Category Archives: Travel & Attractions

Road-Schooling

Road-schooling :  a form of homeschooling that involves traveling, allowing the places and experiences to drive learning  (compatible with, but not the same as, Unschooling)

My husband’s job requires full-time travel, but at the detriment of our family unit.  At least, it used to be that way.  Three years ago, we pulled the kids from school and hit the road with him!  What a nerve-wracking decision!  
Until then, our children had no bond with Daddy.  He was a stranger that occasionally showed up and “changed the rules.”  (Hey – Momma can only pick so many battles alone!)  Also, we were struggling with the public schools – in particular, our special needs child was severely falling behind, and we saw no light at the end of the tunnel.  Going on the road with him offered a change, and put both of those variables directly into our hands.
 
Given our experiences, we would now recommend road-schooling to all families.
There are a few caveats, however.  If I had to tell myself a few pointers three years ago…

  • Know the requirements.  Check with Homeschool Legal Defense Association to make sure that you are completing all homeschool requirements for your home state…where you pay taxes.
  •  Plan ahead.  Find the brochures, and learn about the area you’ll be visiting. Check for museums, events, festivals, factory tours, and anything relevant to that specific location.  Check our unit page – maybe we’ve already been there!
  • Keep records.  One day, you’re going to be accountable for that education; you’ll want to show that they learned something from all those field trips.  This is one of the reasons that we started our blog – it allows us to document where we’ve gone and what we’ve seen.  It also allows us to connect with families in our current location, which is very nice!
  • Don’t get a boxed curriculum.  These are great in the traditional homeschool, but take up so much space in the car.  We use (or create) materials to accompany what we’re studying.  I’ll usually share these in a unit study on the blog page.  See the record-keeping in action?  Also, invest in some tried & true handy gadgets for schooling on the road.
  • Relax.  We school through the summer, on the weekends, at midnight…pretty much whenever we want.  We get more than the required days in, and that’s fine.  We have a lot of field trip days, too.  Want to know which style helps the kids learn and retain the most?  Life experiences, of course!
  • Stay the Course.  There are days when we are sick of each other and want space; there are days when we’re sick of being on the road and want to be home; and there are days when we’re just plain sick.  But seeing the children experience this great country from sea to shining sea, having them enjoy the learning process, and watching them find and follow new passions is worth it all. 

Yvie is a roadschooling mother of two active boys.  When she’s not travelling, she creates Lego printables, plays her hand at Facebook algorithm roulette, and blogs about schooling, cooking, and life on the Gypsy Road!

Gypsy Road : Our homeschooling travels – complete with unit studies, lots of freebies, and reviews. Come join us!

Originally posted 2016-04-27 06:45:02.

RoadSchooling in Charleston: 10 Destinations to Visit for Home-School & Vacations!

Charleston, SC is such a beautiful location! Check out this list of educational places to visit, whether you live there or are visiting! Great opportunities for home-school learning!

10 Destinations for Home-school and Learning in Charleston SC

Charleston SC is such a beautiful place full of historical places and wonderful food! If you’ve never tried Carolina BBQ, I highly recommend it. It’s very different than what we have in my part of the world (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas) but it’s definitely worth trying!

We thought we’d bring you some wonderful places to learn from and visit. Especially if you home-school! And if you are planning to move there, definitely check out Charleston SC Real Estate! They have some beautiful condos for sale in Charleston SC!

RoadSchooling in Charleston: Home-School Destinations for all ages!

  1. Above Calhoun Tours: This one is a little different, but I think it brings so much educational value and there is so much one can learn! I’ve listed a few that I’m looking forward to from their sites. Each one is a different learning experience!

  • The Charleston History Tour: “Booms and panics, merchants and mechanics, southern railroads and mosquito fleets are revealed in the stories of the men and women in this diverse neighborhood. A good general history tour of the Upper Peninsula across the 19th Century.

