Road Resources

Roadschool Organization: Puzzles

  • Jan 21, 2014

Roadschool organization is a daily chore in our rig. Our preschooler loves puzzles. Whether your are in a house or in an RV, toys with pieces are hard to keep track of. When we were packing up this last time to go on the road, we knew we would be gone several months. Puzzles weren’t a question mark on our pre-schoolers list of things to take with us. Puzzles are part of her daily life.

To keep my sanity, I limited the number of puzzles to eight. That may seem like a lot but in her tiny world, she has a favorite every day. There are seven days in a week. I always allow for at least one disaster, accident, or just plain changing of the mind. 7 + 1 = 8. Eight puzzles live in a drawer in our roadschool supplies in two boxes. DSC_9998Each box is divided into four sections. Each section houses a puzzle. Each puzzle piece for each puzzle has a different shape stamped to the back. DSC_9999This way, if she is putting together her favorite Doc McStuffin’s puzzle, she knows to find the star pieces from that box.

Violà this piece of the roadschool organization puzzle is solved.DSC_0001

Here’s one final note, Road Moms. Don’t get hung up on “my system”! You don’t have to embark on an online mission to find these nifty divided boxes. I’ll admit, they work out perfectly for this particular organizational challenge. I already had one of these storage containers. I fashioned one after the first.

The trick I want to convey with this solution is the idea, not my exact system. Divide your puzzles up, put some sort of code on the back, and store them (preferably in something you already have that is easily accessible). You can use stamps and divided boxes. Or, you can use different colors of a Sharpie markers with numbers on the back of the pieces stored in plastic bags. Implement something simple. Don’t make it complicated or put it off until you find the perfect storage container.

Remember, the key to roadschool organization is to keep like-kind items together and always in a place that your roadschoolers can easily access it and return it when finished.

5 Favorite Roadschool Stops in Fort Myers, FL

  • Jan 17, 2014

If you are on a road trip and find yourself in the Fort Myers area of the Southwest Florida gulf coast, there’s plenty to do. A seaside roadschool adventure is always the first choice; but, we here’s our other “Favorite 5” things to do in Ft Myers.

There are lots of Roadschool stops to be made in the Fort Myers area!

There are lots of Roadschool stops to be made in the Fort Myers area! (Calusa Nature Center pictured above)

Calusa Nature Center  A few hours is all it takes to enjoy the sites at this educational center. You’ll see a wide variety of wildlife native to Florida while enjoying the touch tanks, fossils, aviary, and butterfly gardens. For the astronomy lover in the group, the planetarium has scheduled shows at different times during the day. Call 239-275-3435 for more information.

Manatee Park  This non-captive refuge for these gentle giants is one of the best kept secrets in Ft. Myers. There’s no cost associated with enjoying the observation decks at Manatee Park where manatees gather during the colder months of the year. There is a small parking fee for visitors and other costs if you wish to kayak or take a guided tour. For more details, call 239-690-5030.

J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge  More than 6,300 tropical acres await at Sanibel Island just a short drive from Fort Myers Beach. Originally formed as a preserve for the mangroves there, the Ding Darling Refuge takes up nearly half of the island. You can enjoy this natural wonder by foot, bike, car, or a tram ride. Either way, the cost to visit are nominal. Be sure to call 239-472-1100 to check the schedule as some days are “No Drive” days so that the wildlife living there can enjoy their habitat without being disturbed.

Edison and Ford Winter Estates  For a fascinating step back in time, the Edison and Ford Winter Estates are not to be missed. Start your visit in the museum where the Roadschool 101 crew was fascinated to learn that Thomas Edison patented 1,093 inventions in his lifetime as well as spent much of his time on camping expeditions in the early 1900s. We opted for the self-guided tour so that we could take as much or as little time at each part of this learning road trip as we wanted. For admission, hours, and other tour options, call 239-334-7419.

Imaginarium Hands-On Museum  Plan for an entire day of roadschool adventure at the Imaginarium. This science center has everything from touch tanks to hurricane experiences. The cost is average for this type of attraction. There aren’t many food options, though, so take a picnic lunch to enjoy during your visit. Call 239-321-7420 to confirm admission prices and hours of operation.

For a more complete description of these visits, check out the pictures and more over at Diary of a Road Mom. Until next time, keep your rig armed with all the facts from Road Trip Teacher!

Roadschool 101: Action from a Bird’s Eye View

  • Jan 15, 2014

The Roadschool 101 crew is studying eagles this week. Check out this post from the Goff Gang at Diary of a Road Mom for the latest roadschool action that was discovered on this week’s learning road trip.

