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Road School Guides for Educational Travel with Kids

Welcome to Trekaroo’s Road School Guides! These guides will help you plan an educational trip to bring learning alive for everyone in the family.

“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” – Clay P. Bedford

Trekaroo Road School Guides for Educational Travel

Do you think about travel as a beautiful way to educate your children? Then this series is just right for you. Maybe you’ve wondered how to best tap into your child’s natural curiosity about space, art, marine mammals or some other topic. Taking learning to the road can deepen and broaden their connection and understanding of that subject and Trekaroo’s Road School guide will help you find the best places dig deep and experience learning as a family.

When you consider the wonderful array of educational opportunities we could invest in for our children, travel stands out as a teacher like no other. Travel has the ability to breathe life into learning, expand our minds, and fuel our passion. Whether your travels are close to home or further afield, there is nothing like taking the learning you’ve gained through books and movies into the real world.

How to Utilize Trekaroo Road School Guides

Take school on the road with Trekaroo's Road School Educational Travel Guides

Our new Road School Series will organize our travel recommendations under educational themes that span anything from the temperate rainforest, to the American Revolutionary War. Our goal is to help families travel with intentionality and seize opportunities to learn together.

Road School guides will fall under four main arcs:

  1. History and Culture
  2. Science, Nature & Technology
  3. Literature, Art, and Music
  4. Environmental and Social Impact

Each guide will cover a specific topic written by a Trekaroo parent with that area of interest or expertise. Each guide curates the best places to get hands on with a particular topic paired with book and video suggestions and tips to encourage engagement for different ages.

Do you Homeschool? 
Connect other Homeschoolers on Trekaroo by joining Trekaroo’s Homeschool Group.

Jen Reyneri WordTraveling

Meet Jen Reyneri

She’s Trekaroo’s Homeschool Guroo and the homeschooling mom behind Word Traveling. She’s your go-to gal on all things travel and education on Trekaroo.

 

 

 

How to Road School- FAQ & Guides

Educational TravelCurious why we think travel is the best teacher? Explore the reasons that a bit of intentional travel planning can help educate our kids like no other in the first of our series: Road School, Why Travel is Our Favorite Way to Educate Our Kids.

 

 

 

Road School: Crafting an Educational TripWondering where to start this journey? It can be a bit overwhelming making the decision to use travel as a means of education. We’ve got some simple tips and tricks for getting started in Road School: Crafting an Engaging Educational Trip for Kids.

Got Suggestions?

Looking for a Road Trip Guide we don’t have yet? Leave us a comment so we know it’s important to you. We’ll also try to point you to some resources that will be helpful in the meantime.

Got a topic you’ve become an expert in because of your own interest or your child’s obsession? If you’d like to create a Road School Guide to share with other parents, leave a comment too.

Got a book, video, or activity suggestion to add to a Road School Guide? Feel free to leave a comment on any of the guides.

Road School Guides: History and Culture

road school teaching your child about the holocaust through travelTeaching your Children about the Holocaust through Travel

While recently traveling around Eastern Europe to explore my heritage and Jewish lineage, I had a very deep, visceral experience – deeper than I ever imagined – to Holocaust history. I came back bearing a huge responsibility to share what I saw with the world. I have always felt deep sadness for the six million Jews who passed away during the Holocaust. Millions of people were taken from our world far too soon. It was not only Jews – it was also gypsies, homosexuals, disabled people, to name a few other targeted groups.

Read more in: Road School- Teaching your Kids about the Holocaust through Travel.

learning-about-native-american-history-and-culture-through-travelLearning about Native American History & Culture through Travel

The stories of the Native American people, both past and present, are told at many historic sites and museum across the United States and Canada. Families don’t have to travel far to visit the reconstructed or original dwellings of the people that lived in America long before Columbus arrived on this side of the Atlantic. As my family has traveled across the country, I have often considered how best to use our visits to Native American historical sites to teach my kids to respect cultures and religious beliefs that are different from their own and to provide them with an accurate account of American history.

Read more in Road School: Learning about Native American History & Culture

Vista along highway 395 in California United StatesHistory on California’s Scenic Route 395

Scenic route 395 in California is a road full of history, adventure, and beauty. During this road trip, your family will experience the breathtaking allure of the Sierra Nevadas, the harsh realities of what life was like during the California Gold Rush and World War II, and the seemingly unnatural formations that can be found as you drive California’s scenic route 395. U.S. Route 395 stretches 1,305 miles from the Mohave Desert to the Canada-US border, however, we will focus on just a portion of this trail.

