Sunday, January 27, 2013

Road Schooling Sunday: 5 Educational Ideas for Learning While Camping


As promised, we are continuing our seven days of new features here at We'd Rather Be Camping.

Today's feature is Road Schoolin' Sunday. Not on the road? Never fear! If you're a homeschooler, an unschooler, or even a classroom teacher, we'll have ideas for you too!

First and foremost today is an awesome, free, and educational iPad app perfect for roadschooling or USA studies. Discover USA is currently free (not sure how long this will last, so snag it now!) You can take a virtual road trip across the United States, learn about geographical landmarks, play fun games, and customize postcards. Check out Smartappsforkids.com to download.

A big part of schoolin', whether it's roadschoolin' at a campground or in an RV, homeschoolin', or traditional school, is reading. It seems to me that today's children are so exposed to media, tablets, iPads, e-readers, etc. has changed the way kiddos read. The more interactive, the better. Even simple text on a Kindle engages children differently than a traditional book. Not to mention, some children struggle with reading and need text presented in a way that meets a different learning style.  I've found several resources to provide my kiddos with more engaging texts. I love the fact that electronic texts don't take up any room, which is great for roadschooling.

We're encouraging our children to read more difficult texts, some of which are really above their frustration level. In searching for alternative texts, I stumbled upon a Youtube channel called CCProse. They provide youtube videos of public domain classical literature. My oldest is currently reading The Secret Garden.

What I really like about these videos is they read the text aloud and show the words on the screen, but they only show a few sentences at a time. This is a lot less overwhelming than looking at a page full of small words. Not only does this method appeal to the visual learner, but also to the auditory learner.  There are easily a hundred plus texts recorded in this fashion, all for free! Your child can read Tom Sawyer, A Little Princess, War of the Worlds, Treasure Island, Wizard of Oz, Romeo and Juliet, Peter Rabbit, The Jungle Book, and many, many more. And they won't clutter up your bookshelves if you are roadschooling!

For more modern books suitable to younger readers, TumbleBooks is a subscription service that provides animated books on video. They have a huge library, organized by reading level,etc. I'm not affiliated with them in any way- I just think their books are awesome! They have quizzes on the books, as well as an option to have students create an electronic book report. They also have a section for older readers, called TumbleReadables. They do all have free trials, so you could use them for a limited time for free. Again, no books taking up space in the camper- yay!

Something I like to do whenever my children read is have them create a foldable Flip Flop Book. This is simply a piece of construction paper folded like a hot dog (lengthwise). You cut flaps just to the center fold to create however many flaps you need. For example, the one pictured has a flap for characters, setting, problem, new vocabulary, and figurative language. While my children are reading, they look for and jot down information to go under the flaps. You could customize the topics to absolutely anything- concepts your child is struggling with, skills you are working on, etc. You can have them search for homophones, contractions, rhyming words, or answer basic comprehension questions. I find that this keeps the kiddos more engaged and accountable while they read, and also gives them a purpose for reading.

An awesome site I have found to make the somewhat dry topic of grammar a little more palatable is IKnowThat. Again, this is a subscription site I'm not affiliated with, BUT, you can do the activities for FREE if you don't mind ads. I'm particularly fond of Alien Word Mine Wack a Word (think Whack a Mole, but with parts of speech). The animations and sound effects are hilarious! The website makes you think you must register to play the game, but there is a small green bar that says "Click here to start your activity". Sneaky!
The Punctuation Paintball game is also great. IKnowThat also has math games, as well as Science, Social Studies, and critical thinking.

So, there you have it! Some ideas that you can use to incorporate into your roadschooling, homeschooling, or even your classroom!

What do you do to keep your children engaged in literacy?

2 comments:

  1. hi, i'm following the "weekend hop to you drop" blog hop . i would love for you to visit my blog and follow if you like it.

    http://www.blackinkpaperie.blogspot.com

    thanks
    new follow bev

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for stopping by Bev! The photographs on your blog are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete

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