DSC_9421

Roadschool Organization: Create a System for Your Learner

  • Jan 7, 2014

Roadschool 101:  Organize your Learner. I have one number and two words for you.  3-Ring Binder.

I’ll admit to buying all kinds of crazy notions over the years to organize all kinds of everything. I’ve bought all kinds of gadgets. I’ve used all kinds of creations. I’ve copycatted all kinds of must have organizational systems from all over the internet. A 3-ring binder always comes to mind when I start any kind of project to arrange parts of my life.

Sometimes I use 3-ring binders as a temporary plan of attack. These jobs usually call for a smaller, light-weight binder. If I am tackling a long term project or keeping long-term records, I search for a bigger, heavy-duty version of this solution.

When I started to homeschool last year, I purchased 2-inch view-binders for each of my kiddos. Each of my little scholars personalized a cover sheet and slid it in the top-loading page protector in the front of the binder. They loved it because it was theirs. I loved it because they eagerly filled it with all the papers they completed during our first year of roadschool.

When it came time to go back to the chalkboard, so to speak, I put a little more planning into the binders. I purchased (4) Heavy Duty 3-ring binders in each of my kid’s favorite colors from Amazon. Next, I created a cover page for each of my kids that documents their age, a current picture, and details about them such as favorite color, favorite foods, etc. I also interviewed them with a list of questions like “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and “What things are you most excited about learning this year?” I typed their answer word for word after each question. Having this cover sheet will be a great memory keeper. Each one of my kids love the spotlight of themselves on the cover.

I used a set of 10 index dividers in each binder to separate the different parts of each of my life learners roadschool. I also put extra notebook paper in the back of each binder so they can always find paper easily. Along the way, I’ve picked up or made help sheets for each one of my roadschoolers based on what they are learning.

Taylor Binder Pic RetouchMost importantly, I print out a an assignment schedule that gives them a broad view of what I hope they will accomplish over the next few weeks. I do not require them to stick to this schedule like glue. The new me is more flexible and if one of my life learners goes off on a tangent, so be it. He just reflects what he’s doing on his assignment schedule and we roll on.

This system works great for the roadschool crew aboard our rig. All the papers and projects are stored in one place. We have even stored our finished lap books in there. (Although, if we complete many more, we may have to move them to their own 3-ring binder.) When it’s time for one of my kids to hit the books, they grab their binder and a few supplies and they are off on the road to learning.

I’ll talk more about the rest of our roadschool and how we organize it, later this week. Stay tuned to our Roadschool 101 series from Road Trip Teacher where we like to Learn Something New Everyday!

5 R’s to Ease Back into Roadschool After the Holidays

  • Jan 2, 2014

DSC_9901Hello 2014! As much as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the holiday season and the past few weeks of total intentional family time, I am excited to move forward with a new day, a new month, and a new year. We’ve been away from our roadschool routine for a few weeks and here’s how I am going to get my crew back into the swing of things in our rig.

 

Read. There is no better pastime, in my Road Mom opinion, than reading. Reading is good for your brain and applies to all ages. It is a simple yet universal assignment to delegate to everyone in our gang. Let the 8-yr old read aloud to the 5-yr old (yep, “two birds with one stone.”) Let the 12-yr old use his new Kindle to curl up with a good book in his favorite spot outside. And finally, encourage my 10-yr old reluctant reader to cruise the internet helping me with a little roadschool research; thereby, creating productive time for me while he reads and doesn’t even know it.)

Relax. I refuse to get uptight about the schedule. I did it in my first year of homeschooling on the road and made life miserable for me and the four shorter people in our rig. Even though I’ll admit that I feel a little behind on where I wanted to be in our learning adventure at this time of the year, I will not start the new year by cramming a crazy agenda down their little throats. (Breathe in, breathe out.)

Rest. The power source that keeps the mind alert and calm is sleep. It recharges our internal batteries. Every restful night of sleep and every nap leads to being optimally alert. This is the state when we are most receptive to the world around us. It produces the best attention span to learn the most. (Read more about Children and Sleep.)

Reward. Let’s face it, there’s no better leverage in human behavior than rewards.  Whether your sticking to your daily diet to get to the seventh day for dessert or a kid reading for computer time, keeping your eye on the prize works every time. So, in the midst of getting back to your routine, take a break. Go to the park. Stop and go get ice cream cones. Ring the recess bell and paint fingernails or bounce basketballs. Whatever your crew’s pleasure, take an unexpected detour and enjoy their smiles.

Rejoice. This part is easy. Sing songs. Recall meaningful memories from recent and past experiences. Pray together and find joy in whatever day God has made.

