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Science Lessons & Investigations 5th Grade from Evan Moor

Science lessons can be a bear for homeschool familes. Finding the right fit for each kiddo without breaking the bank is a challenge. Making the choice(s) work is a whole other ball game.

Not long ago, I received a free copy of Evan-Moor Science Lessons & Investigations for 5th grade in exchange for this review. Please note this post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase when clicking my links. All opinions are my own as I only recommend products that I have personally used and would recommend to a friend.

science lessons

Just like the many other Evan-Moor resources I have previously used, the Science Lessons & Investigations workbook does not disappoint. It has everything needed to teach my 5th grader effectively in this subject. There are 14 engaging units that fit nicely into a year’s annual lesson plans. I love the additional organization of units by life, earth, and physical science categories. There is an answer key included. Each unit layout is in a 5E model for the student to Engage, Explore, Explain, Evaluate, and Extend. Now, let’s unwrap that way of tackling science lessons and look at each part.

Engage

The engagement section of the workbook is presented first. This is where you connect with your kids and launch an exciting new learning adventure. This gives you ideas on how to accomplish this as well as a “spark question” to get learning brains thinking. There is also a visual aid to introduce the lesson such as a picture or diagram to generate even more discussion.

Engage

For the fifth grade lesson on gravity, the earth science concept is introduced by pictures of the different ways this force can be examined in everyday life.

 

Explore Science Lessons

This section provides hands-on investigation activities to further explore the science lesson. Learners will complete an experiment to learn more about the concept. During the process, questions and investigations take place to understand how gravity works.

Explore

Each unit encourages a predication to refine as the lesson progresses. Other components of the exploration section of each unit include simple graphs to record observations and prompts to document what happened during the process.

Explain 

Throughout the explain pages of the lesson, reading pages provide information along with photos, illustrations, and diagrams that begin to tie together the information that has been learned so far. The Gravity unit includes a text  called “Attractive Force.” The visual support is a great lightbulb moment that provides great discussion, as I did with my 5th grader on how the nature of science affects our lives every day. 

Explain

This section is also where key vocabulary words appear in bold print. On the next page, “exert,” “mass,” “spherical,” and other definitions are listed. There is ample space on the vocabulary page to write notes and even add additional words.

 

Evaluate 

Each lesson uses reading, writing, visual literacy, vocabulary, and comparison to evaluate the understanding of the concept. This part of the unit includes a vocabulary unit for better understanding.  My homeschooler’s favorite pages are the word puzzles in this section . The Gravity lesson has a vocabulary review that includes a fill-in-the-blank type activity that also captures letters throughout to match up in a final sentence with a missing word.

Evaluate

 During this final assessment of a student’s grasp of the gravity concept, there are a few pages of reading comprehension questions.  It checks their understanding of gravity and how it works in the world around us. 

Extend Science Lessons

As with many science lessons, the Gravity unit ends with prompts to explain the concept understanding in paragraph form.  This is where it all comes together to apply, reflect, and analyze to complete this writing task. I also encouraged my 5th grader to draw or diagram in this section to further get her point across.

Extend

Our favorite part of the entire unit was in the extend pages that includes two (2) optional projects. Here we found the opportunity to rabbit trail down a path of interest-led learning. From the Gravity unit of the Science Lessons & Investigations workbook, my learner wanted to test out this natural force in a roller coaster experiment. With a few supplies, we tested out the force of gravity with a DIY roller coaster STEAM activity.

DIY Roller Coaster Supplies

DIY Roller Coaster Let's GoDIY Roller Coaster

Get the 5th Grade Science Lessons & Investigations Workbook

For more information about adding science lessons & investigations to your homeschool classroom for grades 1-6, visit the Evan-Moore website to take a closer look. If you are an Amazon shopper for educational resources, Science Lessons & Investigations for Grade 5 is also available there. 

Evan-Moor products are geared toward classrooms; however, I have used these resources very successfully in my homeschool for several years. They are a great asset from both a teaching and student perspective. Through the use of Evan-Moor products, and especially this year’s Science & Investigations workbook, my 5th grader has learned to be more independent as the layout is consistent, informative, and easy-to-use.

If you are looking for science lessons that are ready, set, go! Look no further and order the grade specific product for these fun science lessons. And, if you are looking for even more engaging, hands-on science activities, your learners will love the Exploring series from each USA state as well as America’s National Parks.

