Day Trips: Pilgrimage

We are in a Catholic Schoolhouse co-op, and we have CDs set to catchy music to help in learning the weekly memory work. My children just love it. Most of the time, we listen to the memory work around the house, or sometimes around town while running short errands. Occasionally, I find it helpful to shake things up a bit in our homeschool and make a day trip out of town. One benefit is it helps us listen to the CDs for longer stretches, and  we get out of town for a refreshing change of pace!

If you have any memory work that you use with your children, you might want to consider making a day trip somewhere–or a pilgrimage to a special church–and enjoy learning the memory work together during the long drive. The children really absorb the information well during a long drive, especially when you repeat tracks and quiz them as you go.

Maybe you use Catholic Schoolhouse, Classically Catholic Memory Work, or Classical Conversations.

If you do not have CDs from one of those programs, maybe you can load some songs onto your iPhone that you want your children to memorize. Or pick up some CDs from the library and play them as you go.

From the library, for younger children, you can borrow CDs about:

  • Nursery rhymes
  • Classic preschool songs (e.g., The Wheels on the Bus)
  • Counting
  • ABC’s

Or you could plan ahead, and carefully choose and order CDs that have quality content that you want your children to learn, such as:

You can visit historical sights, a new playground, state parks, or churches. You could visit special places outdoors to get fresh air and have a picnic. Or you could visit museums that complement what you have been teaching in your homeschool (e.g., if you’ve studied ancient history, look into history museums if they have an exhibit on ancient Greece and Rome; if you’ve studied Astronomy, go to a planetarium; if you’ve studied geology, go to an Earth Science museum). Or you could visit a special church, bascilica, or grotto.


Today, we made a day trip to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. We enjoyed reviewing our memory work during the drive, and we were able to make it into a pilgrimage.

It was a beautiful, warm day for March! The snow was melting, the grass was becoming greener, and the sky was a beautiful white and blue. Here is my kindergartner praying:

My son praying for healing at the apparition site. He is severely allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, eggs, and many more foods.

Locals call the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help “the shrine.” We enjoy visiting there once per month when the weather is good. Sometimes we go and pray for friends from far away that have serious medical conditions and other needs. Cancer, pregnancy complications, birth defects, jobs, etc. Sometimes when we go and pray, our prayers are answered the way we had hoped or better very quickly. Other times, they are not.

Every time we go, we pray for healing of my son’s asthma, allergies, and eczema. God might not ever heal him, but that is God’s choice, and we accept His will. We do not choose to love God based on what He does or does not “do” for us. God loves for us to ask Him for what we need and want, but we must be accepting of God’s will for us.

Statue of St. Michael the Archangel.

If you have any prayer requests, please feel free to post them in the comments. Feel free to be specific or say, “a special intention.” I am happy to pray for you at the shrine the next time we go.

After praying at the church, we enjoyed some time outside. We also visited a playground. They loved going down slides, swinging on the swings, playing hide and seek, and playing tag together. We are very blessed to have these happy times together!

Since we are blessed to homeschool, why not make the most of our flexible schedule to do “car schooling?” We can enjoy family life together going on a little adventure, and we can focus on God in an extra special way if we make it into a pilgrimage. Visiting far away places during the week means they probably won’t be very crowded. It’s so freeing to leave your home and remember, “This world is far greater than the walls of my home!” I hope you can carve out some time from your busy homeschooling schedule to be a little spontaneous and travel somewhere with your children–and while you’re at it, enjoy learning as you drive.




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