Homeschooling on the Road
Fascinating, original, hilarious. These are not words that describe my blog
by those who can't hear the music."
Here are a few things that I've written about it lately and I will be making an e-book on this topic as soon as I have time in between our travels and touring the world.
http://www.soultravelers3.com/2010/04/f ... .html#more [/url]
Anthony St. Clair
Writer & Editor / Traveler / Cook / Brewer
twitter / antsaint
PDXnative wrote:Lots of good links! We have been discussing our options for homeschooling while traveling and there are so many different ways it can be done. I think an adaptive approach would probably work the best, but we need to figure out which methods for the 3 R's.
How old are your kids?
go girl now wrote:PDXnative wrote:Lots of good links! We have been discussing our options for homeschooling while traveling and there are so many different ways it can be done. I think an adaptive approach would probably work the best, but we need to figure out which methods for the 3 R's.
How old are your kids?
Our daughter is currently 5.
PDXnative - Yes, I think being flexible on the road is important. There is so much that can be learned without being in school all day.
The 3 R's are quite easy on the road. If your child is not reading yet or is beginning reader, maybe look into http://www.starfall.com/. Also There are many fun, easy things online. I've listed many on my website like Brain Pop, plus there are a ton of great educational CD's. There are some really fun geography things online that kids love. Make sure that their time online or in books are in useful, educational areas....then they are learning while having fun.
Handwriting without tears is a great writing program if she is learning to write.
If she is reading and writing. Have her do some every day and continue lots of reading together daily. ( One of the best ways to raise a reader & a reader will make self directed learning so easy). Have her keep a daily journal even if it is mostly pictures in the beginning.
Here are great free books online:
You can also get a kindle app for your laptop to make it easier and bring your library card as many have a Tumble book section just for kids that they love.
http://www.tumblebooks.com/library/asp/ ... ebooks.asp[/url]
For math we LOVE singapore math. Taught in the smart Asian way ( Singapore always has top math ratings and this is the same program used in their schools). We just get the workbooks and they are cheap, take up almost no space and start at the preK level. Do it daily and incorporate living math discussions on what ever you do and where you go. Have her do some of the buying of things in the store etc or track your miles, gas, map details etc.
PLay fun games together that add to learning and discuss things. Learning is everywhere all the time...not just in formal school.
It's much better, I find, than following a standard curriculum and having to slot school-y stuff into your travels. It gives a diversity to learning, and it's painless on all sides...
It means you can learn about ecosystems and symbiosis (or good old photosynthesis) in the rainforest or on a coral reef. You can do quite a bunch with maths, too -- surprisingly so. Online games and quizzes, such as those at BBC bitesize, are also a fun way for kids to learn: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/bitesize/
I wrote about it here: http://travelswithanineyearold.com/2010 ... _learning/
Since you have time before your RTW trip, I would use that time to get more skilled and trust your self and your child with homeschool/unschool methods.
We are luckier than most and our needs are a little different because our journey is an open ended one ( almost ready to start our 5th year of non-stop world travel ..oh my!) and our PRIMARY purpose for travel is to educate our child in a superb way. We think we can prepare her better for life in the 21st century than she would get even in the best schools...but we have used local foreign schools ( for deep language/literature/culture immersion like a native), homeschool, digital learning at places like Johns Hopkins University ( wonderful!), virtual piano, Mandarin Chinese,violin lessons via webcams from teachers on other continents ...and primarily unschooling.
You are so right MummyT, (as we have discussed before elsewhere), "unschooling" or child-led learning is a great way to learn any time ( as we are all always learning) but even more so on the road.
Many people think "unschooling" means "no schooling" but they could not be further from the truth. It's more about the joy of learning and discovering the learning in everything we do. Children...and all of us...learn best when we lead our own learning. It is hard NOT to learn while traveling, but there are many things that one can do to enhance the experience in an educational way. That does not need to be hard,nor does one need a lot of equipment.
Unschooling certainly does not mean that parents aren't helping to facilitate the learning. Parents are "unschooling" when they sing songs with their babies ( facilitates language learning) or read aloud to them ( facilitates language and helps to create a reader) etc. Smart parents are always "unschooling" whether they call it that or realize it or not.
Parents "unschool" their kids when they learn to walk or talk ( they facilitate that learning, but the child leads). Can you imagine giving them boring work sheets for that or trying to learn it by rote- learning forced at the same pace with a bunch of others who happened to be born the same year? LOL! The same prinicpals apply to all learning.
Parents know and love their children the best, so make the best facilitators of learning for their children ....if they learn to trust themselves and their children. It can feel intimidating in the beginning as we have all been trained in the industrial revolution method of schooling, but that is really a fairly new concept. Learning deeply and well is really a lot easier than most think and parents can easily guide their children & travel just makes it all easier.
I'll give you an example... I've taught middle school science a number of years and, for some reason, the concept of Darwin's theory of natural selection is really hard for kids. Survival of the fittest and all that.... So, when we were in the Galapagos Islands, I decided to take advantage of the fact that we were there to work on that concept.
Me: OK kids, time for school. Turn off the movie and head into the cabin - we're going to learn about Darwin's theories of natural selection.
Kids: Aw Mom! We already know it - can't we finish the movie?
Me: Beat it!
Once we were all situated on the bed in our cabin...
Me: What are the Galapagos Islands famous for?
Kids: Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution.
Me: Good! What does that mean?
Kids: It means that whichever animal is best adapted to his environment is more likely to pass on his genes - so over hundreds of years the whole species changes and adapts to be better suited for life in those conditions.
Me: OK - lesson over. Head back to your movie!
And here I thought they had just been out there chasing after sea lions the whole time our guide had been explaining it...
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