I have a problem.

Our homeschool schedule is ruined for the day if we leave the house.  We leave the house ALOT.  Between Dr’s appointments, swim lessons, library days, art class, co-op, nature day and spontaneous play dates, some weeks it feels like nothing has gotten done.  

 I know that we will never get through everything planned for the week, but I also want to feel like we are making progress.  I don’t want to keep the kids home more to do that.  Instead, I started looking for a solution to the problem.

Do you have this problem too?  I imagine that I am not alone.  We are busy.  We are taking our children out into the world everyday and letting them experience life.  And that’s not all.  It’s life itself that keeps happening no matter how solid our school schedule is.  

Many of the articles on car schooling I read focused on stuff to buy like clipboards and lab desks and backseat organizers.   I don’t need more THINGS.  I needed a list of SUBJECT BY SUBJECT learning resources like audio cd’s and books, educational podcasts and learning materials that I could pull out or pop in at a moments notice.   An ALL IN ONE list that I could refer too quickly when we needed to extend a subject or concept for the day, but didn’t have time to do it at home.  

Please Mama, do not look at this MONSTER OF A LIST and feel like you have to do it all.   I am a firm believer in boredom and downtime for our kids and this is not another guilt trip about you needing to do more to fill in their every moment.  So, pick one or two subjects that your kids really enjoy or that you find hard to get done at home and then make that the focus of your car time for now.  Then, come back when you are ready for more ideas!

These are some of the essentials that I use everyday to make school happen in the car.  By far the most important is access to audiobooks and educational music MP3’s that I can stream right from my phone.  I will download the material I want to iTunes or my Amazon Music app, then organize into relevent playlists, and then use a BLUETOOTH speaker in my car that is connected to the aux on my stereo.  

1.  Carschooling by Diane Flynn Keith.  Keep this book in your car for when you need a quick idea for super creative games and activities.  Includes learning games for every subject.

2.  Amazon Audible Subscription. I don’t use Audible, instead I use Hoopla which is connected to my library account.  If you don’t have audiobook access through your library then Audible is a great resource for childrens literature and non-fiction eBooks.

3.  Check with your library to see if they use Overdrive or Hoopla  for free audiobooks streamed on your device.  With Hoopla, I get 6 borrows a month for free!  Way more value then Audible.  You are limited to the books your library offers though.

4.  LibriVox is a source for finding public domain audiobooks that you can listen to for free.  You can find non fiction, poetry, Shakespeare, classic literature and more.

3. Prime Music and Music Unlimited. We already have a Prime subscription but for an extra $9.99/month I get access to every song Amazon offers including educational music that I can organize into playlists and play whenever I want.  From science songs, to guided meditation for kids, to classical music and ballet stories I find this resource super easy and useful when I need to find something quick.  Plus, there is no clutter of CD’s to deal with.

4. Bluetooth Car Kit. This little bluetooth adapter makes all of this happen!  My older car stereo does not have blue tooth and my newer iPhone cannot connect via AUX.  So this little guy has been a lifesaver!  It picks up the bluetooth signal and then connects to the car speakers via the AUX port.  I can now stream all the stories and podcasts we want…hands free!

Science on the go

Science is actually really easy to extend in the car.  No, you can’t do experiments BUT you can choose from a ton of science CD’s and amazing science podcast for kids that have episodes on almost any topic you can think of.   Plus there are really fun card games for upper elementary and higher as well as fun activity books that can be saved just for car time.  

Audio CD’s/MP3’s.

 Many of the CD’s are out of print but still AWESOME for early elementary!  Find them used on Amazon, Amazon Music Unlimitied, eBay or at your library.

 

 Here Comes Science (science songs) Audio CD, MP3, Music Unlimited

Lyrical Science Series (science songs)  

Lyrical Life Science 1. Bacteria to Birds MP3,  Audio CD

Lyrical Life Science 2.  Mammals, Ecology and Biomes Audio CD

Lyrical Life Science 3. The Human Body Audio CD, MP3

Lyrical Earth Science. Geology Audio CD

 Singing Science:  Tickle Tune Typhoon.  Audio CD

Schoolhouse Rock:  Science Songs. Audio CD

Astronomy Rock!  Music Unlimited, MP3, Audio CD

Body Systems Rock!  Music Unlimited, MP3, Audio CD

Anything Tom Glazer!

