10 Ways to Take Education on the Road: Learning During a Road Trip

You've heard of homeschooling, but what about 'road schooling'? Yes, you can turn any road trip into an educational experience if you know how. And the best thing is, you can keep it fun and engaging even while your children are learning. Here are ten ways you can take education on a road trip.

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road trip tips

1. Read

Encourage your kids to bring along books to pass the time. You can also have them read road signs. And since you're traveling, you'll likely have a map with you; now's the perfect time to teach them how to read a map. Have the kids map out different routes to your destination.

2. A Numbers Game

Select specific numbers and have your children look for them on license plates and road signs. Or you can have them choose a color and count the number of cars that correspond with their color (highest number wins). You might also have them use math skills to figure out distance and time or gas mileage.

3. Stop 'n Learn

If you're on a long car trip, you'll likely be taking breaks. If so, make a stop at a museum, zoo or national park. This a great way for children to learn about art, history or nature while they're having fun.

4. Writing it Down

Bring along a notepad and pen and have your child write down his or her thoughts about the trip. They can write about attractions they've seen or an interesting landmark you might have passed. They can also draw pictures or maps.

5. Put the 'Smart' in Smartphone

Many kids will undoubtedly want to pass the time playing games on their smartphones or iPads. Strike a deal: for every half hour spent playing 'their' games, they must spend an equal amount of time on an educational game. There are plenty of apps that help with math, science, history, art and language.

6. Ditto for the DVD Player

If you have a DVD player in the car, make the same rule as for video games: one educational DVD for each movie watched.

7. Picture This

Hand the kids the digital camera and have them take pictures of anything that interests them along the way. During or after the trip, go over the images and have them write descriptions and recount what they were doing and feeling when they took each picture.

8. Play Time

Keep their brains engaged. Games like I Spy, Scavenger Hunt, the License Plate Game (find plates from as many different states as you can) or 20 Questions might be good for grammar practice and use of descriptive language.

9. Physical Activity

Your child's school curriculum likely includes physical education; if you're bringing education along on your trip, remember that it's just as important to exercise the body as well as the mind. Take frequent breaks and go for walks or even hikes, if possible.

10. Life Skills

Going on a road trip can also provide a great opportunity to teach your children some life skills. For instance, have them pack their own luggage, help to pack up the car or contribute to decisions concerning where to eat or lodge. Just the family bonding alone can be an education they will carry with them for the rest of their lives!

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