In my eight years , few homeschool brands have carried me through all seasons of any ages, as Evan-Moor. Year after year, this company is my go-to when putting together curriculum that I customize for each of my homeschoolers. Evan-Moor activity books we use year after year include these top three favorites of mine:

 

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road trip teacherMary Beth Goff is a Christian homeschool mom who loves to have the wheels rolling under her family’s feet. She felt the call to hit the road and travel across America for an adventure of a lifetime with her kids. She loves incorporating nature, our National Parks and out-of-the-way spots. Her love of history has field many road trips including all of Laura Ingalls Wilder home places. Mary Beth’s passion is sharing the beauty and education offered by exploring America’s backyard. She is the creator of the educational website Road Trip Teacher, writer at Diary of a Road Mom, and co-founder of the Roadschool Moms podcast.

 

 

5 Reasons to Learn Cursive Writing

Why learn cursive writing? Well, as an American, the Constitution is written in cursive. And, Grandma’s letters are written in cursive!

cursive writing

Actually, there are many reasons to love cursive writing. The art of cursive writing took a big step back several years ago in many school systems. Recently, it has made a comeback not only public school but also homeschooling. That’s because it’s been proven that cursive writing helps students develop in many different ways besides simply writing pretty. Here are 5 reasons to learn cursive writing.

Reasons to Learn Cursive Writing

It’s been proven to stimulate and challenge different parts of the brain, where typing and writing in block form, simply do not do. Check out these 5 reasons why your children need to learn cursive writing.  

Assists with Overall Handwriting

Writing in cursive improves your child’s overall handwriting. Over time, it also builds on how well they read it. A much higher concentration level is required when writing in cursive versus writing in print (and even typing.)  Want to test this theory? Use engaging, yet comprehensive handwriting printables for your learner to learn about a subject like National Parks, all while learning cursive! 

Helps with Spelling

Did you know that people who use cursive writing tend to spell words more accurately? It’s true. This is because when you write in cursive, you think of the word in terms of how it connects the letters through muscle memory. This process continuously polishes spelling skills.

Ultimately, you think of the word as a single unit. This is similar to how pianists learn hand placement to play several notes at one time, through repetition.   

Improves Legibility

Cursive writing also refines motor skills which in turn helps improve legibility. This happens because the action affects parts of the brain that printing or typing simply doesn’t touch. Meanwhile, your child is also learning how hard to press down on the paper. Creativity is also grown by these movements.  

It requires more concentration to form the letters, leaving lovely results. When your child’s handwriting becomes more legible, their confidence in other areas of academics imroves as well.    

Helps Remember Concepts

As mentioned, another benefit of writing in cursive is the greater ability to remember concepts. Why? It teaches the brain to sync both hemispheres of itself, which does not happen in print handwriting. 

This actually helps with a child’s memory and other areas of thinking more than we may realize. It’s important to challenge and strengthen your child’s brain through exercises like cursive writing. Imagine how many concepts your child can learn while studying all 50 states in cursive

Support Ability to Write Faster

Writing in cursive is proven to be simply faster than writing in print. It’s easy to see that less time is spent lifting and lowering the pencil. Instead,  you write words continuously. This is especially true when children and adults become fluent with it.  

Do you find yourself wanting your son or daughter to learn cursive? There are so many options out there for teaching cursive. Our Learning Shoppe has an entire series built around cursive handwriting printables. Do you know of any other reasons why learning to write in cursive is important? I’d love to hear from you.  

cursive handwriting PIN

Road Trip TeacherMary Beth Goff is a Christian homeschool mom who loves to have the wheels rolling under her family’s feet. She felt the call to hit the road and travel across America for an adventure of a lifetime with her kids. She loves incorporating nature, our National Parks and out-of-the-way spots. Her love of history has field many road trips including all of Laura Ingalls Wilder home places. Mary Beth’s passion is sharing the beauty and education offered by exploring America’s backyard. She is the creator of the educational website Road Trip Teacher, writer at Diary of a Road Mom, and co-founder of the Roadschool Moms podcast.

