Try to imagine those field trips you used to take in school lasting throughout the year. Imagine the classrooms morphing with the landscape, imagine the textbooks becoming exhibits, galleries, and museums. Just try to imagine if someone had allowed your natural childlike curiosity to become the single greatest teacher you ever had.
What you’re imagining isn’t some parental pipe dream or an academically-driven delusion. It’s called roadschooling, and everyday more and more families are adopting this unconventional method of learning to impact and enhance the quality of their children’s education. If you’re contemplating alternatives to the institutional-based, curriculum-driven ideologies of traditional schools, you’ve stumbled upon the right article! We are talking all about roadschooling and how to provide your kids with an education that is greater than anything you could’ve ever imagined!
What is Roadschooling?
Roadschooling blends the fundamental components of conventional schooling with the freedom and adaptability of homeschooling, to create an entirely new style of educating. Roadschooling takes the best of both teaching methods to the learning-rich environment of the open road, turning travel into an educational tool; a tool that can’t possibly be replicated in a fixed classroom. Roadschooling focuses on empowering the child by allowing real-world experiences to act as the backbone of their educational studies.
Legalities of Roadschooling
Technically speaking, roadschooling falls under the same category as homeschooling, meaning you will still need to comply with your state’s educational requirements. You will want to follow the homeschooling laws issued from the state that you are legally domiciled. If you intend to roadschool as full-time RVers, homeschooling requirements may be a factor in selecting your domicile. Texas, one of the most popular states of residency for full timers, has minimal requirements. Other states have stricter guidelines, such as supervised testing and substantial record keeping, which you will need to adhere to if your domicile is in such a district. Contact the state’s Department of Education to learn about the specific requirements of your ‘residing’ state. As long as you comply with state requirements, you should have no legal problems roadshooling.
Benefits of Roadschooling
For as many reasons as there are to reject conventional schooling (i.e. rigid standardized testing, restricting core curricula, and crippling monotony), there are so many more reasons to embrace roadschooling. Here are just a few:
Practical Life Skills: When roadschooling, you’re not just preparing your child for the workforce, you are preparing them for the real world. On the road, children are given opportunities to develop skills that are applicable to reality, rather than just academia.
All-Encompassing Education: When a child’s classroom is mobile, they are exposed to a wide variety of customs, languages, environments, and individuals. Not only does this expand their comfort zone, but it also fosters their empathy and understanding of different cultures.
Hands-On Learning: Roadschooling gives little learners the chance to discover subjects such as history and science, rather than just read about them. When these topics become tangible, children are much more likely to develop an interest and retain the information taught to them.
Stimulating Experiences: Learning should be fun, but when a student is stuck in a white-walled classroom for nearly 7 hours each day, learning starts to get associated with boredom and monotony. Roadschooling is thrilling enough to return learning back to its fun and exciting roots!
Character Development: Along with learning basic math, science, and reading skills, roadschooling also lets your child learn the basics of good character. It won’t just help them to become a smart person, it will help them to become a good person too.
Utilizes Natural Curiosity: Children are instinctively drawn to learn. Roadschooling lets you adapt your lesson plans to appeal to your child’s unique individual passions and natural curiosities. When schooling is tailored to meet the student’s interest, learning becomes fun rather than forced.
How to Roadschool
Just because roadschooling isn’t traditional doesn’t mean it isn’t an effective or viable method of educating. The reality of roadschooling, however, is that it’s more of a mindset than a method. Focus less on the process of crafting lesson plans and perfecting coursework, and worry more about getting into the mindset of perceiving the living world for the wealth of educational value that it has. You don’t need decades of teaching experience to provide your child with a top-notch education. Sometimes, all you need is the bravery to recognize that your child possesses the natural curiosity and intellect to learn outside of the guidelines and boundaries of a structured classroom.
Educational Locations: The list of destinations are as limitless as your child’s imagination! When roadschooling, finding locations to enhance your child’s educational journey is as simple as looking at what’s around you. Take them on a tour of Ellis Island in New York for a one-of-a-kind history lesson or go geocaching at the Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve in Idaho for a hands-on geology lab!
Useful Resources: Before visiting any given destination, browse the website for information that can be used as educational material. Many sites have downloadable booklets, pamphlets, and worksheets that can be accessed for free. Also, take advantage of technology whenever possible. Kindles and iPads can reduce an entire library down into a compact notebook-sized device. The devices can be an empowering and unlimited source of information for your child.
Tips & Tricks: As the name implies, roadschoolers spend a lot of time on the open road. Use the drive time to your child’s advantage by listening to audiobooks as you travel or by having group discussions on their current topics of study. You can also give your RV a fun classroom-esque design by chalk painting your fridge!
Choosing an RV: When roadschooling, you will want to make sure that your mode of transport is conducive to a learning environment. Many RVs, such as the Cougar 336BHS, boast bunkhouses to give your kids a quiet space where they can focus on their schoolwork, while still providing enough living space to travel comfortably as a family. At our dealership, we have a wide-range of trailers that are perfect for roadschooling!
Roadschooling is a great alternative if you want to give your child the most comprehensive education possible. Not only does it allow you to bond with your child as they embark on their educational journey, but it also allows your child to discover the world for themselves, in a hands-on way that can’t be replicated in a traditional classroom. If you're ready to reunite your child with their natural love of learning, pack your bags and bring the classroom to the open road! Would you ever consider roadschooling, why or why not? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear your thoughts!