Do you want to pursue your travel dreams and give your kids an educational experience that’s out of the ordinary? Look no further than roadschooling!
Roadschooling is an educational approach that combines homeschooling with a travel lifestyle and experiential learning. Rather than simply watching educational documentaries or reading about different places in textbooks, children can experience them firsthand.
In this blog post about roadschooling, you’ll discover…
You’ll also learn about the pros and cons of roadschooling, essential considerations, and how to start travelling full time with your family. Of course, you can also apply many of the ideas in this article to shorter road trips with your kids!
Road schooling allows you and your family to travel across the country while learning about a variety of cultures, local history, geography, science, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to enhance your child’s education through experiential learning opportunities and field trips that revolve around traveling to new places.
Roadschooling is a great way to provide school-aged children with new and varied experiences while also having the opportunity to connect as a family through shared adventures. While there are many benefits to roadschooling, you’ll want to think this through to decide if it’s the right decision for your family.
When we looked up the definition of roadschooling, it couldn’t be found in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. So we tried the phrase, road schooling. Again, the word was not defined.
The term roadschooling is a word that is primarily used in homeschooling circles.
At Homeschool ThinkTank, we define roadschooling as the act of traveling via roadways while educating your children.
The Best Educational Destinations for Roadschooling Families
If you’re considering roadschooling while homeschooling your kids, then you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of outstanding educational experiences that can only be had by visiting new places.
Educational Opportunities for Traveling Families
- National Parks
- State Parks
- Children’s Museums
- Nature Centers
- Botanical Gardens
- Science Museums
- Historical Landmarks
- History Museums
- Art Museums
- Wilderness Areas
- National Forest Programs
- Hiking Trails
- Recreation Centers
- Local Attractions and Landmarks
Learn how to get yearly passes that have reciprocity with similar venues. For example, you may be able to purchase a museum pass that allows access to numerous museums around the world.
Homeschooling Your Kids While Traveling
At HomeSchool ThinkTank, we don’t believe that education needs to look like it does in public school. On the other hand, we do believe that every family is unique and that you should live and learn in a way that works for your family.
As you consider roadschooling and how this will impact your children’s education, you’ll find the following articles, podcast episodes, and videos helpful.
Each link is intended to help you explore your belief system around homeschooling and education. In addition, we’ve included information about different approaches to homeschooling your kids.
Where Do Roadschoolers Live?
Roadschooling generally implies that a family lives in a recreational vehicle like a fifth wheel or motor home. RV’s are a great option for roadschooling families as you can provide stability in your daily living habits while traveling with your kids.
Different Types of Recreational Vehicles (RV’s)
- Tongue Pull Travel Trailer. This is a bumper-pull camper.
- Fifth Wheel. The camper has a gooseneck that attaches to the bed of your truck.
- Toy Hauler. This camper has living quarters and room for 4-wheelers, dirt bikes, etc.
- Motorhome. A vehicle that has living quarters within it. There are many sizes available.
- Campervan. Like a motorhome, a campervan is a vehicle that has living quarters within it. However, a campervan is narrower and has better clearance than a motorhome.
Roadschooling: Airbnb’s Hotels, and Hostels
While many roadschoolers reside in a recreational vehicle while traveling, some families choose other ways of living.
- Some roadschoolers travel by car and sleep in tents.
- Other roadschoolers rent short-term homes like Airbnb’s.
- Hotels or hostels are other standard options for roadschooling families.
Some families roadschool full-time while others choose this lifestyle as a part-time option. While full-time roadschooling families might want to sell or rent out their home, a part-time roadschooling family may prefer to keep their home to return to when they aren’t traveling.
Worldschooling vs Travelschooling vs Roadschooling – What’s The Difference?
You might be wondering about the differences between worldschooling and roadschooling and travelschooling. At HomeSchool ThinkTank, we separate these types of travel for homeschooling families in the following way.
- Worldschoolers travel outside of their own country and over large bodies of water by plane or ship and by roads.
- Roadschoolers can reach their destination by road and do not need to fly or go by ship to reach their destination.
- Travelschooling encompasses both roadschooling and worldschooling.
All of these terms imply that you are traveling while educating and homeschooling your school-age kids. Each word also implies that you are travelling for an extended period of time and possibly full-time.
Video: Roadschooling Adventures Await!
Is Roadschooling the Same as Being Homeless?
If you’re unfamiliar with roadschooling, then you might think that roadschooling equates to homelessness.
