It's back to school time! Homeschoolers on the go need to always have certain items on hand. But do you know what they are? If your homeschooling family is like ours, it will make learning so much easier if you keep certain on the go accessories around. Whether you need materials to save the lesson for later, study while on the move, or create memories, my family's experiences may help.
A compact digital camera camcorder adds to the lesson. Kids who are encouraged to film and take pictures of specific items and lessons can get a double lesson. It also serves as a great memory for later. We like to take pictures of the nature we view, places we go, as well as just fun moments that we have. This helps us recall the lessons we learned together as a homeschooling family. But it also gives us great family memories. Sometimes lessons happen when you least expect them. Always having a camera ready can help you capture those moments. A cell phone with a good camera will also work.
Never forget your library card at home. Even if you hadn't planned a trip to the library, it can come up at a moment's notice. Homeschoolers on the go often learn right at the library. But how many times have you been on a homeschool excursion and need to get a book to accent what you've learned? What if the library is closer to you than your house? Do you really want to go all the way back home, just for a library card? Never forget library cards for all family members. One trick I like to use is to place the library card (and other important cards) on an I.D. necklace or bracelet. This way, it's less difficult for everyone to forget theirs.
Collection slides and petri dishes are a must. Homeschool outings to the lake or pond can produce some interesting results. The same can even be said for a drainage ditch, walking trail, and even just a city walk to the store. Specimen or petri dishes and collection slides come in handy in many instances. Homeschoolers on the go should never leave home without them. Collecting specimens is just one more way of being able to continue the lesson at home. If you have a microscope, they come in handy even more. We've collected bugs, leaves, moss, pond water, and more all because we had some type of collection dish with us. Nature happens all around us.
A small laptop or tablet serves several purposes. Need a place to take notes? Perhaps you just showed the kids a certain dinosaur and need some follow up questions or activities? We've used the laptop to watch educational movies, research something relevant to the day's studies, and even to take notes. All of the above and more contribute to laptop being a must-have for homeschoolers on the go. Smaller notebook computers or tablets may be better than the full-sized versions, as they are more compact for easier traveling. Look for thinner, lightweight models, if you don't already have a small computer to use.
A fully charged cell phone keeps you prepared. Ever get lost on the way to a homeschool field trip? Don't have GPS? No problem. A charged cell phone that has Internet capabilities can help. Cell phones with GPS or even capabilities to visit online maps can be used to tell people where you are, as well as lead you to your destination. Then, of course, depending on where you are going, you may need to call and talk to that company. On the less cheery side of things, cell phones also come in handy if something goes wrong. Cell phones with cameras will also eliminate the need for a separate camera.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Shine/ Yahoo Contributor Network
Field trips are a very important part of learning. They teach hands-on learning and learning through experience and observation. As a homeschooling mother, I have planned many lessons that also involved utilizing trips outside the home. Learning how to integrate field trips into homeschool lessons gets easier as you go.
Consider the lesson topic. Look up places in your area that center around that Subject. For instance, if your child is learning about the heart, find out what museums in your area have coordinating exhibits. Some museums also have IMAX theater showings on various educational themes. Keep up to date on the listings so you can incorporate field trips for those into appropriate lessons. See if local hospitals have any related tours or classes they offer to students. If none of those work out, there's always the library. Every lesson has an extra place you can go to in order to learn more.
Be inventive. Think of hands-on things that require leaving the house, but may not necessarily be a formal field trip destination. This could be area parks and trails, the beach, an animal shelter, and more. Any place that can involve hands-on learning and is related to a recent lesson can be considered field trip. Be creative and versatile with your choices. Plan trips to these locations in accordance with the lessons or curriculum.
Research museum, library, and community classes in your area. These are the perfect destinations for field trips. While some may be just like a classroom setting, it is a chance for your students to do something different. Sign the kids up for classes and be sure to teach related lessons in the same timeframe. This may require some shifting around.
Check event schedules, local listings, and local organizations. Most communities have festivals, expos, free days, and other events that would be useful in teaching kids various things. For instance, zoos and museums often host free days. Libraries often have classes and story time. They also might hold book sales. Animal shelters may host fun events with the animals or have free classes on animal care. Kids can even volunteer if they are the right age. The same is true for some nursing home and rehabilitation facilities. Check calendars and other local listings to see what is going going on in your area. Some of these will be repetitive or ongoing and can be worked into the lesson schedule as needed.
Pulling it all together. When looking over the classes and events scheduled, you may see that some don't align well. If you're teaching your child about the brain, one museum has a related lecture, and another has a hands-on lesson, but they are not scheduled together, this can be an inconvenience. It's ideal to keep as many related lessons together as possible. But don't miss out on good lessons if they are available. Any opportunity to learn should be taken advantage of.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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