Thursday, August 9, 2012

Staying Organized on the Go: Car Schooling


Let’s be real. Not too many of us actually do 100 percent of our schooling at home. Even when our family had one car, which my husband drove to work every day, the girls and I rarely spent every day of every week inside of our house. It helped that we lived in walking distance of the park, our church, and a number of other places in town.
            Aside from co-ops, many of us find ourselves dragging younger kids to the older kids’ sports or drama practices. Or, we may find ourselves frequenting doctors’ offices. So, how can we maintain even a semblance of order to our schooling schedules in these circumstances?
            One answer may be to organize the materials we need for schooling on the go. Decide what is absolutely essential and only pack those items. The last thing we need is to be carting around stuff that we won’t actually use. We can utilize the same general principles as we would for co-ops by having a separate bag or container ready to whisk into the car at a moment’s notice. One important addition, though, is a pencil case. It should be stocked with pencils, pens, erasers, a pencil sharpener (or extra lead for mechanical pencils), and whatever else is regularly needed for each child to do his schoolwork. If possible, each child should have his own small pencil case for his things, even if all of the stuff is in one central bag. In addition, be sure to stock extra filler paper, crayons, a coloring book (for the younger set), a fun reading book, and a puzzle book in the bag.
The car-school bag should be used only for taking schoolwork on the go. Leave as many basic supplies in it as possible, so no one is running around looking for a pencil when you’re already ten minutes late for the doctor’s appointment. Before it’s time to walk out the door, have each child collect a reasonable amount of school work to put in the bag(s).
To ward off the claims of not knowing what they’re supposed to do, either make sure they pack their own planners, or make sure that you throw your family homeschool planner in the bag. While I love online planners, they’re not very practical for on-the-go use, unless you have an iPad with 3G access. I suggest printing out the schedule for a week at a time, that way it’s ready to grab on the go.
Q4U: For real, how much time do you spend in the car during school?