Monday, February 18, 2008

Our Home and Native Land

We homeschool for many reasons. The reasons we continue to do so, look much different than the ones we had for starting. There are many advantages and benefits to homeschooling but one of the best things for us is the flexibility it offers.

In April of 2006, Tyler had the opportunity to go to Florida with another homeschooling family. They were initially going to take their eldest son, but as he attended the local public high school, exams, term papers and the like were in full swing. He didn't feel he could afford to miss the time. Seeing as how the spot had already been paid for, they invited Tyler to go instead. The 'mom' in me didn't know if she could let her first born go away for so long (3.5 weeks with travelling time), but part of me knew it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. He had a blast and returned home safe and sound.

That summer, we travelled as a family across Canada. In July, we drove from Ontario to British Columbia. It was amazing to see, first hand, this wonderful country of ours. Each province is so uniquely different. One moment we were on the prairies --- able to see for miles and before we knew it we could see the Rockies. Such a drastic contrast! Each region just as beautiful as the next.

We returned to Ontario, just long enough to catch our breath (and do some laundry ;=) ) , before striking out for the East. We capped off our travels by living in a small fishing village here in Newfoundland for two months.

So much learning happened for us that year. Learning that wouldn't have been able to happen, had they'd been sitting in a classroom all year. Also for certain learning they wouldn't retain had they memorized it from a book.

Tyler went to three of the four corners (if it can be expressed that way) of our continent. He saw so much country side.

They learned the physical characteristics of each province, the differences in climate, they met homeschoolers from different provinces, they ate traditional meals, they learned the history of different places, they learned about the fishing industry -- the process of drying/salting meat, the east coast moratorium and the fall out from that, what life in a fishing village was like.....the list was endless.

Travelling is one of easiest ways to learn Geography, History, Social Studies. Those of course are the subjects that come immediately to mind....but others include map reading skills, math (calculating distances, keeping track of daily mileage, keeping track of daily expenses.....), research skills (finding info in brochures, looking for the best hotels...).....too many to list.

Not sure where we'll learn about next. My vote would be for Australia or Hawaii.....but it's most likely not in the budget.

Oh well....wherever our travels take us, we'll be sure to learn.

No comments: