The Ultimate Field Trip

Postcard image with a traveling family on an ocean tripThe Ultimate Field Trip – Traveling!

Travel is the ultimate field trip! It is so educational. Traveling exposes you to new people, places, language, food, culture, and ideas. It pushes you out of your comfort zone. Travel helps us see the long view instead of our shorter, “close-to-home” view. It promotes wonder, curiosity, research and exploration if you let it!

This past week, my husband traveled to Nashville for a professional conference and our youngest and I went along for the ride. We worked and studied for part of each day and then went adventuring. One day we went to Andrew Jackson’s estate, The Hermitage. The next, the Botanical Gardens and Cheekwood Estate. The last day we met family members at the Grand Old Opry and roamed around the amazing gardens. It gave us a lot to think about.

Have Family – Will Travel

Over the past two years, we’ve had the opportunity to visit three presidential residences: Monticello, home to Thomas Jefferson; Mt. Vernon, home to George Washington; and now The Hermitage, home to Andrew Jackson.

Visiting all three presidential estates has given us the opportunity to compare and contrast Presidents; the impact each has had on the country, their attitudes towards the Union, slavery, and marriage. These inexplicably different presidents, each charted the course of this great nation.  Even affecting the way Americans live today. It’s a great history lesson! Our academic lessons are made all the more powerful by seeing where and how they each lived, ran their personal lives and interacted with others.

The Gift of Travel

Having the opportunity to travel has been a gift and one we don’t take lightly! We’ve worked to maximize travelling opportunities as they’ve come up. In the past year, we’ve taken field trips to the Black Hills in SD, St. Louis MO, South Carolina, San Antonio TX, Washington DC, Gettysburg, VA and Nashville, TN. Some of that travel was for our kids’ activities (Bible Bee participation, graduation from Army Basic) and some for work. We’ve visited Monticello, Mt. Vernon, Gettysburg, Mission Conception, State and National sea-side parks, Botanical Gardens in TX and TN, the Arch in St. Louis, Mansions and Colonial homes, the Museum of the Bible (read my review here), Lincoln Memorial and a host of other D.C. Memorials, and the Grand Old Opry. We’ve eaten the best shrimp and grits in TX, fries smothered in gouda cheese in D.C. and superb hamburgers in TN. We’ve been on the look-out for amazing opportunities and experiences and found them!

Of course, that list also represents admissions fees, gas, and other costs. We are fortunate that we are able to write off some expenses for our work. We have also traded admissions fees for blog reviews and asked for the homeschool discounts whenever appropriate. Planning ahead and discovering off-season discounts can also make family travel more affordable. We count these fees as part of our homeschool expenses because they add so much to our children’s education.

Travel is the ultimate field trip...It promotes wonder, curiosity, research and exploration if you let it! Lisa Nehring, author, and administrator at True North Homeschool Academy and Softskills 101 Podcast Show Host. Click To Tweet

Tips for Planning Amazing Family Field Trips

  • Facebook groups provide great opportunities to connect with natives who know their area. I am in a couple of homeschool travel groups and there are always a few people who just got back from where we’re going or someone who lives where we are going in the group. It’s a great way to get a current perspective and get reasonably priced ideas on amazing places to eat!
  • Google – search “Best Sightseeing” in whatever place you plan to visit. I just searched Tampa and came up with various categories: parks, sight-seeing, air-helicopter-balloon rides, shopping, eating, museums, sights, and landmarks, etc.
  • Pick up brochures at area restaurants or cruise through the Airbnb/Vrbo binder wherever you are staying.
  • Ask the locals – whenever we land in a new location, we ask waitresses and other service professionals what the “must-see” and “must-do” opportunities are in any location.

Wherever we go, we do a bit of research and gather everyone’s ideas ahead of time. Because we are all readers, we might have ideas in mind already- historical places we want to visit, or places my husband and I visited as children. We decide how much time and money we have to spend and make a tentative plan for what we want to get done. In the last several years we have often traveled for work and my husband and I have taken turns going places with the children while the other does the work-related stuff.

The World Is Our Classroom

Finding great field trips while traveling, in many ways, gets back to having a sense of what you believe about education. Do you believe that the world is your classroom? If so, you’ll make a point of being curious about the world and want to explore the nooks and crannies. Your preferences and those of your family will differ from mine. Perhaps you are real foodies and are willing to wait in line to experience the most amazing Hunan food in San Francisco, while I am more interested in the Missions along the coast. Of course, one would expect nothing less!

And when I meet you in an on-line group, or at a conference, and we compare notes, we might both broaden our horizons by doing what the other experienced and found fascinating, further enriching our lives through travel!

About the Author: Lisa Nehring hosts the podcast Soft Skills 101: Life Skills for a Digital Age, along with her husband Dr. David Nehring. She is the Director of  True North Homeschool Academy and she and her husband have homeschooled their five kids for the past 27 years. Lisa is passionately committed to resourcing and connecting fellow homeschoolers and Christians with the tools and resources necessary to navigate a complex world in need of a Savior. You can connect with her at the True North Homeschool Tribe on Facebook

New Hacks for Family Travel – MBFLP 199

We’ve traveled about 150,000 miles for ministry and business the past several years, so we’ve learned a few things about taking a big family on big trips for small budgets. This year, we have several new tips, trick, hacks, and advice on budget travel, discount lodging, and cheap food along the way – it’s our annual “Cheap Family Travel” update, and it may change the way you look at vacation or business trips forever!

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

 

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, The Miracle Season!

Based on the inspiring true story of West High School girl’s volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship.

Visit here to learn more.

