What Is Roadschooling?
We go to school to learn. We travel to experience. So, what is roadschooling? Imagine if school and travel came together at an intersection – that is roadschooling.
Traditionally we go to school to learn. We learn subjects like math, reading, spelling, grammar, and history history. Then you have the required electives; classes like art, gym and music. And in the midst of all this, you are also being taught politics, religion, etiquette, sportsmanship, core values, and more.
The thing with going to school to learn is that you don’t have to go to a school that only has a static building with classrooms. School, in all reality, is actually everywhere.
And if school is everywhere, then why not take it on the road?
So… What Is Roadschooling?
In its simplest form, roadschooling is homeschooling on the road. More and more families are traveling across the country during the school year. Some families are moving into their RVs full time… and kids still need schooling!
There are so many changes in the educational industry. Changes like more standardized testing, higher standards, decreased electives, and even decreased nutrition. It’s no wonder that kids today are highly stressed. The increased focus on academics and testing leaves kids just as drained at the end of the day as overworked parents.
Now, this is not to say that there are some truly wonderful teachers in our standard school system. The majority of teachers go above and beyond what is expected of them. Many do this to ensure that each child is well cared for at school, and oftentimes at home, too. Teachers are everyday heroes. Parents are, too.
What Are The Benefits of Roadschooling?
The most obvious benefit of roadschooling is that it can be done from anywhere. And, if you are the parent that can handle being both the parent and the teacher, then, I would say you are not only a hero, but maybe even a saint.
Ok, so now you are on the road with your child who needs to learn. And they need to learn something besides how to entertain themselves in the backseat of a moving vehicle. Roadschooling can be done from anywhere, but there are so many more benefits.
There are many families roadschooling their kids. And, thanks to this wonderful thing called the internet, it is quite easy to get in touch and stay in touch with other roadschooling families and groups.
Because of this, many kids gain social skills from constantly meeting new people, either virtually or from traveling to new places.
Speaking of traveling to new places, roadschooled kids get hands on experience in the real world. Places like historical sites, museums, geological phenomenon, farms, and so much more. Children in a traditional school typically only learn about these places in a book… but with roadschooling, the educational experience is immersive. The world is the classroom.
You’ll be spending a lot of time with your children if you are now also the teacher… but haven’t you always wanted to bond more? With roadschooling, you can and will.
Not only will you be able to teach them as a parent, but you’ll really get a chance to understand how they learn. You’ll see what excites them, and what their characteristics are as a young learner.
Is Roadschooling Legal?
“But can I really just decide to teach my own kids on the road? What makes me qualified to be a teacher? Is roadschooling even legal?”
Yes, you can simply decide to teach your kids on the road. And yes, you are qualified. There are some legalities to both of these, of course, but the world can definitely become the classroom.
Since roadschooling is basically homeschooling on the road, if you’ve already been homeschooling your children you’re off to a great start.
However, if you’re new to all of this, the first thing to understand is that homeschooling (in turn, roadschooling) is regulated at the state level. So, you’ll need to be familiar with homeschooling laws based on your home state. If your home is truly traveling in a RV, you’ll need to establish a “home base” (or domicile) state for your roadschooling, and general life purposes.
Just as in a traditional classroom, you’ll need curriculum to follow. However, the places you visit can easily become a part of whatever curriculum you choose. So, while you may not have a teaching degree, there are many options when it comes to choosing curriculum.
Some may be web-based, some may be via physical materials. Some may be taught by you directly, and some may be taught virtually, either live classes or on demand. There are many different styles to choose from.
You get to choose what fits. The world is your classroom, your child is your student, and you are the hero.
Pros and Cons of Roadschooling
Ok, so maybe you won’t be considered a hero at the exact moment you start roadschooling your eight-year-old. Remember, your eight-year-old is quite comfortable with you.
When you change roles of being parent to teacher, there will be a learning curve for both you and your child. This transition is one of the cons of roadschooling.
This ironically goes right along with getting to spend a lot more time together. While bonding with your children is a truly wonderful thing, we all need time apart. So recognize when things are getting a bit tense and everyone needs a break. That break will create a stronger bond in the long run.
Another con to roadschooling is going to be lack of wireless connection. If you have chosen to roadschool, you’ll need some sort of internet connection. Regardless of how well you plan for this, plan for lack of signal, too.
Popular places to visit, such as National Parks (where you’ll be excited to teach hands-on history and biology lessons) generally have non-existent cell service. So, if there are lessons to be uploaded, just remember: some of the coolest places on the planet are not as internet-savvy as your kids are.
Because you can generally schedule your own time to teach, you can both take a break whenever you want!
Tips for Getting Started With Roadschooling
The simplest way to get started roadschooling is with your home state and home school district in your state. Most State Education Departments and local school districts have resources readily available to get you everything you need.
Another path to success is to research local community support groups or social media groups that focus on roadschooling. Whether you’re looking for religious schooling, a non-traditional approach such as unschooling, or a more traditional program, you’ll find support communities online!
Remember: everyone does this differently, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You can find curriculum tailored to your families needs and values, or even create your own. It’s up to you!
If You Can Tackle the Open Road, You Can Tackle Roadschooling
Roadschooling can sound quite intimidating to get started. But think of it this way… If you are able to send your five-year-old off to the unknowns of a kindergarten classroom, then you can definitely tackle the unknowns of roadschooling. You are after all, tackling the open road.
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