Let's admit it, folks, we car school as often (or more!) than we homeschool. Our lives are so busy with doctor appointments, orthodontist appointments, driver's ed, babysitting jobs, co-op classes, park days, fields trips, and more that it feels as if we're gone more than we're home. Yet, we announce to the world that we're HOMEschooling. Hhhmmmm. Yes, we need to find a balance of home and outside activities, but we've already covered that, so let's talk about how we can maximize the times that we aren't physically at home, but still need to get academics done.
1. Each child needs a designated school-on-the-go bag. This bag needs to be kept in an easy-to-retrieve spot and be big enough for books, workbooks, writing utensils, crayons, or whatever is appropriate. A filled pencil bag (remember the sharpeners and erasers, too) can stay in the bag along with a clipboard and notebook or filler paper. That way, the kids just have to put in whatever they need for each trip, which changes with each day.
2. Mom (or Dad) needs a designated school-on-the-go bag, too. What do you typically do while your children are working independently? Be sure to take something for yourself to do while you're out. You never know when you'll have to wait an extra amount of time in the doctor's office or get stuck in a traffic jam or whatever. Take along the teacher's books if you need them for the subjects that your kids will be working on. Take whatever you need to keep their schoolwork moving along.
3. Maintain the schedule. As you're making the schedule, you'll have to make adjustments for reoccurring co-op and field trip days. For other days, a regular schoolwork schedule is even more important. It frees up your mind when you're trying to get out the door if you already know what's supposed to be accomplished for the day. Most children thrive on at least a framework of a schedule (some kids thrive on a very rigid schedule, but you have to know your family to know what works best for you all), so having basic academic expectations even for days when you're on the go will help.
4. Take only what can be reasonably accomplished in the time you'll be gone. Some subjects are more portable than others; if possible, take just those. Be sure that you allot enough time at home to work on the non-portable stuff.
5. Be careful of kids who get sick to their stomachs while reading in the car, especially on local roads. Perhaps books on tape/CD/iPod would be a good investment for those times. But, those kids can still have a bag of schoolwork for when you reach your destination(s).
Giveaway? Did I just see a giveaway? Yes, you did! I'm giving away 1 FREE ticket for Heart of the Matter's upcoming Winter Conference. Get a big dose of encouragement February 21-23 from such speakers as Carol Barnier, Amanda Bennett, Kim Kautzer, and more. The best part is that you can attend in your jammies! This is an online conference. If you can't attend all of the sessions live, you'll be able to listen to the Mp3s later.
Giveaway rules: Everyone who comments at least once on my blog during the 10 Days of Organization (not on Facebook, Twitter, or email) will be entered to win the ticket. You may comment every day (but only once per day) for more chances to win. I will announce the winner on Feb. 18, the last day of the blog hop. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment (or another way for me to contact you). This contest is open to anyone living anywhere in the world since it is a virtual conference.
Remember to visit my other HOTM blogging buddies:
10 days of socialization for mom | The Homeschool Chick
10 days of classical education | Milk & Cookies
10 days of large families | Chocolate on My Cranium
10 days of special needs | Special Needs Homeschooling
10 days of struggling learners | Homeschooling the Chaotic Family
10 days of homeschooling girls | Homegrown Mom
10 days of homeschool enrichment | Confessions of a Homeschooler
10 days of building a spiritual legacy | Mommy Missions
10 days of frugal homeschooling |The Happy Housewife
10 days of Charlotte Mason | Our Journey Westward
10 days of unschooling | Homeschooling Belle
10 days of organization | Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom
10 days of getting started | Blog, She Wrote
10 days of homeschooling boys | The Tie That Binds Us
10 days of homeschooling Montessori | Fruit in Season
10 days of preschool | Delightful Learning
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