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Homeschool Convention Season is upon us and we’re ready to make the most of it. Many families plan vacation around various conventions, for our family . . . . it’s road trip time!
While you may not need to go to more than one homeschool convention each year, it is important that you choose one that is right for your family, and that you make the most of the experience.
We highly recommend all of the Teach Them Diligently Conventions . . . they are Christian conferences created to guide families not only in homeschooling, but in bringing their families closer to the Lord. They encourage families in every aspect of family life – along with homeschooling.
No matter which conferences you choose, with a little bit of planning, you can turn it into an experience the family looks forward to each and every year.
Map it Out
Pull out the Atlas & road maps and plan your route! Get the kids involved, and turn it into a geography lesson. Look for museums along the way. Be sure to check the ASTC.org Passport list HERE. If your local science center is on the list – you can join and have access to the rest of the museums on the passport list! That means that with your membership comes hundreds of free museum opportunities from around the world. There are exclusions – so be sure to check out the details. We join each year & often plan extra days into our trips to check out the museums along the way. Roadschooling at it’s best!
State and National Parks or National Monuments are another great option for field trips on your way to conventions. Check the link HERE to see about visiting National Museums and Monuments. You’ll find teaching plans and resources to go with the National Parks & Museums HERE.
While in Atlanta for TTD – be sure to take time to stop in Macon to see the Ocmulgee National Monument. The mounds of four pre-historic cultures lived for thousands of years before the invitation of Europeans. Ocmulgee National Monument is the ancestral home land of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation who now reside in Oklahoma.
There is a small museum on site where you can view artifacts, watch a movie and learn about the culture of the natives who lived there before. Inside the largest mound – is a pathway which leads to the central meeting area where the tribe came together to make important decisions. The property is impressive. Plan to take a nice walk and enjoy a picnic. About 2 hours time will be enough to cover your visit – and it is well worth the honor of visiting this National Monument. Admission is free.
While you are south of Atlanta – be sure to stop by the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village. Admission is $7 for adults during the week or $10 on weekends (includes a train ride on the weekends) and $4 and $5 for kids. Those under 4 years of age are always free.
The grounds of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village have over 35 structures which have been relocated to the 95 acre site and faithfully restored or preserved. Have a picnic while you are there. See the old church, drug store, farmstead, gristmill, peanut museum, the old schoolhouse, turpentine still and more!
There are several museums in and around Atlanta – which are on the list from ASTC.org.
Get a list of outdoor parks and fun for families HERE. Downtown has a park with a beautiful replica of the Parthenon building. The grounds include a pond with ducks and plenty of shade for picnics. (We do a lot of picnics while on the road). Walk around downtown and enjoy the Centennial monuments, fountains and more.
TTD Sandusky, OH
Sandusky, Ohio is a small city that is home to one of the most beautiful collections of historical architecture in the Midwest. Visit the Seneca Caves in Ohio – HERE – for an exciting adventure. Check out the list of Gardens & State Preserves HERE.
Be sure to check the ASTC.org list for the Ohio museums to see if you’ll be driving past one of the great options to visit.
TTD Dallas, TX
Visit the Dallas Heritage Village for a look at historical life as a Texan. Adults will pay $9 and kids between 4 – 12 are only $5 each. Take a walk downtown in Pioneer Plaza for some great photo ops and enjoy the sculptures and beautifully landscaped design.
The Old Red Museum is one of the few history museums in the nation to include a hands-on education center designed specifically for younger visitors. The Crystal Charity Ball Children’s Education Center is a unique learning center for students from pre-K to young adult and offers hands-on activities, exhibits on children in Dallas County and twelve TEKS-based touch screens.
The Perot Museum is on the list of ASTC.org participants & therefore FREE
Another idea is to check points along your travel route that make for good stopping points – then search that area for special museums and parks to visit. I usually plan to stop about every three hours on our trips. If needed – we can certainly go longer than that to get to a special stopping point, but we like to make these pit stops for adventure along the way.
Keep ’em Busy
Set kids up with clip boards and attached pencil, and give them their own road map for the trip. We bring along colored pencils and markers to use as well as dry erase boards. The kids bring electronic games, mad libs, and get their own snack bags. We always make a dollar store stop before leaving town to stock up on inexpensive, fun treats to keep them occupied.
Look for educational options. We love the Melissa & Doug License Plate Game.
Or try our free License Plate Math Worksheets from Adventures in Childrearing. All you need is a pencil and a clipboard to go along with this fun free printable. Kids love checking out the license plates of the cars on the road.
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