When you homeschool on-the-go, you save precious time as you make sure homeschooling happens. Life doesn't always fit perfectly into cookie cutters. Homeschooling on-the-go helps you be smart about using your time so you can feel less stress and enjoy more fun 🙂
Life gets busy.
Instead of doing homeschool in the comfort of your home, you may find the need to bring your homeschooling on the road. You can make homeschool on-the-go stressfree and enjoyable with these fun and easy tips and resources.
Why You May Need to Homeschool On-The-Go
When you started homeschooling, you might've had this picture in your mind of relaxed and happy homeschool days where you'd have plenty of time to do everything and anything. And you may have some of those days!
But, if you have a large family or kids who are involved in several extracurricular activities, you know how quickly your calendar gets filled and how often you have to put on your chauffeur hat.
For example, I'll give you a sneak peek into one of our homeschool days this summer.
- Breakfast about 7 am.
- Clean-up and do homeschool morning time.
- Get my three little guys' backpacks ready around 9:30 am and pop everyone into the van to get one of the older boys to a soccer training.
- In the van, we may listen to an audiobook or work on multiplication facts.
- Drop off older boy and head to the library in town to check out books and get a bit of work done while we wait to pick up older brother.
- Pick up older brother and head home for lunch. Older brothers do some homeschool work while little guys play.
- Pack up everyone again to take two older boys for sports physicals so they can participate in school soccer. Sit in the pediatrician's waiting room and do homeschool work with younger three boys.
- Go home and continue homeschool work with older boys while little guys play.
- Remember that these boys need to eat and make dinner. Clean-up and get ready for next event.
- Pack up everyone again to drop off other older boy at his evening soccer training. Pull out backpacks to do a bit more homeschool work while waiting at practice.
- Arrive at home just in time for baths, stories, and bedtime.
Now, that's not every day. But, as my boys get older and more involved in activities (which include volunteer work and church), our stay-at-home-and-relax days are fewer and farther between. And X-man (4) started speech therapy once a week so there's that.
For our family, the boys' competitive soccer keeps us on-the-go. You may find that you need to homeschool on-the-go because:
- Therapy appointments
- Doctor appointments
- Music lessons
- Art lessons
- You travel for work
- Volunteer work
Despite our busy schedule, I'm still able to homeschool all five of my boys and have fun while doing it! And you can, too. It just takes a bit of preparation, planning, and the right materials.
Must-Have Materials to Homeschool On-The-Go with No Stress
Snacks & Meals
If you're on-the-go, then you'll need to bring food and drinks with you! I know that if my boys are getting cranky, they need something to eat or drink. Instead of spending a ton of money on unhealthy snacks, I pack tasty treats that are healthy and satisfying.
Our new favorite way to pack yummy snacks and meals is with a bento box.. My boys love having an easy way to access their snacks whenever they need them.
A clipboard is excellent for organizing written work that needs to be done that day.
For example, for each of my boys, I write their assignments in a checklist format on a piece of loose-leaf paper and add to the top of their clipboard work. Under that checklist, I add workbook pages and more loose-leaf paper to jot down answers to assignments in books. They either leave completed work on their clipboard or place in a folder for finished work.
We've used a variety of clipboards. Your local dollar store might have great options. Our absolute favorite clipboards have a storage place for papers and writing utensils.
Trade Quest Letter Size Clipboard Low Profile Clip Hardboard Single (Pack of 1)Officemate Slim Clipboard Storage Box, Charcoal (83303)Trade Quest Plastic Clipboard Transparent Color Letter Size Low Profile Clip (Pack of 6) (Assorted)Adorox Legal Size Slim-case Storage Clipboard Teal Plastic Storage Clipboard for Students, Teachers, Sales, Utility, Industrial, Office Professional (Teal))
Your kids can carry their own backpacks and learn responsibility for their work. You may choose to carry your little ones' homeschool work in your own bag.
Make sure the bags you use have a zipper, velcro, or another way to close and keep closed. When you homeschool on-the-go, you don't want all of your precious materials spilling out!
