It’s another busy week here in our family. Two new mares at our barn need training. A friend needs a ride to the hospital. I have an OB appointment. There is grocery shopping to do, and I have an art student coming for personal instruction.
How is it possible to homeschool well while keeping up a busy schedule? We have to Homeschool-On-The-Go or we won’t be able to homeschool much at all this week. Out comes the handy-dandy canvas bag to load with travel school.
Here’s how our Homeschool-On-The-Go week plays out.
Monday morning is business as usual. In the morning, I have my kids do work that needs to be done at home. Since I know we won’t be here much this week, I must take advantage of these hours. We leave at noon with a picnic lunch and a science project that involves collecting data. My middle son plays with our youngest son in the field, while I give riding lessons. The two of them hunt various leaves to identify with their field guide and record in their science notebooks. Each boy uses a plain pad of paper and some crayons to make leaf rubbings. (Actually, the youngest just does this for fun and to feel like he has the same work as his big brother.) I watch them search while my riding student learns how to use her legs to turn her horse through obstacles. During the mare’s training sessions, my kids work on mapping skill workbook pages and math problems. After we finish at the barn, each child turns in their work for my review. They make corrections as I make lasagna for our dinner.
Tuesday proves to be an easier day for homeschooling-on-the-go. We spend a couple hours in a doctor’s waiting room while my friend has her appointment. This is a good time to play our antonym, synonym, and homonym sort game on the little child’s table. The table is also the perfect fit for both of my kids to do their handwriting and copy work assignments. We spend the car ride home discussing the impact of technology on our world and how it affects our lives.
Wednesday is my own OB appointment. We spend our care ride reviewing antonyms, synonyms, and homonyms, and practicing multiplication facts verbally. We also verbally narrate/review the Bible story we read at breakfast. While I wait to be seen, the children do math assignments, read, and journal in their assigned books. After the appointment, we go grocery shopping. My youngest counts the items in our cart. My middle boy reads labels, searching for gluten content. My oldest calculates the best prices of the various brands.
Thursday we spend the morning at home. I teach an art student, and my children work on their own. I take advantage of my kids’ abilities. I direct my oldest to play multiplication bingo with my middle boy. My middle boy calls spelling words for my oldest. Again, we pack a picnic lunch and head to the barn. This time, the boys free play during the riding lesson. They stitch their leather projects while I work with the mares. When we finish at the barn, the children work on essays while I make chicken parmesan for dinner. I give help and constructive criticism, as well as praise their work while we finish our tasks together.
On Friday we sing along to grammar songs in the car as we drive to catch the super sales at the fabric store. Since we finished our weekly assignments a day ahead, we take the opportunity to review, practice, and apply what we’ve been learning. At the store, I have the kids calculate the tremendous door buster sales and percentages off. They count out money to make their purchases. My kids make sure they receive the correct change. The children give informative speeches about their plans for the fabric and notions they chose. They talk through the details of their projects and the patterns they chose to be sure they have all the parts and pieces needed. On the drive home, we listen to multiplication rock’ n’ roll songs. We stop at the library to get Civil War books for the coming week’s history assignments.
Even though we spent most of the week away from home, this week was one of our most productive. Organization, foresight, and portable supplies made this week a joy for all of us.
Homeschooling-On-The-Go is actually a great way to keep things from getting mundane. My children learn from experiencing life and working in different environments. And a plus, my kids whine less in public. They work in silence rather than trying my patience and discipline techniques.
I think I will schedule a few more weeks to be just as hectic!
Lisa Blauvelt (with her family and three dogs, two cats, a horse, pony, donkey, two red eared turtles, a fluctuating number of tadpoles and baby fish, and various other creatures collected by her adventurous boys) puts her education degrees to work at her home in the Deep South. There she teaches not only her own children, but others who come to her home to learn. Her decade long experience in teaching children to read will soon be published as a 476 page guide for parents.