I’ve partnered with KEEN shoes for this post.
Labor day has come and gone and schools across the county are back in session. My kids started back with their schooling last week, only their schooling looks a bit different than most kids. It’s estimated that 3% of children in the US are homeschooled, and my kids are thrilled to be included in that group. One of the reasons my husband and I chose to homeschool is because it allows us to be flexible and creative with our children’s education. They don’t sit at desks all day to learn. Sure, they DO have some book work time, but 75% of their education is currently not done while sitting at the kitchen table. Instead, we take them out into the world to learn by experience and real-life situations. Today I wanted to share some of the unusual places you might find us educating our homeschooled children.
This is probably my favorite place to homeschool, although we don’t make it there very often! It’s a great place to teach kids about ocean life, tides, and about how the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. It’s also a great place to talk to kids about history. Two years ago we visited Plymouth Massachusetts, and it presents the perfect opportunity to talk to the kids about the Pilgrims. It’s also a great place for exercise too!
People often look at us funny when I take all 4 kids into the grocery store on a school day. I suppose some might wonder if the older children are sick and I’m bringing them into the store to infect others. The fact is, not only do I need to go grocery shopping every week, it’s also a great place for education. The kids practice a lot of math skills while we are at the store. Younger children practice counting (can you put 5 apples into this bag?) while older children practice addition skills (how much would 2 of these cans cost if they are $.89 a piece?). Sometimes I’ll even give them word problems like, we need 2 ears of corn for everyone. There are 6 members in our family and each package comes with 3 ears of corn. How many packages do we need to buy? I love teaching them in this way because they can see how knowing these skills is a practical, life skill that the genuinely NEED to know. The grocery store is also a place where I teach my kids about nutrition.
Living in West Virginia, the cold weather hits sooner than I’d like. We take advantage of the warmer weather while we can and spend a lot of time outdoors during the fall and spring months. Going to the park (we walk or ride bikes/scooters to the local playground) is great for exercise, but it’s also a great time for learning about nature. Just yesterday on the way to the park my kids found a slug, so we spent some time talking about slugs. Thanks to the Internet and smartphones, it’s easy to find educational material almost instantly wherever you are!
We live about 90 minutes from Washington DC, one of the best places in the country for educational museums. There are SO many there and we love to check those out with the kids. The educational benefits are seemingly endless. We also have a lot of places we can visit to make history come alive, like battlefields and historical homes.
You learn so much by reading and my kids love books! We try to take frequently trips to the library for new reading material plus special events our libraries hold.
All Around Our Home
School doesn’t have to happen while you are seated at a desk or table. Sometimes schooling happens in the kitchen when the kids help me prepare a meal. Sometimes it happens while we are all sitting together on the beanbag chair. It could even happen in the bathroom if we’re doing science experiments with water!
Zoo & Aquarium
My kids really love animals. We watch a lot of special about animals and fish but there’s nothing like getting to see them in person! We try to take a trip to the zoo and aquarium at least once a year. When possible, we also try to take the “behind the scenes” tours because the animal keepers are available for questions and the tours themselves are very educational. One time my kids got to feed and pet an anteater — how cool is that?! They learned so much that day!
Education can occur in a lot of places outside of the classroom. In fact, just about everywhere you go offers you the opportunity to teach your children!
When you do so much schooling on foot, it’s important to have good, quality shoes that are going to last. That’s why I was so excited to get KEEN shoes for my kids this fall. KEEN Kids is known for it’s great summer sandals and is the “go-to” summer camp and adventure footwear brand for the whole family, but did you know they make great shoes for the cooler weather too? KEEN Kids offers great functional and quality product for any season of the year.
Jacob and Maggie each got a pair of KEEN’s Big Kids’ Chandler Waterproof CNX shoes. (Side note, they are two years apart in age but the same shoe size now! Maggie has such petite feet like her grandma!) Zellene got a pair of their PEP Double Strap shoes. I also really like KEEN’s Hikeport and fall Moxie styles too and hope to get some of those next!
The first thing I noticed when I pulled these shoes out of the boxes was just how well-made they are. These aren’t shoes that are going to fall apart after a few wears. These are made to last, even with kids like mine who are always going, going, going! I love how easy it is for my kids to get their shoes on without any help from me too!
Could your kids use a new pair of stylish, functional, and quality shoes this fall? We’re happy to team up with a great group of bloggers to share lots of KEEN styles for kids AND an awesome giveaway. TEN lucky winners will receive a pair of KEEN shoes for school (select from New Arrivals). Please enter using the Rafflecopter below.
Don’t forget to visit all of the participating blogs too! They all have KEEN shoe styles to share as well as great tips and ideas for school:
The Chirping Moms // Wanderlust Crew // Simple, Like Love // Suburban Wife, City Life // Girl in the Red Shoes //Marino Bambinos // The Love Designed Life // Momfessionals // Munchkins and Moms // Being Brickner // Thrifty Nifty Mommy
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of KEEN shoes, however all opinions are my own. KEEN is responsible for prize fulfillment.