Monday, September 21, 2015

A Homeschooling Vacation - Part 2 - The Learning


Welcome back to Part 2 of "A Homeschooling Vacation".  This is a post all about how we learned on our vacation to Colorado.  And it might get a little mushy towards the end!

If you happen to miss the 1st part, no worries, check it out here.  A Homeschooling Vacation - Part 1 - The Planning.

  
We LEARNED we COULD fit all 5 of us into a small car.  The trunk held all our luggage too!
Let me fill you in on where we go and why it is SO awesome!
My great grandfather, Dr. Robert Akin, built this amazing family vacation home in Lake George, Colorado back in the 1940's.




So it goes back generations - my grandmother spent her summers here as a child.  And my father did the same.  I spent a week during my summer here.  This place holds more memories than you could ever imagine.  And the best part...now, my kiddos are apart of it all!

I never would have thought I'd be spending early Fall here, let alone, HOMESCHOOLING my 3 boys in this cabin.  But this year, it happened.  And it-was-AWESOME!

If you read Part 1, you noticed that I had 3 educational goals set for this trip.  
Goal #1  They will be able to determine the difference between the 3 types of rocks. 


 Prior to our trip, we created these "lap books" and brought them along with us as references.

  
My kids will learn it if they COOK it (then eat it!)  So we spent one afternoon explaining the sedimentary rock processes using pudding, "sand" and gummy dinosaurs. 


 Another day, we made edible metamorphic rocks using peanut butter, chocolate chips and marshmallows.  We applies pressure (using foil) and heat (setting them out in the sun) to "morph" the rock into something melted and edible!
Yummy Metamorphic Rock Lesson



We never made it around to cooking up some edible "igneous rocks" and that was just ok....maybe next year.  But we made sure we had time for some awesome field trips that went along with what were were learning.  

Field Trip to the Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park
And climbing GIANT Igneous rocks just about every day!

Goal #2: They will be exposed to different types of map examples and will use those resources to create their own map of the area.
J writing out his map of the cabin area.
 After J wrote out his map of the cabin area, I hid clues in red bags all around.  He had to use his map to find them.  


These special clues where a riddle all about Santa Claus and his special workshop in Colorado Springs.  


Which meant time for another field trip - and this one was F-U-N!!!

  


Goal #3: Enjoy and embrace any other learning opportunities that come along aka "Teachable Moments". 
(Here comes the mushy part!)



Trip to the laundry mat
Opening up a 1898 player piano, just to see how it works.

Learning how to build a fire at the age of 6 (and 35)

Meeting new machines

Pumping water at a campsite that has no running water

Remember the smells, the sounds and the sights of this simple place.  


Oh, the learning!  The learning that took place on this vacation could fill many pages.  But I'll leave it at just that.  

Happy Learning (whenever and wherever you go) with your Little Ones!
Part 3 "The Reflection" - Coming Next Week!




Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Homeschooling Vacation - Part 1 - The Planning



We had been planning a trip to Colorado for a long while now.  And it was going to be a "trial and error" type vacation to see if we could REALLY do some schooling while vacation.


Well, we'd have to say that "YES!" it is possible and so easy to do.  

You can totally do it too!  

Here's what I kept in mind and hope it inspires you:

#1  I made sure that I was well planned, but not OVER planned. 


I don't use any type of specific curriculums, so I pull my ideas from different resources.  

This is our LapBook that I purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers.
We pre-made this before our trip to use as a resource.
This is a GREAT kit that I pre-ordered!  It came with some amazing rock samples, field guides and even a DVD.


I created a list of ideas that I later put into a spreadsheet form.  I used Google Drive/Spreadsheet to compile all my ideas and resources. I made sure to copy webpage links into the cells so I could just click and refer to later (the blue font)


#2  I kept my learning foci simple and easy to accomplish!  While I was planning, I kept these 3 goals in mind.  My husband and I felt like these goals could be successfully accomplished.

Goal #1: They will be able to determine the difference between the 3 types of rocks. 
(Sedimentary, Metamorphic and Igneous)
Goal #2: They will be exposed to different types of map examples and will use those resources to create their own map of the area.
Goal #3: Enjoy and embrace any other learning opportunities that come along aka "Teachable Moments"

#3 Still make it a vacation!

I needed to make sure that we didn't get overwhelmed.  We were on vacation and needed to enjoy life as a family.  So I made sure that we didn't do formal learning EVERYDAY!  Keep in mind that I had my plans ready and my dates all set - but we didn't stick to that.   And you'll find out in Part 2 , the lessons/ideas that we didn't get to.  I wanted my teachings to come naturally!  Each lesson usually happened after a long morning of playing, hiking, fishing and relaxing on at the cabin.  Sounds perfect, huh?  


Be sure and come back soon for Part 2 and Part 3 of this Blog Series - 

A Homeschooling Vacation - Part 2 - The Teaching

A Homeschooling Vacation - Part 3 - The Reflection


Be sure and watch my periscope reply on Katch.me - here's the link:

#MathMonday

I love having names for our homeschool days that we can remember. Over the years, we have added these fun acronyms for days of the week...