Last Updated on 11/01/2023 by Glynn Willard
How do you road school your kids?
First, are you ready to hit the road but not sure how?
Or, do you wonder if homeschooling on the road is realistic?
Or maybe you just don’t know where to begin with road schooling?
Taking the home school leap is one thing, but what about road schooling your children?
I’ve been homeschooling my two children since 2015, and for the past 2 years have been road schooling across the United States.
We travel and road school in our 28ft Outdoors RV Travel Trailer.
If you’re considering road schooling your children, let me just say, it’s an experience none of you will forget!
What Is Road Schooling?
Road schooling says it all.
It is teaching your kids while traveling on the road. No mater how long you do it.
It’s that simple.
You have the flexibility to turn road schooling into anything you like.
There are endless resources spread all over the country (or world for that matter).
A quick Google search for “fulltime families road schooling” will unveil a growing trend of teaching your kids academics and life skills on the road.
Benefits of Road Schooling
The key to road schooling is learning through experiences!
We are also constantly researching and learning about new things and places as we go.
The bond you create with your child happens naturally with the amount of time spent with them on the road.
If you have the desire to nurture this relationship, then road schooling might be for you.
By having less and living more simply you will have the time and patience to really listen and connect with your child.
- Kids learning geography? What better way than show them every state!
- We dove heavily into geology while boondocking in Utah, Arizona and Nevada.
- How about history? Experiencing a historical site first hand makes for a real memory!
- Studying marine biology? How about camping near a university’s coastal marine research facility. They have a ton of resources.
- And not to mention, there’s a museum for just about every subject you can cover.
These are just a few of the many benefits of road schooling.
Where To Begin With Road Schooling
First, you will need to look into your state’s homeschooling laws.
Go to the HSLDA site to find out the laws in your state.
Then, you need to know your homeschooling intentions. For example:
- Will this be short term or long term?
- How much formal schooling do you want to do?
Personally, we don’t do a lot of formal sit down work.
We only do a couple hours per week of the 3 R’s. The rest comes from earning Jr. Ranger Badges from National Parks and Monuments.
We use the remaining time to dive more into their own interests. This usually involves museums and historical sites.
We’ve even found experts in their field of interest and asked for demonstration/education.
It’s amazing how open people are to mentoring a child! We’re so thankful!
Encourage your child to read for pleasure and lead by example. Immerse your child in all aspects of travel.
Let them help you plan, help navigate, help set up the RV, help cook, help clean and even help budget.
These are all real life skills they will need anyway.
What Curriculum For Road Schooling?
We tend to stick to just the nuts and bolts of learning so we can spend more time out in the real world.
Here’s the gist of our road schooling curriculum:
- Mathematics: We initially began with Math-U-See, but slowly evolved to writing our own curriculum.
My husband, Glynn does the same math lesson with them for a week before moving on to a new lesson.He covers algebra, geometry, consumer math and business finance. He finds real world applications to go with each lesson.
- Reading and Phonics: We taught our kids to read initially with Logic of English, Get Ready for The Code and Explode The Code workbooks.Once that was accomplished, we encouraged reading of any sorts as much as possible.
Our older child is mildly dyslexic and it has been a bit of a struggle for him.
But time and a strong interest in comic style books and Minecraft has helped him a lot!
My boys love reading comic style graphic novels such as, “Dog Man”, “Garfield”, “Calvin and Hobbes”, “Minecraft”, “Investigators”.
We also love listening to audio books and they’re especially great for in the car on travel days.
One of my fellow seasoned home school moms once told me that up until about age 8 you are teaching your kids to read, and then after that, they are reading to learn.
- Writing: Writing skills are important, but my kids are a little late to the game.
They will write, but they really have to want to.There are many ways to communicate. So, if your child struggles with writing, maybe they are great at another form of communicating.
Think about the world today, some people have blogs, others do podcasts and others make YouTube videos.
In the beginning of learning to write, we used Handwriting Without Tears.
I have found that my boys need a lot of time to perfect this skill.
They tend to fight me more on this, so I don’t push it.
We just try to naturally incorporate it by writing postcards, birthday cards, texts, emails, or by voice.
Figure out the way your child communicates best and help them to learn to excel in that medium. There is more than one way to communicate!
Do You Need To Bring All The Textbooks For Road Schooling?
Before we moved into our RV, I had many bookcases stacked with textbooks and other resources.
You know what, we actually rarely used them!
I find that whether we are moving or sitting still, there are always better hands-on ways to learn in this lifestyle.
Plus, when we’re in a great location to explore outside and there are other kids to play with, we almost always choose to let the boys explore and socialize rather than do workbooks.
We can easily make up the time to get in a couple hours of the 3 R’s each week.
You might be more organized or interested in teaching from textbooks, but if it feels forced please don’t push it! It will be ok.
They will learn what they need if there is a desire and interest. The goal isn’t to memorize facts or know a little bit about everything.
The goal is to teach your kids how to think and learn and how to find the answers to their questions!
How We Fit Education Into Fulltime RV Living
It’s definitely harder to fit in all of the traditional learning while travelling.
We move a lot and there’s just too many new and interesting adventures.
Before we moved into an RV, learning history was kind of dry and not as interesting to our boy’s.
In this RV lifestyle, the boy’s have learned an incredible amount of history and geography!
That totally makes up for the lack of focus trying to teach from a book!
How To Maintain Social Skills Road Schooling
Personally, I cringe at this question about homeschooling in general!
Before life on the road, we owned a successful personal training studio for over 20 yrs.
Our boys grew up in that studio meeting and conversing with all of our clients, young and old.
Our kids, like us, are introverts, but have no problem striking up a conversation with others, especially adults!
They also belonged to a home school co-op where they met other homeschoolers once a week and at other meetups (before we traveled full time).
Please don’t let the fear of a lack of socialization hold you back from road schooling.
If your child needs social interaction, you can easily find it these days.
Facebook has many road school pages and meet ups. In the real world, one never socializes with just peers their own age!
My husband always interjects the value of a refined skill set for speaking fluently with all types and ages in business. He’s right.
Remember, road schooling doesn’t have to be for forever!
It will most likely be for a season or chapter in your life!
Embrace the opportunities you will have road schooling that you won’t get living in a house.
Are you ready to join the fulltime families road schooling club?
Meet the author.
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