Read more about Road School: History on California’s Scenic Route 395

Road School: How to Teach your Kids about D-Day while Visiting France #trekarooing #normandy #france #history #roadschoolTeaching Kids about the D-Day Landing

If one looks at Omaha Beach today, it’s hard to imagine the conflict that took place there on D-Day. But if you linger for a moment, feeling the breeze from the English Channel wash over you, you’ll find that the echoes of history live on. In the serenity of this now peaceful shoreline, the sacrifices of war and liberation reverberate in the air and on the waters that once ran red with the blood of D-Day’s most intensely fought battle.

Read more about Road School: Teaching Kids about the D-Day Landing

Road School An Immigration Tour of New York CityAn Immigration Tour of New York City

Immigration is currently a hot button issue in the USA. It is a very polarizing and debatable topic. However, the history of immigration in the US has always been a bit of hot button topic as we learned during our tour of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I am sure we came away with many tangible facts about immigration, foreign immigrants, stories of strife and assimilation and lifestyle.

Read more about Road School: An Immigration Tour of New York City

Road School California History TourCalifornia History Tour

Everything we had read about California history was there, preserved in Old Sacramento and in the sleepy towns of Gold Country. We panned for gold and found a few flakes, but it was the time we spent playing in the river, walking around Sacramento, and laughing together at our adventures that was the true treasure.

Check out Road School: California History Tour with Kids

DC-Fieldtrips-with-kidsUS History Field Tripos around Washington, D.C.

US History is alive and well throughout the States, but there’s something special about the greater DC area that makes it feel as if it’s living and breathing. As my kids put it after our recent trip: “This is where history is still happening!”

Check out Road School: US History Field Trips Around Washington, D.C

Educational Travel - American Revolution_567xReliving the American Revolution

Every American child should have a clear grasp of the events surrounding the birth of this nation. They may not be able to understand all the nuances of what took place, but early exposure to the material will create mental pegs to which facts, opinions, and ideas may later adhere and sink in, shaping their thinking about this nation and hopefully, giving them the tools to participate meaningfully in the political process as adults.

Explore Road School: Reliving the American Revolution with Kids

pioneering road schoolPioneering History in California, Nevada & Oregon

Since the moment my 4th grade class studied the California Gold Rush, I was hooked, and I’ve passed on my passion for this chapter of our nation’s history to my kids. Nearly everywhere we drive in the West harbors some vestige of early settlements, Native American life, or pioneering struggles.

Read more about Road School: Pioneering History in California, Nevada, and Oregon

Road School Ontario History with kidsOntario History with Kids

I believe the best way to instill a love of history in my kids is to take them to interesting historical sites where visitors immerse themselves in the past. Fortunately, there are a number of attractions across the province of Ontario that are ideal for hands-on Ontario history lessons.

Read more about Road School: Ontario History with Kids.

Road School Civil War

 Civil War and American History in Prince William County, VA

Teaching a child to evaluate their place in history and compare themselves to people who lived two hundred years ago may be just as important as showing them the world. Prince William County in northern Virginia is the home of several historic sites that require visitors not only to read through historic facts and listen to the stories of people who lived over 150 years ago, but also to carefully consider the motivations and bias of those people.

Read more about Road School: Civil War and American History in Prince William County, VA

Road School Guides: Science, Nature & Technology

 Exploring & Learning about Tide Pools with Kids

One of our family’s favorite past times is searching the rocky coastal beaches for little creatures who live in the tide pools, admiring colonies of sea anamone, stroking the rough back of brightly colored sea stars, tickling hermit crabs, and just admiring the wide variety of seaweed. Exploring a Tide Pool with kids of any age can be a wonderfully educational experience. Here are some resources that might be helpful to you as you prepare for a day by the surf.

