View Full Version : Weekly Poll: What sounds most like your family's version of "carschooling"?

08-10-2011, 09:57 AM
As we all start another year of schooling our kids, I am always amazed at what different families can squeeze into driving to soccer practice, field trips or co-op classes. I hear my friends talking about going over multiplication facts, important holidays and history, foreign language, and so many other things it makes my head spin! After I thought about it, I realized that even I do this with the boys on our MANY outings in a week. We have brain teasers decks in the car and we have our Spanish songs that we are learning that we sing a couple of time while driving. We are not thinking of new ways to re-invent the wheel BUT we could;)

So what are you doing in the car, that you consider fun and educational?

08-10-2011, 10:19 AM
Not a thing. My kids watch Disney movies on the dvd-player. We do sometimes put in one of the Leapfrog videos and they're educational, right? My son did learn left and right when he was 3 by asking which way we were going everytime we came to a stop. He also started learning N, S, E, W (and NW, SE, etc.) by looking at the read-out by the Onstar in our truck. Same thing with temperatures - we would discuss how 90 degrees felt, or 40 degrees.

One problem is that my son gets car sick very very easily. He can't read, play Leapster/ITouch games, color or do anything that involves concentration. Even when doing nothing if we get stuck in traffic or the ride is too long, he will more than likely get sick. So, we really like it when he falls asleep on long trips but that's pretty rare these days. The kids do bring little toys in the car with them and will sometimes play imagination games and tell stories. But, again we have to be careful he doesn't spend too much time looking sideways.

Most of our trips last year were taking my oldest to dance - right in the middle of rush hour. It would have been a nice time to try to play books on tape - but my kids are not at all auditory and have trouble listening to something without a visual, anything else would be hard for me to do since I have to concentrate on driving in heavy rush hour traffic with a lot of idiots. My oldest can't run flash cards or anything with them since she also gets car sick. We shouldn't have to make those trips anymore this year since she now has her drivers license.

The radio is usually on my oldests choice of radio station for at least the drive out to dance. Last year my 3 year old learned the lyrics to some really "interesting" songs. Does that count? :p

08-10-2011, 11:12 AM
During the final hours of a full day of car travel, BalletBoy suddenly announced he wanted to do math "for fun!" And dug around and found his Math Mammoth book and did two pages. I'm still a little speechless.

08-10-2011, 11:25 AM
We're a solid hour away from most of our out of the house activities so we log a lot of car time. We listen to tons of audiobooks, and now that she's starting Spanish we'll probably be listening to foreign language discs as well. My kiddo is good at making up games - right now the favorite is her version of TriBond. Sometimes when we're on straight stretches for a while she reads. And for the not-so-good days there's always her DS (funny how that never makes her carsick!). Doesn't keep me entertained, though. Sigh.

08-10-2011, 11:37 AM
Right now the only thing I've found to keep my kids calm in the car is to play the Beatles. My three-year-old is especially fond of them, and will tell you all their names and who is still alive and how the ones no longer alive died. He will also sing you "You Say You Want a Revolution" or "Nowhere Man" (or take requests). My DD moons over old pictures of Paul McCartney. I guess this is educational in its way, but I'd like to try those Spanish CDs at some point...

08-10-2011, 12:05 PM
The radio is usually on my oldests choice of radio station for at least the drive out to dance. Last year my 3 year old learned the lyrics to some really "interesting" songs. Does that count? :p

This made me snicker. My kids all know "Jenny's" phone number. hehehehehe

08-10-2011, 12:12 PM
My son is fascinated by anything that sticks to windows... or roofs... or ANYWHERE in the car. He has been known to stick a grasshopper to the window just before we leave, then bring along a magnifying glass so he can try to see how it sticks. I do have audiobooks, a skip-counting CD, a Spanish language CD, and DD's violin CD in the car as well, but my kids are just as likely to beg for Pandora as any others.

I understand the "interesting" song bit. When you have to remind your 7-year-old that he's not allowed to sing Nickelback's "Rockstar" or Flo Rida's "Right Round" and your 5-year-old that she's not allowed to bellow anything Lady GaGa in front of your grandmother... you miiiight have a problem.

08-10-2011, 01:26 PM
Definitely the "b word" option. ;) My son is *always* saying, "Mom! That wasn't a nice thing to say!" Yeah, well, the military-spouse b**** driving the
huge-a$$ minivan or SUV, who doesn't know how to use a British roundabout wasn't exactly nice either!!!" :punch: LOL

08-10-2011, 03:42 PM
None of those fit us. We listen to Powerglide Spanish and books on CD while driving.

Accidental Homeschooler
08-10-2011, 03:48 PM
Nothing that I could check. We pretty much stick to audio books for long trips and music (it has to be "snappy") for short ones.

08-10-2011, 05:23 PM
I needed to check something in between science project and finish math before we get to practice....how about "If you manage to stick your math worksheets to the roof of the Jeep and it stays on is that gravity at work or have you found a creative way to dispose of your gum?"

Oooh wait - creative - we can check off art for today!

08-11-2011, 12:24 AM
Somehow, my DD#1 started asking me to tell her stories about splinters. Not being creative, I told her a story about a little girl named Elizabeth (me). It has evolved from all real stories about my childhood to mostly the children giving me the basic story (Mom, tell me a story about a bug getting stuck in a insect trap), then they help me make plot decisions all through the story. It's usually fun except they have their favorite - I've told about 300 versions of the bug getting stuck in and getting out of the insect trap!

