This article may contain compensated links, please read our disclaimer for more information.
About the Author
Kathy Oaks is a photographer and educator who is passionate about travel and education. She is dedicated to helping parents and kids who want to take a non-traditional approach to education.
Kathy wrote Homeschoolers are Not Hermits to support families as they make the transition from conventional schooling to something completely different, bringing fun, mindfulness, and flexibility to the adventure of homeschooling.
Tell us about your family.
“We’re a homeschooling family of five, with three boys ranging from 8–16. I’m an author and photographer, and my husband is a chemistry professor who also teaches homeschool classes and labs. We travel as much as his academic schedule and the boys’ tolerance allows.”
It sounds like you do a lot of traveling with your family. Do you tend to tie your travels into your schooling?
“We absolutely consider travel to be educational, although we don’t necessarily turn travel into lesson plans. I like the boys to know something about where we’re going, so that they have an interest and are able to tie it into something they already know. That makes them want to learn and explore more themselves, which is the best way to get engaged learners.
“But we’re also open to changing plans or to discovering new places that we find out about. We always check out the pamphlets in the rest areas and tourist information centers to see if anything catches our eye.
“The Oz Museum in Kansas and the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Oklahoma were both serendipitous finds that we loved.”
What tips would you have for homeschoolers looking to tie travel and fun into their learning?
“There’s interesting stuff to learn everywhere you go, even the smallest towns. And when you’re not in a town, there’s geology and biology and more all around you.
“My favorite tip is to get a science museum membership at a museum that participates in the ASTC Passport program. Our museum membership has gotten us into museums all over the country. Sometimes we even choose our route to hit a particularly interesting museum.
“But don’t forget the tourist information centers, even tiny ones in little towns. They’re free, usually have restrooms, and are staffed with people who want to tell you about what to see and do and learn in their area.
“And if you’ve got a fourth grader, make sure to get their free National Parks pass from everykidinapark.gov. The National Parks have a wealth of information to go with their wealth of natural beauty, and more and more National Monuments dedicated to historical events are opening as well.”
Will you share a bit about your Quick Start Guide to Homeschooling?
“While my first book, Homeschoolers are Not Hermits, tries to cover just about everything I could think of for a family needing homeschool resources, my Quick Start Guide is just that: a quick and easy read for people who are thinking about or just starting to homeschool, and might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the information out there.
“This will help set people on the right path, with time to delve into more resources later.”
What prompted you to write this book?
“I could see that a lot of people were wanting to homeschool for various reasons, but were hesitating because it all seems so overwhelming. It really isn’t, or at least it doesn’t have to be. I wanted something short and reassuring to walk families through the beginning stage of homeschooling and help them feel capable.”
What do you hope it does for others?
“I hope it gives families confidence and sets them on the path of their own educational adventures. I encourage families to work together to find the best ways that their children learn, to become partners in education rather than falling into a top-down, school-at-home mentality.
“If you’re going off the beaten path with travel, keep going with education. Create a life that works for your family, not someone else’s.”
Who would you say could benefit most from your book?
“Anyone who is considering homeschooling, just starting homeschooling, or already homeschooling and would like to find a more collaborative approach to their family’s style.”
Do you have plans to write other books in the future?
“I have another short book in the works about making road trips fun and educational, as well as a series on writing and self-publishing children’s books. That came from helping my own kids with the writing and publishing process; our middle son has published his own short story on Amazon, and both he and our oldest are currently working on fantasy novels.”
Note: Since this article was posted, Kathy’s newest book Road Schooling: How to Drive Cross Country Without Driving Your Family Up the Wall has been released. You can find it on Amazon.
Where can readers find your writing?
“Amazon for all my books and my son’s, although my first book is also available in the SEA Homeschoolers bookstore and this one will be in mid-April.”
Quick Start Guide for Kindle:
Homeschoolers Are Not Hermits for Kindle and in paperback:
Road Schooling: How to Drive Cross Country Without Driving Your Family Up the Wall for Kindle:
Wizard Frogs and Flying Gnomes in Kindle and paperback:
You can also read Kathy’s blog at HomeschoolersNotHermits.com
Fulltime Families is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.