If you're not familiar with the concept of roadschooling, you're probably not alone. At its core, roadschooling is the intersection of education and adventure. It blends the fundamental components of conventional schooling with the freedom of homeschooling, and it takes them both on the road to offer students a learning experience that is distinctly applicable to the living, breathing world around them. While it might not be the most mainstream method of education, it hasn't stopped thousands of families from adopting this unconventional alternative to the institutional-based, curriculum-driven ideologies of traditional schools. If you want to join them and start enhancing the quality your child's education, begin your journey by checking out these tips and tools for roadschooling families!
Tips And Tools
Use these tips to craft a curriculum for success, and let these tools help you get started off in the right direction!
Don't Make Comparisons
While it's not a bad idea to check out what other roadschooling families are doing, don't feel compelled to copy their every move. People learn differently, RVers travel differently, and no single solution is right for every parent. Instead, focus on building your own teaching philosophies because roadschooling is much more of a mindset than it is a perfected method.
Let Your Children Lead the Way
Don't focus all your attention on creating detailed lesson plans. Instead, use your kids' natural curiosity as a guide for the educational journey you hope to take them on. Adapt coursework so that it appeals to their individual passions, current interests, and natural curiosities. When you give your child a sense of power over their own education, learning becomes a fun (not forced) activity.
Select the Right Domicile
Full-time RVers have the freedom to pick and choose their state of residence, and you should factor in homeschooling requirements when selecting your state. While some have strict conditions like supervised testing and substantial record keeping, others require virtually no paperwork whatsoever. Here are the least strict states when it comes to roadschooling requirements:
- New Jersey
Take Advantage of Drive Time
When roadschooling, you're going to be spending a lot of time with your wheels to the pavement. Use this time in between destinations to cultivate group discussions relevant to your current topics of study. Drive time can also be an ideal opportunity to play audiobooks or put in an educational video.
Don't Go It Alone
Embrace the impact that others can have on your child's education. If you meet someone along your journey that has expertise in any given subject, swindle a quick learning session out of them and invite your children to ask them questions. It's also important to give your little ones opportunities to socialize and interact with children in their age group. Let them participate in activities that involve their peers. The Junior Ranger Programs that are offered at many of our country's national parks are a great opportunity for this!
Create a Learning-Rich Environment
Although RVs are not specifically designed to be classrooms, that doesn't mean they can't be effective environments where successful learning takes place. With that being said, there are some creative ways that you can modify your RV to better fit the needs of your little learners. Start by designating a space for them to complete school work. RVs like the Catalina SBX 291QBS have a kid's dinette built right into the private bunkhouse which would offer an ideal space for such a use. You'll also want to provide your children with technology that can aid in their educational journey. A laptop or tablet is a must-have item for schooling on the go.
Textbooks Are Overrated
Don't think that the value of your child's education is going to be determined by selecting the right textbooks or by stocking up on the most prestigious course packets. No assigned reading on earth will compare to hands-on learning. No textbook will ever triumph over educational exhibits, artifact-packed museums, or thought-provoking art galleries. When you make a classroom out of the world, you turn life into the greatest textbook there is.
Pick The Right Places and Prepare
Certain destinations will be better suited for roadschooling than others. For example, a trip to the Smithsonian will have more of an educational impact than say, a trip to any one of these places. No matter where you choose to go, take some time to prepare before you arrive by browsing your destination's website for any information that can be used as educational material. On many sites you can find pamphlets, booklets, and worksheets that can be downloaded or accessed for free. Here are some ideas for great learning locations:
Start a Blog
It will be beneficial to both you and your child to start a blog about your roadschooling adventures. Not only will this give your little ones a platform for logging their travels, but it will also help you legitimize and track their educational journey. Writing is a key component to a well-rounded education and blogging will help them hone in on this skill. In fact, many road schooled tweens and teens actually get paid to write about their travels, experiences, and overall lifestyle. Blogger, Wix, and Weebly are just a few of the free and easy-to-use options for starting your own blog. Roadschooling not only gives you the opportunity to bond with your children as they embark on individual journeys towards becoming smart, successful, and well-rounded human beings, but it also gives your child the opportunity to discover the world for themselves in a hands-on way that can't possibly be replicated inside a contemporary classroom. Would you ever consider roadschooling? Why or why not? Let us know by leaving a comment!