Travel Journaling

Travel Journaling #homeschool #fieldtrips #journaling #traveljournalTravel Journaling –  Episode 76

Florida Parent Educators Association’s (FPEA) Chairwoman, Suzanne Nunn talks about Travel Journaling.

Florida Summers – a perfect time for a staycation, or even a vacation. Have you kept a travel journal? This is a great way to both learn from the experience, but also to create lasting memories. In years to come, you and your kids can look back and relive the memories you made on your trips. As they say, the days are long, but the years are short.

List in for ideas on both the why and hows of travel, or field trip, journals.

There are numerous options for field trip journals or travel journals. You can purchase pre-made journals, or you can let those creative juices flow and create your own. There are also many printables available online. Be sure to check our Pinterest boards for some ideas.


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Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
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Explore cities with digital scavenger hunts

Digital Scavenger Hunts

Episode 41: Explore cities with digital scavenger hunts


My oldest daughter, Rachel, suggested I do an episode on this as she and I have enjoyed a number of Digital Scavenger Hunts together. Rachel teaches the Visual Literacy class for FundaFunda Academy.

Digital scavenger hunts can be found in most cities – and sometimes even in specific locations eg museums.

They are a self-paced tour/scavenger hunt /problem-solving game all in one

1. Tour guide: they provide info on the city you are exploring
2. Scavenger hunt – everyone is looking for the solution to the clue
3. Game – you earn points as you progress. There are usually hints but then you lose points.


1. Exercise
2. Use thinking skills
3. Educational
4. Find places you never would on your own
5. Go at your own pace
6. Competitive / game element

Where can you find them?

You can Google “digital scavenger hunt “city” mobile device”. You can also often find deals on Groupon / Living Social.

Here are some I have done or gifted to my children.
Scavenger Hunt
Huntzz (this a British one)

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Digital Scavenger Hunts #familyfun #vacationfun #homeschooltravel

Technology and Travel Planning with your children

Technology and Travel Planning

Episode 31: Technology and Travel Planning with Your Children


Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast

And visit our sponsor FundaFunda Academy to see the classes they are offering for high school credit this summer. Intro the Theatre is a lot of fun. Students learn not just about acting but also about makeup and props and script writing and stage management and everything else it takes to put on a show!

When I was 12 my dad took our family on a 6 week trip around Europe and I was the one he tasked with planning the itinerary. I had no internet to help me and so had to write to the embassies for information. But I learned so much as I planned our vacation.

So I would suggest, that you get your children involved in your travel planning. They will learn to use technology and learn many other life skills too!

1. Use Google Docs to collaborate or Trello
2. Use Google Sheets for budget / actual costs – math – foreign currency
3. Use Rome 2 Rio or Google Maps to find the best travel options to or in destinations
4. If you don’t have unlimited data or going out of the country, download Google maps offline. Here is a video to help you.

5. Use Google Flights or Skyscanner to find best days (Remember some carriers like Southwest aren’t on those) then book on airline site
6. or (free night for every ten you book using them) or Trivago or use Airbnb (Try and book with “superhosts”)
7. Yelp for places to eat
8. For things to do, search “what to do in ??” + “blog” (this will give better results than Tripadvisor) – teaches research skills.
9. Use Google Mymaps to plot it out (refer to episode 28)

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Technology and Travel Planning with your children #homeschooltravel #homeschooltech #travelplanning

For the Love of Florida…Early Tourist Attractions

For the Love of Florida Early Attractions #WildFlorida #FPEA #PodcastFor the Love of Florida…Early Tourist Attractions

Podcast #65

We thought it would be fun to have a love theme for our February podcasts… today the topic is……FOR the LOVE of Florida!

Yes, Florida is beautiful……and I could just camp out right here. We live in a fabulous place. You know, since we’ve been doing these podcasts, one of the things that we have seen over and over again, is that some of the most popular episodes are the ones that focus on field trips or just great excursions to take around the state. So, I don’t think I’m alone in my admiration for all things Florida…the wild side, the history, the small town, the big, the famous….whatever it is….we Floridians enjoy sharing and experiencing it, apparently together.

So we’ve picked a couple of new places to explore together. With an underlying focus on the development of tourism in our state too. For you and for me it is hard to imagine a Florida that wasn’t a tourist destination. I mean now it is a challenge to find any small place in Florida that hasn’t been touched by tourism and/or the imprint of people who have vacation homes or retirement homes here. But….there was a time that Florida was a wild frontier and not heavily populated or developed….and then paradise was found. So I wanted to just share some fun facts about some of those places that began to draw visitors and vacationers in….and what those places were like then AND what they look like now.

First…..I should state what may appear to be the obvious…..but Florida was originally a destination that drew wealthy and famous people, people who could afford the time to travel and vacation here. This was, of course, before the invention of some of our common modes of transportation but one man who had discovered Florida and the virtual paradise that it is, was Henry Flagler.  Flagler loved Florida so much that he decided, in the 1880s, to begin investing in building he built railroads and hotels, and hotels along the railroads. With the expansion of the railroad systems, more people could travel to the sunshine state. By the early 1900s, thousands of tourists came to visit. Those tourists were drawn, of course, to the natural beauty, the warmth and sunshine, the salt air and a climate that would bring healing from illness and disease…..soon, there were winter homes being built by those who could afford it….and they would live here for months at a time.

The invention of the automobile opened the opportunity for more affordable travel and people continued to come.

During these years, the attractions were simply natural…..the white sand beaches, the Wild of the Everglades, the coral reefs, the Florida Keys……boating, swimming, fishing, hiking….relaxing, sunbathing…..

It wasn’t long before Flagler started investing in building Florida, that a man by the name of Hullam Jones, invented the glass bottom boat. In the bottom of a row boat, jones installed a pane of glass and charged people 5 cents a piece to ferry them above the crystal clear Silver Springs. Voila…our first tourist attraction is born. Silver Springs features one of the largest artesian springs in the world. It became famous for its glass bottom boat rides which you can still enjoy today. In 1971, Silver Springs as a National Natural Landmark. Definitely worth a visit.

So it is, we begin to move into a season of building attractions that embrace wild Florida…..the springs, the alligators and the flora….as people begin to build beautiful gardens that will become some of the most famous Florida roadside attractions.

Bok Tower Gardens is a prime example. Dedicated in 1929 in Lake Wales, it was one of Florida’s first major attractions during that era. People would drive long distances to see the gardens, the tower and to hear the tower sing. Edward Bok, editor of Ladies Home Journal, built the gardens. The tower was actually built to cover the irrigation system that would water the gardens. There is a 200 bell carillon that plays music in the gardens each afternoon. This is honestly one of the most beautiful and peaceful places.

Weeki Wachee Springs…this old Florida attraction brought international attention…..why?? Well, because of the live, underwater mermaid shows, of course……believe it or not….you can still visit the original attraction where the mermaids are still swimming along with other shows, entertainment and activities. It has now been designated a state park. Sounds like a good day of fun….right?

Cypress Gardens is one of my all time favorites. It was in Winter Haven. It was really the states first theme park (1936). It’s well known for a couple of things…..first of all, an amazing array of flowers and gardens. Girls that wore antebellum-style dresses and walked around, you know, southern belles, we called them, who would pose for pictures. Cypress Gardens was also the birthplace of performance water skiing. The man who opened it, Dick Pope, during WWII, introduced the water ski shows to entertain troops who visited the gardens. Even though tourism was a bit stifled during the war, the military played a role in continuing to bring people into Florida. Cypress Gardens basically became the water ski capitol of the world. The park closed in 2008. In 2010 the land was acquired with plans to turn it into legoland. Legoland opened in 2011.

Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg was built in 1935. The gardens are 100 years old so it is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. Built in an ancient drained lake, it was the perfect place for the owner, George Turner, to enjoy his favorite pastime, gardening. The beautiful gardens he built became a real treat to his neighbors and they would spend hours strolling through them….so eventually, he began charging 5 cents for tours. So it became a destination….the family later purchased the building that is now the housing the ticket office and a children’s museum, it was previously the Coca Cola bottling company, but they purchased it to build worlds largest gift shop and a wax museum. It is a great afternoon/Saturday morning excursion, a beautiful botanical garden with several water features and flamingos.

Another neat little old Florida day trip is Winter Park. This is one of the cities that was developed as a winter resort for wealthy northerners, seeking warmth from the harsh winters. It’s just north of Orlando, so in a very over developed part of the state, but it is like stepping back in time a bit when you visit. The men who developed it did so with a great design that included residential communities and business, a large Central Park in the downtown area. Rollins college, which is still there, was built and winter park developed a bit of a reputation as an art and literary colony of sorts. It was, and still is a gorgeous area, surrounded by several lakes and of course, citrus. It was a little slice of paradise. There were beautiful homes built on the lakes and the lakes are connected by little canal systems. Hence one of the oldest attractions, the winter park scenic boat tour…. opened in the 1930s and is still operating today. Also, a throw back to that art colony, we always visit the Morse Museum of American Art which houses the worlds largest collection of Tiffany glass, plus other beautiful art.

Another great excursions farther south that had some early tourist beginnings are the Theatre of the Sea (1946) which is in the Keys….Islamorada to be exact. It is a marine mammal park with dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, tropical gardens and birds. It’s family owned, beautiful to explore. Plan on visiting it this summer if you and your family decide to join us for our FPEA fun in the sun Florida Keys trip.

Miami Seaquarium…built in the height of the 1950s when families were hitting the road and enjoying these attractions. At the time, it was the worlds largest marine life attraction and quite popular. Then in the 1960s it actually became one of the primary locations where they filmed the TV show Flipper.  The Seaquarium is still a fully functioning park with great options for wildlife experiences. It’s a neat experience and they still play with those bottle nose dolphins.

So there you have it……for the love of Florida….get out there and enjoy some of these places with your family.  Let’s keep them on the map for the generations to come because they truly are a tribute to establishing Florida as the tourist destination that we see today with the more recent theme parks.

FPEA is your source for all of your Florida homeschooling needs. You can check out our website, for exciting opportunities and valuable resources. Also, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram for other great tidbits and resources that are sure to help you as you create your customized homeschool journey.


FPEA Members, Download Your Florida History Adventures+ Bundle


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How tech can help you homeschool when you travel

How technology can help you homeschool when you travel

Episode 19: How tech can help you homeschool when you travel

Modern technology makes it far easier to homeschooling when you travel than it was for me when we traveled around the world about 11 years ago with our 4 children.

What devices are good for traveling and homeschooling?

Chromebooks – take a flash drive for storing documents.

Relaxed homeschooling on the road

If you have younger students, you can take a break from your regular curriculum. Travel is a fantastic education – but you can use devices to learn about the places you are visiting.

You can also use devices for learning while you are on flights, in the airport etc.

Educational apps –, is great to build vocabulary for all ages. Also look for other word games.
E-books – for younger students look into Epic. A low monthly fee gets you books, audiobooks, videos and quizzes.
And the library offers free e-book loans usually through Overdrive, and free videos through Kanopy.

Online classes / web-based unit studies

For teens, online classes can provide an easy way to homeschool anywhere. However, if you choose live online classes, make sure it will work to miss the live sessions. Some classes do offer video recordings students can watch if they miss class.

Self-paced, or online classes that don’t have a live component – like our sponsor FundaFunda Academy’s are a better option as they offer more flexible pacing while you are traveling.

Web-based unit studies are great to use with upper elementary and middle schoolers as everything is self-contained online.

And no need to worry about not having a printer for worksheets – just complete them online. Many newer computers already offer the ability to complete pdfs online, but if yours doesn’t then use Type on Pdf which if a free online option.

Where to find free wifi

Most airports have free wifi now
Coffee shops and many restaurants are good places to find free wifi

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How technology can help you homeschool when you travel

Long Distances with Little Ones – MBFLP 216

Long Distances with Little Ones

The Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest time of year on America’s highways, and you may be driving long hours with little ones on board. How do you manage this so you all arrive at Grandma’s in good spirits? We hit the road in 2010 with seven children in the van and we’re crisscrossing the country for six months every year. This episode, we’ll share what we’ve learned about covering long distance with little ones!

You’re Not Alone

Last year, AAA estimated 51 million of us would be on the road for Thanksgiving. That’s like the whole population of New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Minnesota on the highway at the same time! It’s hard to guess how many of those millions were riding in booster seats, but you can bet it was a bunch.

There are some practical ways to make this more manageable for everyone: 

Long Distances with Little Ones

Making It Work

    1. Remember kids are kids – you’ve got make allowance for them. When Jacob met his brother Esau on the way back to his home country, Esau urged him to come along – but Jacob reminded him, “the children are weak,” and told him to go ahead, “[and] I will lead on slowly at a pace which the livestock …, and the children, are able to endure.” (Genesis 33:12-14)
    2. Take it easy on the mileposts. The fact that Dad the Road Warrior can handle 700 miles a day may not be the best plan for Mom and the kids. We were much happier when we slowed down our itinerary.
    3. Be sure that kids who sleep all day will be alert and active when Mom and Dad are ready for bed! We’ve done a few trips overnight or in the wee hours, but it made the parents grumpy the next day – and no child needs that! It’s tempting to pile on the miles while the crew is napping, but you’ll all be happier if you get out and get some exercise during the day. Which leads to our discovery,
    4. We all need regular breaks. On doctor’s advice, we make a brief stop every couple of hours. You’re going to need gas and rest rooms eventually, why not just plan on it? Modern travel plazas aren’t like the seedy truck stops of old – we find they’re usually clean, well-lit, and have large rest rooms. Which reminds us,
    5. “Mandatory Bathroom Stops” make it efficient. We just require everybody to get out and use the rest room, even if they “don’t need to go.” (We found the teenager who insisted he didn’t need to get out was the one who would have an emergency thirty minutes down the road.)
    6. Don’t miss the field trips along the way. We’ve had some great stops at National Parks, state historical sites, or even just picnic areas with a view. Go ahead – you might learn something, and if nothing else, the kids can run around and use up some energy! (Keep a ball or Frisbee handy to encourage some activity). A little research beforehand can highlight neat stuff ahead.
    7. Do like the airlines – distract the passengers with changing activities. You can hand out a snack, then a little while later surprise them with some new crayons or a book, then sing or play a car game, then maybe start a DVD or pop in an audio book (we’ve got some suggestions below!) Older kids might be able to do some schoolwork along the way – but if it’s a short vacation, you might want to just take the days off from book work and let them learn what they can from the travel.

In the old days, an education wasn’t considered complete until the student had experienced some serious travel. Now, it’s so much easier to get around, we tend to rush through it and miss the good stuff along the way. Slow down a bit, let the kids out of their car seats some, and enjoy the journey together!


Looking for some entertaining audiobooks that help build character, too? Check out the growing line of classic stories at, and for a limited time, use the coupon code audioholiday15 to take 15% off! Brought to you by our publisher, Great Waters Press!

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!


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Making Travel Work

making travel workMaking Travel Work

Podcast #44

In this episode, Suzanne will talk about some of the ways to make travel work in your homeschool. Both for you and your children. Traveling is a great addition and resource for homeschooling families to take advantage of.

Please join us as we travel along this journey on our podcast adventure. Let’s get connected! Learn more about the Florida Parent Educator’s Association and homeschooling in the beautiful state of Florida.
Please visit to learn more about who we are!


2018 Florida Homeschool Convention

Why Travel

Why travel graphicWhy Travel

Podcast #43

In this episode, Suzanne will talk about some of the reasons travel is important. Both for you and your children. Traveling is a great addition to your homeschool program.

Please join us as we travel along this journey on our podcast adventure. Let’s get connected! Learn more about the Florida Parent Educator’s Association and homeschooling in the beautiful state of Florida.
Please visit to learn more about who we are!

Who is Your Tribe and What is Your Scheduling Vibe?

Who Is Your Tribe and What Is Your Scheduling Vibe? With The Real Kathy LeeOn this week’s show, I ramble… in a parking lot…in Albany, NY. Yesterday afternoon I got a call saying that one of my oldest son’s was being transferred by ambulance to a hospital forty-five minutes from his university campus. When you get that kind of call, you immediately book a flight to Albany, NY (even if you know that it is freaking freezing cold there). A short 2 ½ hours later, I was on a plane. Times like these remind you that you cannot do it alone. You can’t pick up the kids as planned. You can’t make dinner as planned. You can’t go to the appointment with your child as planned. You need your tribe. This time, my precious husband picked up most of the balls I would be dropping; he had landed from a business trip five minutes before I received that phone call.  He is part of my tribe. The other members in my tribe bombarded my phone with calls/texts offering to help with the kids, the dogs, and the business. I am blessed to have a tight tribe. They are a small group of women who have been there, no matter what. Do you have such a group? If you do, say out loud… I AM BLESSED. If you do not, find one!

Originally, I was planning to answer a couple of questions about scheduling and lack of interests in activities. I do mention both of those things on today’s show, in a rambling kind of way. Honestly, my mind was on my family today. Hopefully, you can make sense of my rambling and be encouraged on your journey of motherhood.

Guess what? I know you don’t have it together and you know that I don’t have it together. You know what else? NO ONE has it all together. Let’s rest in that and be thankful that in spite of our shortcomings, we LOVE our families fiercely and are raising up a beautiful group of future hot messes.


Have a great week!! Celebrate your TRIBE!



Thanks for listening. If you have topics you would like for me to discuss or people you would like to hear from, let me know. Just email me at or shoot me a message on social media.


Find a way to #sayyes today.

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Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

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