, 09:32 AM
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In my dreams, I roadschool all the time. The reality is about every other year we get to take a trip of some significance.  When the kids are older, I'd love to take a revolutionary war tour or civil war tour. Almost anywhere you would want to go, there is a historical connection to be made if you want to.

Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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