The best aspect of year round homeschooling is having the ability to rearrange your homeschool schedule whenever is necessary. Over the last 4 years we’ve rearranged our homeschool schedule for many different reasons; vacation, my husband’s fishing schedule, our family business, etc. It has been a blessing to have the flexibility necessary to live life and continue to homeschool my children.
You can’t plan for everything in life. Some things show up unexpectedly and you have to make decisions, rearrange your life, work and homeschool schedule to just make it work. That is where I currently am at. I got a phone call two weeks ago and was informed that I was needed back home, in Texas. Once I knew that I went into planning mode. I had to figure out how to make it happen and ensure that everything that was my responsibility was taken care of before taking an extended trip. I have mentioned that I love to plan before right?
Since we will be taking an unexpected extended trip during the homeschool year, I knew I was going to have to incorporate some homeschooling into our trip. I’ve learned over the years that we will not likely be completing an entire day’s worth of homeschooling at all during our trip, but I also know that children do best when they don’t have long breaks in between their homeschooling. That is what began our year round homeschooling journey in the first place.
Take Only the Most Important Parts of Your Homeschool Curriculum
On our child led homeschooling journey I’ve realized something very important, Math, English and Reading are the three most important subjects. My children are still young and they do not have any idea what they want to do for a career yet. They enjoy learning about history, creating art and completing science experiments, but neither of them have a direction for their long term future. Looking back over my life and what I’ve used since graduating high school, I know that my children have to be grounded in their Math, English and Reading skills no matter what they choose to do in life. So, for this unexpected extended trip we’ll only be focusing on Math, English and Reading. If we have the opportunity to throw in history, science, art or geography then we will, but I am not going to stress about adding those to our already crazy days away from home.
Bring Fun Homeschooling Resources to Use Throughout the Trip
My kids love using our Kindle Fire, it was supposed to be a tool for me to use while away at a blogging conference, but it has turned into a tool for our homeschooling mostly. Each of the kids have one “fun” app on the device, but the rest of the apps are solely educational. A couple of their favorite educational apps that they ask to use over and over again (even when it isn’t school time!) are the Smithsonian channel app and Duolingo. My daughter will be using the math apps while we’re traveling to work on her multiplication tables and my son will love learning more about history with a few of the free apps I found here.
Another fun homeschool resource that my kids love is audio dramas, I have heard great things about Heirloom Audio’s Audio Adventures for Kids and I will be adding those to our collection before our trip as well. I am just as excited to listen to them as I know my kids will be!
If you are preparing for an unexpected trip you need to ensure that you remain flexible because you don’t know what will happen while you’re away. Depending on the circumstance you may get zero homeschool time in while you’re on your trip, but that is ok. You need to allow yourself (and your kids!) the opportunity to live life. Things happen in life that we can not control and our children need to see how we handle them, so that they will one day know how to handle them too. Should your trip require you to not touch a homeschool book or resource, it is ok. Your kids will not forget everything and you will get back to homeschooling. It is more important that you take care of what needs your attention right now than it is to stress and try to teach your children in the midst of the unexpected.
Homeschooling is a family journey. It is a part of our every day lives. When life doesn’t go as planned, our homeschool can simply be adjusted. When we look back over our entire homeschooling journey we will see that no where along the way did everything go perfectly nor will any time period look the same as another. Unexpected extended trips will fit in with all of the changes along the way of our homeschool journeys. It is important that we take the time that we need to focus on what requires our attention today and remember that life lessons are a huge part of our children’s homeschooling. They will learn more from living life than they ever will from a textbook.
How did you prepare for an unexpected extended trip during a homeschool year?