52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling Week 13: Stock Your Backseat Library

52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling Week 13: Stock Your Backseat Library

Once we find a routine, homeschoolers like to joke that “homeschooling” is a misnomer—most of us spend plenty of time in the car, too, from classes to activities to park days to field trips. We enjoy our car time—it’s a great excuse to pull out our beloved audiobook collection—but we also sometimes get bored shuttling back and forth or sitting in waiting areas or killing time between appointments. That’s when our backseat bookshelf comes in handy.

Your perfect backseat bookshelf depends on your family’s interest, but we’ve found that brainteasers and did-you-know fact books are the most entertaining for us. I keep five or six books tucked in the pocket behind the passenger seat, but some people store them in boxes, bins, or backpacks. The key is to choose a few and rotate them frequently—you want enough to feel like there’s a real selection but not so many that it’s a mess back there. I also keep a plastic bag full of writing materials, sticky notes, and small notebooks. My son added a magnifying glass and a calculator; my daughter popped in a pack of sparkly markers a few days ago. 

Now when we’re stuck in traffic for way longer than we’d like or waiting for our friends to show up before we head into the museum, my kids automatically reach for one of their backseat books. I’m not saying that we look forward to the waiting parts of homeschool commuting, but we definitely don’t dread them.

Your challenge this week: Create a backseat library—or, if you’re lucky enough to be transit user, a bag library—to encourage critical thinking when you’re on the go.


Some of our favorite backseat library books