From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


6/17/2010 3:47:03 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter--June 2010

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years
June 2010--What I Did on My Summer Vacation

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Summer is often a time to travel, whether on a local afternoon
excursion or a weeklong vacation. Homeschoolers know how to get the
most out of a road trip, making it both fun and educational. Here are
a few tips for successful travel this summer:

Make sure everyone is comfortable. Uncomfortable kids are unhappy
campers, literally! It helps to have shades for the side windows for
little ones strapped into car seats, and lightweight blankets to toss
over chilly legs. Also, be sure that booster seats have ample padding
for long trips; they are not all made alike. Water, healthy
(non-crumbly) snacks, and wet wipes are other helpful additions to the
travel tote.

Plan to make lots of stops--not only for the obvious, but also for
stretching and exploring.

Pack travel activities, such as travel games, art-quality colored
pencils (no crayons--they melt in the car!), and other small toys in a
clear, lidded plastic shoebox that will fit under the seat. We gave
each of our children her own shoebox, and each could bring what would
fit into it; the lid also served as a board for small puzzles or a
flat surface for drawing paper. When not in use, the shoebox slid
under the van seat. On a longer trip, we also packed small treats to
be brought out every so many miles or hours--a new game or a pad of
MadLibs, for instance.

Keep a few games in reserve. Our family still enjoys the ABC game
(finding consecutive alphabet letters on road signs, billboards,
passing trucks, stores in towns we passed, etc.). On one trip, we made
up (way too many) silly verses to the tune of "She'll Be Coming 'Round
the Mountain"--for example, "We are looking for a gas station in
Grandma's van; we are looking for a gas station in Grandma's van; we
are looking for a gas station; we are looking for a gas station..."
(you get the picture!), and someone would pipe up with a new verse
every so often. Word games, memory games, trivia cards, scavenger
hunts, and the old standby--license plate bingo--can help keep minds
sharp and tempers at bay.

Let the children help you with the budget, itinerary, and packing.
Give them each a map to plot the course and follow the landmarks.
Before you head out, read a book set in the area you are visiting or
related to a landmark you will see, or bring one along for a
read-aloud (if someone in the car can read while riding). And to
rescue your budget, check Facebook for museums or attractions you
"like"; you'll often find money-saving coupons. Not on Facebook? Visit
the museum website and ask about special offers.

Or plan a Destination Unknown trip, venturing out for the day into
your own community or a neighboring town, exploring side roads and
stopping at places that catch your attention. If you are on the East
Coast, George and Michele Zavatsky's Kids Love I-95 is a family travel guide to
more than 500 kid-tested fun stops and unique spots from Pennsylvania
to southern Florida, with no destination more than ten miles from
Interstate 95.

Is camping in your plans? Check out Molly Goes Camping , a 23-chapter e-book with
everything from where to stay to what to eat, and lots of fun stories
in between. And whether you camp in a national park or your backyard,
you'll want to try Molly's Omelet in a Bag recipe!

If you are planning a "stay-cation" (taking some vacation time but
staying at home), check out The Teaching Home's ideas for fun summer

Whether you cross the country, or just cross your backyard--enjoy your
family this summer!

Your fellow "happy camper,"

Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Early Years coordinator

Additional Resources

Books and games:

> Are We There Yet? Travel game book by Rand McNally and Family Talk
card packs--available at Cracker Barrel restaurants

> Travel scavenger hunt printables

> Printable travel games for all ages

> And more games

> From:
My State History Funbook (age 3 to grade 3) is a color-cut-paste
workbook that provides an introduction to the state of your choice.
Fifty States Under God (two levels) is an introduction to all 50
states in order of statehood, with a timeline and map study built in.

> Family Game Coach
10 Days game series includes 10 Days in the USA

> Kids Love! travel guide series includes family-friendly, kid-tested
attractions from Florida to Wisconsin

> Galloping the Globe and Cantering the Country Make geography fun! The site
also includes games and a make-your-own travel brochure template.

CDs for travel:
> Classical Kids CDs, including Beethoven Lives Upstairs and
Hallelujah Handel

> Music Machine

> Dan and Louie Bible stories

> The Bulletproof George Washington

> Sing the Word from A to Z

> Your Story Hour: Heritage of Our Country

> G.A. Henty books on audio

More ideas--from Home School Heartbeat:

> "Take a Trip!"

> "Travel-Inspired Studies"

> "Summer Vacation"

> Summer Vacation Resource List
-> What's the shortest distance between two homeschoolers?

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