Roadschooling is now a growing trend among families. You may have recently heard the term but you aren’t quite sure what it is. As a mom who homeschools while traveling, I’m excited to share everything I know about roadschooling including what it is and how to do it.
What Is Roadschooling?
Roadschooling is basically homeschooling on the road. Living in an RV or trailer or taking road trips while teaching your children is considered roadschooling. The goal with roadschooling is to integrate your children’s experiences, as part of their education.
For example, while in Huntsville, Alabama, we visited the Space and Rocket Center, which turned into a whole lesson about space and astronauts.
Benefits of Road Schooling
This type of learning is unique because it involves both traditional learning courses and the use of life experiences to give kids a well-rounded education. It affords parents the ability to take classroom concepts and relate them to the real world, making learning more organic, fun, and ultimately more effective.
An Exciting Education
Even for children who love learning, the classroom can quickly become repetitive and tedious. Hours of leafing through books, watching the clock, and taking notes have traditionally been the vibe of the classroom.
Learning on the road is different. Children get excited about learning because the hours are shorter and the connection between book learning and real-world learning is much stronger. This especially true when teaching math and science because nature is full of both. Parents have an opportunity at almost every turn to extend learning from books to the world around their kids in a seamless way that is fun and not a chore.
Road schooling offers children an education that is relative to the real world. Of course, the basics are all covered, and as children get older, they’ll be introduced to advanced courses, but it all relates back to life experiences.
In addition to courses in reading, writing, math, science, and other curriculum basics, children will also learn how to research, budget, plan and implement those plans, as well as a host of other real-life skills as they help parents plan trips.
Learning Without the Stress
What we used to learn in hours for school, kids can learn in 20 minutes of Googling. Access to modern technology and resources allows for a less stressful learning experience filled with more exploration and real-world applications, less stress, and fewer hours of drudgery to learn the same things.
Road Schooling Basics
Of course, road schooling isn’t one of those things that you do on the fly. You have to get both yourself and your child set up for learning while traveling. There are certain rules, regulations, and laws in place that you’ll have to take into account and follow.
Home School Laws for Road Schooling
Even though you may not have a permanent address, you’ll need a “home base” for your home schooling. As a road schooling parent, you’ll have a unique opportunity to choose any state as your “home base”, which means you can choose a state based on how their home school laws fit your lifestyle and approach to home school curriculum.
*This is NOT legal advice. Always do your due diligence and consult the proper authorities to ensure that you are following all home school rules and regulations for your chosen state.
Choosing the Right Curriculum Or Not
You’ll have to choose a curriculum for your kids or not choose any at all. There are a sea of programs and tools out there for kids learning on the road. We do not use any curriculum at all, and highly encourage self-directed learning also known as unschooling, and trust me, it works.
For those who want to use a curriculum, you can simply purchase one. You’ll need access to online resources which are a great way to supplement learning. There are several accredited online teaching resources for grades K-12 that offer curriculums and supportive services. You can also just purchase any curriculum of your choice without enrolling in any online programs.
Some of my favorite online resources are:
Establish a Routine
While road schooling embraces the idea of more freedom and discovery, any form of schooling requires some routine. You won’t be teaching in the classic sense of an eight-hour block, but you will need to establish a life and learning schedule.
For example, scheduling blocks of learning time throughout the day with plenty of downtime in between keeps the kids on track, their minds fresh for learning, and helps prevent boredom.
Road Schooling Tips
Road schooling is a great way to learn, but it can feel daunting at first. Just like home schooling, this method of teaching at home puts the burden of education squarely on your shoulders. That’s no small responsibility when you consider that your child’s education will impact the rest of their life.
That being said, once you get into a groove, you’ll find that it’s not quite as hard as you thought it would be. These tips will help you find that groove faster.
Keep It Loose
One of the road schooling basics listed above is establishing a routine, however, that doesn’t mean enacting a rigid schedule that allows for no wiggle room. Remember, kids are kids. One of the reasons that school can be so boring is because they have a limited attention span. After that’s exhausted, the teaching simply becomes droning. If your kids seem to be spacing out, stop the lesson for about a half-hour and come back to it. They’ll be refreshed and ready to finish.
Keep It Fun
For a lot of us, school was an eight-hour trap full of boredom, slogging through pages of text, and listening to boring lectures. One of the biggest advantages of teaching your kids on the road is that learning can always be fun. You have the opportunity to keep things fresh and interesting by incorporating learning into everyday activities and leaving the traditional boring classroom setting behind.
Education is Everywhere
Speaking of incorporating learning into everyday activities, remember that learning really is everywhere. Cooking includes science and math. Travel signs and rest stops feature reading, history, and geography. When you set up camp for a week or two, you’re surrounded by nature science and biology.
You can make learning an essential element of almost every part of your day, even if it’s just in small ways. You can also incorporate what you’ve seen in your lesson plans. For example, if you’ll be traveling through a historic city or place, you can incorporate it into your lesson plan and then explore the area as part of that plan.
Choose a Great Wireless Plan
This is something that’s vital to all road schoolers. You can’t learn online if you can’t get online. Many places on the road have WiFi, but many don’t. Sometimes, you’ll arrive at an RV park claiming to have WiFi, but the signal is so bad, it’s not even worth it. Choose a wireless plan that has as much coverage as possible – and these days – 5G. You never know when your phone will have to become your hotspot for your day’s learning.
Give Yourself a Break
This is absolutely the most important thing about road schooling that you’ll ever need to learn. Give yourself a break. You are not a teacher. You do not have a degree in teaching. You will not always do it the “right” way. That’s completely fine.
You don’t need a degree to teach your children to be interested, engaged, and always willing to learn. With Google, Alexa, Siri, and every possible resource imaginable on the internet, all you need is a general curriculum, a connection, creativity, and a great attitude to ensure that your child gets a great education. Give yourself a break if something doesn’t go exactly as you planned. You’re only human.
RoadSchooling for a Well-Rounded Education and Child
Road schooling offers a unique opportunity to create an environment that allows for both traditional and interactive learning. This type of learning helps create a mindset of constant learning in children along with the ability to apply their education to the real world in a way that is truly unique to home and road schooling.
Using the above tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a curriculum and approach that works best for you, your family, and your child.