Friday, April 27, 2012

Incorporating Homeschool Activities while Travelling and Camping

On my Homeschool Australia online support group 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 accommodation 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 (this is a 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 sing-along by the fire: old and new favourites;
  • story-telling and language games around the campfire, followed by toasted marshmallows.
April suggested the following:
  • bushwalking and bird watching, flower spotting, identifying birds and plants;
  • simply enjoy the holiday;
  • take heaps of photos, 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 times-tables or spell words; play games such 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 ten items from the beach and put them out for someone to look at for about one 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.