How-To

10 Ways to Learn During “Car Time”

10 Ways to Learn During "Car Time"

To homeschool, we really need to be “home.”  Regardless, most families spend a great deal of time in the car.  Here are a few ideas to help us make the most of “car time.”

  1. Listen to audio books. There is nothing better than a good read-aloud shared by the entire family.  When you can’t spend the time to sit down and enjoy a good book, take advantage of the fact that you are already all sitting down together in the car to listen to one!
  2. Role-play. Use the opportunity to role-play with your children what you would expect them to do in certain situations; such as becoming lost at a store, being asked a question by a stranger, or breaking something in a store.
  3. Read signs. Is your child a relatively new reader?  Can he read some of the signs you are passing?
  4. Narration. Has your child read a good book lately?  Have him tell you the story in his own words.  For an older child, this time can lead to great discussions!
  5. Play “add to the story.” Mom starts, “Once upon a time _________.”  Then the child contributes; then mom contributes; and on and on until…  (these stories are rarely finished!).  Fill in that blank with a specific adventure to encourage interest.
  6. Play “A is for _____.” The blank can be any object — birds, flowers, vegetables, fruits, or animals, for example.  Each person must name one of those objects that starts with the next letter of the alphabet when it is his turn.
  7. Sing. Every family has their favorite car songs. What are yours?
  8. Listen to a sermon or Bible story. Many ministries offer podcasts or other digital downloads of their teaching materials.
  9. Practice math. Calculate gas mileage. Calculate how long it will take to arrive at the destination. Count the number of cars in a train as you wait to cross a railroad crossing. Estimate how far to an object you can see in the distance.  (This one is great for adults, too!)
  10. Map it. Particularly if you will be on a long trip, provide each child with his own map to trace the trip.
Additional Resources

LibriVox Children’s Literature
Audio downloads in the public domain.

Teaching Safety to Your Preschooler
Scroll down to the heading, “Safety Rehearsal” for role-playing ideas to get you started at FamilyEducation.com.

Classics for Kids
Great music site with podcasts of their show available for download.

Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible
Free Bible story downloads geared toward young people.

Interactive Map Maker {Free}
Free resource with all types of tools to help you make maps for your children to mark.  Print and bind or place in a notebook for travel.  They can even decorate the binder for the trip.