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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi mamas

My oldest isn't homeschooled, just finishing SK but I do practice alot of HS ideals since she was born, and now with second daughter as well. Nothing beats homelearning.

Anyhow, I come here often for amazing ideas, and you all inspire me so much!

We are planning our summer camping now, slowly, and I wanted to ask some of you how you incorporate learning into your trips, as well as everyday summer fun? I know not to make it too *school-ish* and keep things as a follow-the-kids-lead thing...............

We join the summer reading club at local library now, dd has been reading on her own since age 3.5...now reading chapter books. The library is our friend. She also plays regularly with educational and fun CDROM games, she reads ALOT on her own time, we play outside ALOT and just go searching for *treasures*, pinecones, grass, flowers, tending to our garden..........she is learning flower types now (teaching me!)............she also is very good at drawing, beyond her age and we focus on those skills alot, so we enroll her every summer into a local art school for a half day weekly camp. This year she'll do one in July and August.

Any ideas would be awesome!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by my2girlsmama
I wanted to ask some of you how you incorporate learning into your trips, as well as everyday summer fun?
I don't incorporate learning into our trips and everyday summer fun; my kids do.

Miranda
 

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Sorry, it wasn't intended as an insult or a criticism. I was just trying to reassure you by pointing out that parental organizing/planning/creating/directing are completely unnecessary, and that you can rest assured that your kids will learn like crazy just by being included in interesting experiences.

Miranda
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by my2girlsmama
We are planning our summer camping now, slowly, and I wanted to ask some of you how you incorporate learning into your trips, as well as everyday summer fun?
We don't really set out to incorporate learning into our trips or summer fun. It happens, but it's not something we plan. We just continue to answer the kids' questions, or point out things that we think they'll be interested in. For instance, we're going to Niagara Falls and I'm sure the kids will learn something about the geography of the area, and the history, and probably lots more, but we're not planning it out--it will just happen in the course of the days.

Maybe I'm not understanding what you're asking, specifically, since you don't want it to be "schoolish."
 

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When I taught at the YMCA, I always took my kids on a nature hunt. I made a book with different kinds of leaves in it (copied from field guides) and they had to go around and collect leaves that matched the ones in their field guides. This was for 3rd graders. They really had a good time with it. Afterwards they made their own field guides with the real leaves.

The next week we did a bird hunt, and the week after that we identified the kinds of ducks in the pond and talked about where they came from and went on their migrations.

By the end of the year they had awesome field guides and (hopefully) lots of good memories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by moominmamma
Sorry, it wasn't intended as an insult or a criticism. I was just trying to reassure you by pointing out that parental organizing/planning/creating/directing are completely unnecessary, and that you can rest assured that your kids will learn like crazy just by being included in interesting experiences.

Miranda

Oh ok..I wasn't sure of your tone....sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by USAmma
When I taught at the YMCA, I always took my kids on a nature hunt. I made a book with different kinds of leaves in it (copied from field guides) and they had to go around and collect leaves that matched the ones in their field guides. This was for 3rd graders. They really had a good time with it. Afterwards they made their own field guides with the real leaves.

The next week we did a bird hunt, and the week after that we identified the kinds of ducks in the pond and talked about where they came from and went on their migrations.

By the end of the year they had awesome field guides and (hopefully) lots of good memories.

Thank you mama! This was the sort of thing I was curious about. I think I wasn't clear....I'm not wanting incorporate anything really but try to grab ideas as I go and figured I'd find some here who have BTDT.

Thanks USAMMA!
 

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Well, I do try to think about where we're going & what the plans are before we go to the library each week.

We vacationed in Florida this year. A week or two before our trip I borrowed some library books about going to the beach, manatees, the Florida Everglades & Seminole Native Americans. Some wild manatees turned up at a resturant we visited (JB's Fishcamp near New Smyrna Beach--if anyone is anywhere near there, it was an excellent experience.) The kids were able to watch the manatees at close range for quite a while. The rest of our trip was peppered with discussions based on that one evening. For example, my six year old tried really hard to wrap her head around the conflict between people doing what they want (ie-moving at more than idle speed on a river,) and our obligation to other living things. If she hadn't had a basic understanding of the manatee issue, I don't think she would have reached the philosophical level.