 

 

Roadschool: No RV Needed

Did you get in a vehicle today with your kids? Maybe you took a short trip to the store, a soccer tournament or piano lessons. Are you missing the opportunity to share intentional time with your homeschoolers for your next learning adventure on the road? Can you carve out a day trip here or a weekend there, where education meets adventure? You may have heard about it and probably thought it was crazy. There is a whole community of traveling, homeschooling families out across America roadschooling their kiddos. Guess what? You can roadschool, too, no RV needed.
Roadschool experiences exist in all those famous places:  Mount Rushmore, The Statue of Liberty, The Golden Gate Bridge. But roadschool opportunities also occur all around us in state and national parks, nature preservess, museums and wildlife centers, even right in your own backyard. Finding these opportunities is not important. Discovering them is the key!

The Next Learning Adventure Awaits

What do donuts, the Salvations Army and WWII have in common? Take a learning adventure about National Donut Day and a field trip to the donut shop on the first Friday in June to find out. Does a National Park exist in your state that you can harvest a homeschool lesson from? An engaging unit study would put these learning gears into motion that very well may uncover other natural curiosities that are waiting to be uncovered. If home is where your homeschool heart is, model an adventure class or scavenger hunt in your very own yard for your family. Better yet, invite a friend.

Ready, Set, Roadschool in 6 Easy Steps

  1. Adjust the bar. In a world that lives under a microscope, it is easy to feel the pressure from the picture perfect homeschool days on social media.  Kick that all to the curb. Examine what is really important to you and make a short list of accomplishments to be attained in the coming months outside the box. Set bite-sized goals for your newly formed roadschoolers to knock out that will do away with the homeschool slump.
  2. Shake it up! For future years, make a mental note to stagger your academic schedule in order to being new parts of your curriculum in January. For the immediate future, set the old aside and focus on some new ideas, roadschool ideas! A super easy way to do this is right around the corner.
  3. Who Knows Best? We all know the saying, “Mom knows best.” But for this season, let the learner be the guide. Even if you are already an unschooler or follow less restricted lesson plans, put your homeschool days in the hands of your newly formed roadschoolers and gain a new perspective. Here’s an idea. Give everyone in your homeschool gang three popsicle sticks. On each, they write something new to learn about. All sticks are placed in a
    cup one is drawn out everyday for the next several days to let your
    roadschool day travel to new places. No popsicle sticks? Use post-it
    notes or small pieces of paper notes in a jar.
  4. Trade ‘Em In. Swap kids! Join efforts with another homeschool mom and trade kids with another family (not permanently obviously!) Sometimes kids behave better for others. Seeing your roadschooler through another’s eyes might enlighten you to something you’ve been missing. It just might be the break you’ve all been looking for.
  5. Suspend school. That’s right forget all the school routines and schedules that are in place and go a different direction. Take this time to recharge your homeschool experience with something entirely different, such as Poetry Tea Time or a basket of read-a-loud books to fill the coming days. Find a unit study and use it with multiple ages to see just how far you can take it. Still need ideas? Movie week, spirit week, lunch & learn, stay in, go out!
  6. Regroup! In the spirit of the new year, take some time to go through your
    curriculum. Organize what you are keeping. Donate anything unused or
    with no purpose in the immediate homeschool plans. This will refresh the materials in your roadschool and put your efforts in a whole new direction!

For more resources and encouragement, hit the replay from the library of more than 165 podcasts from the Roadschool Moms library.


 Mary Beth Goff is a Christian, full-time RVing mom to four roadschoolers. She is also the creator of Road Trip Teacher, the educational resources for your next destination learning adventure. Her Roadschool 101 crew chronicles their travels over at Diary of a Road Mom.  As one-half of the Roadschool Moms duo, she hosts a weekly podcast every Sunday night on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

5 Top Roadschool Rules

The biggest rule for successful roadschooling is simple: There are no rules. However, while pondering the things I wish I had known when I started homeschooling my kids on the road, these five top roadschool rules came to mind.

Explore Keys Pic

Explore

Observe every inch of the the outdoors around you. Climbing mountains and hiking canyons is awesome. But, so is snorkeling just a few feet off the coral reef to see the creatures of the sea and what else lies at the bottom of the ocean. After all, placing your small child-size hand in the cast of a gorilla’s ginormous handprint is unforgettable.

