If you are like us and spend a lot of time in the car, you might also enjoy these- a few our favorite ways to do a little homeschooling in the car!
Our homeschool co-op begins this week (kindergarten and second grade) and we are so excited! I’m grateful we found such a unique program that I don’t even mind the fact that it’s a little bit of a drive for us. 40 minutes to be precise. Each way. I’m being truthful when I say the drive doesn’t bother me though. I like being in the car with my kids. I like just listening to what comes out of their mouths in anticipation of the day ahead or as a rundown of the events of the day when I pick them up.
Still, we are in the car a lot and there is only so much conversation to have before we’re all ready for a vocal break and perhaps a little mental relaxation or stimulation. Here are a few of our favorite ways to do a little homeschooling in the car!
When I was a kid, my brother and resorted to playing “Top Gun” and trying to get the “bogies” (other cars) that were around us. While imaginative play rocks, I’m grateful to have a few more resources at my disposal to make the most of drive time with the girls as we drive from co-op to soccer and home again.
Homeschooling in the Car: Favorites
Kid-Friendly Audio Books, CDs, and Stories for the Car
I can’t recommend Hoopla enough. It’s a program (and app) that links with your library (if your library participates) and allows you to download up to five resources (books, audio books, TV shows, movies) a month per account. We use it exclusively for audiobooks and it’s fantastic. We’ve downloaded the entire Whatever After series, Mary Poppins, The Secret Garden, Fancy Nancy stories, and so many more.
Spin: The Rumpelstiltskin Musical – This CD was a last minute grab from our library while we were doing our fairy tale unit on Rumpelstiltskin and it ended up being the BIGGEST hit. It’s like a top-quality children’s musical brought directly from the stage to your car and we must have listened to 7 times before returning it.
Count, Add, Subtract! – I got caught listening to this on a Instagram story the other day and received a mixed reaction. While half the replies were appalled that I could tolerate this “music,” the other half wanted to know what it was. So this is it! We’ve rented it from the library multiple times throughout the years. Subliminal math fact learning? I’ll take it!
Peter and the Wolf – it’s one of the most kid-friendly ways I know to introduce classical music to kids! Speaking of music, the car is a great time to introduce all kinds of new music from classical composers to The Four Seasons, we’ve had so much fun trying out music of all kinds thanks to Spotify.
Kid-Friendly Podcasts for the Car
Stories Podcast – we’ve tried Story Pirates, Story Nory, and Circle Round, but my kids always come back to asking for Stories Podcast. Try all these recommendations as they are all popular, but our car prefers Stories Podcast most.
But Why Podcast – an NPR podcast that answers questions directly from kids. Some are kind of silly, but some are really interesting and I find myself learning right alongside the girls!
Wow in the World – This science and technology podcast sometimes goes over Kaitlyn’s (5 years old) head, but we still give it a try every once in a while!
Brains On – another fun, award winning, science podcast for kids that has a different kid co-host each week. It skews a little bit older audience than But Why, yet is similar.
Dream Big -This is next on my list to try. It’s a podcast where kids are inspired to dream big as they listen to the 9-year old host interview world-class performers who do what they love and live their dreams each and every day.
Kid-Friendly Workbooks and Fun Books for the Car
Highlights – Do these bring anyone else back to the one good thing about going to the doctor as a kid? Highlight’s magazine! Now they make kid workbooks that incorporate all the same kid fun… with learning! We’ve have gone through multiple workbooks and the kids still love them.
Dollar Spot fact books – Target dollar spot does it again! I’ve often been able to find $1 books that are 8-10 pages long and are filled with pictures about all sorts of kid-curious topics. From land animals to space to under the sea, I love having engaging books for them to thumb-through while they are strapped in their car seats.
Joke books – sigh. I’m not sure I want to recommend these and do this to you. However, no matter how painful it can be to force a chuckle at one knock knock joke after another, I must admit that they keep the girls entertained for a really long time! Hailey loves her Highlights joke book and (lucky us!) will even bring it into restaurants with her too.
Flashcards – The Brainquest Cards are the hands-down favorite, but I find that the girls will even practice math facts or phonograms if they are readily available on our drive. They like to quiz each other. I also bought them this math trekker to take turns with in the car as well.
Kid-Friendly Games for the Car
Spelling and math quizzes – while fairly self explanatory, we use car time to practice words and math facts.
Memorization quizzes – it’s fun to name an important date (whether it has a historical tie, like July 4, or a family tie, like a siblings birthday) and ask if they know what the significance of the date is. We also use this time to practice memorizing phone numbers, poems, and more.
The alphabet game – did anyone else grow up playing this? It keeps kids engaged by searching passing signs as we work as a car to get through the alphabet, in order, as quickly as possible.
Continue the story – this one is a favorite. One person starts a story as makes up a few sentences. Then the next person continues on from there for the next few sentences. Then it passes onto the next person, and so on and so forth. It always ends in a fit of giggles and usually someone saying the word toot. Just being honest here… #stayclassygirls
And there they are- our car time favorites! Some are education, some are silly, but they all help keep my kids entertained in the car through the shuffle of daily activities.
You may also like: Homeshooling Car Favorites for Preschool and Kindergarten
I’d love to hear what your family car favorites are in the comments; I’m always looking for new ideas!
John J. Stathas says
You are one creative Mom/Teacher!
My almost 8 year old loves the podcasts Cool facts about animals and Smash Boom Best.😃
Brittany Dixon says
Thank you; I’ll check these out!
We LOVE Smash Boom Best, too! My kids are constantly coming up with their own debate ideas! We’ve also been playing “Chopped.” I give them five secret ingredients and they have to plan an appetizer, main course, and dessert. We have a 35 minute drive each way to our amazing, totally worth the drive, school, so we have to get creative!
Brittany Dixon says
Oh my goodness that is awesome! I’m totally using that Chopped idea today! Thanks 🙂
Shannon Johnson says
We have loved learning about the American Revolution with the Liberty Kids DVDs (our van has a screen, so the whole car watches/listens together). I am picking, but Liberty Kids has really impressed me–great script, actors, decent animation/illustration. Great stuff! We are now checking out and reading library books on the American Revolution and it feels like we have done an entire academic unit, mostly in our car.
I am thinking about tackling foreign language next. We can use DVDs or audio. Anyone have recommendations for good car language learning with children?
Brittany Dixon says
Thank you for this recommendation; it sounds like something I’d love to try with my girls! I looked into foreign language, too, but the only recommendation I could really find was for Rosetta Stone. Hopefully someone else will be able to jump in on this one!
My son loves to play ‘5 things’ – I give him 5 random words (boy, tree, yellow, dragon, pickle) and he makes up a story using those words and then he’ll give me 5 words to make up a story. I love hearing his imagination work!
Brittany Dixon says
My goodness that’s such a fun idea too! I love these and my girls will be excited for new games to play 🙂 Thanks!
Lisa Cook says
Have you tried Little Stories for Tiny People? It might be a little “young” for Hailey, but she also might love it. The stories are so creative and hit on several character development traits. Thank you for all of the great content you share!!
Brittany Dixon says
Oh no I haven’t, but I will. Thank you for the suggestion! 🙂