There’s no denying that homeschooling has become more prevalent than ever before. It’s an excellent option when you’re looking into ways to educate your children. One option that you may not have heard of is ‘roadschooling’. If you’re looking to hit the road in your RV, then you’ll want to want to bring the kids along with you. With roadschooling, they’ll be able to keep up with their education no matter where they are. Here’s everything you need to know about the practice.
What Is Roadschooling?
The practice of roadschooling is simply homeschooling, while you’re on the road with your kids. It shares a lot of the same principles, as you’re teaching your kids out of a school setting.
A lot of parents have found great value in roadschooling, as it allows them to widen their child’s horizons. After all, why should they be sat in a school every day when they could be out learning about things first hand?
Of course, roadschooling will come with its own challenges too. As a parent, you need to consider all this to see if its right for your kids.
The Legality Of Roadschooling
If you’ve ever looked into homeschooling your kids before, then you’ll know that there are some requirements and laws that you need to abide by. These differ from state to state, so how do you handle this when you’re traveling around in your RV?
For those who are full time RV travelers, they choose one state to be their domicile, and that dictates the laws they need to abide by when it comes to homeschooling. ‘Many travelers choose to go with Texas or Florida’ says Janice Boardman, an RV blogger with Simple Grad and Assignment Services. ‘These are the most roadschooling friendly states, making it easier for you to get started.’
Texas has no formal requirements when it comes to homeschooling, and Florida only requires attendance reporting quarterly, in umbrella schools. They both also have online school options for school age children, as well as the ability for high school students to take college courses online, too.
However, don’t neglect the laws of any state that you’re stopping in. If you’re going to be in a state for more than a month, it’s best to abide by their homeschooling laws. Keep that in mind as you plan your trips.
When it comes to homeschooling, there’s a vast array of different teaching styles that you can use. That allows you to adapt your teaching to your surroundings, your child’s needs, and more. Here are the main styles that homeschooling families use, so you can see what would work for you.
School at home: This is going to be the closest to the actual school experience, without actually going to school. The parent will teach from a prepackaged curriculum, while the child sits at a table or desk. This is all done during a specific time each day.
This has some advantages, especially for students who are used to school based learning and are making the change to homeschooling. Parents will feel more capable too, as they’ll have a curriculum to teach from. However, this style doesn’t accommodate different learning styles, much like the classical school learning experience. Also, consider that this style requires you to have a lot of books. That can be difficult to store in your RV.
Literature based school: As the name suggests, this style of learning is based mostly on book learning, with many books out there being published for this purpose. The Charlotte Mason books, for example, focus on quality literature, and art. You can obtain many of these books for free online, with others being available for purchase.
There’s more flexibility than you’d imagine when it comes to literature based learning. The Life Of Fred series, for example, helps teach math to your children. You can get both religious and secular texts too, allowing you to bring faith into learning. It’s a style that works best if your children are already happy to read, and get more out of reading.
If your kids aren’t those kind of learners though, they’re going to have more problems with this style of teaching. Plus, it doesn’t follow a typical form, so if you’re looking to enrol your kids in regular schools later down the line, it can make this harder.
Unit studies: This is a style that’s popular with homeschoolers, roadschoolers in particular. Essentially, everything you teach your child in a unit will revolve around a theme. This can sometimes be seen in regular schools, but as a roadschooler you can really take advantage of this.
Travelers often base a unit of study all around an area that they’ll be visiting. As this covers all subjects, it gives you a lot of scope and flexibility. For example, you can work in trips to local places of interest, use online materials, and more. It also allows children of different ages to work on the same topic, at their own pace.
This style of teaching allows children to see the relevance of what they learn, and it makes it more interesting for them. It’s also child led, and needs less materials, such as books. However, it will take more preparation from you, so you’ll need the time to put these units together.
This is a method of teaching that many roadschoolers are using, as it suits the lifestyle so well. This is a much less formal style of teaching, where the learning is child led, and done without coercion. As a parent, you can step in and offer guidance when your child requests it, but all learning comes from the child and their environment.
This makes a lot more sense when you’re in an RV, as you’re on the road every day and the environment is always changing. Because of this, your children are more involved in every day life. They’ll be working on cooking, cleaning, repairs and more alongside you.
If you want to try this style of learning, then you’ll need to be able to trust your child to be able to lead their own learning. It may not be suitable for children who won’t initiate learning without adult supervision. As with all homeschooling styles, you need to know your child and how they learn.
Eclectic education: Here’s another style of learning that’s very popular with roadschoolers. This style uses elements of all the styles listed above, depending on when they’re right for you. As a parent, you may use unit studies with your kids, while other times you may go literature based. You can change things up by subject, too. If your child is fascinated by science, you can use unschooling in that subject, while using school at home for others that they need more guidance in.
This gives you a lot more flexibility, something you’ll need if you’re thinking about teaching while on the road. For example, unit teaching is best if you’re in an area that lends itself to it, but if you’re not, you can switch things up.
When teaching in this style, it means that you can relax your approach. There’s not a lot of pressure on you to get it right first time, and you can make changes as and when you need to.
Online schools: This is the final option, where you enrol your child in an online school, and they learn from a teacher through their device. It’s a good option for parents who aren’t that confident in their own teaching, or want their children to get used to the online learning format.
There are some who would argue that when you’re teaching children online, it’s not ‘roadschooling’ in the purest sense. However, if you think it would suit your child best, then it can work.
