Road School to Willow Lake Park

Posted on October 6, 2016

Road School to Willow Lake Park

By: Joy

One of our favorite activities since deciding to do Home Education has been taking our school on the road! Every few weeks when the kids wake up for school they will hear the words – Road School Day!!

Road School Day is when we pack up our lessons, books, markers, and crafts and jump into the Jeep for the Day!

For today’s Road School we went to Willow Lake Park in Prescott, Arizona.

Willow Lake

1497 Heritage Park
Prescott, Arizona 86301
(928) 777-1122

Quick Facts:

1) The Lake is small, and you cannot swim in it. (We had a large discussion on climate change, water level change, and global warming after seeing that the water level at the lake was much lower than we expected.) You may fish, and there are several hiking paths around it. There are some large boulders the kids can climb on.

2) Dog Park and a Children’s Playground are adjacent to the Lake.

3) Covered and uncovered picnic tables are scattered throughout the area.

It took us about 1.5 hours to drive there and the temperature went from a hot 90 degrees (in October!) to a cool 68 degrees! 

Quick Learning Ideas for the Road School to Willow Lake:

1) I downloaded a Map of the Lake to easily teach my kids the following Skills:

  • Map Key & Scales
  • Direction & Navigation Skills
  • Elevation: Elevation markers line the road as you travel to Willow Lake. As the Elevation Markers change you can ask questions such as:
  • “As elevation changes what other changes do you see?” (plant species were completely different, temperature changes, wildlife changes, desert habitats changed to forest habitats, etc.)

Another perk of Road School is that we get usually crowded spots – all to ourselves during the day!

What could be more joy than a pile of books at the top of the slide and swirling down each time you finish one?! Makes my heart SO happy to watch!!

Quick Tips for Road School Selection:

  • Have a purpose! Perhaps Photography, Art, Unit Lesson Themes, Physics, Adventure – whatever it is, know your purpose!
  • We selected today’s purpose based on the Kids choice of Student Directed Learning Units. This month they chose Leaves, Plants, and Photosynthesis. 
  • Learning Applications: there is a new app called Leafsnap that allows you to photograph the leaf, and it tells you the classification and facts about the tree the leaf came from. Check it out at Leafsnap! 
  • Once the kids ask for a Unit idea, we get about 35 books on the topic from our local library. I look for books with real photography, engaging questions, or SIMPLE on the go crafts.
  • Books with Built in Quizzes are excellent for giving Oral Tests on the Go, and I can record the grade when I get home. Here are a few good examples of how a simple book can turn into hours of hands on learning:

This trip was a great Road School Day to celebrate the end of our Leaves, Plants, and Photosynthesis Unit!! By traveling to a higher elevation, we were able to find a variety of leaves, complete our leaf craft wreath project, take two oral tests on plants, leaves and photosynthesis, and read several books on those topics.

By incorporating our Unit Theme into a Road School Day, we worked on Math, English, Reading, Science, Spelling, Crafts, and Writing. In between those skills – the kids were also sliding, swinging, jumping, balancing, chasing grasshoppers, photographing hummingbirds, gathering leaves, classifying leaves, and more than I can type! 

One of the HUGE reasons that we decided to Home Educate our children, is so that they will understand that the WORLD is their CLASSROOM – and as parents, we are so grateful to offer them a window to that world.

What have been some of your favorite Road School locations? Reply in the comments! ~ Joy

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Author Joy Brownlee. Written and Photography copyrights
to Joy Brownlee @ for the photos bearing Joy's watermark.

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