For many families, the first question that comes to mind when considering homeschooling on the road is, “What are the roadschooling laws?” This is an understandable question. After all, roadschooling (i.e. homeschooling while traveling in an RV) isn’t exactly a mainstream thing to do.
In this article, we are going to discuss roadschooling laws to help you get a better understanding of how to roadschool legally so you and your family can get out there and start exploring with confidence.
Roadschooling is 100% legal, and while it may not be mainstream, it’s actually become more and more popular in recent years. Many families who have just hit the road wonder, “Can CPS take your kids for living in an RV?” or, “Will I get in trouble for roadschooling?” The answer is no, you will not be breaking any laws by living in an RV with kids or homeschooling them as you travel. That said, just like any other homeschoolers, you do still have to abide by some roadschooling laws.
Generally speaking, the roadschooling laws are simple: You must follow the homeschooling laws of your domicile state. This means that if you’re domiciled in a state where yearly testing or assessments are required for homeschoolers, you will have to return to your domicile to meet that requirement.
The only exception to the above rule comes into play if you happen to be in a state other than your domicile state for more than 30 days. In this case, you are technically required to abide by the laws in whatever state you are spending an extended period of time in. Many RVers get around this rule by making sure to spend less than 30 days in any given state, or choosing to spend longer periods in favorite places over summer break.
Choosing Your Domicile State with Roadschooling in Mind
One of the most important things you can do when preparing for your roadschooling journey is to carefully select your domicile state. As a full time RVer, you have the freedom to claim any state as your domicile state. This means you can pick a state with more relaxed homeschooling laws, avoiding the need to submit a curriculum at the beginning of each year or return to your domicile state for testing.
Of course, roadschooling laws aren’t the only thing you’ll want to consider when choosing a domicile state. You’ll also want to consider things like whether the state charges income tax, how much insurance costs in that state, how often you’ll be in that state for things like doctor’s appointments, and how easy it will be to set up a mailing address and residency in the state of your choice.
After taking all of these things into consideration, most full time RVing families choose one of three options:
- Stick with their current domicile because they have family there and will visit often.
Some RVers choose South Dakota as a domicile state for one reason or another, and this is likely a fine choice, but recently we have heard of people having trouble using their SD mailing service addressed for certain things.
Florida is a great choice because the state does not charge state income tax, many people spend winters in Florida, and it’s home to a few different reputable mail services.
Homeschooling in Florida does require yearly assessments, but they are very easy as long as you find the right assessor. An alternative to these assessments involves joining an umbrella school. This is essentially a private school that reports your child’s “attendance” to the state but leaves you in charge of educating your student, effectively bypassing homeschooling regulations entirely.
Like Florida, Texas does not have a state income tax. This state also has well-known mailing services to choose from, and is a nice place to spend the winter in case you want to get appointments out of the way.
Texas roadschooling laws are pretty much as relaxed as they come. The state does not require reporting or testing of any kind, leaving parents to school as they please. This gives you complete freedom to build amazing learning opportunities based around your travels and your child’s interests, something traditional curriculum just can’t do.
Homeschool Legal Defense Association
Still feeling a bit nervous about jumping into the world of roadschooling and making sure you’d following all roadschooling laws? We recommend grabbing a Homeschool Legal Defense Association. With this membership you will have access to one-on-one assistance in your homeschooling journey. HSLDA offers coaching for homeschooling parents, and the lawyers that are part of the team specialize in homeschool legal defense, meaning you can rest easy knowing they can answer any legal questions you may have.
As you can see, roadschooling is perfectly legal and roadschooling laws are easy enough to follow. Now you can head out in confidence and have some amazing, educational adventures that your kids will remember for the rest of their lives!