For many families, life on the road is a bucket-list wish…
Being able to live out of an RV and travel the country is their dream. Making this dream come true requires a few lifestyle changes, including downsizing possessions, being comfortable living nomadically, and setting up a homeschool education for your children. Homeschooling on the road, or “roadschooling,” is an excellent option for families with the travel bug.
To become a traveling homeschooler, you’ll first have to look into your state’s educational laws. Homeschooling is regulated at the state level, so you’ll need to establish a “home state,” even while you’re bouncing across the country. If you’ve been homeschooling your children, then you should already be familiar with your state’s requirements, and in that case, you're good to go. There are plenty of online resources to help you determine which state, based on homeschooling requirements, works best for your family.
Once you have that nailed down, homeschooling from your RV, or anywhere else you choose, is all about how you make it. However, if you want to make schooling on the road easier on yourself and your family, follow these tips.
Find a Curriculum that Will Work for Your Family
Families have a huge variety of options when it comes to programs and curriculum. For the most part, online charter schools will have the most suitable and effective choices for families on the road.
Many of the courses your children take will be dictated by state standards and requirements; however, there are resources and supplements that can help you personalize their learning. When you’re deciding on courses or programs, make sure you take flexibility into consideration. Some schools allow you to completely control your kids’ schedules, while others have live, online classes that must be “attended” at specific times. There are even some courses that may be shared between children, which lets you multitask as a teacher and will also save money and space on materials.
Use All the Resources Technology Has to Offer
Your students’ learning doesn’t need to be confined to the content provided by their courses. There are thousands — even millions — of online resources for homeschooling and general education. If your child shows an interest in a specific subject or city you’re visiting, let them go down the Internet rabbit hole and explore (make sure you supervise or set up parental control on your web browser). The Internet is also a treasure trove for art projects, science projects, worksheets, video tutorials, and subject guides.
Create a Dedicated Learning Space
One of the biggest challenges in homeschooling on the road is finding the space for your children to complete their work. Since space is limited on an RV, it may be difficult to completely devote an area to schoolwork. Consider creating a temporary classroom space that can be set up quickly when it comes time for studying. Online schooling makes it a bit easier since most of the resources and course materials can be accessed on a single laptop or tablet. Keep all other materials — pencils, scrap paper, highlighters, calculators, and other items — in a box that can be stored somewhere inconspicuous and out of the way.
Plan Schoolwork Around Your Family’s Schedule
The beauty of homeschooling is that you get to set your own schedule. In general, your students can start their learning when it works best. You have the flexibility to take the entire day off to explore a new place and then spend extra hours catching up. Keep in mind, though, whenever you choose to include study time, it’s best to get your child on as consistent a schedule as possible (whether that means school starts the same time every morning, or work is completed every day before dinner, is up to you).
Take Advantage of Your Environment
Being on the road and traveling the country gives your family the opportunity to explore new environments. It’s probably the greatest benefit to RV living (besides family time). Take advantage of this adventure and find fun places for learning.
• Take your laptops to a local library and spend the afternoon reading.
• There are a ton of historical sites that can bring life to your children’s history lessons.
• Science can be learned out in nature or at a specialized museum.
Taking advantage of your environment also means finding places for your children to interact and socialize with others.
For more tips on homeschooling and road-schooling, check out our blog.
About the Author
Christine Feher received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Masters in Counseling, and Pupil Personnel Services Credential from Chapman University. She has worked in public schools for over 10 years. After working as a Guidance Counselor, she earned her Administrative Credential and has been the Principal of CalPac Online for 3 years.