Discover

Don’t be in such a hurry that you overlook opportunities to discover the little moments that surround your place in the world. Not long ago while taking a break in the campground swimming pool, I noticed my 8-year old sulking (so I thought) at the edge of the pool. She had her head down resting on her folded hands with eyes half closed. I pushed aside my urge to tell her to “straighten up” by simply saying “Watcha doing?” She sweetly replied, “Watching the ants on the concrete. They have no idea that I am watching their every move. It’s a whole ant world over there.” I am really glad I didn’t miss that.

Encourage

The best motivator in our rig, is a few words of encouragement. It doesn’t have to be a ticker tape parade for the learning sponges in your roadschool to feel like they have accomplished something. It still amazes me how quickly I receive a smile and a look from sparkling eyes when I exclaim “Way to go, Buddy!” or “Wow, I can’t believe you figured that out!” It feels good to on both ends of the compliment, so don’t ration them out. Motivate those little critters!

Create

As in, let your lively learners produce projects in any form they see fit. Let them

  • interpret the ideas they have in writing
  • draw it in pictures
  • play it in video or audio creations they can produce.

If writing in the sand, or on a foggy window, or in a muddy patch of ground happens to be the way your student translates what she has learned, celebrate the effort.

Read

Everything. Read out loud to your roadschool classroom. Let them read out loud to you. Direct your readers to quiet spots on breezy days to read independently. Collectively, read together. While traveling, point out anything you can read: signs, brochures, license plates, advertising billboards, and anything that passes you by while learning one mile at a time. There really is no substitution for reading. The skill has to be practiced every day, in every way, to be effective.

Workbooks, textbooks, curricula, journals, binders, and all other forms of resources are great. They are even necessary sometimes. But do not underestimate the power of your life learner. He or she will explore and discover and observe and learn all sorts of lessons while strengthening their life skills while on the road of the information highway in front of them. For more roadschool rules plus the 101 for tips and tricks, subscribe to the Road Trip Teacher newsletter for free printables and monthly inspiration for your homeschooling adventure on the road.

 

 

 

 

Kindergarten Ready or Not!

Kindergarten ready or not? Hit the replay for Episode #140 that comes to you live from on the road to Oregon as well as Illinois. Kimberly Travaglino, co-founder of Fulltime Families,  recaps her roadschool week as she gets ready to head to Oregon. From across the country, Mary Beth Goff, the Road Trip Teacher looks back on their roadschool week in the Land of Lincoln.

Listeners hear a few words from the Season 10 series sponsor,  Time4Learning. The comprehensive K-12 online curriculum is a favorite from the Roadschool Moms Approved resources. Both KT and MB use T4L in their own rolling homeschools. The coupon code “roadschooler” is shared for those who want to test drive a trial run of the online resource.

There is not just one indicator of whether your 4, 5 or 6 year old sunshine is ready for official kindergarten or not. And guess what the best test you can give him or her to find out? You guessed it:  none. Try not to base the start of your littles entire formal education on one pivotal circumstance. Instead, consider these six areas to evaluate:
  1. Is he eager to explore and discover new things? Does she ask questions and have an enthusiasm for learning? Does he have the drive to keep on a task even when it is difficult? If the answer to those questions are yes, then you probably have a child that is ready for the kindergarten learning adventure.
  2. Does he have the desire to take responsibility for his actions, for his personal belongings? Can she follow a series of two or three directions? If he possesses self-motivation and a persistence to find out answers on his own, you probably have a kindergarten-ready kiddo.
  3. Another good indicator if your little is ready for kindergarten is the level of communication skills. As in, can she communicate her wants and needs? Has she figured out how to express her feelings or at least recognize the difference in how she feels vs. others around her? This is a sign that language skills are growing and guidance is needed here to keep heading in the right direction.
  4. This next one is a hard one because it is about listening. There’s not many 5 year olds that probably don’t interrupt at some point or another. But for the most part, a kindergarten ready kiddo can sit and listen to a story without interrupting. He can follow simple directions because he has honed in on his listening skills and can process that in his little brain.
  5. Now let’s talk about a few easy things to spot in kindergardten readiness (or not!) And that is fine motor skills. If your child is comfortable writing with a pencil, penning their own name, and using scissors independently, then kindergarten activities will be a snap. They are ready for this next step.
  6. The final thing easily identified is awareness for the alphabet and numbers. Littles that are ready for kindergarten can sing the alphabet song, count to 10, and recognize at least numbers 1 through 5 as well as a majority of the alphabet. Sure at this age, b’s and d’s are mixed up. The letter ‘p’ or the number ‘3’ might be backwards, but that’s where kindergarten curriculum can help strengthen these areas and build their confidence. The next step is learning phonics and when it clicks, you’ll have an emerging reader. This is an area that comes together differently for each and every child.