Roadschooling And Socialization
While regular schools will offer your children the chance to learn, they’re also the main way that they’ll socialize with others. If you’re on the road with them in your RV, are they going to have the same chance to meet other kids?
The homeschooling community has found lots of ways to get together, creating learning and socializing opportunities for their kids. The same is true of the roadschooling community, too. When you start looking, you’re going to find lots of ways to find others.
‘If you want to find other roadschoolers, the best place to start is on social media such as Facebook’ says travel writer Dominic Anderson, from Big Assignments and Elite Assignment Help. ‘There, you can find groups that are dedicated to roadschooling and helping you all get together.’
Once you’ve found those groups, you can start attending meet ups with others who are in the same area. These can be done purely for socializing, or they can be for field trips or joint learning sessions too.
You can take advantage of the internet too, to help your kids stay in touch with the friends they’ve made during their travels. They can chat online, or play games. There are some groups out there who have done things like set up private Minecraft servers, so their kids could play together.
These are just a few ways your kids can socialize while they’re out on the road. It will need some planning on your part, but you can easily meet your childs’ needs in this area, by finding out who else is roadschooling near you.
Once you’ve decided to get started with roadschooling, you’ll need to have the resources available to get started. What exactly you need will depend on the teaching style that you’re going with. For example, if you’re going for a literature based approach, then of course you’re going to need more books than if you were going with an unschooling style of teaching.
There will be some general things that you need, in order to help facilitate learning. These can include:
A laptop for online learning, as well as a printer
Notebooks for each subject the child is studying
General school supplies, such as paper, pencils, glue, crayons, markers, and so on
Mini dry erase boards and markers
Fun reading books
When obtaining resources, remember that you’ll need to be able to store all of it in your RV. Consider where you’ll be storing all these supplies as you set your RV up.
How Many Hours A Day Should You Be Roadschooling?
Your child may well be used to a six hour school day, where they’re expected to be in their seat, learning. On the road though, learning will be a lot different. When you take out all the extra factors that affect teaching, you’ll see that your children only need a few hours a day at the high school level.
Why is that? ‘When you’re homeschooling, you’re not dealing with a lot of complicating factors’ says Imogen Mann, an educator from Top essay writing services and Writing Populist. ‘For example, you’re not trying to teach 29 other students at the same time, and you’re not waiting for kids to move around a switch classes.’
You’ll soon find that all those little things take up more time than you’d think. Because of this, your kids will spend a lot less time doing formal learning than they would in school. As a general guide, a pre-kindergartener should do around 20 to 60 minutes a day, an elementary aged student will do around two hours, and a high school aged student should do around four hours a day.
The Pros And Cons Of Roadschooling
Now you have an idea of the basics of roadschooling, as it stands. Like all methods of schooling, it’ll be perfect for some, while others won’t get the most out of it. Here are the pros and cons, to see if it’s for you.
Pros Of Roadschooling
Tailor learning to your child: One of the best things about roadschooling, and home schooling in general, is that you can tailor your teaching to your child’s needs. In a classroom, they’ll have to learn according to the curriculum, and it may not work with their own learning style. On the road though, there’s no one else to accommodate, so they’ll get the most out of their learning.
Use your environment for learning: In an RV, the environment your children are in will change all the time. Because of this, learning will never be boring. There’s always new things to learn and explore. Your kids will see more in the RV than they ever will in a classroom.
Have more freedom in learning: There’s many kids who’ll tell you they hate being chained to a desk all day. Why should they have to, when they could instead learn in a more freeing way? There’s nothing quite as free as being taught on the road. They’ll learn in a way that’s more natural, and much more fulfilling for them.
Cons Of Roadschooling
You’re in charge of learning: In school, the teachers are in charge of what the pupils learn, and making sure they reach targets set out by the state. However, when you’re roadschooling, you’ll be responsible for all of this yourself. Because of this, you need to be ready to take on that burden yourself.
Paying for your own materials: It’s amazing how much you’ll need when teaching on the road, even when you’re trying to keep it to a minimum. When you’re home schooling, you’ll need to pay for all of it yourself. There’s also fees for entrance to museums and national parks, when you want to take kids on field trips. You need to be sure you have the funds for this, so you can cover all these costs.
You need to have the answers: Even the very best teachers won’t have all the answers, but they’re very used to parrying their students’ questions. Once you’re teaching your kids, you’ll be in the same boat. If your kid asks you a question you can’t answer, what will you do? Some people are great at helping their kids find the answer, but others aren’t. Are you ready to have to admit that you don’t know something?
Some kids won’t take to home schooling: In your mind, there’s no end to the benefits of homeschooling. Your kid can have all the freedom they need to learn at their own pace. The problem is, though, some kids would just prefer to be in school. If you’re thinking of taking your kids out of school in order to start traveling, you need to consider this. If your child does better in a regular school, then they may not take to roadschooling in the way you’d want them to.
This covers the basics of schooling your children when you’re on the road. When you’re well prepared, it’s an excellent way to help them understand more of the world, and learn in a new and fun way. Use this guide to help you plan out your roadschooling adventure with your children.
About The Author:
Emily Henry is a writer with Boomessays Review and Best assignment writing services AU. She writes about roadschooling, and gives advice about how to get started. She’s also a tutor at AcademAdvisor. .