Going on the road full-time is a huge step and involves changing a lot of things about the way your family lives. Most of these things are for the better and end up pulling your family closer together.
However, there are some changes that concern well-meaning parents. One of the most common concerns parents have is how their children will continue to participate in extracurricular activities.
While this is a valid concern, it’s important to note that by traveling with your children, showing them the wonders of our country, and allowing them to experience real life, you are giving them more than almost any extracurricular activity could. However, if you’re still concerned or if your child insists they won’t be happy without their classes or sports, it might be time to seek out a way to make sports, dance, or other activities work with your new traveling lifestyle.
Yes, you did read that right: We are suggesting you can make extracurriculars work on the road. Sure, it will require a bit of creativity, but as a full-time RVer—or someone who plans to be one eventually—you are likely already pretty good at thinking outside the box.
Here are some ideas to get the wheels in your head turning so you can come up with the perfect extracurricular solution for your family.
Look for Video Lessons
One option is to look for video lessons. These can be found for most types of dance, music, art, and many, many other awesome skills. Sometimes free beginner lessons can be found, but more advanced pupils and those who’d like a nicely paced program will be better off seeking out paid options.
Some places to look for video lessons include:
- Aistear Irish Dance
- Hoffman Academy
- Karate Academy Online
- Kids Cook Real Food
Some of these options offer feedback of some sort, but others offer none at all. Check them all out and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Consider Video Chats
If your child prefers live interactions or has a teacher they already love, you might consider video chat lessons. These can be done over Skype, Facebook Video Chat, Google Hangouts, or other similar platforms with any instructor who’s willing to offer private lessons this way.
They can also be taken through a website that specializes in live video lessons with an instructor who works through that site specifically. Take live online lessons in conjunction with the recorded lesson options mentioned above, or even along with in-person lessons with tutors found along the way.
Not sure where to find video chat lessons? You can always ask a teacher your child happens to particularly love, or you could try the following options:
Seek Out Private Tutoring
Looking to dive a bit deeper? Prefer in person lessons? You might want to find private tutors along your route. These can be used in addition to video lessons or on their own.
If you’re good about seeking out new instructors at each location, you may even be able to keep a fairly consistent schedule, something that can be very beneficial to students who are serious about their craft.
Of course, in order to find private tutoring as you travel, you will need to plan pretty far out and call or email teachers in each location to find one that works for you. For some, this is no biggie, but for others it can be a pain.
Extend Your Stays
In some cases, consistency is key. In other instances, it is necessary to be in one place for an entire season or semester in order for your child to participate in the activity of their choice. If you run into this, you might want to consider slowing your travel style and staying in one place for a few months.
This doesn’t have to be the way you travel all the time, but sometimes it can be nice to slow down, and the fact that it will allow your child to participate in their favorite activity for a few months definitely sweetens the deal.
One of the best times to do this is during the cold winter months when you’ll likely want to stay somewhere down south anyway. Why not head down to Florida, rent a seasonal site, and let your kids attend weekly classes somewhere while you keep warm?
Try Short Term Sessions
Don’t want to stay in one place for a long period of time? You could always look for short term sessions such as summer camps and spring break camps. These along with drop-in classes can be a great way to introduce kids to new activities and enhance online or private lessons.
Even if a particular place doesn’t advertise drop in lessons as an option, you can always call, let them know your situation, and ask if they might be willing to offer you that option. You might be surprised just how helpful many instructors are willing to be.
Join Online Scouting Groups
Do you have a serious scout on your hands? If so, you’ll probably find that they’re quite reluctant to leave all scouting behind. Luckily, there are scouting options out there that will allow your young explorer to continue learning new things while earning badges.
The Fulltime Families Explorers program is designed for kids ages 5–9, and gives young ones the chance to dip their toes into the world of scouting through simple projects. The whole program is online based, but often includes live field trips and events when several Explorers are gathered together.
For older kids, there is DIY Kids. This is also an online-based program, and while it isn’t run by Fulltime Families, we do have our own DIY Kids group. Participants get to pick and choose which badges they wish to earn. The projects are a bit more complex than those done by the Explorers, and the general idea is for these older, more self-sufficient kids to do it all themselves.
Our last piece of advice is to attend Fulltime Families rallies. While these events won’t provide ongoing extracurriculars, they certainly do give your child the opportunity to try new things.
These rallies often bring in guest instructors to teach new skills, and always offer chances to participate in arts and crafts, as well as games. There are also times when another rally attendee may be offering lessons to kids.
We’ve seen everything from dance and art to swimming and music offered by other Fulltime Families members, and because these people are travelers just like you, there’s a good chance you’ll run into them again, meaning your student can pick back up where they left off.
As you can see, there most certainly are ways to ensure your kids get to continue their extracurriculars even while traveling full time. Who knows? You might even find that one or more of these approaches is even better for your family than what you’re doing now.
Want to join Fulltime Families and take advantage of the events and scouting opportunities mentioned earlier in this article? Click here to do just that!