We have the best homeschoolin’ neighbors. I’ve gushed about my homeschooling mentor before. My homeschooling mentor lives down the street from us. She is homeschooling her high schooler. He is an amazingly kind, intelligent, and polite young man and my children look up to him. He even made up a secret homeschool handshake with my kiddos!
It is important for homeschool families to stick together, especially if you are located in a district where homeschooling is less common. It has been extremely helpful for me to have someone who has been there done that in our area, and it has been important for my children to connect with an older homeschooler.
Our homeschooling mentors have been there from the very beginning. They have shared books, dropped off surprise back-to-school baskets on our doorstep, left reindeer food at Christmas… they are just fantastic people and we are lucky to know them!
Well, folks, our homeschoolin’ mentors have recently outdone themselves!
Simple Vacation Learning: Vicarious Vacation
In April, our amazing homeschooling neighbors went on a vacation to Arizona. For two weeks, they toured the entire state.
But, before they did that, they planned something amazing for us.
Our amazing homeschooling neighbors planned out their entire vacation, purchased a map of Arizona, figured out how many tourist destinations they would be visiting, determined the map grid location of each destination and wrote it down for later, and then gave my children a bulletin board with a map of Arizona on it with a bunch of push pins.
Then, they went on their trip … and sent us 22 postcards over the course of 2-weeks!
Getting the mail was the highlight of my children’s day! Each day, we would receive a postcard and my children would have to do the following:
- Read the message
- Find the location on the map (the map coordinates were included on each postcard in case we had trouble)
- Mark the map with a pushpin
- Draw a line from the previous destination to the current destination
For research, we would hop on the internet and check out Google Earth and YouTube. We were able to find articles, photographs, and videos of each destination quite easily. Here are all the destinations we researched:
We are so grateful for our neighbors and all of the hard work and thoughtfulness they poured into this project. Thanks to them, we all learned an incredible amount about the state of Arizona! At some point down the road, when my little poppies are a little better at traveling, we promise we will pay it forward!
I love homeschool projects like this one because it combined two of my children’s favorite things: maps and I Spy. To them, this activity was a game. It was fun and memorable and they learned a ton!
Do your children love maps as much as mine do? If so, be sure to check out these posts:
Now, it’s your turn. Have you ever taken a vicarious vacation? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram