Traveling this summer? Airport layovers, long car rides, and train travel are ripe with opportunities to spotlight grammar and literary elements on the move!
- Put on an audiobook in the car that the whole family will enjoy. Follow up with a bookish Big Juicy Conversation.
- Make a travel log and record sights and sounds observed along the way.
- Draw maps of your route or final destination.
- Watch what letters do out in the wild. Read street signs, billboards, and airport departure boards.
- Play the license plate game—how many states can you find and write down before you reach your destination?
- Enliven weary travelers with riddles and jokes!
Brave Writer’s Mechanics and Literature programs feature opportunities for learning wherever you go!
Let’s see how!
Quill (ages 5–7)
Ride, fly, or sail your way into nurturing pre-literacy skills! The Quill introduces young learners to reading, writing, and math with engaging activities you can do over and over again.
Wherever you’re headed and however you get there, small trips and long journeys provide opportunities to learn as you go! Use these handbooks to spice up your travel time!
Keep Track with Counting!
This activity from the Transportation Quill benefits from spontaneity. For instance, as you are driving, say out loud, “That’s the third silver car we’ve seen since we left the house. I wonder how many more we will see before we make it to practice.” If your child joins in, great. If not, try again another time.
- color of vehicle
- type of vehicle: car, freight truck, pick-up truck, van, bus
- number of people in vehicle
- vehicles with signs on them
- vehicles with something on the roof
- pickup trucks with something in the back
Depending on where you live and where you are driving or riding the bus or train, these numbers could vary widely. If you are in the city, do you see more buses? On a highway, do you spy more freight trucks?
Hash it out!
Once your child has experienced counting using various categories, work with your child to set up sets.
- How many silver cars versus red cars?
- How many cars versus pickup trucks?
- How many cars with one person versus cars with more than one person?
Set up a clipboard to help keep track of how many you and your child spy in each category. Your child will add a hash mark each time one of you sees a vehicle that falls into the category. If necessary, draw a picture to represent each category for your pre-reader.
Count the number in each category to see which had the most and which had the least.
Explore literature, grammar, and punctuation on the road the Bravewriter way!
Our Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot literature handbooks feature one novel per month and use weekly passages for copywork and dictation. They explore punctuation, grammar, spelling, literary devices, and literary analysis.
Try it prompts
Try It prompts, featured in every handbook, engage kids and teens with concepts through simple movement, discussion, and hands-on activities. Many of these activities travel well!
Explore the sampling of Try It activities below—take them on your next travel adventure!
Dart (ages 8–10)
This Try It from the Dragons in a Bag Dart is a perfect way to pass the time in airports, train stations, and parking lots!
Shrug, stomp, sigh.
Get playful with body language! Have your child act out gestures from the list below and discuss what emotion or characteristic the action conveys.
- shrugging your shoulders
- waving a hand in the air
- furrowing your brow
- stamping a foot
- covering your mouth with your hands
- putting both hands on your hips
Now reverse the game: what physical gesture might you use:
- when you see the cutest puppy ever?
- when you find out you’ve won a contest?
- when you bite into an apple and see a worm inside?
- when you bite an apple and see half a worm?
- when you open a box and discover baby dragons inside?
Act out the body language and then describe it in words!
Arrow (ages 11–12)
This Try It from The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden Arrow will have your child hearing words in wondrous new ways!
Use your powers of keen observation during a family meal or car ride. Notice how real-life dialogue happens. Does everyone follow the “rules” of written dialogue, speaking in orderly statements, one at a time? Or do they interrupt, blurt things out in unison, and finish each other’s sentences?
The Ruins of Gorlan Boomerang gives teens an opportunity to contemplate dialogue unfolding naturally around them:
Writing vivid, descriptive dialogue
It takes time to develop dialogue-writing skills. To practice, tune into conversations around you—yes, eavesdrop—and hone your ear to “real” dialogue. You’ll find that back-and-forth speech often does not play by the same “rules” as formal written expression.
After listening, transcribe the conversation, adding attribution tags and narrative to fill out the scene.
Try incorporating a couple elements such as facial expressions, tone of voice, actions, emotions, or sensory details, and then read the scene aloud. Can the reader follow along? Do the tags offer character- or scene-building details?
The benefits of learning in a new environment
Learning opportunities follow wherever we go. Revisiting familiar concepts in new surroundings is the perfect way to cement ideas. Introducing new information in a fresh relaxing setting is a low-pressure way to make exciting learning connections.
Bonus: You might have so much fun with these new activities that the next traffic jam or overbooked flight becomes a fond travel memory! Enjoy!
Looking for books to take on your travels?
Boomerangs & Slingshots
Ready for an online class?
Our asynchronous classes make online learning and travel a perfect pair!
There are so many classes to choose from! Check out the Online Class schedule to see which ones fit into your summer plans.
Need a recommendation?
Fan Fiction (June 19 – July 14) is a fantastic class for teens who love to write or for teens who are reluctant to write but are devoted to a fandom! By the end of this class, teens will have created a story worthy of publication on one of the many websites devoted to fan fiction, if desired.
What better way is there to spend the summer?
Brave Learner Home Members!
Check out the One Thing Challenge library for ready-made travel activities!