How Traveling May Benefit Your Homeschool Program
Homeschool Travel Benefits. Annoying as it is – anyone who has ever homeschooled has probably encountered some form of the criticisms below. I’ll bet you’ve encountered it more than once.
- Are you a homeschooler?
- Oh, then you must be anti-social.
- Your poor kids. They really need to get out and socialize.
- How will they ever know how to communicate with people? Or do basic problem solving? Or stand in line?
Unless you’re a second-generation homeschooler you probably get it from your own family. You definitely get it at the doctor’s, the checkout line, and the public library. And, sadly, you probably always will.
Of course, what they’re saying is not true.
In fact, it will never be true. You and I both know it’s not true.
Facts About Homeschooled Children
Homeschool children on average are better educated than their public school counterparts. They are:
- Better read
- Better at articulating their views
- More respectful of their elders
- Kinder to their peers
- More accepting of new ideas, customs, and cultures
Making Time for Travel
Travel takes a lot of time, work, and even money; and many homeschool parents feel a certain pressure to put in the correct number of hours for each subject, each day. They also feel obligated to put in so many days a week, so many months a year, etc.
So it’s easy to feel that you can’t simply put your program on hold and take off on a road trip with the family, no matter how tempting it may seem.
Yet the benefits for young and growing minds can far outweigh the costs.
Homeschool Travel Benefits
Here are just a few Homeschool Travel Benefits for traveling with your family.
- Validation. You will have actionable proof that your never-ending critics are wrong!
- Learning etiquette – a variety of restaurants and hotels will teach basic (and even some advanced) courtesy skills.
- Meeting new people every day
- Seeing historical sites for themselves
- Hearing new ideas
- Critical thinking – Hearing new opinions is a great time to tell your kids why you agree or disagree. Also, this helps them to think through their own ideas logically.
- Navigation – Road trips are the best opportunity to teach compass directions and road mapping skills.
- Math – Everything from change at the grocery store to how many miles left in a day.
- Science – Road trips are perfect for making time to stop in at museums and sites of natural wonder.
- History – There is never a better time to teach history than when you are standing at the place where history happened!
- Language – You may not be able to travel outside of your country, but even if you can’t teach foreign languages, odds are your children will hear new accents, phrases, and saying.
And, yes, at hotels, restaurants, and laundromats, they will even learn to stand in line.
Making time for travel can become a business of mind over matter – and in truth, it doesn’t even need to cut into your school time.
While some homeschool families do need to stick to a typical schedule as defined by public education, most families will have more flexibility. Depending upon local climate, job pressures, and other life factors you may have already customized the times of year during which you do school.
Some families will even take their schoolwork with them on the road, and do it in an RV, or hotel rooms. And other families “world school,” which means their homeschool program, literally, revolves around travel.
Making Every Outing a Field Trip
Every trip, no matter how small, has the potential to become a field trip. Having your children with you in as commonplace a setting as the local grocery store, book club, or insurance agency, will teach them many more lessons about life than they would ever learn sitting in the classroom.
Much of the trick is learning to see every day as an adventure. Use every exchange of currency as a math lesson, And make every casual conversation a social skill builder.
As you learn to watch for small learning opportunities and adventures your homeschooling family will start to develop a unique skill. You will learn to see the beauty in the ordinary things. And that helps them to learn from what other people think is mundane.
Your children will be open to new ideas and new influences, while at the same time having developed rational arguments to support their fundamental beliefs.
By the time the big trips and adventures come along, you will be travelling the road with wide open eyes and ready minds – and will get all the more experience out of each day.
I love what Kimberly Kulp has to say about Homeschool Travel Benefits in her article: Vacations While Homeschooling: How to Get the Most Mileage From Your Travels
Memories That Are Forever
The one great benefit not listed amidst all the homeschooling paraphernalia is the memory factor.
Once all is said and done, and the kids are grown and gone, the treasure of these precious, fleeting, days will be the memories.
Even if you can only manage one road trip in all the years that you homeschool, I guarantee that your children will keep those memories alive and bright forever.
While the days that poets call golden cannot be replaced, or tarnished, or left behind.
When they’ve forgotten those hard-fought algebra equations, they will remember visiting the beach. Once they’ve left behind the intricate rules of 9th grade grammar, they will remember visiting a historical site.
After all the blood, sweat, and tears of life are compressed and all but left behind, they will still remember singing songs in the car – and the day they met that one interesting person.
Take your homeschool program on the road, and create a learning experience that will last forever. Give your children Homeschool Travel Benefits that will teach as well as any book.
About The Author
Suzanna Fitzgerald is a writer, photographer, and online marketer. She has been writing for over fifteen years in all fields of fiction and non-fiction. Her published novel, Loner’s Clan, is her largest foray into the print world so-far, but she has published dozens of items online, especially in the form of a blog.
Her marketing company, Fitz’n’Jammer: Online Marketing & Design, is dedicated to helping clients increase their online presences and marketing campaigns the smart way – with clarity engagement marketing.
You can find her on her company website, http://www.fitznjammer.com.