Homeschooling in Disney World: Animal Kingdom Style


On my other blog, MamaMouse, I help other moms learn how to plan a trip to Walt Disney World.  Many times I have been asked, ‘is it possible to have Disney World be an educational experience?’. My answer is, absolutely!  As Disney Vacation Club members, we are able to travel to Disney World frequently.  Since we began homeschooling last year, I have made it a point to use any vacation we take as a learning experience.  There are no days when our children are not learning something.  The key is to make the learning fun, so that they don’t even realize that they are!

I recently had to travel to Orlando on a spur of the moment trip after being invited to a blogger bash.  It was right at the start of our homeschool year and it didn’t cause me to start freaking out at all.  Why?  I have researched all the ways that our children can learn at Disney World and they are many!

The science curriculum we are using this year in our homeschool is Apologia’s Land Animals book.  This book is amazing and we are having so much fun learning about animals.  When I found out we were going to Orlando, I knew we had to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  What better way to incorporate what we were learning into our trip!  Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to more than 1,700 animals and 250 species.  Yes, there are rides, but there is so much more. You can even take a safari ride and learn about all the animals who live on their preserve.  Everywhere you look there are learning opportunities and ANIMALS!

This past trip we tried a new activity that was recently introduced at the park.  It is called Wilderness Explorers.  Children pick up their 43 page Wilderness Explorers book at the front of the park and start their quest to earn badges. This was going to be so much fun…for them and for my sister and me!  As we walked through the park, my children had to look for different animals and learn about them, as well as look for kiosks where Wilderness Explorer guides were waiting to teach them.  At each spot, the guides thoroughly explained the concepts and then rewarded them with a badge in their book.  There were so many badges to be earned, that we actually have plenty to work on the next time! We only had a limited amount of time in the park that day, so we did the best we could.

Here are some pictures from our day!

This is just a small sample of the learning that can be done in Disney World.  One of the reasons we love to homeschool is because we have freedom to go on vacations whenever we want and are able to use our experiences as educational experiences.  You don’t have to homeschool to be able to learn at Disney.  Anyone can do it.  Think about an upcoming trip you might be taking and how you can incorporate learning into it.  Once you get the hang of it, it’s really rather easy to see how much education can occur.

I’d love to hear from you about your travel experiences and how you have used them as a supplement to your curriculum!

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