  • The Women’s Tour: “This tour focuses on the white, free persons of color and black women that lived in the nearby area. It primarily covers the lives of women in the upper part of Charleston. This dynamic and diverse neighborhood provides the opportunity to change the perspective on Charleston history in many ways.

  • Craftsmen, Laborers and Industry Tour: “Factories and the lives of laborers lie within this area surrounded by grand houses built along the Cooper River. This is life between the tracks, merchants and mechanics, black craftsmen and German shopkeepers.”

    1. Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art: Located at the College of Charleston, the Halsey Institute brings visitors innovative and adventurous art from around the world.

    2. Hunley Submarine: The Hunley is a combat submarine that mysteriously disappeared in 1864. Scientists are working to restore and remove sediment. You can take an interactive tour (individually or with a guide) and visit the Hunley Lab, interactive exhibits and activities! Even my curiosity is peaked! I can’t wait to visit!

    3. Middleton Place: This location is full of history, beautiful gardens, and even working stables! Definitely worth checking out! Learn parts of the histories of those enslaved here as well as that of the immigrants who founded the plantation and an economic empire. I love this description from their website: “When we stand on the same land as generations of the enslaved and the free, take in its exquisite beauty and its inherent brutality, we understand that the stories of Middleton Place are American stories. Black stories. White stories. Essential, life-changing human stories.

    4. Coastal Expeditions: With guided tours, rentals and boat charters experience and see beautiful Cape Romain NWR and Bull Island. What better way to study Marine life?

    5. Sandlapper Water Tours: They will take you to explore Morris Island and you can go shelling with their naturalist. Learn first hand about their marine life! I love the hands on learning they offer! Science? Check!

      Charleston South Carolina Homeschool & Tourist Destinations

    6. Fort Sumter Tours: One of the most sought out tours is of Fort Sumter! They will take you back in time by boat to experience where the Civil War began.

    7. South Carolina Aquarium: I have a love for aquariums and this one is certainly one I’m excited about! They have over 5000 animals and you can touch sharks, rays as well as see the state’s only Sea Turtle Hospital! I’m crazy about Sea Turtles so this one is super awesome for me!  Be sure and check out their website for additional home-school resources!Sea Turtle Recovery at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston! Great Home-school Adventure!

    8. Carolina Queen Riverboat: This one may be a little more for entertainment than education, but if you’ve never been on a Riverboat I highly suggest it! It’s an awesome experience! It is definitely a good starting point to dive into learning about paddle boats, how they work and what they were used for! There, fun learning even for grownups!

    9. Haunted Jail Tours: Okay, I know you are thinking this is not educational. But slow down, stay with me! Touring the old city jail (with appropriate aged persons) can be a great way to teach home-school lessons about the judicial system, psychological points and even behavioral psychology! With a fun edge, it can be a good break from brain overload that a savvy parent can use later to teach lessons!

I hope that these have been a great source for you and would love to hear about your travel experiences to Charleston or even how you use destinations in your home school adventures!

Mom’s Night Out: Start Planning Yours Now!

unnamedHey everyone!  Tonight my girl and I are screening Mom’s Night Out!  We are super excited and will bring ya a review in May, right before it comes out!  Be prepared to go as it opens May 9th!  To get ya pepped for it, thought I would share the trailer with you!  Find your favorite girlfriend and start scheming!  You Need this night out!!!

Originally posted 2014-04-03 12:24:34.

Dating Safety: Protect Yourself When You Go Out!

Dating can be intimidating (ha!) these days making safety precautions more important than ever.  It’s not that everyone out there is dangerous or nefarious in their intent, it’s just that those that are can be super evil.  One only needs to turn on the news to verify the validity of that statement!

Dating Safety: 5 Tips to Protect Yourself on Every Date

Dating has changed so much over the years, where once people were set up with eligible matches by their parents,  nowadays we meet up with complete strangers thanks to the glorious internet!  Husband and I met on a dating site and, at the time, telling people got crazy looks.  These days, it’s normal!  A good free dating site for you can certainly enhance the dating pool!

