SummaryCombining our parent-teacher experiences with feedback from our families, here are 3 suggestions for homeschool vacations that are both educational and fun!
Recently, we asked Seton families how they spent their vacations – whether they brought their homeschooling along or not. We were very interested to learn that 58% of our homeschooling families do continue homeschooling while on vacation.
The remaining 42% were divided between those who prefer to take a complete break from school and those who don’t go on vacation at all.
Of the 58% who do homeschool on vacation, a surprisingly large number of them do formal schooling of some kind, while the remaining number simply make a point of going on educational vacations.
Combining our experience as parents and teachers with feedback from our families, here are suggestions for homeschool vacations that are both educational and fun! You can actually sneak in a little more learning when the kids aren’t looking.
With these ideas, plan your field trips and vacations so that they supplement the learning your family is already doing in different courses.
It’s not unusual for families to do pilgrimages and visit shrines and churches, but doing so isn’t the only way to grow in your Catholic Faith while vacationing.
Many families recommend Catholic Familyland in Bloomingdale, Ohio. Owned and operated by the Apostolate for Family Consecration, a lay movement officially approved by the Catholic Church and specifically recognized by both Pope Saint John Paul II and his successor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Catholic Familyland is a countryside retreat center that hosts week-long festivals for Catholic families with daily Mass, Confession, talks, and fun outdoor activities.
The focus is encouraging parents in their mission to transmit the Faith to their children, and the spirituality is based on Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary with Joseph.
Another exciting opportunity can be found at the EWTN studios in Hanceville, Alabama. The Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament there is extremely beautiful, but after visiting Our Lord, families can take tours of the EWTN studios and attend one of the live shows as it is being filmed for television.
This is a great way to learn about an important modern-day apostolate, and a fantastic chance to hear in person some of the best Catholic speakers in America.
The Knights of Columbus Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, is a unique museum with galleries portraying the history, art, and achievements of Catholics in the New World, as well as papal memorabilia and Catholic art from around the globe. Admission is free and the museum is open year-round.
When it comes to history, there are many museums in every state that can be a window into the past for you and your family. However, there are other ways to get an even closer look at historical events, or gain hands-on experience of the past.
One of the best ways to visit the past is by attending a reenactment, or better yet, becoming reenactors yourselves. In the past, we published a story about one homeschooling family’s experience with reenacting, and it is clear from their experience that reenacting is a wonderful way to take a break from school while still learning together as a family.
Though Civil War reenactments are still the biggest draw here in Virginia, there are in fact reenactment units dedicated to re-presenting historical battles all the way from ancient times right through to the Second World War.
Similar to reenactment, but more concerned with everyday life are living history sites such as Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia; Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts; Pioneer
Living History Village in Phoenix, Arizona; and Camlann Medieval Village in Carnation, Washington.
Nearly every state has at least one, and frequently many living history sites, where families can talk with people living and working in the modes of bygone eras, try their hands at old-fashioned pastimes, and see how it would have been to live without internet, cars, or even electricity.
3. Music & the Arts
Traveling to see family during the summer can be a really good way to expose your children to good culture, especially if you are traveling near a big city. Cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and many others have well-respected symphonies, and significant venues that attract the world’s best talent in music and the arts.
Tickets are sometimes reduced in price close to performances, and some places run programs that cater to homeschooling families. Carnegie Hall in New York City offers a selection of free programs for families and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC offers free private tours of their facility.
Such opportunities are an excellent way to introduce your children to the world of music and drama, so be sure to investigate the options when you’re planning your travels.
More and more museums are offering special programs and/or discount days designed specifically for homeschooling families. The Cleveland Museum of Art offers relatively inexpensive homeschool studio classes that combine a visit to the gallery with hands on art classes.
The Museums of Fine Arts in both Boston and Houston provide a similar program, and both the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City offer events tailored specifically to families.
With the help of such museums, you and your children both can be immersed in the world of fine art.
What a fun way to spend some of your vacation time!