Preparing for a Field Trip: The Grand Canyon

Tomorrow the wife, kids and I will be heading to the Grand Canyon — a place I’ve never visited. (Which is kind of funny because I’ve been to each corner of America, but I haven’t gone to the Grand Canyon, despite the fact its only about a 7 hour drive away).

Normally, I’m a vacation-control-freak. I plan every day and every detail. But this time around we’re traveling with an Uncle who has made all of the arrangements. So, it’s been a nice change of pace for me.

But of course, just because our itinerary has been established doesn’t mean our preparations are in order. There’s still lots to do. And while we’re getting ready for our family trip, the girls are learning along the way. Here’s how my wife has made Field Trip prep educational:

She’s given them a “Check Off List”. The girl’s are responsible for packing their own things. And my wife has given them a list of what to pack. My ten-year-old is what I call a “slow blossoming reader,” and so my wife has made certain that the list is filled with words that my daughter can either sight-read or sound out. Today, she read all of the words on the list, and not only felt good about packing, but felt good about her newly improved reading skills.

Also, to prepare for our adventure, we’ve been learning about the Native American tribes that once lived within the valleys and along the plains of the Arizona landscape. The book I blogged about earlier, The History of Us, has proven to be a wonderful resource for the girls. In addition to Social Studies, we’ve also been reading up on:

Geology
Geography
and
Math

How did we throw math into the mix? Well, I’ve been having the girls calculate the distance that we’ll be traveling. Then, I ask them: “If we drive 65 miles an hour, how long will it take to arrive at our destination.”

Well, time to finish packing up. Wish us luck!