For most families, embarking on this lifestyle takes months of preparation. You’ll be thinking about how to afford to travel, choosing your accommodations, planning your destinations, and potentially selling your home.
Roadschooling is not homelessness. It’s a way of living, and it’s an intentional lifestyle that some homeschooling families choose to embrace.
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Freedom of Homeschooling
While some parents may choose to homeschool so they can travel with their kids, other parents begin to explore the option to travel after they begin homeschooling their children.
As a homeschooling parent, it doesn’t take long to realize that your family is not confined by traditional school schedules, walls, or even internet connections. When you embrace the flexibility and opportunities that homeschooling allows, you realize that you could homeschool your kids nearly anywhere.
Once you realize that you have the freedom to travel, educating your children while traveling may be an appealing option to your family.
As a homeschooling parent, you see that experiential learning opportunities often outweigh the traditional textbook approach to education. And over time, you realize that there are many different styles of homeschooling.
Roadschooling and traveling full-time is a unique opportunity for homeschoolers that is not available to public school or private school families who must adhere to the school calendar and rules.
Examples of Educational Experiences for Traveling Homeschoolers
Roadschooling is about embracing experiential learning. Here, we share an example of how traveling can enrich your child’s education.
If you want to learn about the Ancestral Pueblo People of Mesa Verde, integrating traditional approaches that could be used in a classroom with real-life experiences will result in a much better education than that of a traditional textbook education.
Roadschooling: Integrating a Variety of Educational Approaches
- Read history books.
- Watch documentaries.
- Read historical fiction.
- Look at images and articles online.
- Visit the phenomenal cliff dwellings in person.
- Take a guided tour with a National Park Ranger and ask questions.
- Do art projects illustrating the cliff dwellings and Ancestral Pueblo People of Mesa Verde.
- Write stories or factual papers that integrate lessons learned from visiting Mesa Verde.
- Learn a skill that was used by the ancestral people of Mesa Verde.
- Visit Mesa Verde’s museum.
Roadschooling & Educational Experiences
As a roadschooling family, you can repeat this way of learning over and over again. While any student can read books and watch documentaries, you can only experience a place like Mesa Verde National Park by going there. And that in-person experience will help your child learn at a deeper level.
Roadschooling Through the National Parks
If you plan on visiting several national parks, your kids might want to join a Junior Ranger Program. Junior Rangers of the National Parks take an oath to protect parks, continue to learn about the National Parks of America, and share their own ranger story with friends and family. As you can see, a field trip like this can be a springboard for more educational opportunities.
How Roadschooling Kids Make Friends
There are a variety of ways for roadschooling families to make friends and meet other homeschooling families.
- Search social media for roadschooling groups and hashtags.
- A great resource is Fulltime Families.
- Look for homeschool groups in the areas that you visit.
- Visit this helpful article about how homeschoolers make friends.
Get Help With Homeschooling Your Kids
At HomeSchool ThinkTank, we offer a variety of online resources to help parents with homeschooling their kids.
- Listen to the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast.
- Register for our Homeschool Your Kids with Confidence Workshop.
- Get one-on-one support for homeschool parents.
- Sign up for a Homeschool Strategy Call.
- Join our online coaching program for homeschooling parents.
How to Get More Space When You Live In an RV
If you’re considering roadschooling and living in a recreational vehicle, you might wonder what to do with your kids when everyone gets stir-crazy from living in a small space. Whether you have one kiddo or a bunch of kids, these ideas are sure to help.
Ideas to Expand Your Small Space!
- Stay at National Parks, State Parks, and National Forest areas where there’s lots of open outdoor space.
- When choosing RV parks, check to see if there are large outdoor play areas. While it’s not standard, some RV parks also offer indoor community buildings.
- Go to the park.
- Find a rock climbing gym.
- Is there a bowling alley nearby?
- Go to the recreation center or a family-friendly gym.
- Take your kids swimming.
- Play frisbee golf.
- Go to a trampoline park.
- Find an outdoor basketball or volleyball court.
- Play tennis.
- Go hiking.
- Have you tried geocaching lately?
- Ride bikes.
- Take a walk.
- Go to a coffee shop.
- Find a library.
The HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast
Each week we share two podcast episodes that are designed to inspire, educate, and bring more joy into the lives of homeschooling families.
