As homeschoolers, we can build creativity by using unique learning tools, like a travel guide, in our lessons. Learn five ways to use guides in your school.
This crew of mine is also a bunch of bookworms! We love nothing more than to curl up on the sofa with a grand adventure or mysterious challenge. We also love beautiful non-fiction books to grow our knowledge of the world.
Along with interesting books about sharks, volcanos, and other topics, we’ve found we love using travel guides to expand our understanding and view on locations around the world.
Travel guides can be an interesting, different tool to promote learning in your family’s homeschool environment. We’ve used them in several ways, and I have five ideas to help you look at the humble travel guide with fresh, new, homeschool parent eyes!
1. Travel Guides as Learning Tools to Gain Planning Skills –
Travel guides aren’t just for adults! Most of them, especially Moon Travel Guides, are full of brilliant color pictures, paper maps, and intriguing descriptions of places and activities.
When you start planning a family getaway, place a travel guide in your child’s hands. Let them start learning about an area. As you work through planning, you’ll be able to have conversations with your children. Talk about what they would like to see, do, and experience.
2. Travel Guides as Learning Tools to Explore Geography –
As homeschoolers, we’ve all studied ancient cities and historic towns. Geography is also about studying the world as it is now. Studying New York, Los Angeles, or London now? This is the perfect time to pick up a travel guide and learn about the city’s different neighborhoods and interesting characteristics.
Every city has it’s own flavor and character. Your child can build his or her own feel for a city or region by using a travel guide as a basis for geography projects. Have him or her create an itinerary for the “best of” in your area of study, find an attraction or two to build or draw, or use the map in the guide to create his or her own city/region map.
3. Travel Guides as Learning Tools to Grow Research Skills Safely –
One of the biggest skills a homeschool child has to learn is how to find information. Everyone has gaps in their education, but if you know how to find any information that you need in life, you’ll be able to be successful. Teaching this skill, on the other hand, is challenging for a parent who doesn’t want to let a child run wild on Google.
Enter the travel guide. Every travel guide is a compact research guide on a specific subject. You can easily teach your child to find information about an area, types of attractions, historic locations, niche-specific ideas, and more. Using a travel guide give you the opportunity to teach your child skills that can translate to finding any type of available information.
Along with researching in a guide, you’ll frequently find “Additional Resources” sections at the back of the book. Travel guide authors frequently include internet resources and books that are also safe for your child to use in their researching activities.
4. Travel Guides as Learning Tools to Practice Reference Skills –
Let’s be honest, how many times have you used an encyclopedia or (print) dictionary in the last 12 months? I’m willing to bet the answer is a pretty small number. However, I’m also willing to bet there was a day in your school career where you learned how to find a word or reference in a book. It’s a skill that we don’t use much in our world today, but when you need that skill it can be priceless!
Give your child the opportunity to build reference skills easily using a travel guide. Some travel guides are arranged alphabetically, and some are by region, however all of them have an index that can be use to find specific information.
5. Travel Guides as Learning Tools to Investigate Informative Texts –
One large part of Common Core English Language standards for kids in fourth and up is learning how to use and interact with informational texts. Children learn to analyze and break down information. They also learn to determine a writer’s central idea and the key components of the information. They also learn to summarize and infer from sections of text.
Travel guides provide a perfect opportunity to help your homeschooler build these skills. Many times informational texts can be extremely boring and hard to handle as a student. When you’re using a text that is talking about a tour or adventure, the assignment will not be nearly as difficult for your child, and they will be more willing to participate in their studies.
*Bonus Learning Tools Tip:
Libraries are filled with travel books and guides! Always keep your library’s travel section in mind as a resource for learning tools!
Travel guides were designed to help travelers plan and enjoy their travel adventures. They also have value and use for your family in your homeschool. Use these ideas to grow your child’s skill set while growing their view of the world.