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Afterschooling: Family Road Trip Edition!

traveling with kids - road trip, entering Utah

I’m returning to the Afterschool linky after a break! Since we are still en route to our new home in California (and will be for the next few weeks), my kids aren’t actually in school at the moment – so we are temporarily full time homeschoolers / afterschoolers!

Niagara Falls

Luckily, road trips are very educational, as well as providing great family time and memory building! We are staying in Utah for a few weeks before completing our trek to California; but so far Niagara Falls is the clear sight seeing highlight of the trip – and I don’t expect that to change! Well worth the four hours it took us to get across the border to see all three falls from the Canadian side!

entering Michigan from Canada

I have always loved bridges, and this one that we drove over crossing from Canada into Michigan was a neat one! Our traffic jam border crossing the night before led to our changing our route to spend more time in Canada, and the kids had a great Canadian dining experience at Moose Winooski’s in Brantford.

American Gothic House

We also got to see some unplanned landmarks, most notably the American Gothic house. We did not go inside – the center was closed, and we were already running well behind schedule for the day!

sunset in Nebraska

Mike and I learned that bathroom breaks with four kids take at least half an hour – and that meant that five-6 hours of driving planned per day stretched out to much longer days! The best advice I got in response to this post about planning our road trip was to bring pillows and blankets for each kid – this made it much easier for them to fall asleep in the car, which made late/early morning hotel arrivals (we got to our hotel in Canada at around 2:30am!) less painful. And we did get to enjoy some incredible sunsets, particularly this one in Nebraska!

train in Utah

We all enjoyed seeing some LONG trains on our trip! I want to use that experience as a jumping-off point to teach the kids about the Transcontinental Railroad.

afterschool linky

2013 After School Party HOSTS

The Educators’ Spin On It
Afterschool for Smarty Pants
Boy Mama Teacher Mama
Coffee Cups and Crayons
Little Wonders’ Days
Mama Smiles
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational
The Measured Mom
This Reading Mama
What Do We Do All Day

What afterschool activities has your family been enjoying? Since my family is moving to California, I especially loved these California poppy magnets from Buggy and Buddy !

Link up your activities below!

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

28 thoughts on “Afterschooling: Family Road Trip Edition!”

  1. You should just keep homeschooling when you get to CA :) It sounds like you are having a great road trip. Sightseeing is always fun. The kids are learning so much!

  2. Wow 4 hours at the border. I was just at Niagara with my 2 older girls at the end of August and I thought we waited long at about an hour and a half to get out of Canada, but 4 hours!!

  3. What an amazing learning experience for your kids. Emma, at least, should remember this road trip very well, and you are certainly taking enough pictures to help others remember :) I hope you will be in California soon!

    1. I guess it’s a good thing we did not stay at the Hyatt! Our Niagara Falls hotel was one of two that were not as clean as I would like, actually. The Niagara Falls hotel just had crumbs on the floor; the other hotel (in Illinois) had fleas living in the couch! Every time we sat on it we started getting bitten!

    1. Somehow I had underestimated that. It is good to take the time to decompress from being in the car, tough. In one of the states (Nebraska, I think?) we stopped at a rest stop that was touted the state’s cleanest rest stop – and I believe it! There were two people cleaning when we got there, and everything sparkled. Definitely made for a more pleasant stop!

    1. Definitely! This has been education on the road at its best! I only wish we could have driven through the states a little more slowly so that we could explore each one more thoroughly.

  4. How wonderful! I love the activities on the road/trip. We did the same for the past three-month. It was great!

  5. I love all your pictures and that your kids and you are enjoying hands-on learning and sightseeing. What a wonderful adventure to have as a transition to the West coast.

    1. I am really glad we decided to drive. I think it is helping the kids understand the move a bit better, and we have had some great family time (even if Mike is now back in MA).

  6. What an adventure you are on! I’ve been thinking of you and it’s so nice to hear from you while you’re on the road!

  7. I recognized your photo of the Bluewater Bridge(s) between Sarnia and Port Huron. Glad you found them interesting. I grew up in Sarnia and have fond memories of eating french fries under the bridge (there was just one when I was young). And long lineups on them too. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

    1. Mike never would have considered it if the alternative hadn’t been paying to ship our minivan! I’m really glad it worked out – we have all made some great memories!

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