First of all, traveling with kids can be awful. Just awful. 6 hours on a plane with a toddler? Really? There is nothing not awful about it. We did it last week and have plans to do it again. Soon. Too soon, in my opinion, as I am still trying to catch up on sleep. I’m ready to feel like my normal tired self, not my extreme post-vacationing-with-kids tired self. But, we’re doing it again because while being trapped with a squirmy lap child for hours on end is no fun, there is so much more that makes it well worth it. Things like playing with cousins and spending time with extended family, experiencing new sights, and making lots of memories, to name a few.
Now that we are full out admitting to the homeschooling lifestyle, this past trip got me thinking more about homeschooling and traveling. I’ve always realized that homeschooling would allow us more flexibility with our travels. Off season rates-yes, please! Less crowds-sign me up! But, I hadn’t thought too much about homeschooling while traveling. I mean, as unschoolers we learn all the time so this should be a given, right? I guess I just never envisioned how it would work out.
Turns out homeschooling and traveling can work out wonderfully.
The kids planned and packed all of their clothes. I could have done it myself much more quickly and easily, (and maybe I should have given my patience level the day before our departure) but this is a valuable skill I want them to learn. Turns out they did a good job and had clean underwear everyday of the trip.
They had art time on the plane. I loved the last picture in this great post that Tsh captioned “Plane Schooling” and I took one of my own!
For my 4 and 5 year old, art time is an essential part of school time. All that creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, fine motor skills, self expression, I could go on and on. I didn’t think they would do too much of it on the plane, so I had bought a splitter and head phones so they could watch movies together on the iPad. Then, of course, I forgot the splitter. The Wikki Stix were a bigger hit than I had thought, and we didn’t even need our devices on the first flight! You knew? (Before you think we’re too weird we did use them almost the entire flight home!) We also brought markers and made blank books by folding and stapling a couple of pages together. These fit nicely in their small backpacks.
Once we (finally!) arrived, the kids played with cousins they rarely see and made new friends. They collected sea shells, found crabs and sea urchins, went kayaking and built sand castles. Stephen got to share his shark knowledge with new people. Eliana started writing lowercase letters because her cousin (that she adores) can do it and that is apparently all the motivation she needs.
The kids learned a lot, just like they always do. We are more sleep deprived than usual, but we had a great time, made lots of good memories and learned things we wouldn’t have if we would have stayed home.