I used to think that having children was the end of adventure, or at least the end of spontaneous adventure. I was convinced that all trips would have to happen during school vacations and that the trips would be crowded, expensive, stressful, and pressurized. I based this assumption on my own experiences of family vacations as a child. And I had resigned myself to having similar experiences with my kids. If my kids went to school, then we would have to go on vacation with everyone else.
But then we started homeschooling, and everything changed!
We go to music festivals, visit theme parks, go to the beach mid-week and beat the crowds wherever we go. We especially love staying in interesting places for a few days at a time. We’ve stayed in a treehouse and on a houseboat and have a long bucket-list of other places we want to visit. The capacity for spontaneous adventures is another reason I think homeschooling is the best!
Enjoy Spontaneous Adventures
Nothing feels better than jumping into the car and just driving. It’s reminiscent of fun road-trip movies or that time in your life when you had very few responsibilities. But with homeschooling, you can take your kids along for the ride! You can decide where to travel and when to travel. You can also save money and time by adventuring during the workweek or off-season. The flexibility of a homeschool schedule allows you to choose.
The rigid schedules of public school don’t allow this flexibility, but this is just part of the issue. My kids were always so exhausted at the end of a school semester and it would take a few weeks for them to feel up to having fun. Now with our flexible schedule, we homeschool year-round but also take many breaks when we want or need to. And there is no dreaded summer slide since the kids are learning throughout the year.
With a little planning, you and your children can enjoy all the benefits of a life of adventure. Here are tips for being prepared for spontaneous fun when the mood strikes:
Keep a busy box in the car filled with car games, maps, notebooks, stationery, and books.
In order to have successful spontaneity, and I know this sounds like a contradiction, keep a wishlist of places you want to visit.
Find places that are family friendly to avoid any disappointment.
Stock up on healthy snacks to beat grumpy moods.
Take along a change of warm clothes or swimming trunks and towels to open up your options.
Once you are organized to go adventuring, it can be done on a whim and the fun can begin.
Now what about taking a longer trip? Will your children’s school work suffer? I am a firm believer that it won’t. In fact, they will gain so much from exploring the world!
Learning on the Move: Homeschooling While Traveling
Just like you have to plan a bit to take a trip, you also need a bit of organization to take learning on the road. Luckily there are wonderful resources that you can use to homeschool while traveling. Fortunately, you don’t need that many because the world is a fantastic teacher. And there is so much to learn and see, everywhere you look. Here are however a few must-haves for successful learning on the move:
You need a solid Language Arts and Math curriculum. These can be used while eating in restaurants or during quieter times on the road or in a hotel.
Kids can journal about their adventures, so take along a notebook and pens for them. This is a great opportunity to learn how to write and be more observant about the world around them.
In the same way, some children enjoy drawing what they see.
With a tablet or phone, kids can take photos or make videos, use educational apps, watch documentaries, research the history or geography of the place you’re visiting, or track your journey on a map app.
You can also take along some of your children’s favourite Readers. I find this really calms my kids when they are somewhere new and just need something familiar.
The Secret Learning Benefits of Travel
Many homeschoolers successfully educate their children while travelling full time. Friends of mine renovated an old camper van and explored the country for a whole year. I also know of families who travel abroad with their kids. Just imagine teaching your kids about Italy, while actually being in Italy. You can’t get more hands-on than that!
Children learn so much when taken out of the classroom and into the world. Academic learning is obviously very important, but learning the ways of the world is just as important.
Kids learn to be more open when travelling by coming into contact with different cultures and situations. It makes them more well-rounded and confident human beings. Here are some more secret learning benefits that your kids won’t get in public school:
There is no need to make up work that is missed during class time, as is the case in public school. Instead kids learn all the time and have the flexibility and time to cover what they need to.
Schooling can mould around travel and not around set timeframes. Each trip can be a unique learning experience rather than having to follow a set curriculum and schedule.
Learning is deepened as children experience everything with their five senses and not just out of a book.
Learning is ongoing as kids can follow up on what they’ve learnt on trips through one-on-one discussions with their parents.
If you’ve ever yearned for a life of adventure for you and your family, then homeschooling could be the way to go. With a little planning and organization, your children can get an academic education on the move. But they can also gain so much more by being exposed to the big wide world and all it has to offer. And this type of learning is priceless!
About the Author
Charlotte Jones is a multi-tasking mom who works from home. She spends her days blogging at My Little Home School, homeschooling her twins, and teaching English online.
Her home is a small house in a quaint little town on the coast of South Africa. You can often find her swimming in the lagoon or hiking in the forest with her husband, special needs twins, and furbaby.
She loves her family, spending time in nature, running, red lipstick, and drinking too much coffee.