 Space Songs. Music Unlimited, MP3

 Weather Songs.   Music Unlimited, MP3

Nature Songs and More Nature Songs. Music Unlimited, MP3

 Experiment Songs.Music Unlimited, MP3

 Energy and Motion Songs.  Music Unlimited, MP3

 Ballads for the Age of Science Boxed Set   Includes all of the above songs!  Music Unlimited, MP3, Audio CD

 Galileo and the Stargazers by Jim Weiss.   Includes stories about Archimedes, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo and Newton.  Audio CD

Science Podcasts

 If you have yet to try podcasts you need to start today!  Its easy to either search on the Podcast app (Apple iOS) or use Stitcher,  where you can “stitch” together different playlist episodes for super organization!  I’ve included the links for both services throughout this post.

The age range suggestions are based on podcast reviews.  You will need to make the final decision about what is appropriate or not.  

Brains On!  (all ages)   Host Molly Bloom and a different kid co-host find answers to science and history questions twice a month.  Apple | Stitcher

Wow in the World (ages 5-12).  Amazing podcast for so many ages about technology, science, discoveries and intentions. Apple | Stitcher

But Why? (ages 3-9) Kids ask the questions and the hosts find the answers.                  Apple | Stitcher

The Show About Science. (ages 4 and up). Kid host Nate takes listeners on an adventure into the world of scientific discovery.  Apple | Stitcher   |  Also Here for more episodes

Houston, We Have a Podcast by NASA. (ages 8 and up). Straight from NASA!  Apple | Stitcher

Tumble. (ages 6-12) Science podcast for kids about science discoveries with the help of real scientists!  Apple | Stitcher

Highlights Hangout (ages 3-12). A science podcast from highlights magazine and the hosts from Wow in the World…what a great combo!  Apple | Stitcher

Shabam! (ages 8-18) This podcasts blends fictional stories with real science, making science FUN.  Apple | Stitcher

Radiolab (High School)  Science, philosophy, curiosity and the human experience. Apple | Stitcher

  BBC World Service:  Discovery (high school). Love BBC.  Their presentation and in depth coverage on topics that don’t always make the front news.  Discovery podcast explores the world of science with coverage all around the world.  Apple | Stitcher

Math on the go

Audio cd’s/mp3

Count, Add, Subtract  Fun with math, music and movement (PreK – 3rd) CD, MP3, Music Unlimited

 Here Come the 123’s (ages 3-8). Audio CD, MP3, Music Unlimited

Multiplication Mountain (1st grade and up) CD, MP3, Music Unlimited

Schoolhouse Rock!  Multiplication Rock (1st grade and up). Audio CD

Podcasts

 Math Dude Quick and Dirty Tips   Jason Marshall is out to make math easier to understand and fun.  (K-12 )  Apple | Stitcher

Math Mutation (K-12). Discusses fun, interesting and weird corners of mathmatics that you didn’t learn in school. Apple | Stitcher

fun and games

Learning Wrap-ups Keys for Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division

Pre Algebra Intro Kit

Tangram Magnetic Puzzle Book

Extreme Dot to Dots like this one

Math Workbooks (We generally don’t use notebooks for school but kids like them when we are in the car.  I keep one in my purse for times they have to wait)

Harry Potter Coloring Math Book:  Multiplication and Division

Foundational Math Skills

Fun Schooling Math Mysteries

Math Games for Clever Kids

History on the go

History is another easy subject to do in the car!  There are so many great historical fictions and podcasts to listen to for short and long rides.  Older kids can enjoy trivia games in the backseat and younger kids can do historical coloring books.  You can all enjoy the stories though, even Mom!  

Audio Books and CD’s

Story of the World. (K and up) Even if you don’t use this text for school, your kids can still enjoy the stories.  Skip chapters with a biblical focus if you are a secular homeschool.   Your library might have these!  Audio Book on CD

 The Story of Mankind (5th grade and up) Audible Audiobook, Audio CD

A Childs History of the World  (4th grade and up) We have the print book and love it but secular homeschoolers will need to vet chapters first.  Audible Audiobook, Audio CD

A Little History of The World (K and up)(Not Secular).  Audible Audiobook, Audio CD

American History for the Ears and The Living Books for the Ears MEGA Collection from Homeschool Radio Show (K and up). We have this resourse and LOVE IT.  There are hundreds of old radio stories that touch upon every subject in american history and biographies as well.  Little by little I make playlist on my iphone depending on what we are studying.  These resourses will last for years but I believe the Erskine family only releases these once a year or so.  So head over to their website and subscribe so you can snag the next release!

