Yesterday, we took a trip to Legoland. It wasn’t our first. Though we live in Florida, our kids have never been to Disney or Sea World or Busch Gardens. Those are out of our budget range, but Legoland has these great homeschool days discounts which take the price of a ticket from over $80 down to about $12. Yes!
So how do we handle homeschooling on days like that? We were out the door around 6:30 a.m. for a 3-hour, each way, trip. And we were at Legoland for about 6 1/2 hours. Did we write off the day as far as homeschooling? No.
I gave the kids directions and a map printed off the internet and had them act as navigators along the way as we took a different route than usual. Did it matter that they had me turn when I shouldn’t have, thus making the trip almost an hour longer on the way up? I knew they were anxious to get there and, despite so many others having GPS devices, using maps is still a good skill to have. They learned to be more careful in the future since they regretted the delay. Life skills learned.
When the kids were younger, we would have used audio books on the drive there and back to make the most of the driving time, but our littlest guy tends to act as though audio books, CDs, or any kind of sound out of the car’s stereo is sound competition and he tries to talk over them–which doesn’t work well for listening to great literature or Spanish songs or whatever. But that doesn’t mean the time is lost. Instead, we spent a lot of it discussing politics. The kids had some questions the night before when the Iowa caucus was mentioned right as they were heading off to bed. So we discussed the differences between primaries and caucuses (which I researched the night before as I wasn’t sure what the difference was), the different groups mentioned on the news (evangelicals, liberals, conservatives, progressives, fundamentalists, etc.) and the role they play in politics. We put in a lot of time that I logged as part of their government class.
(And when the kids complained, I asked if they’d rather me hand out some texts and worksheets and they were suddenly happy to keep up the discussion.)
At Legoland, we did a lot of walking around with friends, exerting themselves on some fo the rides, running around the place, etc. Much of that I logged as P.E.
And of course, since we hung out with several other homeschooling families we know, they got some of that socialization that people always worry about (and I got help that made it easier to take the two-year-old the places he wanted to explore while the teens weren’t stuck most of the day in the toddler area, though they did take him on several rides with them during the day).
This is one of the things I like about homeschooling: It’s a lifestyle. No matter where we are going, I can find a way to enhance the educational experience without losing the fun.