Going from a traditional school to homeschooling is a huge leap that can be overwhelming for any parent. That said, the leap from traditional school to roadschooling is even more enormous, and even just going from homeschooling to roadschooling can feel a little bit daunting.
Fortunately, there’s really nothing to be afraid of. In fact, roadschooling can be an amazing adventure!
Whether you are just considering jumping onto the roadschooling bandwagon or have been homeschooling while traveling for a while now, we want you to be successful. That’s why we’re using this article to share our top 10 roadschooling tips.
Relax and Enjoy the Ride
First and foremost, relax. Yes, it might seem crazy that you took your child’s education into your own hands and are now trying to homeschool them and RV full-time simultaneously, but we promise, you’ve got this.
It might take a little bit to find your groove, and your groove might even change overtime. However, no matter how you choose to school while on the road, one thing is for sure: Your kid is going to learn and grow along the way.
By taking them traveling, you are giving them a chance to see, do, and experience things many people only ever get to dream about, and if that alone isn’t a good education, we don’t know what is.
Visit Educational Attractions
One of the biggest benefits to homeschooling on the road is the ability to travel to educational attractions:
- National parks offer opportunities to learn about geology, history, weather, and even culture through Junior Ranger books, ranger programs, and visitor center exhibits.
- Meanwhile, science museums offer all kinds of hands-on science lessons.
- History museums, art, museums, zoos, historic sites, and more dot this amazing country of ours, and every single one of them offers a cool, interesting lesson that will enrich your child and yourself, giving you new points of view.
Not sure how in the world you will afford to visit all of these amazing educational attractions? Reciprocal memberships are an amazing tool.
Discuss Everything You See and Do
As you visit new places and see new things, be sure to discuss what you find with your children. Discussions are some of the very best ways to help your child understand the world around them.
After leaving a museum, you might ask your kids about the most interesting thing they learned there. Whenever you head out of a zoo, see if anyone in your group saw an animal that interested them. Driving through an interesting landscape? Discuss it, look up information about it, and speculate what might make the landscape look the way it does.
Plan Lessons Around Your Stops
Another thing you can do to get the most out of the educational stops you make is create lesson plans or unit studies around these stops.
For instance, if you’ll be stopping at several Revolutionary War sites while on the east coast, consider putting together a Revolutionary War unit. Meanwhile, those who will be following the Oregon Trail for a spell might do a unit study on pioneers.
To create a unit study, simply gather books and videos on the topic. Consider adding in some crafts, creative writing projects, or recipes to make the experience extra fun.
Find Classes Wherever You Roam
Educational attractions are great, but sometimes an actual class is even better. For this reason, we highly recommend looking for workshops, camps, and one-day classes along your route. Look for options that cater to your child’s interests, of course, but you might also take advantage of location-specific activities and workshops.
Examples of this would be signing up for surfing lessons while near the ocean, attending a talk about space when near an observatory, or going to a ski camp when in the mountains.
Look into Online Lessons
Finding short-term lessons as you travel is one way of ensuring your kids get to learn a variety of things from many different teachers. Another great way to do this is by taking lessons online.
Outschool is fabulous for online lessons, allowing students to take one-time classes, short-term weekly classes, camps, and even long-term weekly lessons. Other great options are Practice Monkeys (which offers music, self-defense, and traditional academic classes) and Aistear (which offers online Irish dance lessons).
Make Connections as You Wander
Kids need other people. Fortunately, the idea that all homeschooled kids are unsocialized is just a myth, and the same is true for roadschooled kids. Of course, you do have to make a point of ensuring your roadschooling students have a chance to make connections as you travel.
There are many ways to go about this. You can simply say hello to your neighbors and invite them over for a campfire. Going to campground events also tends to work well. One of the very best ways to make friends on the road is to join Fulltime Families and head to one of our many events throughout the year.
No matter how you go about making friends, encourage your kids to befriend people of all ages/backgrounds and learn from them. You’ll also want to make a point of meeting up with those friends as often as possible and keeping in touch online when being together isn’t an option.
Involve the Kids in Day-to-Day Life
The things that happen in everyday life hold important lessons that your kids will carry with them into adulthood. This is just as true on the road as it is in a house, and for this reason, we highly recommend involving your kids in the day-to-day running of your home-on-wheels.
Let the older kids help with travel planning and budgeting. Get everyone involved in problem-solving when issues arise. Have the kids lend a hand when making repairs. Make laundromat visits a family affair. Each of these things helps give your kids tools and skills they will need in the future, and none of them are things they would learn in school or in a textbook.
Use Travel Days for School Work
Speaking of books, unless you plan on unschooling (and many roadschoolers do), you will likely want to do at least some traditional school work along the way. When traveling quickly, this can be difficult to squeeze in. For this reason, we recommend using travel days as “school days” and doing as much as you can while everyone is stuck sitting still anyway.
Many families prefer books over online curriculum because cell connection can be spotty in some parts of the country. No matter what type of curriculum you choose, a good lap desk can be incredibly helpful for getting work done on the go.
Find Ways to Offer Plenty of Reading Materials
Finally, we highly recommend finding a way to make a constant stream of reading material available to your kids. Reading is one of the very best ways to learn and stay sharp, and many kids will read all day long just for fun. It is a good idea to encourage this by offering fresh reading material whenever they want it.
The trouble is, offering a steady stream of new reading material is difficult when you’re on the road. You only have so much storage space for new books, and while some places do offer temporary library cards for a small fee, you don’t always have access to a public library to borrow books. Fortunately, there are solutions.
Our favorite solution to this problem is a digital reading subscription program. Amazon Prime offers free access to some digital books, and many RVers already have Prime accounts. Kindle Unlimited and Scribd have much bigger collections. Meanwhile, Epic offers a huge selection of children’s ebooks, audiobooks, “read to me” books, and more.
By putting these simple tips to use, we’re certain you’re going to have an amazing roadschooling adventure. We can’t wait to see you down the road and hear how your journey is going!
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