Monday, August 5, 2013

5 Days of... Blog Hop join the TOS Crew as we travel on this 5 day blogging journey

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 Join me this week as we travel from TOS Crew member to the next for the 5 days of.... Blog Hop!
 I have chosen the topic of Camp Schooling, if you have been reading my blog you know that is camping season in our family. Does this mean we do not learn while we are off to play at camp? Not at all. This just means that our classroom moves mostly outdoors. There is so much more room to explore. New field trips to take and memories to be made.

   Whether you like camping, or have never been camping you are sure to gain some ideas from the next 5 days of my part in the Blog Hop.
   Now we are not the typical rough it type camping family. My family joined a members only campground for the same price some families pay for their gym membership, giving us some of the same perks of a gym and so much more. My parents belong to the same campground as well as quite a few of our friends, including some homeschool families from our co-op. It is less than 1 1/2 hr drive from our doorstep. We can stay 2 weeks at a time and then have to leave the property for 1 week in order to give others a chance at the good camp spots. My boys love going to camp. We camp occasionally on the weekends all winter long, we can do this because we have a camper with heat so we do not freeze. Starting in April though that is when our 2 week vacations start and we do this through the middle of October.
   We have been camping many times this season already and are starting our finally trip of "Summer" tomorrow. Then we will have two camping trips after Labor day and then we will winterize our camper and return to Home homeschooling until April of next year when it all starts over again.  We have experienced more than I could have imagined so far this year and it has been full of many firsts.   We are happy the weather has been very mild this year with the exception of most of our last camping trip which put us into the 100's with the heat index for most of our trip. This trip looks to be perfect except for some impending rain, never fear though there is plenty to do indoors as well as out of doors.

     So here is how we incorporate this into our school routine. We try to complete as much core curriculum as possible during our off week at home. We do bring some book work and workbooks and DVD's like science and such to work on when it is too early in the morning to be off our site, we tend to wake up early when we are camping as the birds sing us awake. We also do book work on rainy or cold days when the weather is not cooperating for us to be outdoors. On the nice days we do our work out at our picnic table or around the campfire and if we are really lucky we score a waterfront campsite that brings nature right to our doorstep. Like geese that are so tame they walk right to you for a snack. Taylor loves this and takes every opportunity to share bread and crackers with "his" geese.

    Doing school work at camp helps us shed our winter blah's and get rejuvenated for our next wave of our school year. We finish up core work by the middle of May but work on "fun" school learning and review items through out the Summer. This helps the boys to retain what we have been learning and not lose it during the Summer off months.

   I try to find fun nature inspired learning opportunities while off at camp, like scavenger hunts and field trips and Science Projects. Our campground also offers a host of activities all day long 7 days a week. We take this opportunity to bulk up on PE hours as here in MI in the winter we don't get out much and need to shed our winter extra pounds. We have an indoor pool for bad weather and rainy days and 2 outdoor pools as well now that the weather is shaping up. There is also putt-putt golf and a work out room. We also have kayaks and paddle boats to keep us fit as well. We swim at least once a day and try to go boating as often as the weather allows us daily. The boys take  their bikes up with us and get plenty of physical exercise biking around the lake and also hiking on the nature trails in the woods.

   Some of the activities the park has scheduled include weekly crafts sessions, outdoor obstacle courses, tye dying, family bingo, and each week all activities are tied into a theme. Such as last week was OAI Olympics and coming up is a Circus week.
      Being up at camp also allows my boys to do some community service, like helping the neighboring campers who may be elderly by helping to carry their groceries from their car to their camper or helping to set up their camper. Many things that need to be done on a camper to set it up or take it down are low to the ground or require much strength for instance cranking up or down the jacks. Many of the senior campers find it refreshing and so helpful that the boys are willing to lend a hand to help a fellow camper in need.
    Learning to set up and take down the camper has been a learning experience in itself. Knowing how to properly level the trailer, hook up the electric and sewer lines. Make sure that the propane tanks are in proper working order and that all fuses are working well. We have been working on team building as the more we work together the quicker all of the necessary steps get accomplished.

    Join me tomorrow as I explore field trips at camp as we continue on our voyage of 5 Days of.... Blog Hop! Campschooling.

Summer Blog Hop

Please be sure to check out the TOS Crew Blog Post so you can see what other wonderful topics are being explored this week while hopping from one TOS Crew Member's Blog to the next.
Thank you for joining me and I look forward to exploring more about campschooling tomorrow and the rest of the week.

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