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In the past year, many parents have had to make decisions in regards to the education of their children. For many, it was an opportunity to think outside of the public or homeschool box and try something they’d always dreamed of. For those families that are able to work from the road and travel, roadschooling provides a tremendous educational opportunity for many students.
What Is Roadschooling?
Roadschooling is a form of homeschooling where families harness education and travel to create an educational structure that best meets their student’s needs and interests. Families typically travel the country, or a specific region of the country, while learning about the geography, history, or culture of the area.
Is Roadschooling Legal?
While homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, it does not mean it is easy in every state. Some states have more complex structures and regulations that families must follow, but other states have become known for being “homeschool friendly.” Families considering roadschooling should research the applicable laws and requirements for their state of residence.
Benefits To Roadschooling
Roadschooling, much like homeschooling, typically allows families significantly more freedom when it comes to the education of their students. A student in a typical public school may simply read about the history of our country or the different types of government, but a roadschooling family can plan their travels to experience Washington DC or Philadelphia. Students can see the White House, walk the same roads as the founding fathers, or even find themselves standing on a former civil war battlefield. When families turn their adventures into academic lessons, national parks, state parks, and many more become their classrooms.
Many roadschooling opportunities involve the whole family and can provide an opportunity for the whole family to learn. Families can discuss what they experienced or learned while traveling in the car, over dinner, or around the campfire that night. This is specifically beneficial for students who struggle to learn in a formal lecture-driven classroom environment.
Traveling, especially to unfamiliar areas, naturally exposes students to new experiences and potential areas of interest. These areas of interest could potentially shape a student’s future career and would have never been possible if it weren’t for their family’s adventures.
Negatives To Roadschooling
While there are many benefits to roadschooling, it is by no means perfect. The same flexibility and freedom that makes roadschooling a great option also can provide for tense moments between parents and students. Most students, whether in public school or some form of homeschooling, generally don’t wake up excited to start school their school day. More often than not a bit of motivation or cheerleading is required to get students started.
Roadschooling families are often inundated with choices when it comes to choosing the learning materials they will use. While public school families have very little say in what textbook or the structure of their student’s class, road schooling families generally have more control. This can lead to parents feeling overwhelmed by the options and constantly evaluating every resource to see if it would be a fit for their family. Choosing resources that work for a student can make or break a roadschooling experience.
Choosing A Curriculum
Because choosing a curriculum is crucial to the roadschooling experience, it’s important to make an informed decision. As previously mentioned, the requirements for homeschooling vary by state, and curriculum choice is no different. Many states offer physical and/or online resources to assist families with schooling their children. One great resource for roadschooling families is the National Park System’s Junior Ranger Program. The programs are free and teach students science, social studies, and even the history of the national park or the region where the park is located.
Many roadschooling families also utilize online communities to help them make the curriculum decision. If you are just getting started with Roadschooling, check out our course on RV Masterclass to help guide you through everything you need to know. Families that share similar beliefs or philosophies of education are often the best resource as they may have prior experience with publishers or specific curriculums that worked for their families. Due to homeschooling requirements varying by state, it is recommended that families research curriculum requirements for their state of residence before committing or purchasing.
It may be phrased, “How will they make friends?” or “Don’t they get lonely?”, but the socialization of roadschooling students is always a topic of discussion. Luckily as the popularity of roadschooling has increased there have become several options for families to develop community.
Fulltime Families is one online community that not only provides families with a community but also hosts rallies and other events throughout the year. Families that join and become members can participate in field trips and even virtual events that allow students to grow relationships with others.
Roadschooling is a great educational experience, but also a great life experience. The opportunities and experiences combine to make an educational experience that is hard for other educational options to match. While it often takes more intentional effort for roadschooling families, the benefits and memories made are worth every ounce of effort.