Raising your children out on the road gives them an education like nothing else can. Travel broadens the mind and brings new experiences every day. School is definitely still important and it can be a real challenge to make sure your kids are learning what they need to learn.
Some things are easier to teach than others. Math is pretty easy to teach while you're out on the road. There are numbers everywhere! Here are just a few activities you can do with your kids to teach them basic math skills while you're out traveling.
If they need to learn the absolute basics, the odometer is a great teaching tool. You can teach the numerals and place value very easily just by having them observe the odometer as it climbs up. You can even get a little decimal work in there too if they're up for it.
Another game that can be played for the basics is math bingo. This is a type of bingo that uses math problems to generate the numbers. You can make it as simple or as hard as necessary for your kids by just changing the bingo cards around. Try scattering the numbers one through 12 over a card. It's okay to double up! Let the kids decide which one to cover for each problem. You can find a lot more about math bingo and how to play it by following the instructions on this page.
As they master the basics, you can start adding in calculations about money, like when you purchase snacks at the convenience store. Counting money is a skill people use all their lives. The sooner it can be learned, the better! Go from there up to calculating deals on gasoline. For instance, you could ask them something like the following. If the gas at station A is 2.75 a gallon, and the gas at station B is 2.85 a gallon, and we need to add 10 gallons, how much money would we save going to station A? You may have a bit of a shiver thinking about word problems, but this is a real-world example.
From there you can branch out into all sorts of math. Miles per gallon calculations is another good one to teach. Map skills also have a lot of math involved, like reading a scale to find out how far apart two locations are. Estimating how much time it will take to reach a destination at a certain speed is another useful math skill.
In short, with a little creativity there are many ways to teach basic math skills while driving. In fact, I was a little surprised myself while writing this by just how much math we use every day on the road!
Visit the BingoMania math bingo page for additional resources and information.