We began our 2-day travel from Ontario to Newfoundland. Twenty one hours driving straight — because husbando refuses to stop for the night– plus seven hours on the ferry that would bring us to the island. It’s a beautiful journey, more so at this time of the year as opposed to driving in the middle of December, practically chasing a blizzard and stranded for 13 hours when the highway got closed due to bad weather. How Stephen ever talked me into doing that trip… well, I’ll blame it on pure, blind, uninformed lo-oove.
As you know we are a family of homeschoolers, and it was important for me to squeeze education out of this trip in any way possible. Here’s what I chose to do.
Geography/ Social Studies
Knowing the places we would drive by, I went to the library and found these:
They are full of fun facts and interesting bits of information. Did you know Ontario has more than 250,000 lakes? It was fun to read about each province as we were crossing it. We looked out the window and tried to find the respective provincial tree, and kept our eyes open for any animals that could have crossed our way. (Number of animals we saw: 0. That’s without counting the roadkill, of course. Eww.)
Also for social studies, this is a little something we found by random luck at a dollar shop in Nova Scotia:
It’s a really cute Canada puzzle that not only shows the provinces, but also what each province is famous for and what their primal natural resource is.
Geography/ Spatial orientation/ Map reading
We printed an extra copy of our map for Anna to follow. It was interesting for her to realize that after four hours of driving (which in 8-year old speak = forever) we had just covered a teensy tiny bit of the road.
As a special treat we got her this before the trip:
It’s one of The Spiderwick Chronicles books, but I believe it’s called the interactive version. Basically that means that it’s not the common plain book; it’s full of envelopes, secret letters, hidden folds and images to be discovered. I’m a particular fan of stories like The Spiderwick Chronicles because I believe that fantasy plays a very important part in the development of a child’s imagination. As a kid, my favorite movies were Alice in Wonderland, Labyrinth and The Neverending Story and I turned out fine. See the trend? All were stories of magical worlds filled with enchanting characters where anything could happen.
For writing, we brought a special notebook (it’s golden and shiny, which obviously makes it special in a little girl’s eyes) to be her travel journal. In it she’ll write anything she wants to regarding the trip. We’ll have some good stories and memories kept in that journal for the years to come!
Aside from reading general Canadian History, I found this little jewel at the library:
It’s a compilation of short stories describing great Canadian women of all times. This book offers great insight into what women before us had to go through, like having to pretend they were men at a time were women were not allowed in the armed forces.
I brought these two books to read to Anna and her cousin Emma:
The girls are 8 and 9 years old and they still love to be read to. Roald Dahl is a fantastic author, and if you haven’t given him a try please do. It is him we can thank for stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The Witches.
I brought along (also from the library) several of these guides:
I got one for each place we drove through. We love animals and these guides are small and easy to carry around. It’s a great way to read about and learn to identify different kinds of animals and plants.
And there ya have it. Now pack your bags, your kids and the pets, and go on a road trip so you can tell me how you do it!