Going to the laundromat may seem like a chore that pops up more often than wanted, but it can also be a learning experience that develops problem solving skills and financial understandings, even at a young age, just by asking your child to figure out how much money it will cost to do laundry today. This one question has several steps. First, the child must estimate how many loads of laundry will be done based on the amount of soiled clothes. Then, they will have to add the amount of money it will take to wash the clothes to the amount needed to dry the clothes. You might ask your child if they will have enough money to complete the task if you give them $10.00. By asking them how much money will be left over, you add another step to the word problem focused on subtraction. Ask your children to help with the family budget by having them figure out how much money is spent on laundry each week or month.
Determine whether a group of objects (up to 20) has an odd or even number of members, e.g., by pairing objects or counting them by 2’s; write an equation to express an even number as a sum of two equal addends.
Take a walk to learn all about odd and even. This is a great interactive notebook activity. Record a number at the top of your child’s notebook page and go on a search for objects that demonstrate that number. For example, if the number is three, you might find the playground has three slides or the bathroom has three sinks. Have your child draw and label what he found. Then, have him circle two of each item drawn. I recommend doing the numbers in order, one on each page. Compare your child’s observations about the numbers as you go along. They may see that five always has one left out or six is always paired with none left over. Guide them to see that a number like six can be split into two equal groups, while a number like five will have two groups that are not equal. Talking about their finds will lead into teaching the vocabulary of odd and even. Check out I Spy (Odd & Even) for more guidance with this activity!
Every campground has a variety of campers! There are motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, pop-ups, tents, and more. Take another walk around the park while your child collects data to see what types of recreational vehicles are visiting. Have your child use the information collected to create a bar graph. Then, discuss the findings. As a challenge, have your child complete this activity twice. Graph the campers during the week and again during the weekend. Then, have your child make assumptions based on their observations. You can find FREE camper graph labels to print in my TpT store.
All of us campsite visitors have things we love about a campground. Maybe they have a large lake for fishing or paved roads that are great for riding scooters, but we all have our opinions about what would make it better. Have your child make a list of improvements or changes he would like to see made to the park and discuss how those improvements would benefit the park and its owner. To give your child a feeling that their work is meaningful, pick one to share with the owner through a friendly letter. With a specific audience, you can discuss what the owner might perceive as beneficial and how to word their writing so the owner won’t take offense to the suggestion.
There are many purposeful writing activities that can be completed on a daily basis from observation journals to how-to manuals, but today I’m going to encourage you to have your child create a brochure. Have your child observe the campground and do research on the local area to find out how many sites and types of amenities the park offers, learn the history of the park, find more information about local attractions, and more. This can double as a persuasive type of writing, since the brochure should lure people to visit the park. Again, I would recommend sharing the completed product with the owner of the park. You never know what might come of it!
I’m Jen Schneider, and I taught kindergarten in a public school classroom for seven years. When I had my first child, I wanted to stay home, so I taught second grade for two years in a public virtual school. Although I had planned to be a stay-at-home mom after having my second child, our family started traveling for my husband’s work. We loved the travel so much that we started staying in our camper more than we were at home, which turned my homeschooling dreams into roadschooling fun! If you’d like to learn more about me and how I share my ideas and resources with parents and teachers, you can check out my website.
Hi Jen, I enjoyed this post. Thanks for the idea on kids writing a brochure. We have a child who loves to create and some that just need out of the box fun writing assignments. I will be using this idea in the future.
Tami Steele says
Jen, I loved this post. You shared wonderful ideas of how to use everyday experiences to make learning meaningful. I especially liked the RV graph.
Jen Schneider says
Missy, you're very welcome! I'm glad I could help inspire you! Brochures are great because they take a lot of research and attention to organization, PLUS… they're fun! Best wishes!
Jen Schneider says
Thanks Tammy! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
The ESL Nexus says
This is a really interesting blog post! I've never heard the term "roadschooling" before so thanks for explaining it here. I enjoyed reading how you connect the Common Core to your travels. What a great way for kids to experience and learn about the world.
The ESL Connection
Jen Schneider says
Thanks Susan! I'm glad you found my post interesting. Learning can be found all around us in every day ways. Sometimes we as teachers forget that.