Friday, May 30, 2008

2,000+ Miles of Education

In preparation for our 2,000+ mile trip to Iowa, I gathered things I hope will keep the boys busy and content helping to pass the many hours. I am attempting to use every opportunity to learn something about a little education about our world and our country?! I had the idea to create a U.S. geography folder for Elijah and Luke. Using my two books below and a handful of blank paper, I photocopied black and white maps starting from a broad perspective of the world down to each state we're driving through complete with state emblems - flag, tree, flower and bird. I assembled all the papers into a clasp folder.

Page 1: North, South, East, West directional arrows (what is our travel direction?)
Page 2: World Map (what are the continents and oceans?)
Page 3: Western Hemisphere Map (what continents are in W.H.?)
Page 4: United States Map (where is our state?)
Page 5: United States Road Map (what is our route number?)
Page 6: NY State Map (where is Rochester and Scottsville?)
Page 7: Pennsylvania State Map
Page 8: Ohio State Map
Page 9: Indiana State Map (where is LaGrange?)
Page 10: Illinois State Map (where is Moline?)
Page 11: Iowa State Map (where is Avoca?)

I will encourage the boys to use the blank pages to record what they see as we travel along the highway - color pictures, write numbers, write words. We've also given each of them a camera to take pictures of things they find interesting.

No car trip is complete without some good reading material. We were given these books for Christmas and have read little portions of each, so they're traveling with us so they can tell their full stories.

Elijah and Luke love to listen to audio books. Everyday during rest time and bedtime they are glued to their beds captivated by the stories they hear. I found the Jonathan Park series through Vision Forum (one of my favorite Christian companies)...visit them at . Jonathan Park adventures are based on real places and scientific discoveries. The case reads, "The Jonathan Park project provides children and adults with scientific evidence that is in harmony with the Word of God. This is our Father's world, God created it; we can explore it, so live the adventure!" I've listened to part of Volume 1 and was captivated myself. Find this series at . If Jonathan Park gets old, we're bringing The Chronicles of Narnia audio series produced by Focus on the Family. Mike has listened to most of these but the boys haven't heard them yet! Maybe this is overkill, but we want lots of options...Luke's birthday gift, Adventures in Odyssey, has also found it's way into a nook in the van!

Okay, so I am also totally in favor of watching DVDs (all day long even) if that is what it takes on this trip...not much by way of education although School House Rocks really does rock...more entertainment here, but that's necessary, too! We'll be sure to have a few VeggieTales and Thomas the Tank Engine stories as well!

There is a good size box in the back between Eli and Luke's seats containing all sorts of Berenstain Bears and Curious George books, coloring books, Explode the Code workbooks, Highlights Search and Find color books, stickers, colored pencils and sharpener, Brain Quest trivia cards, Usborne Living World Encyclopedia, First Word Dictionary, match box cars, binoculars and dinosaur & zoo magnetic play sets. We're bringing personal walkmans so they can listen to kiddo music on their own. But the favored item is Luke's Birthday gift...a cassette player...because the boys love to record their own voices telling stories, jokes, singing or making Ike giggle. Guaranteed hours of fun!

Isaac will enjoy coloring for a bit and listening to his own music...but other than that, eating will likely be his greatest source of enjoyment as the miles pass!

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