Anything narrated by Jim Weiss (all ages) (All Audio CD)

True Adventures of the Ancient Greeks

Pharohs and Queens of Ancient Egypt

        Julius Ceasar and The Story of Rome

Gone West

Egyptian Treasures Myths and Mummies

Greek Myths

The Queens Pirate:  The Adventures of Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Francis Drake

King Arther and His Knights

Women in Blue or Gray

Thomas Jefferson

George Washington

Abraham Lincoln

Heros of History Series. (5 and up) There are a ton to choose from, pick what you are studying. Audible Audiobook, Audio CD

D’Aularies Book of Greek Myths (4 and up). Audible Audiobook, Audio CD

Horrible Histories Series (age 9+) Some on Audible and some on CDS

A Treasury of Civil War Songs by Tom Glazer. Audio CD, Music Unlimited

Montessori Music:  History Tunes Audio CD

Podcasts

Backstory:  The American History Podcast. (middle school and up) Every week this podcasts chooses a current topic and explores it through the lens of American history.  Apple | Stitcher

 A History of the World in 100 Objects  (middle school and up). Director of the British Museum retells history through the objects man has made.  Apple | Stitcher 

The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd (all ages). A fun spin on old time radio with a dash of history.  Your kids will love Dr. Floyd!  Apple | Stitcher

The Past and The Curious. (ages 8-14)  Making history fun!  My kids love this podcast, we listen to it any chance we get.  Apple | Stitcher

 

How Stuff Works:  Stuff You Missed in History Class.   (middle school and up) Over 300 history stories you have never heard.  Really cool stuff!  Apple | Stitcher

Revisionist History (high school and up). This podcast is from one of my favoite authors Malcolm Gladwell.  Every week he takes a topic and asks “did we get it wrong?”  This one is for older kids though!  Apple | Stitcher

 

Fun and games

 

Professor Noggin Card Games (lots of history topics to choose from) (ages 7+)

.        Ancient Civilizations

Medieval Times

Explorers

History of the United States

American Revolution

Civil War

Presidents of the United States

BrainBox Trivia World History Card Game  (ages 8+)

Classical Historian Go Fish Games (ages 3+)

Ancient History

Medieval History

 

Language Arts on the go

Spelling . Grammer . Literature . Phonics

Audio Books and CD’s

Free Audiobooks from your library, Librivox, Hoopla, Overdrive. 

Subscription to Audible 

Grammar Songs  Audio CD, MP3, Music Unlimited

Here Come the ABC’s.  Audio CD, MP3, Music Unlimited

Spelling Town  Audio CD

Phonogram Circus Audio CD

Phonogram Zoo. Audio CD

Schoolhouse Rock:  Grammar Rock. Audio CD

Grammar Rock. Audio CD, MP3, Music Unlimited

Jim Weiss Literature Retellings (lots and lots to choose from.  I find mine used on eBay)

A Tale of Two Cities. Audio CD, MP3

Shakespeare for Children: A Midsummer Nights Dream. Audio CD

Romeo and Juliet  Audio CD

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Audio CD

Treasure Island. Audio CD

Sherlock Holmes for Children  Audio CD

American Tall Tales. Audio CD

Podcasts

Book Club for Kids (middle grade). Listen to middle graders talk about books.  Great book club on the go!  Apple  | Stitcher.

Storynory. (ages 7-11, some PreK nursery stories and rhymes). Incredible podcast with over 600 myths, fairy tales, poems, classic and original stories ALL FREE!  Apple | Stitcher

Saturday Morning Theatre (all ages). A short and sweet throwback to old time radio with funny superhero, western, mystery and comedy adventures.  Apple | Stitcher

The Guardian Childrens Book Podcast (middle school and up). Young readers get to ask their favorite authors questions about their favorite books.  Fun way for kids who love books to explore the stories behind the story. Apple | Stitcher

What if World (all ages).  SUPER creative podcast where kids ask “What if” questions and the host spins a story.  Apple | Stitcher

Stories (all ages) G rated fairy tales, classics and original stories for bedtime, car rides or just to keep kids off screens.  Apple | Stitcher

 Story Pirates (ages 4-10).   Stories submitted by kids are turned into sketch comedies with songs.  The dialogue is performed as written, even if the grammar is incorrect (as unedited stories from 1st graders will be!).  Apple | Stitcher

Geography on the go

Podcasts

 Not specifically geography but many episodes have “geographical issues”. You may have to preen for relevent information.  These podcasts are mainly for high schoolers.

