Last week, I blogged on the joys of homeschooling while on the road. I sent out a “HELP” email to one of my homeschool groups and received a fantastic (and quite humorous) email from another mom. So, thank you Carolyn H. for sharing the following tips with me and for allowing me to share them with the rest of the blogging world!
Carolyn’s thoughts in black and red, my comments and observations are in green…
Oh, the joys of travel-schooling.
On the subject of school subjects: We car-school often, with subjects the kids can do on their own with an occasional shout-out to Mom (unless it’s Math, since Mom can’t drive and write out long-division problems simultaneously). There’s also the ever-popular (with me, anyway) “you can’t read/listen-to-audiobooks/talk/watch DVDs/play-with-cousins-at-Grandma’s until the books are completed” lecture. Nothing like a little motivation. (Donna says: Amen, sister!)
On chaos theory: Separating kids into different seating areas (if you have less than three kids and more than one backseat row) also helps. I also make them responsible for bringing their own “other stuff to do,” as I’m not a packmule, I need to focus on driving, and I have to ensure that the school books are brought along. Car organizers that strap to the back of a bucket seat have also helped us (you can even make your own to custom-fit your back “bench”-style seats). Plus, even if it’s not an overnighter, pack the inevitable changes of clothes, shoes, etc.
(Donna says: we ALWAYs forget something. Glad there is a Walmart close by!)
On favorite food stop: ChickFilA, since “God” is positively positioned in their mission statement and the food is great! Remember to ask for sugar for the coffee you’re going to need. (Donna says: love CFA, but a little pricey. Cut coupons as much as possible and use for the trips!)
On exercise: Put the kids out a couple of blocks before Grandma’s house. Takes some of the sass out. Nevermind what Grandma will say to you about her little darlings — she hasn’t been in the car with them for 2+ hours.
(Donna says: snort, giggle, guffaw!)
On electronics: Take the GPS but don’t bet your life on it. And no DVD-watching unless the sibling agrees or kid has brought earbuds. Travel-size games are even better than electronic stimulation. (Besides, car-games such as counting VW “bugs” and spotted cows didn’t hurt any of us!) And on a serious note, this time can also be used for great discussions that might not occur with other daily distractions.
(Donna says: as long as we have plenty of gas, we are EXPLORING. But when we get low on fuel, and are driving around in circles, then we are lost and looking for a gas station and directions)
Just a little pre-trip planning helps (and helps to have the kids be responsible for their own stuff, too) and makes travel a bit easier. (Donna says: Good advice, Ms. C, for parents of kids everywhere!!)