I’ve always known I would homeschool my kids. What I didn’t know was what an amazing adventure our homeschooling would turn out to be as we began roadschooling.
How We Began Roadschooling
You see, our homeschooling plans took an exciting turn before they ever even officially began. Back in 2014, when my oldest son was just 3 years old, my family moved into an RV. We wanted to see the country, have adventures, minimize and simplify, and make time to intentionally connect as a family.
Making this decision meant that our home would always be on the road, which in turn meant we’d be roadschooling our kid. We didn’t know this term existed at the time—only that we were planning to homeschool anyway, so traveling wouldn’t be a problem in that respect.
That said, we did know that our travels would greatly influence our schooling, giving us amazing opportunities to learn through real-world experiences that we wouldn’t be able to have otherwise. This seemed pretty cool at the time, and as it turns out, it’s been more than just pretty cool.
Roadschooling has been the experience of a lifetime.
Want to know more about roadschooling? Wondering if it might be right for your family? Read on to learn all about this unusual type of homeschooling.
What is Roadschooling?
As you have probably figured out already, roadschooling is homeschooling while traveling. Generally, people use the term to refer specifically to RVers, as other types of travel schooling would be referred to as “worldschooling”.
Roadschooling could simply be homeschooling while traveling in an RV, but usually, the homeschooling looks a bit different. Most roadschoolers will use their travels as a part of their curriculum. In some cases, all of their schooling will revolve around the things a family sees and learns about in a particular place. In other cases, their field trips will be supplements to a more traditional curriculum.
Examples of places a roadschooling family might visit as part of their schooling include national parks, science museums, living history museums, and zoos and aquariums. Almost any attraction you’d visit on a normal vacation can be educational, and roadschoolers take full advantage of this.
Is Roadschooling Legal?
Some people think roadschooling sounds too good to be true. They wonder if it could really be legal for someone to pull their kid from the traditional school environment and use traveling as a means of education. The answer is yes, it is legal.
In the eyes of the law, roadschooling is homeschooling, and generally speaking, you will follow the homeschool laws of your domicile state. That said, there are some exceptions. For instance, if you’re in a single state for more than 30 days at a time, you might need to follow the laws of that state.
You can read this article for more information on the legality of roadschooling.
What Kind of Curriculum do Roadschoolers Use?
As is the case with all homeschoolers, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to roadschooling. Some people who travel with their children choose to unschool, while others follow a very traditional curriculum and keep a tight schedule. Most are somewhere in between.
Many roadschoolers find that it is handy to use online resources, as it means fewer books and physical materials cluttering up their tiny living space. That said, some roadschoolers feel that online curriculum is unreliable since they often find themselves in locations with little or no internet access.
As mentioned before, no matter what type of curriculum they choose to use, almost all roadschooling families use the amazing sights they see as a part of their schooling. Some even go so far as to use supplemental books such as…
- Historical fiction novels when visiting historical sights
- Science-focused books when visiting science centers
- This super cool book when visiting national parks
This use of field trips and fun reading makes roadschooling unique, memorable, and incredibly valuable.
How Do Roadschoolers Socialize?
People wonder all the time how homeschoolers could possibly get enough socialization. Imagine what those same people think when they learn about roadschooling.
Living life on the go means it’s all the more difficult to access things like weekly classes and homeschool co-ops. It means putting a little more effort into finding friends. That said, the friends we’ve found while on the road are some of the best we’ve ever had.
How did we go about finding those friends? We do a few different things to make sure we get in plenty of socialization:
- Fulltime Families — Probably the most useful thing we’ve done is join Fulltime Families. This is a club for families who are RVing full-time. The organization hosts meetups and events across the country. We meet people at these events and then run into them time and time again throughout our travels. We have even caravanned with some of these people at times.
- Seasonal Classes — We usually find ourselves in one area during the winter months. For the most part, we do this to stay warm—after all, there aren’t that many warm spots in the country in the middle of January. However, the added benefit is that we are staying still long enough to sign up for weekly classes. We have met a few friends this way, and we see them each year when we head south for winter.
- Playing Outside — That’s right! Sometimes something as simple as playing outside will reward us with a new friend. You see, we are far from the only family living on the road. Therefore, when we play outside in a campground, we are likely to be seen by another family doing the same thing. This leads to conversation and often long-term friendship, especially if we run into the same family multiple times.
Who is a Good Candidate for Roadschooling?
Would roadschooling be a good fit for your family? That depends on a few things.
- Does your family enjoy adventure?
- Are they adaptable and able to take problems in stride when they arise?
- Is your family tight-knit and able to spend long periods of time close together?
- Are your kids curious about the world and eager to learn by doing?
If the answer to all of these questions is “yes,” you might just want to give roadschooling a try.
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