 

 

Traveling with a Large Family

Tips for Traveling with a Large Family from Talking Mom 2 Mom PodcastTraveling with a large family long distances can be daunting. Here are some tips from one mom who has done it a few times with 6 kids under 9 years old. Join Lindsey as she shares her tips for entertaining the kids, saving money when eating out, and making the most of the time you have together as a family.

Links:

Talking Mom2Mom 

Facebook 

Family Travel: Eat Cheap On The Road – MBFLP 168

“Mom, I’m hungry!” That call from the back of the van is more frequent than “Are we there yet?” – especially when there are teenagers in the mix. So what can a budget-conscious family do when the stomachs start to growl? This episode we talk about how we keep the food expenses low, keep the troops happy, and eat cheap when we’re on the road!

 

Resources We Mentioned:

The incredible Instant Pot (affiliate link)

Where we find neat local restaurants: RoadFood.com

Or “as seen on the Food Network,” restaurants from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

 

How We Make Pimiento Cheese (Large Southern Family Edition):

2 lb bag of shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese (unseasoned)

1 pint of salad dressing-style mayonnaise (think “Miracle Whip”) – basically half a standard jar

4 oz jar of diced pimientos (usually on the aisle with olives and pickles or in the Hispanic food section)

Yes, this is a big batch! We often make this much for lunch at church or to take on the road.

Simply combine the ingredients. It blends easier if you use mayonnaise from a newly opened jar at room temperature. Use the entire jar of pimientos including the juice – sometimes we add a dash of pickle juice for variety. Stir in the mayonnaise bit by bit and stop when you like the consistency. The flavor is even better if you keep it overnight in the refrigerator. Great in sandwiches, on hamburgers, eaten on crackers, or spread on celery.


This Episode is Sponsored By:

Sony Pictures: AffirmsFilms.com and the latest movie with great values and message – Smurfs: The Lost Village.

smurfs movie the lost village

Click here for the FREE Faith-based Movie Guide!


Family Travel on a Budget – MBFLP 167

Spring’s in the air and summer vacation is just a few weeks away. You may be making plans already! The past several years, our family’s hit the road for twenty- to thirty thousand miles annually,literally coast to coast and into Canada too. How can a large family with a limited budget see and do so much? We’ve got some tips to help you plan big time family travel on a limited budget!

 


This Episode is Sponsored By:

Sony Pictures: AffirmsFilms.com and the latest movie with great values and message – Smurfs: The Lost Village.

smurfs movie the lost village

Click here for the FREE Faith-based Movie Guide!


MBFLP – How To Get The Most From Conventions

So you’re going to a homeschool convention, but you’ve heard stories (and warnings) from friends – some are so big, they’re overwhelming. There’s so much walking! And what will you do with the kids? This episode, we talk about practical ways to get the most enjoyment, encouragement, and help from any homeschool convention.

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Recorded in our mobile studio at the Dreamland Drive-In in Tuscaloosa, Alabama!

MBFLP – Why Should You Go To A Homeschool Conference?

MBFLP - Should I Go to a Homeschool Conference

This is the season of homeschool conventions – from small, intimate convocations in rural areas, to megaconferences with more attendees than our hometown. They’re the boon and the bane of many homeschoolers’ year. Are they really necessary, with all the information and resources on the Internet? Is there a benefit to the crowds, the travel, the time away from home? You bet!  We’d been to nearly thirty conferences in nine different states before we started doing this for a living … and we can tell you why they’re more than worthwhile – almost indispensable – to us as homeschooling parents!

[ CLICK HERE to see part 2 – How To Get The Most From A Convention! ]

Family Man, Todd Wilson, Encourages Roadschool Moms Everywhere

2014 09 21 FamilyMan Show Button  Are you doubting yourself again? Doubting your abilities?  Wondering if you’re screwing up your kids for life?  If so, you’re not alone!  We all have these doubts, but in this episode of Roadschool Moms, Todd Wilson, The Family Man, sets us all straight and reveals the often overlooked gifts of roadschooling.

Tune in for an hour that will change your perspective and give you the boost you need to restore your confidence.

You’ve got this Roadschool Mom!  Press play  – listen to Todd’s message everyday until it sinks in!

You can find more information about Todd including his speaking schedule at http://familymanweb.com/

Encouraging Reluctant Readers in your Roadschool

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Both Kimberly and Mary Beth have experienced the frustration of reluctant readers.  When you roadscholar is a reluctant reader there are many gentle approaches you can use to encourage their love of reading.

Stephanie Simpson, Usborne Rep at http://www.raisingusbornereaders.com joins the Roadschool Moms to discuss the methods she’s used to forge a life long love of reading in her rig.

 

Click play now to learn about all the resources available for reluctant readers and be sure to check out this shows Pinterest Board here: http://www.pinterest.com/roadschoolmoms/show-26-reluctant-readers-in-your-roadschool/

 

Taking a Year Off to Go Around the World

keeperofthehomeHave you ever dreamed of taking a year off to explore the world with your family?

Do you wonder…

  • How could we afford it?
  • Can you do it with small children?
  • Is there an airline ticket for that?
  • and how would we find safe, affordable housing?

Then be sure to click play on this podcast as Mary Beth and Kimberly are joined by Stephanie Langford, the creator of the popular blog, Keeper of the Home.

Stephanie shares with us how her family accomplished a 1 year, 30 country, (every continent) around the world journey.  What they learned as parents and as a family, how they funded their travels, and what their travel future holds for them.  She also talks about what it takes to run a successful blog.

Go ahead, press play and then start planning your own family adventure!