Enjoy this beautiful guest post from the Chase family about how they are using A Child’s World Curriculum to learn as they travel!
Learning happens anywhere and everywhere, even on family trips. One of my favorite benefits of homeschooling is the ability to take his learning with us and travel, without having to wait for summer. Reading about different places, climates, and habitats is a wonderful way to learn, but we love to bring our physical learner to different places where he can see, touch, and experience these worlds in person.
Learning happens, if we mean it to or not. For families who do, or want to travel, you can take materials and ideas with you wherever you go. Think about what your child may experience at the location you’re traveling to, and make a list of ideas and resources that go along with it. For this example, I’ll speak to the ocean theme.
Each year, we travel to Cape Cod with my parents in early June. This is the perfect time to read and learn about the ocean and it’s inhabitants! We bring along our ocean books, and this year we looked through the Ocean Life Theme from A Child’s World Curriculum for more inspiration.
Museums are a great way for learners of all kinds to soak up some information. Keep in mind how your young one learns when choosing museums to visit. Are they a physical learner, like my son? Make sure the location has some hands-on activities. Are they an auditory learner? Perhaps the museum has buttons to push, where someone speaks to whatever is in front of them. Are they a visual learner? Well, there’s always lots to see and usually things to read! For the ocean theme, look for museums about boating, pirates, and see if you can visit a marine life rescue!
On rainy days we went to museums. This is something that all of us enjoy! Our son loves to look at exhibits and have us read to him, as well as listen to stories from people who work there. He asks questions and engages with them, and usually can’t wait to tell other people about his experience. Our favorite museum this year was the Whydah Gally museum. They had real relics and treasure from the Whydah Gally pirate ship, which sank off the coast of Cape Cod 300 years ago. We were able to learn so much about the ship and ship life. We even spoke to an archeologist who explained how they extracted everything from the stone-like substances. It was quite the experience.
Another off-sand activity we did this year was a Pirate Adventure boat ride. This was a wonderful experience for a child. From start to finish, they place the child in an age appropriate, pirate world. They paint tattoos, give them name tags with pirate names, and even have costumes on hand. The entire ride is based on play, with things to look out for and even a matey who betrays them, and they battle with water cannons! During the ride, the crew used pirate and sailing terms, and played right along with them. I highly recommend finding activities like this for your young learner. Entering their world of pretend and play is a fantastic way to help them learn!
Getting outside and experiencing the world around them is a great way to learn. Get ready for sand and tide pools by the sea! Ocean safety is important to review before going to the beach, and something I wanted to mention before continuing. The seas are beautiful, but can be dangerous. Wear life vests on boats, and talk about rip tides before going out into the water to swim. One thing we love about Cape Cod is the bay side, which has calm and shallow water for our son to play in.
There are so many learning opportunities on the beach. Of course, going to the tide pool and observing ocean life in the wild is a simple, yet exciting option. You can also discuss the tides, erosion, currents, and weather. If you haven’t already, take a look at A Child’s World, Ocean Life Theme by Leah for ideas!
On sunny days, we spent most of our time in the sand. Where we stay, the tide goes out pretty far and allows us to all walk and find creatures and plants in the sand and puddles. We found lots of different types of shells and identified them, as well as crabs and snails of different kinds. When he sat on the rocks, he was able to observe dry barnacles above the tide pool, and ones who were active and still under water. We talked about the differences and the feather-like feeders that come out when they’re in water! He even started to write words in the sand, unprompted, during one of our more relaxed moments.
No matter which activities you choose, learning will happen. Have fun, and enjoy your travels!
-Sarah Chase, Mother, Photographer – schasephoto.com
Books we brought for our two week stay:
–Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman
–the Seaside Naturalist by Deborah A. Coulombe
–Sharks, dolphins, and other sea creatures, factivity collection, DK
–A Dolphin is not a Fish by Betsey Chessen and Pamela Chanko
–Book of Ocean animals by Catherine D. Hughes
–Splendid Sea Creatures by Laaren Brown
–Beacons of Light Lighthouses by Gail Gibbons
–Under the Sea, Usborne lift and look
–Every Turtle Counts by Sarah Hoagland Hunter
–1001 Things to spot in the sea, Usborne
–Shimmer & Splash by Jim Arnosky
–Secrets of the Seashore by Carron Brown & Alyssa Nassner
Indoor/ Outdoor activities we experienced:
-National Marine Life Center, Bourne, MA
-Cape Cod Children’s Museum, Mashpee, MA
-Whydah Gally Museum, Yarmouth, MA
-Sea Gypsy Pirate Adventure, Hyannis, MA
-Maritime Museum, Hyannis, MA
-Tide pools, sand play, Dennis and Orleans, MA