Want to know more? Hit the replay for Episode #140: Kindergarten Ready or Not!


Looking for a roadmap for your next learning adventure? Scroll through the RSM library on iTunes to find more than 140 podcast replays.

Homeschool enrollment is on the rise. More and more families are moving into a home on wheels. As a result, the Roadschool Moms record this broadcast to present resources that meet the challenges of today’s roadschooler. Kimberly Travaglino, co-founder of Fulltime Families, and Mary Beth Goff, the creator of Road Trip Teacher, team up every week to offer listeners a fresh take on homeschooling while traveling full time across America’s backyard.

The Official Sponsor for Season 10 of Roadschool Moms

Use the coupon code “roadschooler” to test drive a 2-week trial of Time4Learning.com

5 Tips to Declare a Domicile State

Domicile State Show Button
Fulltime RV families have the opportunity to declare any state in the union as their domicile or residency state. With all the choices, this freedom and flexibility can be leave the decision maker in a state of confusion. While the choice is by no means a permanent one, determining the best option for declaring a domicile state the first time will save time, money, and lots of headaches.
In “How to Hit the Road; Making Your Family’s Full-Time RV Dreams a Reality,” topics like residency, physical address changes, and mail forwarding are discussed in great detail.  In this special mini-series, the Roadschool Moms team shares the top five facts to be considered when choosing a state of residency:

1)  State Income Tax.  These states are free of a state income tax:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
  • Alaska

2)  Homeschool Laws. The states that consistently rank best for homeschool freedom and recognize parent autonomy in education are:

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas

Note:  For fulltime RVers, the status for state income tax and homeschool laws are the top two considerations when choosing a domicile state. A quick comparison of the states that are the best fit in each of these areas above show three options that overlap in each category:  Alaska, Florida, and Texas. Therefore, we will discuss only these three states for the remaining evaluation of this important subject.

3)  Driver and Vehicle Registration.  Ease of vehicle registration and driver’s license renewal are important factors in this decision making process. Alaska, Florida and Texas are all fairly equal in this category. But, Alaska’s remote location makes it the obvious choice to cross of the list next.

4)  Annual Vehicle Inspection. Florida has no annual vehicle inspection while Texas does have this requirement. The caveat is that if you are out of the lone star state, you do have one week to get the vehicle inspected in Texas when you return.

5)  Health Insurance Rates.
On the part of the controversary regarding health insurance rates, Texas provides a better, more economical option.  Florida statistically has an aged population; therefore, it has one of the highest health insurance rates in the country.

While these five areas of concern are the most common to be considered, a family’s unique circumstances often come into play. All things considered, the majority of roadschoolers that make up much of the fulltime family community, pick between Texas and Florida. In the end, Florida seems to win this overall debate when the Florida Residency Rates for theme parks are factored into the decision.   Overall, a thorough research of choosing a domicile by evaluating state income tax, homeschool laws, driver and vehicle registration procedures, annual vehicle inspection requirements, and health insurance rates should provide a clear answer for choosing a state for residency for the immediate future.


To listen to the Roadschool Moms’s take on choosing a state domicile, tune into the August 16th episode of Roadschool Moms over at iTunes!

Roadschool Moms is a live, one-hour weekly broadcast dedicated to the needs and challenges facing today’s roadschool moms. Kimberly Travaglino, of Fulltime Families, and Mary Beth Goff, the Road Trip Teacher, team up every week to offer listeners a fresh take on homeschooling while traveling full time, working in current events and featuring a mix of expert guests.

Notebooking Pages Navigate New Learning Adventures

We make no bones about it! Notebooking pages have transformed the course of roadschooling in our rig. What was once busy work and worksheets, have been replaced with the tools my roadschoolers need to navigate their own learning adventure! Let me explain how notebooking pages work in our rolling homeschool.