Kids Animal Friends Critter Backpacks For Boys & Girls With Reinforced Straps (UNICORN)Trail maker Character Backpack (15Disney Star Wars Classic All Over Print Kids Backpack 16Wildkin 12 Inch Backpack, Includes Insulated, Food-Safe Front Pocket and Side Mesh Water Bottle Pocket, Perfect for Preschool, Daycare, and Day Trips, Olive Kids Design – Trains, Planes, TrucksYISIBO Waterproof Kids Backpack 3D Cute Zoo Cartoon Pre School Children Toddler Sidesick BagsVenture Pal 25L - Durable Packable Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack Small Bag for Men Women Kids (Orange)JanSport JS00TDN731T Big Student Backpack, GalaxyJanSport Big Student Classics Series Backpack - Forge GreyJansport Big Student Backpack (Multi Texture S)
A pencil pouch is optional but we've found it extremely helpful to keep writing utensils, highlighters, and sticky notes in separate areas.
Pencils and pens get lost in backpacks (and can take forever to find even after all the homeschool work is dumped out). Or pens get busted and ink gets splattered on everything. Yuck!
Homecube Big Capacity Pencil Case, GreenZIPIT Monster 3-Ring Pencil Case, Royal BlueBinder Pencil Pouch with Zipper Pulls, Pencil Case with Rivet Enforced 3 Ring, 5 PackSterilite Plastic Pencil Box (17234812)ZIPIT Beast Pencil Box/Storage Box, BlueThe Tin Box Company Avengers Pencil Box with Handle Tin Carry AllUnicorn Pencil Case by JoJo Kids Cute Pencils Holder | Large Size Crayon Box with Compartments for Girls Keep Kids School Supply Well OrganizedJUJIN Cute Owl Face Hardtop EVA Pencil Case Big Pencil Box With Compartment For Kids (Light Blue)
You can keep the learning fun going while you homeschool on-the-go with audiobooks! Great for listening to and discussing in your vehicle while driving to and from appointments or waiting at practices.
You can also bring a set of headphones or two for your kids to plug into an audiobook. Keeps them off screens and quiet!
Kids Headphones - noot products K11 Foldable Stereo Tangle-Free 3.5mm Jack Wired Cord On-Ear Headset for Children (Navy/Teal)Snug Plug n Play Kids Headphones for Children DJ Style (Pink)BestGot Over Ear Kids Headphones for Kids Boys Adult with microphone In-line Volume, Included Cloth Bag, Foldable Headset with 3.5mm plug removable cord (Black/Blue)Mpow (2-Pack) Kids Headphones with 85dB Volume Limited Hearing Protection & Music Sharing Function, Kids Safe Food Grade Material, Tangle-Free Cord, Wired On-Ear Headphones for Children Toddler BabyiClever Kids Headphones - Headphones for Kids, 85db Volume Limiting, Child-friendly Silicone, Bat-Inspired Wired Over Ear Headsets with 3.5mm Aux Jack Cable Free Cord (Blue)Disney Princess Kid Friendly Headphones with built in volume limiting feature for safe listeningThomas and Friends 30385 Kid Safe Over the Ear Headphone w/Volume Limiter by Sakar
Educational apps can be fabulous ways to help you homeschool on-the-go. Practice math drills, reading, and other skills.
Tip: Keep those headphones or earbuds out for learning apps! Your kids will want to turn up the volume and that can disturb others.
Here are a few suggestions on apps that your kids may like:
- Prodigy Math
- Math Seeds
- Reading Eggs
- Xtra Math
- Tynker (coding app for kids)
- ABC Mouse
- Khan Academy
- Teach Your Monster to Read
- Endless Reader
- Talking Fingers (read, write, & type)
- Homer (learn to read)
- Duolingo (foreign languages)
- Mango Languages (foreign languages)
Fun & Easy Ways to Homeschool On-The-Go with Little Ones
When you homeschool on-the-go with little ones, it's awesome! Great ways to keep them engaged and busy.
Although I do try to stick to easy-to-manage items like books and papers with my younger boys when we homeschool on-the-go, we are a hands-on and interactive learning family. So, I try to include a few hands-on learning fun activities like:
- Magnetic letters and numbers: These materials work well on small metal boxes or cookie trays (that fit into a backpack).