 80 Days, an Exporation. (high school). Part history, part geography, Each weekly episode is about the culture, pastimes, music, religion and people of a little know country, territory or city.  Apple | Stitcher

 BBC World Service:  The Inquiry (high school). A million interesting topics and viewpoints that go behind the headlines and covers all areas of the globe.   Apple | Stitcher

 BBC World Service:  The Documentary (high school). Can you tell I love BBC?  This particular podcasts focuses on investigating global developments issues and affairs.  Tons of topics from every country in the world.  Want your high schooler to listen to less sensationalized, negative news?  BBC is the way to go.  Apple | Stitcher

Fun and Games

Maps!  Your city, county, state, topograpical and recreational maps of your area.  Keep them handy in the backseat for your kids to peruse.  The more detailed the map the better!  We like one like this that shows recreational sites, backroads and campgrounds.  A spiral bound road atlas is easy to hold in a childs seat.  

Cling on 11 x 17 Travel Map for the backseat window.  This is an awesome idea for longer road trips.  Kids can put vinyl peel on/off stickers for each new state they visit.  

Dry Erase License Plate Game (fits in the glovebox!)

Professor Noggin Card Games

Geography of the United States

Countires of the World

Wonders of the World

BrainBox:  All Around the World

GeoCards World and USA: Education Geography Card Game

The Geography Coloring Book

 DK Geography Learn and Explore Workbook

Music on the Go

Music is my favorite subject to do in the car!  Its such a natural extension since so much of it is auditory.  I actually find music one of those subjects that I just can’t get done at home.  But in the car, my kids have learned all the music and stories from several favorite ballets and operas as well as biographies of that composers life.  

AudioBooks/CDS/Mp3’s

 Maestro Classics for Kids (12 CD Set). Each of these CD’s are wonderful narrated stories about a famous orchestra piece.  Our favorite is by far Peter and the Wolf.  You can buy the very expensive box set or each CD individually as you go.  (Audio CD, Some MP3’s)

 The Bernstein Favorites Children’s Classics.  LOVE BERNSTEIN!  (Music Unlimited, Audio CD, MP3)

 The Story of the Orchestra Book + CD The book is beautiful, but the CD is fantastic for homeschooling on the go.  Narrated stories with accompanying musical pieces.  Short enough that we can do one story on the way to the grocery store.  (Audio CD with book)

 A Childs Introduction to Ballet + CD. Like The Story of the Orchestra in that you have to buy the book to get the CD.  The CD narrates over 15 famous ballets with their music.  (Audio CD with book)

 Beethoven’s Wig (4 Volumes) Currently our FAVORITE!  I found volume 2 at a thrift store and loved it so much I bought all the others.  The are silly songs about the composer or famous piece set to that music.  Our favorite is Shuberts Trout on volume 2.  Can’t stop singing it!  (Audio CD, Music Unlimited, MP3s)

 The Classical Kids Collection:  Tales of enchantment and classical music. Pricey, but if you can find them used then snatch them up.  Wonderful stories about different composers with their music woven throughout.  (Audio CD)

 Meet the Great Composers Book and CD.  Homeschoolers are giving this book rave reviews!  What I love is that there is a CD we can listen to in the car. 

 Linnea in Monets Garden. Follow Linnea as she travels to Paris with her neighbor and then visits Giverny.  Sweet story that can be read, watched or listened to on Audible

Masters of the Renaissance by Jim Weiss. True stories about da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Donatello and more!  Audio CD

 

 

Podcasts

 Classics for Kids: NPR (all ages)  Short and sweet stories for kids with interesting tidbits about famous composers and their music.  Apple | Stitcher

 The Classical Classroom (middle school and up). Learn about classical musics modern composers and discover new music.  Apple | Stitcher

 The Great Composers: NPR Unique stories exploring the human side of some of the most famous composers in history.  Longer episodes are more suitable for the upper middle school/high school crowd.  (middle school and up) Apple | Stitcher

 

Fun and Games

Dover Coloring Books. There are so many so pick the topics you are studying.  From Art Masterpieces, Women Artist, Italian Renaissance, Monet, Van Gogh, Great Composers, Musical Instruments, etc.  I like to make copies of the pages to dole out instead of giving my kids the book to color.  

Note Speed Card Game. A fun card game that reinforces the learning of musical notes.  

 Classroom Music Games and Activities. Basically a lesson book for teachers BUT with a ton of worksheets and puzzles that can be copied and handed out to little music learners to complete.  

 Music Flash Cards

 Learning Wrap-ups Music Theory 

 Brainbox ART

 Professor Noggins History of Art Card Game Go Fish for Art Choose between Renaissance, Impressionist, Van Gogh, and Modern Artists…or get them all! 

 Famous Paintings Sticker Book 

WHEW!!  You made it to the end!

So what do you think?  What are your favorite homeschool on the go resourses?  Share them in the comments!  I would love to know!