Homeschool and PCS – Learn While You Travel!
Our family recently changed duty stations; it was a big move, right in the middle of the year. Most military wives would probably agree that anytime you PCS, it throws everything into a huge upheaval, including school. Homeschooling can be very beneficial during military life due to the flexibility.
Because of the location of our new duty station, we decided it would be a good idea to visit family before the move. We traveled across five states, stayed in eight hotels, and traveled almost 3,000 miles. Traveling and being displaced from your home (and routine) can make it challenging to homeschool. We could have chosen to not have school, because our travel did occur during the holidays, but we chose some fun and educational activities that were manageable during our trip.
Most of the activities are ones that are applicable to preschool and early childhood.
Music- As we traveled and made intermittent stops, I purchased soundtracks to some movies my children enjoyed. This kept them engaged in the music and made them more attentive and aware of the music the next time they watched that particular movie. Some of the soundtracks I purchased were for the Pixar movies, such as Cars and Toy Story.
Science- Field trips! Because of where we traveled, we had many opportunities for field trips and making science connections. We flew on an airplane (which we considered a field trip), visited two aquariums, and went to the beach.
Social Studies- As we traveled through many states, we had opportunities to look at many maps. My children are very young, still unable to read a map, but I thought it was important to expose them to geography. We also celebrated each time we crossed over into a new state.
We traveled through many different biomes, which could lend itself to either science or social studies lessons. We pointed out geographical features and temperature as we traveled.
Reading- Because it was difficult to read in the car, we made use of the CD player again and listened to stories on audio. A few that traveled with us were Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and Curious George’s Dinosaur Discovery. Listening to stories on audio is a wonderful tool for increasing literacy.
Religion- I carried the The Beginner’s Bible with us. We also traveled with The Jesus Storybook Bible CDs that we listened to in the car.
We are learning American Sign Language and we use the Signing Time series, so I brought along a few of those to watch when we had access to a DVD player.
PCS’ing is such a stressful time. In my opinion, it is not necessary to compound that with lengthy, extensive, or complicated lesson plans. Have fun, enjoy yourselves, and make memories as a family. Learning will come. Many blessings to you as you travel!
Beth Reavis is an Army wife, and homeschooling mother of four, now living in Hawaii. She enjoys spending time with her sweet family, as well as reading, studying her Bible, planting flowers, blogging occasionally and a recently new hobby she acquired, making ribbon leis.