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Tips for Teaching Kids on Vacation

by Susan Finch

Jun 3, 2018

© Famveldman | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Whether you’re a road schooling warrior with education on the brain while you travel the world with your kids or just want to give your little ones more of a learning experience on the road, you can design your travels with education in mind. It all comes back to redefining travel into an experience that resonates with your kids and teaches them something along the way. There’s no single right way to do it, but here are some tips to getting started.


Talk to Their Teachers

Your first line of defense in turning a vacation into a learning opportunity is to talk to your children’s teachers. They will likely be thrilled you want to tie together some of the lessons they’re learning in school with a vacation and have all kinds of insights. Ask what your child has been the most interested in learning in class, as well as what’s coming up in their curriculum. And extra credit to Mom and Dad if they can entice the teacher to come up with a few worksheets or sample curriculum to use on the road.


Dive Into Their Interests

Your children may not always have learning on their minds, but definitely have well-formed interests and passions. If they’re into dinosaurs, check out the local natural history museum. Budding chefs can find pint-sized cooking classes or dessert-making workshops with Young Chef’s Academy or similar business. Meanwhile, adventurers at heart would probably love a geocaching game from a site like Geocaching.com to scour local areas and find virtual treasures while seeing the area and talking about its history. Whatever your kids are into, there is likely a way to turn it into an educational outing.


Kids making cookies

Photo: Artem Ermilov | Dreamstime.com

Scour Local Events

It’s easy to find kid-friendly attractions with the help of TripAdvisor or your favorite family travel site, but it’s harder to find specific events that cater to your child’s interests. That’s why looking at local online publications or parenting groups is essential for finding those perfect educationally focused events. An app like City Moms connects you with local events in individual cities or do a few minutes of homework and coming up with a local Facebook parenting group can yield a goldmine of information. Look for educational days at nature centers or farms, events at children’s bookstores, one-day camps at local arts centers and ranger-led programs at small local parks you likely would have missed.


Tap Into Local Homeschool Communities

If you really want to up your learning game on the road, tap into local homeschool communities and go straight to the source. The Homeschool Mom offers resources to local groups in different states that can help lead you to a wealth of information. Get in touch with the groups, let them know what you’re up to and what you would like to see and do with your child, and see what they come up with. Homeschool moms usually have insider information on all the best learning events around town and will have more suggestions than you will likely know what to do with.


Ask Your Kid

Don’t forget to simply ask your child what they’re interested in seeing and doing on vacation. Sure, they might say build sandcastles all day or go to the arcade, but dig just a little deeper and they’re likely to say they’ve been wanting to learn more about volcanoes or try a seashell craft they saw on YouTube. You might be surprised by what happens when you give your kids a chance to help shape their own learning adventures.


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