May 2013

Grocery Shopping for Learning Opportunities III

Last article “Grocery Shopping for Learning Opportunities II” I shared about the educational opportunities I create as I prepare for grocery shopping. This article is about how I use our time for educational opportunities on the way to and from the grocery store.

The grocery store I frequent most is only about ten minutes from our house. Yes, I am thankful that I don’t have to travel far to get groceries. Even though our drive is very short, I still like to make use of the time with my children as I usually go grocery shopping with them on a school morning. I have incorporated this time into my school schedule and actually planned to use it accordingly. Currently there are two activities that I have scheduled for this time in our van.

Memory Work - I have my children take turns reciting the Books of the Bible (One of our memory goals for this year). Often one child recites the Old Testament and another child recites the New Testament. Then I have them recite things that they are working on, such as my preschooler will count to 20 or my 1st grader will name the days of the week or my 3rd grader will recite The Lord’s Prayer. At other times I will have them recite Bible verses.

The memory work I choose is one of the goals that I set for them at the beginning of the year. In the future I plan to have them learn things like the 50 states or all of the US presidents. A helpful tip for driving is that I have them work on things that I already have memorized. Since I don’t have all of the US presidents memorized in chronological order, I will have to either personally work on that for the future, or come up with some other method by that time.

Reading - Sometimes my children each read from their own reader/book and other times I have one of my children read aloud.

In the past I have also done other activities with my children in the van.

Music - I have borrowed CDs from our library with different types of music in order to teach and expose my children to different styles of music. I’ve also used our time to sing and teach them new songs.

Audio Books - I have borrowed audio books from our library on different topics. Obviously we can’t finish an entire book in one ten minute trip, but we can listen to part of it during each of multiple trips until we do finish the entire book.

There are websites and books out there dedicated to travel entertainment. I have only listed a few of the ideas that I have personally used on our short weekly drive to the grocery store. I’m sure many of you have many more ideas than I do. Please leave a comment and share one or two with the rest of us.

I hope you have enjoyed my series on Grocery Shopping for Learning Opportunities.


You may have noticed my lack of recent posts. Here is the reason why.

I tried to prepare for the time demands of a new baby ahead of time as much as I could. I stocked up my freezer with meals and tried to stay on top of bills and laundry and correcting schoolwork and such. When my son was actually born, I took two weeks off of school, with no pressure, to do anything other than survive. After that I started up our schoolwork again slowly (similar to how I we do it in the fall). I started up math and Language first and then when things started to settle into a routine, I added back in the other subjects one at a time as I could handle them.My youngest son was born on February 12th. We had some health challenges the first few weeks, but are now doing well.

In place of and later in addition to our regular schoolwork, I found this to be a great time to talk to my children about babies: how to care for them, how God created them, what makes our baby a boy, etc. I have to frequently remind myself that just because my children aren’t doing all their workbooks, doesn’t mean they aren’t learning. What is more important than learning life lessons about a new baby?

How do you prepare for the birth of a baby and manage life after the birth while homeschooling older children?