Listen to These Podcase Episodes About Roadschooling
- We Almost Roadschooled: Lessons From Our Experience
- Discover Roadschooling and Travel with Your Kids
Preparing to “Road School”
Roadschooling your family isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. If this idea sounds intriguing, then you might want to take a few practice runs before becoming a full-time roadschooling family. Living in small quarters is simple enough for a week, but do you think you could do it for months on end?
Take these considerations into mind before deciding to roadschool your kids.
- Children. How old are your children? How will you keep them safe while traveling?
- Family Personalities. Do the people in your family enjoy new experiences? How do your children get along? Do you think more time together will improve your family dynamic?
- Special Needs. Does anyone in your family have special needs to consider? Would roadschooling help you or hinder you in caring for the individual with special needs?
- Homeschooling Laws. While homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, it’s not legal in all countries. Be aware that homeschooling laws vary widely within the United States and around the world.
- Your Permanent Address. Where will you decide to “live.” Many roadschooling families choose to legally reside in one area over another based on homeschooling laws and tax laws.
- Living Arrangements While Traveling. Will you live in a camper, a short-term rental, or in some other way?
- Finances. How will you pay for your expenses while travelling? What’s your budget?
- A Trial Trip. It’s a good idea to take a trial roadschooling trip before committing to becoming full time RVers.
- Length of Time for Traveling. How long do you plan on traveling? Full-time? Part-time?
- Pets. How will you care for your pets?
- Your Home. If you own a house, what will you do with it? Sell It? Rent It?
- Stuff. What will you do with your household items? Will you store it? Sell it? Donate it?
- Minimalism. If you’re going to live in an RV, you need to be a minimalistic in your travels.
- There’s More. Make a quick list of the obstacles you will need to overcome to become a roadschooling family.
These are real-world obstacles. However, if the idea of becoming a roadschooling family is appealing to you, then you might want to look into it further.
Homeschooling Laws to Consider When Roadschooling
At HomeSchool ThinkTank, we aren’t lawyers, and we don’t dispense legal advice. With that being said, here’s some information that you might find helpful as you explore homeschooling.
While homeschooling is legal in all 50 states of the United States, it is not legal in all countries. It’s also important to understand that laws vary widely throughout the United States.
According to Home School Legal Defense Association, “You should follow the law of the state in which you are physically present.” This is especially true if you are going to reside in a state for more than a month. As a result of this recommendation, if you are a roadschooling family, consider limiting your time in any one state to less than 30 days.
If you live outside of the United States or will be travelling outside of the United States, see this map for more information.
“Moving” to Another State
When roadschooling your family full-time, you’ll need a permanent mailing address. If you are going to choose another state as your home state, be sure to consider the homeschooling laws of that state. If you are looking for a mail forwarding service, we suggest considering Escapees Services.
Pros And Cons of Roadschooling
As with anything in life, there are pros and cons to the choices you make. Here’s a short list that you’ll find helpful as you consider roadschooling.
Potential Disadvantages of Roadschooling
- Lack of a stable community (unless you travel with others).
- Some children may have difficulty with change and the uncertainty of a new place and environment.
- Potentially small space to live in.
- Too much time together.
- Need to limit the items that you own.
- Small space to cook in.
- One bathroom (this is what is in most RVs).
- Laundry facilities. Most RVs don’t have a washer and dryer.
- Traveling with pets can be challenging.
- It could be expensive. However, there are ways to reduce expenses.
- Packing up to travel.
- Some jobs and income sources are more mobile-friendly than others.
- Inconsistent internet connection. While you will likely use mobile and satellite internet options, there may be times when you do not have internet or cellular service.
Potential Advantages of Roadschooling Your Family
- Freedom to explore.
- New experiences and sights.
- Educational opportunities.
- Time to see extended family or friends.
- Less housework than a typical home.
- No yard work.
- Less home maintenance (if you have an RV, the required maintenance is far less than a typical home)
- Potentially low cost of living.
- Making new friends is fairly easy for roadschooling families.
- More time to spend with your children and spouse.
Does roadschooling sound appealing? How about minimalism? As a roadschooling family, you’ll need to be a minimalist in your travels.
If you are roadschooling on a budget, thrift stores and yard sales might become one of your favorite ways to shop. You can find clothing and school materials cheaply. There’s no need to store items that aren’t used regularly. Simply donate your thrift store purchases when you are done using them.
More Blog Posts, Podcast Episodes, And Videos For You…
- Self-Care for Moms
- Unschooling 101
- Start Homeschooling Your Kids
- Homeschooling Curriculum
- Fun Math Games for Kids
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