11 Ideas for Teaching While Driving

Over the years we've done many a lesson in the car, on the go, and while I'm driving.

I knew early on when we first began homeschooling that we were not going to be the type of family that sat home and worked on our schoolwork at the kitchen table.  

I love the ability to take the boys off on field trips out into the community and while we often count our field trips as school for the day and don't bother with additional schoolwork some days it's just not enough.

So I started planning ways to sneak in some learning while I was driving. 

Here are some of the ways I sneak in learning when we're busy with errands or feeling the need to accomplish more schoolwork:
  • Listen to books on Cd-- We almost always have a book on CD going.  We have listened to entire series of books while driving.  Occasionally I have stopped the disk so we can talk about it or the kids will excitedly ask me to pause it a moment and they'll share their predictions or an alternate ending.  It has been a fun way to work on reading comprehension and allow my kids to build literacy skills when I'm too busy to read aloud myself. 
  • Bring workbooks and pencils-- Most schoolwork is completely portable.  My kids have brought their workbooks and pencils with them to work on while we're driving.  I usually make sure to spend 5 minutes with each of them going over what they'll need to do and making sure they know how to do their assignment and then they are ready to go. 
  • Take along markers, coloring books, and dot to dot books-- Sure many might consider these "fun" books but my kids learn a lot from coloring, extreme dot to dot, maze and activity books.  It's a great way to keep them occupied in the car and help them get in a bit of additional schooling. 
  • Pack dice inside Tupperware containers for dice games-- I certainly can't play while we're driving but the boys can.  We have put dice in small shallow see through containers so that they can shake up the dice and play assorted dice games without having to worry about the dice going everywhere.  
  • Use Travel Tangram sets-- Early on while homeschooling I bought each of my boys this small travel set of tangrams.  They are magnetic and come with a booklet of pictures for them to try and mimic.  It's a fun and unusual way for my boys to get some math practice in (we rarely think to use tangrams at home!). 
  • Bring books to read-- I am lucky enough that none of my kids get carsick.  They are content to read on their own and will bring books to read and look at when we don't have a book on CD to listen to.  

  • Play educational kindle games-- Some day the easiest way to squeeze in schoolwork is to have the boys bring along their kindles and ask them to play educational games.  They'll play Stack the States, Free Flow, Math Bingo, Read with Cimo, etc.  We have many apps and games for them to choose from and they're having fun while I know they're learning. 
  • Use Braingames or Smarty Pants travel trivia games-- We'll bring along some fun trivia cards and games that we can play together.  My kids will take turns quizzing me and each other on all sorts of fun trivia facts from science to spelling to math.  It's great!  We don't keep score and we make sure everyone has a chance to answer and ask questions.  
  • Travel Games-- We play more traditional car games together too.  We have a few books that mention travel games and we'll pick a new one to try out every now and then.  My boys favorite is still I Spy! 
  • Bring along blank maps-- If we're travelling far I'll often give each of the boys a blank map of United States.  They can either color in the states we're travelling through or else they can use the map to keep track of the different licence plates that they spot.  We often spend each summer trying to track plates and complete an entire map.  We've come pretty close several times; usually just missing Alaska and Hawaii. 
  • Car ride bag and binders-- Early on when we first began homeschooling I had the boys pack activity bags for the car.  They would pace some favorite toys, a few books, mini etch- a- sketches or other handheld games.  They each had a binder filled with page protectors and fun activity papers along with dry erase markers, pencils, and a pencil sharpener.  (By putting their papers inside page protectors and using dry erase markers we could use the papers over and over again).  
I was going for 10 ways but ended up coming up with 11 and realized I could have come up with a few more too!

Do you do anything particularly educational while driving?


  1. Love these ideas! I drive my grandsons around a lot so I've tried to keep items in the car that are educational (and keep them engaged) as well. I have done some of these from your list, but I never thought about Travel Tangrams. That will be my next purchase for them. I also keep a dry erase white board in my car so the grands have a hard surface where they can do their homework, draw pictures, or practice their writing with some dry erase markers.

    1. My middle son has started taking our magnetic dry erase board off of the fridge and bringing that with him in the car for drawing. It works wonderfully.

  2. I love these ideas. I definitely think people underestimate the power of 30 minutes in the car. I, myself, try to use that time to listen to audio books and webinars that I'm not able to during the work day. Tweeting this post!

  3. Thank you for linking up with us at Hip Homeschool Moms! This article will be one of our featured favorites near the top of this week's Hop! We hope you'll keep coming back to link up with us each week. :)

    1. Aw, Thanks! I'm so glad you all enjoyed it so much.

  4. Great ideas! You're lucky that your kids don't get sick in the car :)

    1. Yes, I am; that's true. I was always able to read or do anything in the car and I guess they take after me.


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