Read more at Road School: Exploring & Learning About Tide Pools with Kids

Road School Learning about DinosaursLearning about Dinosaurs while Traveling and at Home

Whether it’s the size of the creatures, the thought of a time without humans, or the vast differences between what our world looks like now versus what it looked like back when, most families will find themselves with a child entranced with fossils, dinosaur play, or stories about life in the prehistoric era at some point during parenthood. To find out more about how best to help children learn about dinosaurs, as well as the features of their incredible prehistoric program, we enlisted the help of Dallas Evans, Lead Curator of Natural Science and Paleontology for one of Trekaroo families’ favorite museums, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Read more about Road School: Learning about Dinosaurs while Traveling and at Home

Road School Teaching your Kids about Climate Change by Visiting GlaciersTeaching Kids about Climate Change by Visiting Glaciers

To help kids (and adults!) learn about our changing climate in a tangible and noticeable way, I suggest visiting a glacier. The statistics on climate and glacial change may mean little to most on paper, but while visiting the changing landscapes of glaciers, and the barren paths that they have receded from, the stats seem to jump off the page. From rocky mountain peaks carved out by glaciers during the most recent ice age, to current desolate landscapes and pole markers showing the recession of glaciers over time, to the massive, dense, slowly-moving blocks of blue ice grandeur, visiting a glacier in person is a humbling experience that our earth has larger forces at work than our urban lives may imply.

Read more about: Teaching Kids about Climate Change by Visiting Glaciers

Road School Visiting Volcanoes with KidsVisiting Volcanoes with Kids

A textbook is useful for describing volcanoes and volcanic processes but to really understand, you need to go out and see for yourself. Go hiking on lava flows to see textures, pick up a rock and look for minerals that give you clues about how the lava formed. See evidence of past eruptions on the flanks of a volcano, like layers of pumice and ash or maybe deeply cut channels from destructive mudflows.

Read more about Road School: Visiting Volcanoes with Kids

Road School Teaching Kids about Space ExplorationTeaching Kids about Space Exploration

In the late 1960s the world was fascinated by the idea of space flight. The wonder and mystery was all anyone could talk about. In 1969, children everywhere were captivated as they watched Neil Armstrong take the first steps on the moon’s surface. Despite all we have achieved in the last 50 years, space exploration is still in its infancy. Fostering a passion for space and space travel in children is what will lead to new discoveries in the universe that can benefit us all.

Read more about Road School: Teaching Kids about Space Exploration


Road School Insects 567x378Insects & Spiders for the Young Zoologist

Our family’s love affair with insects and spiders began 10 years ago when our twins were only two years old. As an arachnophobe, I was begrudgingly coerced into becoming a mom who was interested in spiders and insects when I discovered that I had budding entomologists on my hands. On many family trips we have scouted out places where her thirst for more insect and spider knowledge can be quenched. Along the way our other two children, as well as us phobic parents have learned much about the subject.

Read more about Road School: Insects & Spiders for the Young Zoologist.

Road School Exploring Temperate Rainforests with kidsNorth America’s Temperate Rainforest

Join us vicariously through our family field trip to North America’s temperate rainforest as we divulge the highlights so that your family too can experience the smell of low tide on the morning breeze and the sound of Bubble Kelp snapping under rubber-boot clad kiddo feet!

Read more about Road School: Exploring the North America’s Temperate Rainforest with Kids

shenandoah national park road schoolUpland Forest Field Trip

Forests are one of nature’s many classrooms and if your kids are like mine, this is one place they wouldn’t mind attending summer school…or road school during summer vacation! The forested area of Shenandoah National Park offers many opportunities to explore and learn not only about the ecosystems and inhabitants of the region, but also a chance for kids to learn about themselves and their relationship to the environment.

Read More about Road School: Family Field Trip to the Upland Forest for Shenandoah National Park

Road School Guides: Literature, Art & Music

Road School Exploring Children's Literature and WritingExploring Children’s Literature and Writing

Literature can serve as a way to set the stage for travel. Reading about the people, history, and geography of a destination ahead of time makes it even more exciting to see in person. It helps solidify connections and make experiences stick into memories. Reading can also lessen any anxiety kids may feel about visiting someplace new and unfamiliar. Prior to heading out on a trip to Yellowstone last year, we picked up Who Pooped in the Park? Yellowstone National Park by Gary Robson. You’d better believe that every animal, wildlife track, and scat pile we came across became super exciting because my kids already had a frame of reference that wildlife and even evidence of wildlife were way cool.

