Have each child keep a scrapbook outlining their travel highlights.
Letterboxing -combines treasure hunting with the art of rubber stamping. Go to Letterboxing.com to find maps and directions to different hidden "treasures". Some involve hiking, others require deciphering a clue or reading a compass. You look for the hidden letterbox, then use your own family stamp (fun project for the kids) to show you were there. You also bring a log or "passport" (simple notebook) and use the stamp inside the box to stamp your log as proof that you found the letterbox.
Learning to play guitar? justinguitar teaches you over the internet.
Piano player? Get a portable keyboard to carry with you and if you need to tinkle the ivories on the real thing try asking churches and theatres in towns where you'll be traveling. You may also want to connect with a local homeschool group to see if someone has piano.
"I hate the thought of missing out on piano lessons while on the road so we travel with an electronic keyboard, as you suggest. This works great for the older kids who know what to be practicing. But for the younger ones, who aren’t in formal lessons yet, I’ve found the perfect answer at YouCanTeachPiano.com. It’s an amazing computer game that hooks to the keyboard and actually teaches kids as young as three (or as old as me!) how to really read music and play a real piano…it’s truly disguised education because the kids love the game, but as they advance through the levels, they’re getting closer and closer to jumping straight to a real piano and playing any music set before them!
It’s been working for us so far and is a real bargain for large families since it’s a one-time cost and can be used for years of lessons for students at different skill levels." ~ Kathryn Marion, homeschool mom whotakes extended vacations in our motorhome around the country
PE takes the form of hiking, bowling, running, power walking and swimming while you travel. Or go row a boat!
YMCA - a place for the family to workout, swim, play, join classes, even climb a wall and grab a shower. A YMCA membership at one of the YMCA participating in the AWAY program will be honored at most other YMCA's nationwide. Although there is no standard policy and each Y is free to set its own guidelines and fees. However, we have found that most Y's will honor your membership and let your family use the facilities for free or reduced rate (the most we ever paid was $5). Just shop around a bit for the best rates as there are vast differences in fees and ask for the AWAY program. A good deal is about $45 per month.
Some YMCAs have P.E. classes set up for homeschoolers so check the schedules when you get to town. Even if you are in town for a short time they will probably let you drop in and join, if you ask. Others offer jungle gyms and babysitting programs for tots where they can play supervised by staff while the adults go to the weight room or join an aerobics class. There are also special activities and programs set up for teens at most locations. You might also want to check the schedule for family parties or special events.
Check the YMCA web site for participation in the AWAY program, locations and hours. Bear in mind that some Y's only offer child care facilities.
Be sure to pack your bikes properly for long term travel. The sun and freezing temperatures will destroy tires in no time. Store them in a utility trailer or put them in your tow vehicle. Then you will be ready to explore the trails!
- Rails to Trails - these trails used to be railroad track. Smooth riding and hardly any traffic to worry about.
- Search for more trails by state with Everytrail.com
- Pedaling.com also lets you search by state
There is no need to give up dancing when you hit the road. Dance studios are available in most towns. Just call ahead and arrange to drop in. Many studios will even let you have the first lesson for free.
Challenge yourself to learn a new step at each dance studio, string them together and you have a new routine!
- Also see Health and Fitness in an RV
You might try using a site like Take Lessons to find dance, music, acting and voice teachers as you travel.
Traveling provides a unique opportunity to learn skills from various coaches and play with other players. Post on the announcement page or message board of Eteamz for a pick-up player for travel ball teams. Or try searching eteamz for teams in the area's you'll be and emailing them directly to see if he can work out and/or play with them while you're there.
We've been on the road almost 2 years, and my children (boy age 10 and girl age 8) have participated in Gymnastics, horseback riding lessons, dance classes, Tae Kwon Do camp, soccer camp, drama camp, science camp and flag football camp. We enroll them in sports when we're at a place for a few weeks/months. They enjoy the varied experiences and the chance to meet other kids. By doing camps (usually summer and spring break), they can "try out" a sport or at least learn some basic skills.
In response to a mom asking about Baseball:
Is it possible to go on the road and return to your home base during the baseball season? This would give you and your son a chance to see old friends. Maybe there's a great RV park in your town/city that would be a fun base camp during the season. I know that when we go back to our old home, my kids love looking up their old friends. Their friends enjoy coming out to the campground for cookouts and sleepovers.
If going back is not an option, then spend sometime researching places where you'd like to be during baseball season. With you son's talent, there's probably a team that would love to have him. Bigger cities even have homeschool teams. Go to the yahoo groups home page and search for "homeschool (city where you want to go)" and you should get a list of groups. That's how I find other homeschoolers when we travel. Even some pretty obscure places have homeschool groups. You could also try YMCA's for teams or contact the Little League.
Here's another thought: Since your son is 13, maybe he can help coach or assist at a camp for younger kids, or he can offer to coach a homeschool team or individual students (perhaps for a fee).
Yes, you can be a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout even while you travel.
Boys Scouts have a division called Lone Scouts.
A word of warning to those interested in Lone Scouts - Be Prepared! In this case that means download information about Lone Scouting before you go to the local council office to sign up. Most councils have not heard of the program and you will have to educate them. There are only about 200 active Lone Scouts in the country. Here is an article featuring a traveling Lone Scout.
- A traveling family has set up an online yahoo group for Boy Scouts who cannot be part of a regular troop.
- A 40+ -year veteran of the BSA, Mike currently assists Lone Scout parents and local Councils with elements of the BSA's Lone Scouting program.
MeritBadge.com is useful for those designing their own curriculum and even if you don't have a scout in the family.
Campfire USA - also offers a program for boys and girls that travels well.Girl Scouts are known as Independent Scouts.