(2 Pack) Magnetic Learning Letters and Numbers, Total 52 Piece SetPlain Metal - Customizable - Lunch BoxLunchBots Bento Cinco Large Stainless Steel Food Container - Five Section Design Holds a Well-Balanced Variety of Foods - Eco-Friendly Bento Lunch Box - Dishwasher Safe and BPA-Free - All Stainless
- Pre-K activity books: These books make it super easy to give your young learners hands-on activities while you homeschool on-the-go. The best part is that you can reuse them again and again!
I Can Do That: Stickers: Super Simple (and Smart!) Sticker Activities (I Can Do It!)I Can Do That: Origami: Super Simple Projects to Cut and FoldI Can Do That: Erasable Art: Super Simple Scribbles and Squiggles
- Busy bags: Oh my stars! Busy bags have saved this busy mama so many times. For awesome ideas on how to create busy bags your young learners will love, I recommend Busy Bags Kids Will Love: Make-Ahead Activity Kits for a Happy Preschooler and Stress-Free Parent.
- Scissors skills box: Of course, your kids will only be able to do this activity under adult supervision and not in a moving vehicle! But, a scissors skills box is excellent for letting young learners practice cutting skills when you're waiting at appointments or practices.
You'll need child safety scissors, index cards, and a plastic box or regular pencil pouch. Use a marker to draw straight lines, wiggle lines, zigzags, shapes-anything to give your child practice with scissors.
Westcott Right or Left Handed Kids Scissors, 5-Inch. Blunt, Assorted Colors (13130)Crayola My First Safety Scissors, Toddler Art Supplies, 3ctFiskars 194900-1001 Pre-School Training Scissors, Color Received May VaryMelissa & Doug Child-Safe Scissor SetAmazonBasics Heavy Weight Ruled Index Cards, White, 3x5-Inch, 100-CountAmazonBasics Ruled Index Cards, Assorted Neon, 3x5-Inch, 300-CountSterilite Plastic Pencil Box (17234812)1InTheoffice Pencil Box, Translucent Assorted Colors (4 Pack)1InTheOffice Pencil Pouch 3 Ring, Black,1InTheOffice Pencil Pouch 3 Ring, Red & Blue,
- Mini-chalkboard or slate: My boys love using chalkboards to practice letters, numbers, and sight words. Plus, they play fun games like tic-tac-toe.
- Creative pack: I use a clear gallon-size zipper bag to store index cards, paper, crayons, erasable markers, and stickers. My younger boys let their imaginations and creativity go wild as they create on-the-go art.
Homeschool On-The-Go with Your Older Kids
Your older kids will most likely read or work on math problems when you homeschool on-the-go. But, you can add a touch of fun to their homeschooling with items like:
- Deck of cards: There are so many fun games you can play with your kids to practice math facts, logic, and more! My friend, Bethany (Math Geek Mama), shares awesome math card games.
- Dice: You can use dice to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Check out these fun dice games that you can play on the road!
- Trivia Cards: Have learning fun as you chat about facts on various topics. We love trivia card sets from Professor Noggins.
Professor Noggin's Ancient Civilizations - A Educational Trivia Based Card Game For Kids - Ages 7+Professor Noggin's Human Body - A Educational Trivia Based Card Game For KidsProfessor Noggin's Geography of the United States - A Educational Trivia Based Card Game For KidsProfessor Noggin's History of Art - A Educational Trivia Based Card Game For KidsProfessor Noggin's Wonders of the World - A Educational Trivia Based Card Game For KidsProfessor Noggin's Wonders of Science - A Educational Trivia Based Card Game For KidsProfessor Noggin's History of the United States - A Educational Trivia Based Card Game For KidsProfessor Noggin's Medieval Times - A Educational Trivia Based Card Game For KidsProfessor Noggin's Countries of the World II - A Educational Trivia Based Card Game For Kids
- Educational videos: Most older kids have some type of tablet or phone. They can bring along a pair of earbuds or headphones and watch an educational video on YouTube.
- Journal: Car trips and waiting at appointments are great times to get out journals and write. Give prompts or just let them express their thoughts and feelings.
You can have a busy schedule and still thrive in your homeschool. Customize these ideas and resources to fit the ages and stages of your kids. Enjoy your homeschool on-the-go so you can enjoy time for family fun!
What challenges do you have with homeschooling on-the-go?