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How to Car School

Homeschooling is supposed to give you flexibility. So it’s no wonder you get overwhelmed as the week crowds up with music lessons, sports practices, and doctor appointments.

A lot of it is necessary. Much of it can be supplemental to your curriculum. So what do you cut out? Or do you give up structure?

Here are 5 “car-schooling” ideas straight from the moms who have been there, done that, and found out the tricks to homeschooling on the go.

Be smart with packing.

Half the productivity will come from packing the right materials.

Try to keep a box packed with your car-schooling items in the van at all times. Cover all the essentials—pencils, sharpeners, a hard surface to write on. . .even snacks as a reward for finishing! That’s less that you have to think through every time you leave the house.

That way, those drives to big brother’s piano practice become the designated time for everyone to pull out and finish whatever you keep in the box.

Flash CardsMake flashcards your friend.

Flashcards are a short cut to learning on those to-and-from drives.

Have a ring for history and science facts, and multiplication tables. And best of all, this works well with a large range of age groups.

Give it the “crying baby” test.

Not sure your kids can concentrate in the car? Break your subjects into categories when packing up—the “easy ones” where the kids need little to no supervision, and the “hard ones” where they may need more one-on-one from you.

If your kids can focus on a subject while you’re dealing with a crying baby, they probably can focus on it while waiting on an older brother to finish his basketball scrimmage.

Spelling lists, daily reading, and those flashcards we talked about are all great examples of low-maintenance subjects.

Also think about bringing your laptops along if you do Abeka Academy video—watching lessons is an easy thing for the kids to knock out on-the-go.

ChecklistsMake a checklist (and check it off).

Create a checklist of things you want your children to do while you are out and about.

Since schooling on the road can be more distracting, having a list of things to get done in the van can make a world of difference.

Try hanging a white board over the back of the seat for each child. From there, they can easily track personal progress and mark things done as they go.

Create your own playlist.

Mix and match an mp3 playlist for your kids to learn presidents’ names, state capitals, classic ambiguous "and more." (For an easy start to building your playlist, take a look at Abeka’s 40+ free curriculum song downloads for K4–2nd grade.)

If one of your children is learning a language, search for mp3s or CDs to use for vocabulary pronunciation by repeating after the speaker.

MapGet the most out of road trips.

Use time on longer trips to encourage your children to pay attention to their surroundings. Print out maps and show them how to roadmap the trip. Have them mark national monuments along the way to learn their geography.

Did you know you can find coloring books for health and geography? This is busy work the kids will love when it comes to learning on wheels.

Or try the “license game”—watch the passing license plates to go through the alphabet (spelling) or round up numbers (math).

Remember, everyone is different! So try just picking one or two things that work for you, then begin your journey to using—not losing—your time on the road.