Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Homeschool in the Waiting Room: Travel Time

Sometimes we've been lucky to have appointments close to home. At other times, I think we've spent nearly as much time driving to and from appointments as we spent at them. When we lived near Washington DC, I left home at least an hour and a half prior to an appointment so that I would be sure that I had enough time to navigate through traffic and find a parking space. (I still sometimes have nightmares about that parking garage.)

When I started thinking about all the time we spent at appointments and all the time we spent driving, I realized that I was missing out on a lot of instructional time for my kids. That's when I started making the most of our travel time.

I didn't often let the kids watch videos while we going to local appointments, but I did throw in an educational video or two when we were on the road for longer periods of time.

Obviously, the kids could bring some of their independent work with them when we were driving. In the car, we could sometimes even manage some of the work that needed a little assistance from Mom. I couldn't read anything while driving, but I could listen and talk. I remember doing quite a lot of math in my head so that I could check Addison's work after she did each problem.

Around town, we nearly always had something educational on when we were going somewhere. Sometimes I played song CDs that related to something we were studying in our regular schoolwork. Many of the Sonlight memory verses were set to music so that we could practice them. One year we listened to Geography Songs and another year we did Grammar Songs. They weren't necessarily amazing in terms of musical quality, but we were able to memorize quite a bit of information by listening to them over and over again.

Most frequently, I would play audiobooks for all of us to enjoy during the commutes. It was a sneaky way to squeeze in more read-aloud time so that they could be exposed to more literature. I cannot possibly remember all the books we listened to, but I will share a list of the audiobooks or dramatizations we've loved over the years.

1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis: we love the audio dramatization produced by Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre

2. The entire Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and read by Cherry Jones

3. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart and several sequels: for a few years, we called the GPS in the car "Jillson" because of a character in this series

4. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter and read by Melanie Young (from Raising Real Men)

5. The Jonathan Park series: amazing adventures about creation science

6. Brinkman Adventures: action packed missionary stories (my reviews of Season 2 and Season 3)

7. Any books by Andrew Clements. Frindle is a great one, but A Week in the Woods is Brennan's favorites. One time we stumbled across some rather weird teenage ones by him, but they were still fun.

8. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (and sequels)

Today's carschooling ideas are part of my week long "Homeschooling in the Waiting Room" series of tips. It's also part of a larger 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents series from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

If you'd like to read more tips, I invite you to visit the following awesome blogs. (Note: these are different than the ones I've shared other days this week. Have fun hopping around to meet new blogging friends.)

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents

Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Jennifer @ Faithful Homestead
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Joesette @ Learning Curve
Kari @ Random Acts of Boyhood
Katie @ Katie's Daily Life
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Kim @ Homestead Acres
Kylie @ Our Worldwide Classroom

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  1. Carschooling has been a big part of our lives, too! We spent so much time on the road one year that Jude worked his way through all of Liberty's Kids AND Carmen Sandiego.

  2. Car schooling has become a huge part of our lessons too since none of Amber's specialists are closer than a half hour drive. It adds up. We haven't been big fans of audio books, but DVDs are catching on lately because of some motion sickness with independent work. Thanks for the additional ideas.



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