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Life Lessons: The Real World




Students ask us every day, "What does this have to do with my life?"

"Why do I have to learn this?"

"What good will this ever do me?"

In the classroom, I was always quick to respond the simple truth, learning Social Studies (and Math, Science, ELA, and other disciplines) is what will make you a well-rounded, educated adult; someone able to navigate the real world and all the obstacles you will encounter in it.

As we have started traveling across the country in our newest life adventure, I see my words coming true more and more each day!
  • I am practicing my Social Studies (especially Geography) skills as we navigate our way from town to town and state to state.  I have also learned that GPS systems are not always reliable, and my good ole fashioned Atlas is my most valuable tool.
  • We are using our Math skills as we calculate our distance, plan our our travel times, and estimate our expenditures for gas, lodging, and other travel necessities.  Who knew camping would require such a tight budget and careful planning?!
  • Our ELA skills are being practiced as we learn the different local languages (Yes, there are many different "languages" across our country!) and have to communicate with varied vocabulary.  While we are in the same country, it often seems like a whole new world.
  • Science knowledge has come in handy as we have had to weatherproof ourselves and prepare for the changing climates, not to mention having a safe knowledge of the animals (and bugs!) we have encountered along our path.  I never knew what a "stink bug" was before this adventure, but, oh boy, I know now!  
Where are we headed next?  Here's a few hints!
  • We are currently in Oregon House, CA, surrounded by beautiful mountains and deep in the Sierra foothills.
  • It will be just over 2.5 hours from where we are now, and our new campground is off Interstate 5, just south of Lake Shasta.
  • We travel no more than 55 MPH by state law for our type of vehicle (and we are towing).
  • We will be headed North, closer to the big tall trees we can't wait to see.
  • The people we will encounter always ask about our "southern accent" when we talk, but they like to use the word "Eureka" quite a bit, referring to a big find here back in 1849... Hmmm, isn't there a team here in California called the 49ers?!
  • And our new location brings me great fear... I'm told, as we get closer to those big tall trees, we will see more movement on the ground and in the sky.  Apparently, there are large populations of both bats and rodents in these beautiful landscapes we are traveling through on our wild adventure.  Love the landscapes, not so much the critters!
Now, I need to stop writing about it, and start planning.  I have a campground to reserve, a budget to update, gas costs to estimate, tourist guides to read, and so much more!  Oh, and don't even get me started on the local restaurants and foods we have found on our trip or will find in the future... I'm gaining the weight just thinking about it!

Happy Teaching!

Michele

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