London has created a very clever way to help ensure safety when dating.  Ask for Angela is a program that has already been rolled out in South London boroughs for those who feel unsafe in pubs and clubs to obtain a safe and successful exit.  Police and various pubs and clubs have teamed up to “help reduce sexual violence and vulnerability by providing customers with a non-descript phrase they can use” to get themselves out of situations that feel unsafe.  This is absolutely awesome!  I appreciate that they are taking a proactive step in protecting the populous!  Hopefully, Ask for Angela will inspire similar programs worldwide!

Dating Safety: Protect Yourself

How does it work?  When customers in pubs and such ask for Angela, they are pulled to the side (to a safe place) in such a way as to not alert ones date, then the staff can call a cab, friend or family member for the person or ask the offending party to leave the location.  This is definitely a safety plan that all night spots should have, in my opinion).  I love that it empowers people so that when fear sets in, they can find a safe way out with support!   We should never be ignored or feel  as if our concerns aren’t validated, especially if we feel there is a danger!

Safety is Essential!

Continue reading Dating Safety: Protect Yourself When You Go Out!

Tilt-A-Whirl

IMG_4660 IMG_4659 IMG_4658 IMG_4657 IMG_4656

Not gonna lie, I’ve reached an age where the tilt a whirl made me sick.  Joy.  But the kid had fun so it was totally worth it!

Got any great fair/carnival memories?

Originally posted 2013-10-23 04:41:50.

Special Family Packages and Savings at Castle Rock Resort and Waterpark up to 30% Off

castlerock-logo-color castlerockwet-n-wild-and-big-savings

 

Castle Rock Resort and Waterpark is located in beautiful Branson, Missouri. We offer a 30,000 square foot indoor waterpark and 10,000 square foot outdoor waterpark. We also have an on-site restaurant, a 24-hour arcade and gift shop, and day spa & salon.

Our resort features 98 Tower rooms connected to the Waterpark through interior corridors and 102 exterior entrance rooms in the two Atrium buildings located approximately 50 yards from the Waterpark. Each Tower room has a built in Kiddie Cove (6′ x 4′) with a bunk bed and 19” flat screen tv.  Our Tower room accommodations boast 2 double beds or 1 king bed, 32” flat screen tv, mini fridge, coffee maker, iron, ironing board, and hairdryer. Our newly refurbished Atrium rooms boast 2 queen beds, or 1 king bed, a 32” flat screen tv, coffee maker, iron, ironing board, and hairdryer.

Castle Rock offers one of Branson’s best attractions right on-site with our 30,000 sq ft indoor and 10,000 sq ft outdoor waterpark.  Our waterpark features 150,000 gallons of splashtacular fun with two 500 gallon dumping buckets, multiple indoor and outdoor kiddie pools with rain showers and waterfalls and more! Enjoy a swim in our indoor lap pool or play basketball in our indoor activity pool. Loop and dip through our 2 large three-story thrill slides, kick back for a ride on the lazy river, play on themed water slides or relax on the multilevel sun deck.

Big Savings Weekday Special – Book your reservation online and receive 30% Off your entire stay! Valid on new reservations only.  Not valid in conjunction with any other offers, discounts, promotions or packages.  Blackout Dates: 10/13-10/17, 11/28.  Offer Expires: 12/19/13

2360Wet & Wild Weekend Package – Includes 2 nights lodging, waterpark access, breakfast each morning for 2 adults & 2 children, VIP coupons, 1 water blaster, 2 adult & 2 children Branson Wild World VIP admission (includes animal adventure tour, arcade, and mini golf).  Package starts at $268, 25% off.  On new reservations only.  Not valid in conjunction with any other offers, discounts, promotions or packages. Blackout Dates: 8/30 – 8/31, 10/18 – 10/19 Expires 11/2/13

Call 1-888-273-3919 to book or visit http://www.castlerockbranson.com

Originally posted 2013-08-21 14:22:23.