08-11-2011, 02:26 AM
Hm, we're still at the point where the kids grill me at least twice about where we're going, who's going to be there...and then I have to give them the list of expected behavior and have them repeat it back to me. Then *I* listen to the radio while they ooh and ahh over the backhoe/cement truck/firetruck--sometimes fighting over who saw them first. :eyeroll:

I tried, I really did, and got several They Might Be Giants kids' CD's, but my kids are party poopers and claim not to like them--OR Schoolhouse Rock. They disappoint me.

08-11-2011, 04:02 AM
Ah, we go almost completely carless, so the b word or other "interesting language" or behaviors is often a topic of discussion after we meet colorful characters on the bus. That said, we read books sometimes, but only sometimes.

08-11-2011, 08:18 AM
The closest thing on the list is the "B" word episode, but even that doesn't fit much. Mostly my 2 kids either read, or my dd babbles on Robin Williams style (minus the profanity), bouncing from one insane topic to another. It really is quite amusing.

08-11-2011, 09:08 AM
My DD 9 is a music fanatic and an expert at skipping lyrics she knows she's not allowed to say (at least when I'm in ear shot). Aside from the radio, I answer the relentless questions about where we are going, how long we'll be there, etc. If it's a shopping trip, I give them a couple of items from the list to remember but they usually don't because figuring out who gets to push the cart is way more important!

08-11-2011, 10:23 AM
The car is where we listen to audio books and/or music. Literature and/or music appreciation.

Magnolia School
08-11-2011, 10:55 AM
I clicked "read me a story", but in truth we watch educational videos or listen to audio stories. When it was just my daughter, she would do written work in the car, but my son gets car sick, and these days we get into the "it's not fair" arguments. Oh well... there are tons of great educational videos to choose from.:)

08-11-2011, 11:20 AM
I feel so lame, as we almost never do any car schooling. On the other hand, most of our car trips are usually never longer than 15 minutes.

Honestly, the scenario that most often occurs regarding the car is the debate over who gets to ride shotgun.

08-11-2011, 12:54 PM
We don't do carschooling. If we're going on a really long trip (like-the lake house is 8 hours away-long), the kids will read, may each put an audiobook on their mp3 player, we listen to music, and they talk incessantly. Most of our car trips are running errands, going to appts., and visiting family that lives 30 minutes or less away. So, car trips are generally music trivia time. Song comes on the radio & it's a race to see who can name song title & artist. Then, it's "who can give the most info about the song?" Depending on the song, things that may get named off include - album, track number, length, if it's an original or a cover, who did the original (if it's a cover), how many times has it been covered & who by, which version is the best, which version is the worst, names of the members of the band, what other bands they've been in, the meaning of the song, etc. These random bits of info often start ridiculous conversations, which then go off on even stranger tangents.

08-11-2011, 03:09 PM
We listen to audiobooks. Last year we listened to lectures by The Tolkien Professor (http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-tolkien-professor/id320513707) to go along with our study of The Lord of the Rings. We also listen to SOTW in the car. This year I am going to get Lyrical Science to add to our choices.

08-11-2011, 04:12 PM
We listen to audio books as well, but mostly short ones. We also listen to The Beatles because they're the kids' favorite band, thanks to their version of RockBand. :)

08-11-2011, 04:19 PM
We don't do much carschooling either....almost 90% of our trips are really short or really long. The short trips we are lucky if we get 1 song in on the radio. The long trips are to visit family and we have tv's for that because my middle son last about an hour and then starts an endless stream of whinning!

For the short amount of trips that are in the middle we have a few choices...mostly we listen to our tall tales CD...the boys love it, but their is also music from a wide variety....and the occasional audio book that they ignore and I listen too!

08-12-2011, 11:52 AM
Lessons in Ska Music and "Conflict Resolution" are all our kids get in the car.

08-13-2011, 09:09 PM
I've never been into the carschooling thing. It's my time to rock out or just have conversations with my daughter or as a family if we're all in the car together.

08-14-2011, 11:18 AM
I turn on NPR on the radio and sometimes we discuss that or discuss me yelling about what NPR is reporting. LOL
They bring whatever assignments they can do in car. Usually reading or math.
We've always shouted out state tags.

ETA: it's about 50/50 whether we do that or just listen to music on the radio.

08-15-2011, 10:29 AM
My son likes to make up stories, usually he makes it, "who can tell the scariest story".. He also likes to play guess who games, you give clues about a person, real or a character from one of his shows/movies, and the other person guesses. This works good for knowing things about Presidents, inventors, and scientists or about animal facts as well.

09-13-2011, 12:18 AM
Our most memorable recent one, of what I consider intensive, interesting conversations with my 7 year old, was about odd and even numbers. She had thought about them a great deal the year before, realizing why odd was odd and even, even (that when you split them evenly, even is evenly split, and odd had one 'odd' item remaining). This time, she figured out that you always get an even number when you add two even numbers, an odd number when you add an even and an odd, and an even when you add two odds. She figured out the reasoning behind it, and it made sense to both of us.
I was amazed and delighted, because memorizing facts, or being told those properties of addition and subtraction of odds and evens, would not result in the insight she had.

09-13-2011, 06:40 PM
Podcasts - usually to work and back. Today we listened to Stuff You Missed in History Class - Five War Dogs of History. I didn't hear a peep out of them. We also listen to The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd - silly, but entertaining. Other times News in Slow Spanish which is great for listening comprehension. Sometimes we just chat and watch out for any wildlife we might see on the way (we drive through a state forest).

Stella M
09-13-2011, 07:12 PM
Don't do it! Not driving makes car schooling a bit tricky. We do bus/train school on longer trips sometimes, mostly reading.

09-13-2011, 10:30 PM
Audio stories from Storynory.com downloaded on my i-pod. My dd loves those, or just some songs I have on my i-pod. So I don't have an option to check??