Homeschooling for the Holiday
We cherish our downtime during the winter holidays. Putting away the textbooks and other school supplies is one way we mark the beginning of this celebratory season.
Of course, homeschoolers know from experience that learning takes place just about all the time and just about anywhere. Family travel and visits with relatives offer a wonderful opportunity to connect with the world and our own history in ways that both expand our horizons and illuminate our past.
Downtime activities are especially memorable and enriching if they coincide with your child’s interests and talents. When you’re planning that trip or other things to do to fill up the open days through the start of the year, consider fitting these activities or something like them into the schedule and those special get-togethers:
- An elementary-age child might enjoy doing online research about the city or state you’ll be visiting. The findings can be a basis for an informative travelogue he or she can share with the entire family as the miles roll by.
- If math is an interest, an older child might enjoy mapping the trip route and figuring distances and driving times. This information can be turned into an impressive chart or graph with easy-to-use computer software.
- High school juniors soon will be doing practice essays to get ready for college applications in the fall. Interviewing elder family members to learn more about their views and life experiences can provide some powerful inspiration for essay topics. Family members will be delighted to share their history, and parents might even learn a thing or two they didn’t know!
- Brave those chilly days and spend some time outside. A local park or a more ambitious destination such as the spectacular Great Smoky Mountains offer opportunities to hike and experience a myriad of animals and plants up close and personal. The mountains blanketed in snow are a memorable sight.
It’s easy to see how travel, family visits and other vacation-time activities shape our experiences and enrich our lives. The sights and stories, the food and frivolity, the beautiful sunset on that long drive home – all of it becomes part of our shared, personal story.
And, who knows, by encouraging a child to follow his passion and learn more about the people and places he’s visiting, you could be fostering a love of geography or physics or journalism that might grow into a lifelong avocation or a satisfying career.
Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season from Learning Lab!
Contact Pat Elkins at email@example.com or 615-377-2929.