My family has been on the road for over 4 years now. During this time, we’ve been road schooling our son and have met countless other families doing exactly the same thing. I was also homeschooled as a child, meaning the world of learning at home certainly wasn’t new to me when we jumped in.
I have talked to a lot of road schooling newbies through the years, and have noticed a common theme: nervous parents who are afraid they aren’t doing it right. Thanks to my experience with homeschooling, I never had this fear. However, we have learned an awful lot about road schooling through trial and error.
Below are the tips I’d like to share with those nervous newbies. These simple tips will help ensure your road schooling experience is as wonderful as it should be.
Know the Rules
First and foremost, you want to make sure you are road schooling legally. Generally speaking, this means following the homeschool laws for whatever state you use as your domicile. These laws vary widely from one state to the next, and some states definitely make homeschooling hard on the parents.
If you are currently a resident of a state with extremely strict homeschooling laws, you might want to consider changing your domicile. Texas is a wonderful option, as the homeschooling laws are lax and there is no state income tax.
Don’t Try to Mimic School
For those who were raised in a traditional school environment, it can be very hard to let go of the idea that school should look a certain way. That said, if you can manage to think outside of the box, you will likely end up with something that is even better than a traditional school.
Your schooling probably won’t take a full 8 hours a day, and there is no reason to make your kids sit still for that long. Likewise, your schooling doesn’t have to follow a certain path or have your kids learning a particular thing just because they are of a certain age. Try instead to follow their interests and make learning a fun family affair.
Making learning fun and showing your children that even adults can learn new things will encourage them to be lifelong learners. This is far more important than learning a few facts just long enough to pass a test.
Incorporate Education into Your Travels
One of the major benefits of road schooling is the fact that you can use your travels to enhance your child’s education. Plan your travels around educational attractions and then weave those attractions into your child’s schooling.
Going to a historic site? Read books and watch documentaries to learn about what makes the site significant.
Headed to a national park? Learn about the ecosystem within that particular park.
There are thousands of amazing educational stops you can make during your travels, and learning by actually doing and seeing is sure to make a bigger impact than a textbook ever would.
Schedule Bookwork Strategically
Have workbooks, textbooks, or specific reading you’d like your child to get through? Many families find it helpful to do this kind of work during times when hands-on learning isn’t going to happen anyway.
For instance, you might save your bookwork for travel days when you’ll be stuck in the vehicle for hours on end. Another idea might be to do bookwork on laundry days, or even just on scheduled “down days”. This prevents an overbooked schedule and allows you to truly enjoy the days spent exploring the world through field trips.
Find Friends Along the Way
Many people wonder what they will do to ensure their kids get to socialize while traveling. Believe it or not, our family actually has more friends on the road than we ever had when living in a house.
The key for us was joining an RV club. We are members of Fulltime Families and absolutely love it. We have made countless friends, met up with dozens of them for months each winter, and have even traveled alongside some of them for weeks at a time.
About the author: Chelsea Gonzales
Chelsea has the amazing opportunity to take part in full-time RV living and traveling with her tiny tribe. She homeschools her five-year-old son as they travel, and takes full advantage of their unique situation by using the entire world as her son’s classroom. A group of total Disney fanatics, Chelsea and her family often find themselves in the Orlando area in order to visit the Disney parks, but they have also visited over 25 of the 50 states with plans to see many more along the way. No matter where her travels take her, Chelsea enjoys riding bikes, gazing at beautiful sunsets, finding new coffee shops, Irish dancing, and sitting around a campfire with her family.
You can join her adventures through her blog, Wonder Wherever We Wander.
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