What's in your goschooling toolbox? What can't you adventure without?
Tell us about it in the comments below, or become an official Goschoolers Reviewer! (to the right)
Product: Sport-Brella Umbrella
Good for: shade, windblock, privacy
Review: I saw these around for more than a year before I decided to buy one. Our neighbors, whose children are in every outdoor sport, were always sitting under one. When I made the plunge to get our own from Sam's Club (where they are available as of 2/3/15 and cheaper than the Amazon Price in the link - though I didn't find them on the Sam's Club website) I asked her how they held up. She said hers held up well and would have done better had her kids not stepped on hers getting in and out of the van. I took her advice and have kept ours upright in the back of our van and.... LOVE IT! We are not sporty people, though we LOVE a good game now and again. But we have found plenty of uses for our Sport-Brella. I love taking it to the beach (Bear Lake) where I hang a sheet from it using the clamping paper clips so my kids can change in and out of their suits closer to the water's edge. I've also nursed in the same privacy. It went to the family reunion as a shady spot my little guy could nap in. It comes to the splash pad. And we took it on a roughing-it camping trip too. Angled away from the rest of the camp, it was our very airy out-house where we could do our business in a bottomless bucket with a toilet seat snapped to the top. TMI? Anyway, it holds up well in the wind. It has 2 air vents which are great for letting in a gentle breeze, and help it to not get carried away. We promptly lost the stakes that came with it, but there are anchor pockets at each corner I just fill with sand or rocks, or whatever else is heavy and available, and it works just as well. This past summer, it was in the back of the car, on the ready for an impromptu picnic. Set up is as easy as opening a giant umbrella! It fits 2-3 camping chairs beneath it, or our whole family of 6 if we smoosh a bit. :)
Product: Story of the World, audio CD's
Good for: Road trips, distance travel
Review: Story of the World is a world history program broken down into chronological stories. I already knew I liked the books. I LOVE stories, my kids remember them, and history in story form feels engaging. Our family discovered the audio versions of Story of the World in the summer of 2014, when we were driving to and from Salt Lake on a weekly basis. What a great way to learn as you go! They made all of the drive time fly by, AND I felt we were LEARNING something for it! The stories are told by professional story teller, Jim Weiss and they have a simple but nice production quality. We got volume 3 for Christmas and I'm itching for a road trip just to have an excuse to listen for a few uninterrupted hours!
Product: Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon
Good for: rocky or sandy terrain, hauling gear
Review: We have had this wagon for at least 7 years and it is STILL a must-have on so many adventures. Not only is it perfect for getting gear to and from the water's edge at the beach, or hauling our picnic over the gravel paths at the Renaissance Fair and Mountain Man Rendezvous, but it's also handled load after load of boulders pulled from our property as we began to landscape. I seriously can't believe that it still works considering the beating it's taken, but the moment it quits on us, I'm getting another. I've even loved having it for walks around the neighborhood (pulling is easier than pushing on hills), especially when I've had a baby that can sit, and a toddler who's walking is not up for the long haul. (The baby has always loved getting to face their older sib too.) The seats (with seat belts) flip up and down to maximize what you can haul. (Down, the wagon bed is a perfect fit for my big, heavy cooler!) The two front wheels are on separate axises (axi?) so it doesn't tip. And the handle folds completely underneath the bottom of the wagon for compact storage in the car. This wagon comes with us to all the places stroller wheels just won't work well for, AND even some of the places they do!