Family Adventures: 4 Amazing Benefits for Your Homeschool

By Melissa Droegemueller of Rolling Prairie Readers

When I say family travel, you might think of exotic or expensive destinations, logistical headaches, and cranky kids. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Simple family adventures can be fun and educational!

IMAGINE THIS:

You wake up to find an absolutely blank day on the calendar. No classes, lessons, or extracurriculars on the agenda–can you believe it?

Instead of playing the “what should we do today” game with everyone in the family, this scenario plays out instead: “We’re going on an adventure!” you say to your kids, and they run to grab the adventure backpack and their water bottles.

As Bethany says, “learning happens all the time,” both in the classroom and outside of it. Our children can discover a lot about the world through travel and fun, family experiences.

Family Adventures are a great addition to your homeschool. There are so many ways to incoporate learning our in the real world and outside the confines of curriculum and school days.

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Why Your Homeschool Needs More Family Adventures

All children need “real-world” learning.

Travel allows our kids to touch and see the world in new and unique ways. They can experience different cultures, different landscapes, and different languages — usually without going very far from home! Some family adventures even allow our children to go back in time, bringing history alive. Along the way, you can introduce your children to important life skills like budgeting, map-reading, calculating fuel mileage, and more.

(If you need an idea to get started, check out this blog post about learning activities you can try when you go apple-picking.)  

Family adventures are a bonding experience.

While road trips with our kids are hardly relaxing, they are often good for lots of laughs and new memories. We get to leave chores and distractions behind for a while and focus on family relationships. Traveling together gives us shared stories and a unique family culture that is worth celebrating.

Family Adventure in Your Homeschool

Children need to see adults learning, too.

We all want to raise children who are passionate about learning their entire lives. We can model what that looks like for our kids when we experience new things together. When we travel as a family, we discover new interests and learn more about ourselves, too.

Travel is a fun way to learn!

When our children are young, hands-on learning comes easy: sensory play, building with blocks, and using manipulatives in math lessons. As our children reach elementary and middle school age, their opportunities for hands-on learning are replaced with more abstract lessons and higher-order thinking.

Learning through travel and family experiences is one way that we can continue to reach our tactile and kinesthetic learners. Many museums are set-up with multi-sensory exhibits for children young and old to explore–but there are lots of other great destinations, as well.

Some of our family’s favorite experiences have been:

 

Family Adventures for your homeschool
Family adventure to the American Gothic house.

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Here are some tips for getting started with family adventures:

Start local.

Get on email lists for your library, parks department, college music departments, and county historical societies. Many of these facilities have regular events that are free and open to the public. We have toured a dam, attended a zookeeper’s presentation, learned more about steel pan drums, and visited a working flour mill–all for free and close to home.

Be spontaneous and open to detours.

When you go on road trips with your family, leave a little margin in your travel time. Keep an eye out for road signs and interesting sights out the window. You never know what’s waiting for you on the side of the road!

Try something new together, like geocaching.

We have recently started geocaching, and it’s one of the cheapest, easiest family adventures around. Download an app for instant access to caches all across your neighborhood, city, or county. Children of all ages can help search for the hidden treasure, sign the log, and exchange little trinkets. Best of all, geocaching can take you to interesting, historical, and educational places you would never have gone otherwise.

Follow up with research and memory-keeping.

Lots of places we visit have small little souvenir shops, so we usually buy a book or two to bring home with us. We also like to use our experiences to inspire a trip to the public library. Most recently, we’ve started a notebook for our family adventures, which is another way to extend the fun and learning together.

Are you ready to add more travel and family experiences to your homeschool this fall? I would love to hear which of these tips or ideas you’re excited to try first!



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About Melissa Droegemueller

Melissa is an elementary school teacher–turned–homeschooling mom. She is passionate about helping busy parents connect with their kids through play, and she dreams of a world where all children are excited about learning and are being equipped to use their unique gifts to make a big difference in their communities.

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