Read more about: Road School: Exploring Children’s Literature and Writing

road-school-inspiring-kids-to-explore-art Teaching Children about Art at Museums and Beyond

To help your children get started on their life-long appreciation for art, explore our tips and ideas for getting kids interested in art, making the most of your museum visits, and even marking art at home. Don’t miss our resources section featuring kid-friendly, age-appropriate books and tools for teaching your kids about art and integrating art into your home.

Read more about Road School: Teaching Children About Art

Road School Exploring London with Paddington BearA Children’s Tour of London: Through the Eyes of Paddington Bear

Utilize your child’s natural love of wonderful stories to inspire a literary themed journey through London. The beloved Paddington Bear series serves as inspiration for this kid-friendly tour of London, with stops at Paddington Station, the Natural History Museum, Portobello Road, and Buckingham Palace.

Read more about Road School: Exploring London with Paddington Bear

Road School Exploring Classical Music with Kids

Exploring Classical Music with Kids

While the language of classical music isn’t always understood to a contemporary audience, folk music, on the other hand, touches the familiar chord of culture that is easily enjoyable. <strong>All music is the fullest expression of the emotional spectrum from one human soul to another.</strong> Families can journey to summer music festivals to relax and enjoy listening to music or gain a deeper knowledge of musical instruments from around the world by visiting museums. Follow this list of music festivals, museums, and beyond to explore and enrich your family with the sound of music.

Read more about Road School: Exploring Classical Music with Kids

 

Road School Guides: Environmental & Social Impact

voluntourism-with-kidsDigging Deeper with our Kids Through Voluntourism

“You know, what you are doing is a good thing, but tomorrow, it’s going to be same thing. People throwing garbage everywhere.” These were the first words Raymond spoke to me. Piercing words. Words that surfaced the doubts I was trying to bury behind my chirpy mom voice. I was trying to motivate my 10 and 12-year old boys to pull on a pair of gloves and begin filling a garbage bag.

Read more about Road School: Digging Deeper with our Kids Through Voluntourism 

Road School Teaching your Kids about Climate Change by Visiting GlaciersTeaching Kids about Climate Change by Visiting Glaciers

To help kids (and adults!) learn about our changing climate in a tangible and noticeable way, I suggest visiting a glacier. The statistics on climate and glacial change may mean little to most on paper, but while visiting the changing landscapes of glaciers, and the barren paths that they have receded from, the stats seem to jump off the page. From rocky mountain peaks carved out by glaciers during the most recent ice age, to current desolate landscapes and pole markers showing the recession of glaciers over time, to the massive, dense, slowly-moving blocks of blue ice grandeur, visiting a glacier in person is a humbling experience that our earth has larger forces at work than our urban lives may imply.

Read more about: Teaching Kids about Climate Change by Visiting Glaciers

Road School Human Impact on Aquatic EcosystemsHuman Impact on Aquatic Ecosystems

As a science educator, taking my kids out in nature to experience the world has been a priority of mine since before they could walk. Despite spending as much time jumping in puddles, picking dandelions, and throwing pebbles in streams as possible, I clearly remember the first time I took my little boy, then barely a toddler, to the tide pools at the Carpinteria State Beach. After showing him how he could gently touch the sea anemones covering the nearby rocks, I walked off to show my daughter a starfish clinging to the rocks closer to the water. When I turned back around, my son had a large rock in his hand and was beginning to pound the sea anemones with the stone. At that point, I gave my son his very first biology lesson: Rocks aren’t alive, but sea anemones are living creatures; hitting them with a rock will hurt them.

Read more about Road School: Human Impact on Aquatic Ecosystems (coming 10/1)

Road School Teaching your Kids about the Civil Rights Movement Teaching your Kids about the Civil Rights Movement through Travel

The American Civil Rights Movement is important to impress on our children, not because it was something phenomenally important that happened in our past, long before our kids were born, but because racism and its terrible effects continue to plague our society. Although we have made strides, as a nation we are still haunted with an elusive dream of equality. From class disparity to immigration laws, to social inequality and even open and often un-prosecuted racism, we still have a long way to go.

Read more about Road School: Teaching your Children about the Civil Rights Movement.

Road School Teen Service TravelTeen Service Travel 

Got a teen who is ready to try an international service project? Consider Adventures Cross Country. Teen writer Nate Whitley shares his experience, and mom weighs in with tips and tricks on how she felt comfortable sending her son to Costa Rica.

Read more at Road School: Teen Service Travel with Adventures Cross Country. 

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