Maybe the beach books inspired something--if they did I wasn't privy to it. The everglades book was interesting, but the topic didn't come up again. Same with the Seminoles books. Hopefully they did sit on the beach and think about what it would have been like before the explorers came....

Anyway, we have access to an excellent library, and we use it to enhance the big things (vacation,) as well as the little things (picking strawberries and making jam.)
 

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I learned plenty just by being allowed to explore, when we went campling.

Both of my parents were personally interested in plants, and every time they found one that was unfamiliar, they'd look it up.

So fwiw, we did have some books on plants. But we never had any lessons.

Just being out camping, doing the work that comes with camping, sure is a lot of learning.
 

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Maybe you can collect a few of the leaves and press them. We got a flower press a number of years ago and it's always fun to use. Whenever we go somewhere, I try to pamphlets about the area and read them to the family at dinner. Just to give us an idea of the place. Sometimes we'll point out things to look for. My oldesst dd also likes to plan nature scavenger hunts. She gives her younger sibs a list of items to find. I am not sure they'd go for this if I planned it though. In fact, they prob wouldn't. lol

I know you're talking camping, but when we go on various trips, I might read a little something to the kids about the area. Knowing a something about what you are visting makes it a little more interesting. A house just looks like a house, but if you'd read beforehand that the cat house you're looking at was Ernest Hemmingway's , it's another layer (potenially. lol) Ruins might look like a pile of rocks, but if you know it was once a castle, it's cool. Does the area you're camping in have any neat stories about it? Was the area donated by some eccentric person?
 

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I usually take out books to do with the area we're going to, and keep them easily accessible. We went camping for a month on the Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlottes so I got a couple of Haida myths as well as some books about totem poles/Haida art/beaches from the library. Sometimes we read the books together before bed, sometimes Kea used them to copy drawings from, sometimes we looked up answers to questions in them, and sometimes they just seemed like really heavy weights in the bike trailer!

We always bring flashlights and magnifying glasses, and the kids LOVE to explore all around the campsites, in tree trunks and under leaves. We take photos and draw flowers we see, in art books.

For some trips we dehydrate food beforehand, which is a science project within itself! And during our last camping trip, we made all sorts of observations about marshmallows, and what happens when they're thrown in the fire, etc - if you wanted to set up more formal experiments at home, that could be lots of fun!

So far, though, just keeping her involved in the planning stuff has been a huge learning experience - food shopping/packing/first aid stuff and what it's all for/keeping dry/edible berries/bugs and preventing bug bites - lots of questions about why they itch/how to set up a tent/science of zippers/wool and fleece stay warm when damp/etc etc etc!!! HAVE FUN :) Essentially my goal is to pass on my love of nature! (Oh, we also bring along fun faerie poems, and look for faerie homes in the trees!)
 

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Rather than planning activities, I tend to just make sure we pack stuff to facilitate their learning when it happens. We pack a box with things like magnifying glasses and binoculars, bug jars, field guides, some craft supplies. I also throw in a few idea type books for crafts or activities incase we need some inspiration, and we make a point to check out the interpretive centres and activities that interest the kids.

We also take a couple of board or card games and I try to find some new ones at garage sales in the spring.

HTH
Karen
 

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Scavenger hunts are so much fun! Tree climbing, skipping stones in a body of water, and map reading can all be integrated for learning. When going to the camp store give the kids an oppertunity to learn about money by giving them their own money and a budget.

Taking children into nature helps to cultivate reverence for the Earth. Talk about and experience all the living things that surround you. Just being in such a rich enviorment will spark an intrest in your child and they will learn even if it doesn't look like it.

Have fun. We're going camping for the next three days. I'm so excited!
 
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