6 Camping Necessities You Didn’t Know You Needed

6 Camping Necessities You Didn't Know You NeededOne of my oldest and bestest friends and I decided to pack up and take our babies camping this week.  We got back yesterday, and boy am I sunburned!  I know, I know, USE SUNBLOCK!!!  Which, I did on day one and day three, but on day two I managed to forget it.  However, we did manage to remember to put it on the kids so that’s something, right?  LOL.  The result being that she and I are sunburned and all the Monkeys are perfectly brown.  Go figure.  LOL.  I am glad they aren’t burned too though!

I thought I would right a short post today about camping, since I’m too sore to sit at my keyboard for long.  LOL.  Anyway, here is my list of random things we MUST take with us next time!

Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-06-22 08:48:48.

Silver Dollar City: Hacks, Tips, Fun!

Silver Dollar City Hacks Tips & TricksThinking of going to Silver Dollar City? It’s definitely time to go! Such a beautiful time of year in the mountains and there is something for everyone to love at their awesome park!  We’ve got some hacks, tips & trips to make your Silver Dollar City experience amazing!

We recently had the privilege of going to the annual National Crafts and Cowboy Festival at Silver Dollar City. I cannot possibly tell you how much I enjoyed it, but I’m going to do my best! We had the most amazing time! I’m fairly certain they quite literally have something that would interest anyone. The staff at the park are incredibly good at their jobs and super fun to talk to.
Upon entering the park, the first thing I noticed was the architecture of the buildings which are, of course, made to look like the old west. They have adorable fall displays everywhere and I was over the moon checking them all out and wishing I could re-create them at home for my décor! Absolutely gorgeous!
We spent pretty much the entire day watching the demonstrations and talking to the incredibly talented craftsmen, most of which were ‘regulars’. They were so knowledgeable and could answer every question we had about their crafts. I was in awe of the various talents. I spoke to a white smith (no, not a black smith I stated that correctly), glass blowers, a potter, sculptor, painter, sewers, basket weavers, authors, cooks, and so many other types of artisans! It was amazing!
If you aren’t into demonstrations, there is a ton of fabulous places to eat, shopping and plenty of awesome rides! There is even a train you can ride around the park! We were going to brave an 8 pound wrap but decided it was too much and got half, which I still couldn’t eat all of my half of the half! They had cast iron skillets that were huge and super impressive! They told us how they season them and take care of them every day. We loved learning tricks of their trades!

Also, I have to mention the costumes!  While I’m sure they drive some of the employees crazy (especially women), the costumes are adorable!  And I totally love that the women can wear boots with their dresses!  If only that could be a modern world style!

If you aren’t able to make it this year, definitely plan to go next year!  You won’t regret it!  Soon I’ll be going to check out the Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City.  That one is a trip with my girlfriend and I seriously cannot wait!  Be sure and check back as I’ll post about it as well!

Insider Tips I Learned From Experience & Other Park Regulars

1. Purchase and print your tickets before you go, skipping the line is an awesome perk!
2. For the most minimal crowd, plan your trip in the middle of the week.
3. Ditch the purse, trust me! Get a fanny pack (I have it on good authority they are back in! Shout out to my Happy Soul for letting me in on that one!)


4. Take a refillable water bottle. You’ll want to stay hydrated, plus they have the cutest water filling stations ever!
5. Stay in Branson West, you’ll skip the traffic line entering the park and that is a huge plus!
6. Almost anything you purchase can be shipped home for you. We purchased some amazing blown glass and it arrived in perfect condition a week later at our door.
7. Fascinated with glass blowing? Springtime is the best time to go to get to see the glass blowers at their best as they can be more creative with what they design. In October, they were working on a ton of hand blown Snowmen. 8. They also did some turkeys that I went nuts over!  Remember to budget extra, once you see them make them it’s almost impossible not to get one for your home!
9. Go early, you’ll want the extra time in the park!

10. Research what shows and attractions you can’t miss on their website then plan accordingly, otherwise you will get fascinated by something and miss some of the things that were important to you.  Grab one of their papers on the way in, the app is not the best map.  Hopefully they will improve it soon, but until then, it is good for knowing what is close by.

