I regularly get questions from non-roadschoolers about how we homeschool on the road. Somedays, we sit at a table and work in our RV or around the RV park. Other days, like today, the world is our classroom.
Today we drove an hour and a half to Goblin Valley State Park. On field trip days, the kids bring along some independent work to do in the truck as we drive. Today I told them they needed to get five works done.
Readers – They both got right to work on reading when we hopped in the truck. Character Queen reads silently to herself; Mr. Bang reads out loud to me. When he gets stuck on a word, he spells it out loud and I talk him through how to read it. (“cover up the ‘ed,'” “cover the silent e and make the vowel shout his name,” “‘ph’ makes the sound ‘f,'” etc.) Usually when I give him one hint like that, he gets it. Sometimes I just tell him what the word is.
Math – MB started on some math, but apparently got stuck on something and didn’t finish. Or he just decided to not actually think about math and sat there with his book in his lap and pencil in hand. That’s a very frequent occurrence.
The first big excitement of the day was when we saw three legit cowboys up on a hill next to the road! They wore their cowboy hats, were atop their horses, and their dogs were trailing along! Just ahead, I had to slow down because there were cows in the road. There was a whole herd of probably 40-50 cattle, and about a third of them were calves. (Only about ten were in the road.) I assume these cows were with the cowboys. It sounds silly as I sit here typing it, but we were super excited by it! It’s the kind of thing you only see in old movies – not real life!
When we arrived at the park, we first sat at the big overlook pavilion for some lunch.
They hadn’t finished their school work, so we then headed down into the goblin valley and found a nice spot to hang out and get some work done. There’s a lot to be said for working on schoolwork in a cool place like this instead of in an RV!
CQ Reader – CQ did some more her reading.
MB Spelling – On Wednesdays, he takes a spelling pre-test. If he gets a 100, he’s completely done with spelling for the week. As of today, he’s gotten a 100 on fourteen pre-tests in a row! He used to really struggle with his spelling words, but I think he finally decided he liked being done with spelling halfway through the week!
CQ Math – She’s working right now on simple long division.
MB Phonics – This is one extra lesson I do each week involving his spelling words. On the list, his assignment was to write his words in his best cursive handwriting; however, leaning against a hoodoo (the official name for the rock formations) isn’t a good position for nice handwriting! He asked to spell them in alphabetical order instead, and I agreed. Usually he writes them in order, but this time, he moved from rock to rock and spelled each out loud in alphabetical order as he moved along.
Then…it was finally time to just play!
The other great thing about using the world as your classroom, of course, is learning things based on the part of the world you’re using as your classroom. We’ve been learning a lot the past couple of months about different rock types, formations, and erosions. The visitor center had some good information about the process that led to the cool hoodoos that we got to play on today, so we spent awhile talking about that before heading home.
Along with that, the kids completed their Junior Ranger books, which covered that information, as well as desert food webs and other related topics.
We got home around 5:30, and The Brain was out on an ATV tour in the area.
We threw together some dinner and I let the kids have one of their absolute favorite treats: dinner and a movie. Well, not actually a movie. We recently subscribed to Jelly Telly, so we decided to watch a couple of short clips from that as we ate. We watched “Wonderful World of Science with Dr. Schniffenhousen,” which was absolutely hilarious – and we learned some cool things, too! In the first one, we learned about acorn woodpeckers, who store enough acorns in trees for themselves, other birds, and squirrels. In the second, we learned about anise swallowtail butterflies, known as “the skunk of the insect world,” whose eggs are smaller than the head of pin.
The Brain got home during that, so we shared exciting stories from the day. After stories and dinner, it was time for bedtime routine and sleep!
(Laundry count of the day – zero. We have a load ready to go, but The Brain is actually having to do some late night conferencing, so I don’t want to turn the noisy washer on. Also, I haven’t thought to give any trash count, because The Brain has taken care of that this week. From time to time, he walks our full trash bags over to the dumpster here in the RV park.)
This is part of a week-long series. You can view the other days here: