Homeschooling Through Our Move
We were in the process of moving. Luckily for us it was summer and so I felt like I didn’t have to be as structured with our homeschool. We usually take May off (which we did) and then start schooling again, but it was different this year. There were many more things to do this summer than in the past, so it was difficult to focus on school. I know that it’ll be good for us to have some structured learning, but I need to keep it loose and flexible. Not good for my routine planning brain. I like to plan ahead and have everything ready, but that’s hard to do when things get thrown at you during a move. So…here’s what I came up with:
It’s important for our family to continue Bible education.
* 7th Grader: He was reading through the book of Matthew. After he read 2 chapters, he came and discussed them with me. This helped grow his reading comprehension and, hopefully, get him into a habit of reading His Bible daily and in the future yearn to have that time with his Creator’s Word. He will continue through the gospels and then the rest of the Bible through the year.
* 2nd Grader: He continued with his Rod & Staff Bible Reader from 1st grade (I know…we never finished it). This will help with his reading fluency as well as comprehension. This will also grow his knowledge of the Bible stories.
I thought this would be a great idea to learn about the state we were moving to. If you're not moving to a different state or even city for that matter (we've done this a few times as well), you may want to do a state study on your state that you are living in.
* 7th Grader: He learned the basics about our new state and then he was responsible for creating a brochure on the computer. This brochure was to be a “selling” point for anyone interested in our new state, but not sure what’s there. This grew his computer abilities as well as worked on his research skills.
* 2nd Grader: He learned the basics about our new state and then he worked through a lap book about Desert Animals. This helped him feel more comfortable about our new state as well learn more about the animals that live there.
We used a multi-faceted computer program to practice skills and information they have previously learned that I don’t want them to forget, in a fun and “techy” way.
* Both - They both used “Clever Dragons” throughout this time (since it’s free through the summer). They both really liked it because they were able to earn gold by playing games and then they could spend their gold to enhance their rooms in the game. They also both enjoyed that they were able to created items, sell them in their personal store, and other players were able to buy them (with the gold from the game). We were able to talk about cost, profit, and loss.
We went to our public library a lot in order to keep the boys stocked up on books and it gave us an outing away from all of the packing.
We used this structure through the month of June doing school only a few hours a day. That left us time in the afternoons to pack and do other “moving” things. During the month of July was left open, even though we continued Bible and going to the library since the state study was completed.
We stopped schooling the week before we moved and started up full school two weeks after we were settled in our new home. Life is school and moving is an adventure, so when I say that we “stopped schooling” that only means that “official” sit down structured schooling.
Life is ALWAYS teaching us something.
Use this time of moving as a learning experience for your kids. There are things that your kids can learn while moving and we should keep that mindset - what can my kids learn from this?
Even if you are moving in the same city, you can still get out the map and have your children help you map out the houses/apartments that are possibilities to move to. Then have them help you plan a driving route to go see all of them.
They can map out the distances from the new home to the grocery store, the library, the Post Office, etc.
If you are traveling a far distance for the move, get out the map. Have them work through driving/flying routes that your family could take.
There is a lot of scheduling (and re-scheduling) that goes on during a move. Get your kids involved. Put up a large calendar (or have one in a notebook) and each time there is something that you have to do for the move, put it on the calendar. Discuss the schedule with your kids so that they know what's going on (this will help with their anxiety, too).
During ANY move, there's packing that needs to be done. But, you can't just start packing up anything and everything - there's a system that needs to be put into place. Discuss with your kids about the order that things need to be packed away. For example, the extra "stuff" that's up in the top of closets, pictures, and seasonal items can be packed first. Kitchen stuff is packed last (you're going to need to eat and eating out for an entire month can be pricey).
Packing is a skill that can be learned and taught. Have your kids help you with packing their own items. Let them label the boxes (writing & spelling practice). Teach them how the heavy items go on the bottom while the breakable things need to be wrapped and placed on top. Packing is very physical so I would even count this as P.E. for them.
On the Way
How do you help your kids learn while you are actually traveling from your old home to your new? I put together a "moving binder" for each of our boys.
This binder included maps, mazes, travel BINGOs, license plate worksheets, etc. I filled each binder with activities for each child to work on throughout our trip. We drove from Oregon to Arizona and we took 4 days to get there, so I wanted to make sure that we had WAY too much stuff so that they wouldn't get bored.
I purchased, from the Dollar Tree, cookie sheets. "Cookie sheets?" you may ask. Yes, cookie sheets. These are magnetic surfaces as well as a hard surface for our kids to use their sheets from their binder. I provided magnets in a pencil pouch so that they could put their pages on the cookie sheet and keep it there with the magnets.
I also laminated all of the sheets from the binder so they would keep throughout the trip and they could use dry erase markers (which they kept in the pencil pouch).
We stopped every couple of hours so that we could stretch our legs, go to the bathroom, and fill up on gas. This also was helpful so that we didn't feel like we were ALWAYS in the jeep. Breaking up the trip that way helped it be more enjoyable for us as a family and I feel as though we grew closer because of it.
Moving is a process - whether you're moving to the next street or across the country. By involving your kids as much as you can, you will get some much needed help and they will be learning some great life skills. Also, by involving your kids, they hopefully won't feel so much anxiety about not knowing what's going on.
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