 

Psalm 118:24

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

7 Curious New Year’s Traditions from Around the World

  • Jan 1, 2014

 

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.59.36 PMOur Roadschool 101 Crew done a little research this morning on new year’s traditions around the world. Here are some of their favorite facts about the curious way some cultures bring in the new year.

  • For financial success in Central or South America, break out your yellow underwear.
  • Leave a bit of food on your New Year’s dinner plate in Germany for prosperity in the coming year.
  • Need more friends in Denmark this year? Throw as many plates as you can find at your friend’s doors. The more plates you find to break, the more friendships you’ll cultivate.
  • If you are laughing when the new year arrives in Japan, good luck will be the coming fortune.
  • In Spain, eating a grape at each stroke of midnight is supposed to ward off evil and bring much success.
  • Right here in the United States, groups of brave souls flock to near freezing lakes and rivers to take the polar plunge. The ritual which takes place close to the midnight hour is believed to bring the diver good luck.

Our Roadschool 101 gang’s favorite find in today’s learning adventure was the new year’s tradition just south of the border.

  • In Mexico, carrying an empty suitcase around the block at the stroke of midnight will bring new adventures in the coming year.

No matter how you celebrated the end of 2013 and brought in 2014, Road Trip Teacher & company wish you a safe and prosperous new year.

Niagara Falls Study Guide – New Release

  • Sep 14, 2013

Road Trip Teacher’s newest release, Niagara Falls Study Guide, was released this week and is now available for instant download! This 25-page unit study covers the history of the falls as well as facts about the surrounding Niagara Falls State Park. Other fascinating facts uncovered on this learning adventure includes a science element on hydroelectricity, a quick geography lesson on the Great Lakes, plus other interesting notes on animals and the weather from the area. Regularly priced at $5, the instant download of this exclusive RTT product is only $3 this month.

Subscribe to the Road Trip Teacher monthly newsletter and receive a free study guide of your choice from our Learning Store. Don’t forget to like the Road Trip Teacher Facebook page to keep up with recent travel projects and new products or follow us at @RoadTripTeacher

Summer is Important

  • Sep 5, 2013

Here’s a recent blog post from our friends over at Diary of a Road Mom:

2011 09 Picking Apples at Grandmas 352

Summer is Important.

Fabulous Find: Reading Comprehension

  • Sep 1, 2013

I love about any products from My Mailbox! But my latest fabulous find is called Fold ‘n Read. While effective in any environment, these are perfect for our RTT rig when we are on the road. I punched a hole in the 36 laminated cards and put them on a ring. This is part of our reading curriculum this year. Something my 8 year old can do independently. She is keeping track of the cards she reads and the activities associated with it in her reading notebook.

I found mine in a retail store in southwest Florida. I also bought a set for grades 4-6 which will cover my fourth and sixth graders.  They, too, will keep track of their progress in their reading notebook. You can order either grade set through our Learning Shop.

Fold Read 2-3

West Central Indiana Stopover

  • Aug 31, 2013

Although we feel that home is where you park it, our official address remains in the southern hills of Indiana. For this holiday weekend, we took a short road trip to west central Indiana near Covington, Indiana. While we are boondocking at a family member’s farm, I would highly recommend the campgrounds down at Turkey Run State Park for anyone looking for a full service facility.

If you are traveling along I-74 west of Indianapolis towards Illinois, you should include a culinary stop at The Beef House located at Exit 2, the junction of SR 63. They are famous for the homemade yeast rolls made there, juicy steaks and freshly prepared salad bar. The kid’s menu has more than the usual fare and can also include the salad bar for healthy eaters. Menu prices are on the higher end but it’s definately worth the stop.

If you are looking for a more reasonable approach to any of the three meals of the day, check out the Apple Tree Restaurant at the Junction of US 41 and SR 136, also right off I-74 at Veedersburg, Indiana. You’ll find a family-style restaurant with an extensive menu for fare sure to please the entire family. Menu prices are below the average in our experience and the food was great!

Final stop on the area’s must-see list is a trip to Turkey Run State Park. Hiking, horse-back riding, canoeing, and swimming are activities we have taken in while there. The Nature Center at the park is open daily and offers a great learning resource. Our favorite hiking trail in the park is Trail #3 which includes ladders in parts of the rugged footpath. The campground offers all kinds of sites from primitive to full service hook-ups. There’s also an inn there and a restaurant with a gift shop. You’ll find this park nestled along SR 47 just east of the junction of US 41.

 

The Giles FrontierSupporting your fulltime RV adventures and aspirationsSupporting your fulltime RV adventures and aspirations