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Homeschooling has allowed us to be more flexible with travel, thus the term world schooling and road schooling to describe how we homeschool. In previous blogs, I have explained world schooling and road schooling: Ireland, Canada, Hawaii, England, Germany, and New Zealand. Traveling is a huge part of learning. This time our adventures were to Nevada.  Although the adventure was a domestic trip, going to rural Nevada from urban Houston, TX definitely feels like going into a different world and time period.

Our trip to Nevada was twofold: DH was taking a wave camp with Soaring NV in Minden and while he was in camp DS and I wanted to explore the natural wonders and historical sites surrounding Lake Tahoe.  The part of Nevada we were going to is known as a high desert on the edge of the great basin before the mountains that surround Lake Tahoe. It is part of the California Trail, Mormon Emigrant Trail, and Pony Express.  We knew there would be mountains and lakes to explore as well as lots of historic sites. However, we failed to realize that it was still winter in April. Although many places ended up being closed and roads either closed or requiring snow chains we were able to explore a lot of the area.  Although I say the trip is to Nevada, we crossed into California many times but Minden and Gardnerville, Nevada was our home base.

Here is what we experienced during our week in Nevada:

  • Minden, NV
  • Minden-Tahoe Airport
  • Soaring NV
  • Zephyr Cove, NV
  • South Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Gardnerville, NV
  • Carson Valley Swim Center
  • Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park
  • Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center
  • Heavenly Ski area
  • Stateline, NV
  • Emerald Bay, CA
  • Inspiration Point
  • Eagle Falls
  • Truckee Dam
  • Tahoe City, CA
  • Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
  • Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park
  • Sand Harbor
  • Spooner Lake
  • Virginia City, NV
  • Slammer Museum in the Courthouse
  • Pipers Opera House
  • The Way it Was Museum
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church (first Catholic church in NV)
  • Silver City, NV
  • Gold Hill, NV
  • Carson City, NV
  • Nevada State Capitol
  • Nevada Supreme Court
  • Nevada Governor’s Mansion
  • Woodfords, CA
  • Pickett’s Junction, CA
  • Carson River (in CA & NV)
  • Genoa (oldest settlement in NV)
  • Mormon Station State Park & National Historic Site
  • Lahontan National Fish Hatchery
  • Perlan Glider
  • Grover Hot Springs State Park
  • Markleeville, CA
  • Nevada State Railroad Museum
  • Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada
  • Carson City Hot Springs
  • Topaz Lake
  • CA Agricultural Inspection
  • Slinkard Valley, CA
  • Mud Lake
  • Washoe Tribal Lands
  • Lampre Park
  • Gardnerville Ranchos, NV

This trip did have a unique challenge due to my cell phone dying right before we left.  We came up with a way to communicate that involved DS and I have my husband’s cell phone while he had a very old iPhone that would only work with wifi to send or receive messages (broken speaker & microphone, old locked phone handed down to my son).  And, I had old-fashioned printed maps in case navigation wouldn’t work as DH’s phone was dying (died on our last day there) and I knew we would be without the reception in some parts of the mountains. However, our plan sometimes had issues due to the lack of internet and cell reception in areas more than just the mountains and national forest as well as lack of free wifi outside of our rental and the soaring camp.  We were okay with it as it was like old times without phones. DH was at a glider camp with others who had working phones and he was always given our itinerary for the day. It was also a good experience for our son to learn that there are times when you have to know your directions by landmarks and reading traditional maps. We were also traveling in rural areas which were extremely easy to navigate and not get lost.  Our travels to Nevada also allowed our son to physically experience and learn about: time changes, climate differences, geography, Washoe culture, earthquakes (Nevada is ranked 3rd for earthquakes after CA & AK), weather forecasting for gliding (watching for lenticulars and learning about wave lift), wild mustangs, cattle and sheep farming, biological sensitivities, species-saving, water rights, evaporative rate, droughts, wildfires, living history, mining, and much more.

Travel should be a part of everyone’s educational learning.  Travel does not have to be to faraway lands but as simple as exploring the areas around you or visiting friends and family in other states or countries.  And, travel can be via “armchair trips” by using books, videos, and computers or via postcard exchanges and studying of maps. All forms of travel are great ways to expose our children and ourselves to the greater world community.  Get inspired and go explore!