A few weeks ago, we took a day trip to Six Flags in Eureka, Missouri. Our crew is crazy, roller coaster fanatics. While in line for the Screaming Eagle, (in the front car line with only a few people ahead I might add,) the ride stopped for mechanical failure. It actually stopped twice in less than five minutes. During that time, mechanics rushed in riding golf carts and a company pickup. All three roller coaster experts rushed to the control tower, tweaked the issues on the track, and found a resolution to the problem. All the while, my 14-year old was watching. And wondering.

His first question out loud:  “I wonder how much the power bill is for this park?”  Then, “I wonder how much those guys get paid for fixing this roller coaster?”  A few minutes later, he said: “I wonder what kind of degree you have to have to be a roller coaster EXpert?!?”  Over the next few days, my roadschooler and I mapped out a detour in his 8th-grade lesson plans for this year. I am currently using the Publisher feature of Notebooking Pages to customize pages for the completely thorough research that my roadschooler is already working on.

  • Where did roller coasters originate?
  • Who designed the first one? And where?
  • What are the different kinds of coasters from wooden tracks to the most modern ones?
  • How do they work? Are there different forms of force and mechanics that make them work?
  • What are the related statistics to roller coasters in America? In the rest of the world?

What seems like a fun day at the park can easily turn into a roadschool lesson for the weekend. Or perhaps, for the whole year. Will my roadschooler be the next generation roller coaster designer or mechanic? Probably not. But maybe he will. Or maybe he will take another turn from this life learning experience that guides him to what he will be “when he grows up.”

What is my #1 resource for this roadschool adventure? Notebooking Pages. I love this resource so much, I became an affiliate of the company. I believe in it that much. The best part is the lifetime membership that is priced at $97, one-time payment. Yes, you read that right. Access to thousands of notebooking pages is granted by purchasing a single lifetime membership.

Need more encouragement?  By following this affiliate link today (Oct. 27th), a lifetime membership can be purchased for a one-time payment of $72. If that’s too much to bite off today, this fantastic resource can be split up four easy payments (follow the link for more information.) Need a bonus? There are two. The lifetime membership option includes a homeschool bonus package valued at $1000+. Finally, access to The Notebook Publisher (which I personally use weekly) is granted for a full six months. Need more details? Click the link below and let the next learning adventure begin!

Summer Roadschool Rules

Summer Roadschool Show ButtonIf you’re looking for a list of rules to make your summer roadschool awesome, you’ve come to the wrong place! The Roadschool Moms team agrees to steer clear of any set-in-stone, cookie-cutter parameters that will stifle a roadschoolers enthusiasm to learn something new everyday. In this episode, Mary Beth and Kimberly use their radio time to talk about ways to keep their traveling homeschoolers on a learning adventure this summer. Click play to hear more.

  1. One of our favorite summer traditions in the Road Trip Teacher rig, is our summer journals. This is something we’ve been doing for many years (even before we started living fulltime in an RV.) It is a simply constructed journal of paper (lined, colored, blank, or a combination) bound together to be used to document all the summer activities to come. Giving your student a few ideas is a great guide to help him get started such as
  • write or illustrate the weather daily or in a weekly summary
  • make a summer leap list at the beginning of the journal to talk about all the things you would like to accomplish during this season of sunshine
  • use it as a daily diary of thoughts or inspirations
  • make a photo scrapbook of sorts to document one picture daily or weekly that represents the time period

2. Take advantage of travel plans to delve into state history facts and information. This project is even more fun if you will be hitting different areas of the same state to compare the differences.  By planning a notebook binder for this state study, your roadschooler will have a place to record state symbols, cut out the state song to play later if he is musically inclined, investigate the different areas in the way of topography, rivers and lakes, and the different terrain across the area. If your summer travel plans will take you to a specific region of the U.S., state study guides can be grouped together to represent that as well. This is a wonderful record of time spent that will be referred to time and time again.

