Have you been crazy busy with errands or holiday travels lately and looking for ways to sneak more homeschooling in while you’re in the car? Or maybe you’re a carschooling family that travels a lot and just need some fresh new ideas.
Whatever your reasoning, there are plenty of ways to incorporate learning on the road.
In this post, we’ll give you 10 of the best ways to homeschool in the car.
10 Clever Ways to Homeschool in the Car
I know being in the car can feel like such a waste of time.
We stayed with my parents the past few months while my husband was remodeling our new home, so our usual errands and activities were about a 30 min. drive now.
I felt pretty stressed out trying to fit in homeschooling, mom duties and my work-at-home job still. Luckily, I found several educational activities that my kiddos enjoyed doing while we were in the car.
Listed below are 10 clever ways to homeschool your kids when you’re stuck in the car.
1. Listen to AudioBooks
Now, keep in mind that my students are still pretty young. Mr. Poppers is certainly one the whole family can enjoy though, and the Frog and Toad audio version works great as a supplemental tool for early readers (so be sure to bring the books along with).
Some other fan favorite audiobooks include:
2. Sing Songs
Besides listening to books on tape, you could also sing hymns and learning songs with your children.
We like to revisit hymns from previous morning times and sing our days of the weeks song, continents, and months of the year tune. My toddler also quite enjoys “Old McDonald Had a Farm.”
3. Even More Audio Fun
Along with singing and listening to audiobooks, you can also take advantage of several other awesome audio products. You could play educational CDs to incorporate:
- Foreign language lessons
- Bible verses/scripture
- Adventures in Odyssey (life lessons, character development, and Bible study)
- Classical music/music study
- Lyrical Life Science (science/nature study)
- Thornton Burgess (science/nature study)
You can really cover quite the variety of subjects through audio.
4. Educational Travel Games
Travel games are a fun way to pass the time even if you’re not trying to sneak some schooling in. I remember playing the following games in the car when I was a kid:
- ABC I Spy: Take turns looking for the letters of the alphabet on license plates, signs, and so on.
- Name that Song: Hum a song or hymn and the others have to guess the name of the song.
- Word Memory: Also known as storytelling. Have the first person start a story with “Once upon a time..” and finish a complete sentence. The next person would then have to repeat the first line and create a new sentence to continue the story. The game goes on and on like that.
- Twenty Questions: One player secretly thinks of an animal, mineral, person, etc. and the other players can ask up to 20 yes-or-no questions in order to guess what they’ve chosen.
- License Plate Game: As a group, try to spot tags from all 50 states.
You could also invest in some physical travel games for the kids to enjoy, like:
If you’re a Waldorf family, then you know how beneficial storytelling can be.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to make much eye contact if you’re the one driving, but if you know some stories by heart, then take this time to tell them to your children.
My kiddos are obsessed with the “Little Blue Truck” book, so I’ve got that pretty down pat. I like to retell it to them when we’re stuck in the car.
6. Observe Nature
You could also let your students take the time to clear their heads and just observe.
Even if you can’t roll down the windows for some fresh air, your kids can still remark the beauty of nature around them while in the car. Especially if you’re able to take some back roads along the way.
You could even pull over and draw when you find a pretty place.
Have your students write down their observations in their nature journals. What was the weather like? What kind of trees did they see? Did they see any invasive or endangered species?
If it’s nighttime, have them attempt to point out constellations or phases of the moon.
7. Memory Work
This is also an excellent time for your kids to do their memory work. You could have your kids work on memorizing:
- Bible Verses
- The Ten Commandments
- Important Dates
- Names/Order of Planets
- States and Capitals
- Classification of Living Things
- Bill of Rights
- Famous Speeches
The list goes on and on.
8. Spelling and Vocabulary
You could also have your children work on their spelling.
Bring along a list or some flash cards for your primary students to spell out their new vocabulary. Quiz them on their meanings and have them name some synonyms and/or antonyms.
They even have some pretty neat letter matching games now.
9. Teach the Ropes of the Road
Any homeschooler knows the importance of life skills, and what could be a better time to teach your older children the ropes of the road?
Before you head out, teach your child how to check the car’s oil, tire pressure, and windshield wiper fluid.
Let those with a permit or new license get behind the wheel for awhile. And if you’re real “lucky,” you’ll get to show them how to change a tire.
You could even teach the younger ones how to read road signs and traffic lights.
10. Travel Art and Handicrafts
Invest in a lap desk or clipboard, so your kids can do art projects in the car.
You could even get some number-coded coloring pages or educational coloring books about anatomy, space, nature, geography, and even art.
You could also take this time for handicrafts, like beading, crocheting, and knitting.
Try to make sure the project will be challenging, but not frustrating for your child. You should also try to aim for an end product that will be useful.
On the Road Learning
Whether you’re a carschooling family or just need some more time to teach your kids, I hope this post gave you loads of ideas for homeschooling in the car.
Even if you’re stuck on the road, you can still sneak some learning in. Check out some audiobooks from your local library, sing songs or tell stories with your little ones, and play fun travel games as a family.
You can even find audio selections for teaching character skills, Bible study, foreign language, music, and science.
Have your older ones work on their spelling, vocabulary, memory work, or even driving skills. You could also have your kiddos draw in their nature journals, do art projects, or handicrafts.
The list really just goes on and on when it comes to homeschooling in the car.
Find what works best for your family and just have fun with it!
What About You?
Do you homeschool on the road? Share your favorite ways to teach in the car in the comments below and be sure to share this post with other homeschool moms and dads.