Know any pointers I missed? Let us know in the Comments section!

 

Fall Getaway You Can’t Miss This Year

If you’ve never been to Silver Dollar City, you definitely should make the time to go.  This is the perfect time of year to make plans to go.  Don’t let the craziness of the holiday season stop you, it is worth the time, trust me!  Read all about some of the best times of the year at Silver Dollar City below!

NATIONAL CRAFTS & COWBOY FESTIVAL (September 13 - October 28)
FALL: NATIONAL CRAFTS & COWBOY FESTIVAL (September 13 – October 28)

For fall, Silver Dollar City presents the National Crafts & Cowboy Festival, featuring some of the nation’s finest craftsmen and authentic cowboys. The festival presents a Wild West Show with trick riders, ropers and a world-champion Native American Hoop dancer; Western music; a barn dance, and 125 visiting craftsmen. Best of Missouri Hands juried artists demonstrate their art and fall harvest foods are served up September 13 – October 28 at the Branson, Missouri theme park.

NATIONAL CRAFTS & COWBOY FESTIVAL
The Home of American Craftsmanship presents the nation’s largest festival of demonstrating craftsmen, with entertainment and activities saluting the Great American Cowboy:

Over 125 visiting craftsmen from around the country demonstrate their art, including Best of Missouri Hands juried artists, all joining Silver Dollar City’s 100 demonstrating craftsmen.

Silver Dollar City’s Wild West Show features trick riders, Native American dance with 8-time World Champion Native American Hoop Dancer Nakotah LaRance, comedy canines, and trick roper and bullwhip artist A.J. Silver.

Legendary Western actor and watercolor artist Buck Taylor hosts “Buck Taylor’s Cowboy Emporium,” featuring a variety of Western crafts.

Plus Chuck Wagon & Food Network Chef Kent Rollins and Extreme Mustangs are featured in the Red Gold courtyard.

A Western Barn Dance presents kick-up-your-heels fun, with a live band.

Western music with groups including The Malpass Brothers, The Home Rangers, Belinda Gail and Kristyn Harris, 2016 Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year.

NEW: The nation’s pioneer culinary heritage comes to life with campfire cooking and cowboy cuisine, including Cowboy Beef Stew and Dutch Oven Desserts.

This event draws approximately 300,000 visitors each year.2017 National Crafts & Cowboy Festival

Silver Dollar City began the fall crafts festival tradition in 1963, bringing in visiting craftsmen in addition to the park’s growing resident crafts colony, with the goal of showcasing the makers along with the finished artwork. More than half a century later, a unique feature still is that all visiting crafters, as with the park’s own, demonstrate their work so guests see the process, the skill and the creativity of true craftsmanship. This became the nation’s largest festival of demonstrating craftsmen. The focus on authentic craftsmanship was one of the reasons the U.S. Congress in 2010 proclaimed Silver Dollar City the “Home of American Craftsmanship.” In addition to craftsmen, Silver Dollar City added features with another American icon several years ago, the cowboy, to carry on the festival as The National Crafts & Cowboy Festival.

AN OLD TIME CHRISTMAS (November 4 - December 30)

AN OLD TIME CHRISTMAS (November 4 – December 30)

Our An Old Time Christmas festival, this year adding a huge new area: Christmas in Midtown, with towering light displays 9 stories high, animated figures in lights, and 1.5 million additional lights, bringing the park total to over 6.5 million lights! Christmas in Midtown is our largest single lighting expansion in the past 20 years of this festival.

One of the nation’s most acclaimed Christmas festivals, profiled by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel and Good Morning America, is even bigger and brighter this year with an all-new area:

NEW: Christmas in Midtown, a 70,000 sq. ft. area filled with new light displays 9 stories high, including 30 angels, animated reindeer pulling a sleigh, 3 light tunnels, two 40-foot long moving trains, dozens of stars and snowflakes, and a 50-foot tree, all created at Silver Dollar City. Christmas in Midtown, the largest single lighting expansion to date in the past 2 decades of the festival, adds 1.5 million new lights, bringing the park’s total to 6.5 million lights!

Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade, led by the most famous reindeer of all, features musical lighted floats with 200,000 lights accompanied by 33 costumed characters.

Rudolph’s Christmas Town, where kids can meet Rudolph, Clarice and Bumble, also includes activities from Reindeer Games to cookie decorating.

Two original musical productions present Broadway-style experiences, with elaborate sets and talented casts: It’s a Wonderful Life, adapted from the Frank Capra classic, and the acclaimed production A Dickens’ Christmas Carol.

The Christmas on Main Street light & sound show features the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree with over 350,000 colorful LED lights.

Tinker Junior’s Toy Shop is an interactive show for kids featuring a 12-foot talking and singing Christmas tree.

Kids can meet Santa in Santa Claus Lane, illuminated in colorful lights.

Plus, the festival presents holiday shows, a musical Living Nativity, shows, rides, shopping and new Silver Dollar City dining specialties.

AN OLD TIME CHRISTMAS (November 4 - December 30)

Why I Love to Cruise: 5 Reasons YOU Will Too!!!

Hello all, it’s Crystal here!Why I Love to Cruise: 5 Reasons YOU Will Too!!!

 

With summer in full swing I can’t help but think of vacationing. And my new favorite way to vacation is a cruise!
If you have never been on one before I’m going to give you my top 5 reasons why I love to cruise.
  #1 One price for everything. Your room, food and entertainment are a one stop shop therefore you don’t have to do tons of research to figure out how much dough you will need to save up. Of course don’t forget to calculate the costs of getting to port and back. But if you prepay gratuities and research your cruise line of choice there really aren’t any surprises.

#2 Fun destinations! Who hasn’t secretly or not so secretly, as in my case, wished of traveling to other countries? I love to go to new countries and see how they live. It’s very inspiring. I tend to come home with a new outlook on life.

Why I Love to Cruise: 5 Reasons YOU Will Too!!!

 #3 Step outside that box!
When I go new places I like to find at least one way to step outside my comfort zone and try new things. On a cruise there are tons of ways to do that. I sampled new foods. Some were very good, others were not so much. Haha! If you have never been on a cruise make it a priority to eat in the dining room at least once.  But it’s really the highlight of the ship in my opinion. The food is wonderful and at times exotic. The best part is, you can order all you want! Another way to challenge yourself is with excursions.  My two best friends went parasailing on the beach of Cozumel. I’ll tell you one of them had a blast. The other was a good sport while we laughed at the video of her totally freaking out.
Why I Love to Cruise: 5 Reasons YOU Will Too!!!#4 The scenery. Have you ever watched the sun set over the ocean? It’s beautiful. The waters in the Carribean and Mexico are so clear. You can see the fishies as they swim around you. If you love to take pictures like I do, then you will love all the photo ops you can get while on a cruise and in ports.

  #5 Busy, Busy, Busy! There’s always something to do on a cruise. Even if it’s just eating. The food is everywhere and it’s so yummy. The pools are a hot spot, and the shows are super fun. I caught a couple comedians, some Broadway type shows, and even hit up the casino just for fun. I played a whopping $12 haha! There are tons of other activities as well and they occur all day and into the night.
Here is a bonus #6..I love getting dressed up to go to diner each night. As a stay at home mom/writer I don’t get many chances to do that. There is one or two nights depending on the length of your cruise that is fancy wear night. That one was the most fun. Get dressed early and pop down to all the photo ops to have your picture taken!
Why I Love to Cruise: 5 Reasons YOU Will Too!!!
Photo Opp from Fancy Night!

Why I Love to Cruise: 5 Reasons YOU Will Too!!!

I’m ready to set sail today after that, how about you?
If you would like more information about cruising sound off in the comments below. I have lots more information that I can give you.
I would also like to hear what you love to do on vacation, or your favorite things about cruising if you have been.
Check out this sleep mask for the ride to your cruise!