3. Sometimes, homeschool plans are so full of all the basics, it’s hard to consistently fit in the extra-curriculars. Summer is a perfect time to take advantage of music, art, or other areas of special interest:

  • There are tons of music curriculum out there that allows a student to formally study the subject. One of our favorite ways to enjoy music curriculum is with Super Quiet Learning Time from SquiltMusic.com.   These are easy lessons with no planning involved that can be enjoyed by all ages under a tree during a picnic or anywhere you please! You might even find that one of your roadschoolers enjoys a particular composer and for that, this fun site has Squilt Spotlight studies.
  • It’s no secret that Art + Outside = Super Summer Fun. There are so many different ways to enjoy art, sometimes it’s overwhelming to pick just one medium. So don’t! Try something new each week of the summer that you may or may not have tried before. A favorite from the Road Trip Teacher’s crew is chalk art pastel drawings.  The Roadschool 101 crew especially enjoyed the lessons from the American Landmarks tutorials.
  • Have your kiddos shown an interest in a particular sport, activity, or musical instrument? Use YouTube videos and plan a chunk of time to further their interests. If you summer travel plans are really flexible, research an instructor or private tutor and block out a few weeks of lessons. This is something that will be a reward long after the instruction is over.

4.  No matter where in the world you are, summer and nature just go together. This is the perfect season to spotlight a nature study. Compiling a nature journal ahead of time so that details of the world around your roadschooler can be written down is an added bonus. Keeping a nature journal for three months so that what she sees and what she hears can be recorded will make her a better observer. As the leader of this trip with Mother Nature, drop in subtle reminders to look for the little things, pay extra special attention to what you hear at night when all is quiet, and note the weather for one place to another. Using a nature study to spotlight your summer roadschool is a great way to cultivate your learner’s senses and enjoy every ounce of what the season is all about.

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.      Job 12:7-10

5.  No matter what the season or direction of your roadschool rig, reading is a great way to keep your learners moving in the right educational direction. Summer feels like freedom so this is a great time to let your readers sample all kinds of material. Download these free reading calendar pages from the Learning Shoppe over at Road Trip Teacher and post them in a central location. See who in your household can fill a month’s worth of reading activities.

6.  Take advantage of the summer holiday spotlight over Independence Day. Let the research begin before you arrive to your early July destination and see what the area you will be visiting has to offer in the way of history, activities, and firework celebrations. If July plans in your rig aren’t firm yet, check out these great July 4th destinations from Fulltime Families.

7.  If you entire summer is up in the air, make your summer roadschool a mystery trip! Last year, the Roadschool Moms shared you their Top 10 Summer Destinations. Use that as a guide to map out all the places your traveling tribe would love to see in the lush, green season of summer. How many can you mark off before the leaves fall later this year?

For information on how you can catch up with the Roadschool Moms duo this summer, check out their schedule for the 2016 season.


To listen to the Roadschool Moms’s plans for summer roadschool, tune into the May 1st episode of Roadschool Moms over at iTunes!

Roadschool Moms is a live, one-hour weekly broadcast dedicated to the needs and challenges facing today’s roadschool moms. Kimberly Travaglino, of Fulltime Families, and Mary Beth Goff, the Road Trip Teacher, team up every week to offer listeners a fresh take on homeschooling while traveling full time, working in current events and featuring a mix of expert guests.

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Southern Indiana Water Park Adventure

If a water park adventure is on your to do list, look no further than Big Splash Adventure located in historic French Lick, Indiana. This Southern Indiana destination is one of our best loved places in the country. While the Road Trip Teacher crew lived in southern Indiana for many years, we still visit often from our fulltime RVing travels. The French Lick – West Baden area is a favorite because there are so many family friendly things to do. 

We visited this area recently on another favorite Indiana stop at Spring Mill State Park. The campground is beautiful and the restaurant there is just like going to Grandma’s for Sunday dinner. After a fun Haunted Village weekend, we left our rig at the campground and headed to French Lick for some water park action. We splurged on a Pirate’s Hideway room with bunk beds for all four kiddos at the water wonderland.

Water Park Day Trip

Staying at the Big Splash hotel makes visiting the water park a cinch. Family members have the flexibility to go back and forth between the water adventures and other attractions. Consequently, littles can take naps back at the room while older kids enjoy the water park (all housed in the same facility.) Guests staying at the hotel receive water park admission as part of the reservation package.

Water park guests who are staying off property may purchase water park admission separately. Cost for the Big Splash day pass is between $19.95 and $24.95 per day depending on the age. Children under two (2) are admitted free to Big Splash Adventure with a paid parent or guardian.

Unique Water Park Fun

One of the most unique features of Big Splash Adventure is the retractable roof on the building. If the temperatures are just right, guests enjoy the safety of an indoor water park and the sunshine of a beautiful outdoor day. This facility boasts 40,000 square feet of water park activities.

