Incorporating Homeschool Activities
While Travelling and Camping
by Beverley Paine
At Homeschool Australia the other day a homeschooler about to embark on a camping holiday asked for inspiration on how to incorporate their holiday into their homeschooling lessons beyond planning and mapping.
We brainstormed for a bit and came up with the following ideas for learning 'on the road':
- learning about safety: around the fire, around the camp, using tools, etc;
- helping with 'camp' cooking (different, restricted ingredients, etc) as well as cooking on an open fire;
- putting up tents (technology, different kinds of homes - think of refugees around the world in emergency accomodation that becomes long term...) ;
- explore the history of the places you visit and pass through (everywhere has history!);
- consider geography - talk about landforms, how they got that way, how explorers mapped them (cartography), erosion (wind, water, ice);
- everyone start a nature journal, spend time each day recording what you see (Charlotte Mason idea - do some research on this idea before you leave);
- take photographs; if you have a laptop with you view the photos so you get feedback on what the photos look like, everyone can comment on how to improve camera technique, etc;
- Camp singsong by the fire - all the old and new favourites!
- Story telling and language games around the campfire, followed by toasted marshmallows.
April suggested the following:
- bushwalking and birdwatching, flower spotting - identifying birds and plants;
- simply enjoy the holiday;
- take heaps, to use as a memory jogger (visual notebook), then do the recording side of it over the coming weeks as projects.
Kym came up with the following suggestions:
- take books, crossword puzzles, all types of puzzles and games for the car and just for fun;
- go swimming;
- take a compass and learn how to use it;
- while travelling recite timestables or spell words - play games such as well as I-spy etc.
- while in the car talk about traffic, road rules, distances, road signs, potential accidents and "what if" scenarios and what type of first aid might be needed;
- memory games are fun around the camp site - collect about 10 items from the beach and put them out for someone to look at for about 1 minute, and then take them away and see how many you can remember! Or just take one away and see if you can recall which one is gone.
- favourite beach activity is to make a huge sand sculpture and then go and collect all the little bits of coloured plastic litter and decorate it, take a photo and then put all the plastic in the bin: helping to keep the beach clean, which leads into talking about the environment and ocean etc.
If you have any other ideas we can add to this page, please email them to Beverley!
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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