My roadschoolers love water slides but are also fans of all the water action. That’s what makes Big Splash a best liked destination on our water park list. Four aqua slides satisfy my older crowd while everyone enjoys the antics at the Buccaneer Bay splash pad. If a break from the action is needed, a trip down the Lost River is the most relaxing way to explore the water park.

This Indiana water park is rated all thumbs up from the Roadschool 101 crew. It is also featured  on this article: 19 Epic Indoor Water Parks You Will Want To Visit This Year! We have stopped here for just a day and we have also spent an entire week here for all kinds of family fun. Indoor carting, laser tag, family bowling lanes, and the Wilstem Ranch are other things we enjoy in this area of the Hoosier State. If you aren’t familiar with the history here, visit French Lick West Baden online and learn more!


Mary Beth Goff is a fulltime, RVing mama to four kiddos who travel America’s backyard in their home on wheels. She is also the creator of Road Trip Teacher, the online resource for destination based learning adventures. Mary Beth is also one-half of the Roadschool Moms team who broadcasts live on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network live every Sunday night at 9 pm EST from wherever in the world they are. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

 

 

Experience Astronomy for Hands-On Science

Are you looking for a way to put the fun back into homeschool days by engaging your roadschoolers? I found an avenue to take science education on an adventure this fall! No, this is not one of those paid advertisement blog posts. Road Trip Teacher isn’t receiving any compensation for spreading the news about this exciting addition to the homeschool resource market. Experience astronomy. I liked it right away because it is a two-word sentence! But here’s the real reasons to love this course from Intoxicated on Life.

When I first started homeschooling, I was so focused with reading, writing, and math. I admit that I didn’t pay much attention to science. After our homeschool routine continued to develop, science became something we just checked off the list. Periodically, we would accomplish an experiment here or there. Those were always met with eager minds and open hearts. That should have been an inkling to what was missing in this subject. Hands-on science is the key to the kingdom for finding the delight missing in some of our homeschool days.

In a recent interview with Luke Gilkerson, creator of Experience Astronomy, this homeschool dad of four boys shed some light on how to grow lifelong learners. He advises that by the process of observing, testing hypothesis, and finding conclusions, science teaches kids how to think. Home educators can easily integrate science into other subjects by finding topics that are naturally interesting to their students. Weaving areas of science into core subjects are simple by

  • finding living history of books
  • encouraging hands-on activities
  • stimulating young minds to promote critical thinking

Enter Experience Astronomy. For elementary age kids, this might just be the missing link from inspiration to education. No only does it include self-paced, engaging videos, but interactive science experiments and a reading list to build reading skills are also included.  Strengthening your young life learners with memory work while reinforcing key concepts are a bonus of the program. And, the icing on the cake is this course won’t break the bank. As a matter of fact, when a homeschool family subscribes to Experience Astronomy Elementary, lifetime access to the curriculum is granted. That means that you can use it now and for any other kiddos that are coming up in in later years.

Incidentally, two of my own roadschoolers took the upper level Experience Astronomy course and loved it. This subscription is geared for kids 12 and older. Middle and high schoolers alike have the opportunity to engage with one video each week that aligns with the stars in the sky at that particular time of the year. Further, there is a quiz, field assignment, and a reading exercise included for the same time period. The absolute best part of this curriculum is the encouragement to go out at night for observation of what he or she has is learning about. Students are asked to draw what they see and can write about their night time viewing experiences. Notice there is no room here for screens of any kind. Just uninterrupted quiet time under the stars. That’s music to this mama’s ears. Bonus:  High schoolers can upgrade the subscription to an advanced mastery level and obtain course credit. BAM!

The elementary version of Experience Astronomy is available beginning in September of 2017 for use anytime. The upper level of this course is timely and is taught between September and May. Because the course study literally follows the stars in the sky, it’s important to being the lessons at the appropriate times of the year. How cool is that! Want to learn more details? Hit the replay on Episode #137 of Roadschool Moms to get the scoop.


Mary Beth Goff is a fulltime, RVing mama to four kiddos who travel America’s backyard in their home on wheels. She is also the creator of Road Trip Teacher, the online resource for destination based learning adventures. Mary Beth is also one-half of the Roadschool Moms team who broadcasts live on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network live every Sunday night at 9 pm EST from wherever in the world they are. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

 

 

 

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