My family enjoys traveling to visit historic sites. We’ve had opportunities to visit places like Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown, King’s Mountain, Cowpens, Petersburg, Fredericksburg, Charles Towne Landing, and Patriot’s Point. Sometimes, while visiting one of these places, I think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do this all the time?” Although my family has not had the opportunity to travel the country full-time, many families do just that. Homeschooling on the road is becoming a popular form of homeschool. If you are curious about the roadschooling lifestyle or are thinking about trying it, read on for helpful information and tips.
What is roadschooling?
Roadschooling is just what it sounds like: homeschooling while on the road. Roadschoolers are usually homeschooling their children while traveling from place to place (often in an RV). They have great opportunities to create authentic learning experiences by visiting sites related to what their children are learning about.
Worldschooling is a term similar to roadschooling. The main difference between the two is that worldschoolers travel internationally while roadschoolers generally stay within one country.
Is it possible to homeschool while traveling?
Yes, it is possible to homeschool while traveling. In fact, homeschooling is often the most stable educational option for families who need to do a lot of traveling. I have known several moms who have homeschooled their children during years of missionary deputation travel. They knew exactly how to pack their minivan so their kids could do their schoolwork while they traveled from church to church. For them, homeschooling did take a lot of extra planning, but they were able to do it successfully.
What does homeschooling on the road look like?
Homeschooling on the road will not likely look the same as homeschooling at home. Because of your limited space, you might not be able to bring all your normal tools and supplies. And frequent traveling might make it hard to establish routines and stay on a consistent schedule. But the necessary flexibility that comes with roadschooling will become your superpower. You’ll be able to rearrange lessons and create memorable learning opportunities for your children in whatever location you find yourself in.
Is roadschooling affordable?
Not everyone can afford to homeschool on the road for several weeks or even months at a time. But there are ways to make roadschooling work with your budget.
You don’t have to forfeit your income to make roadschooling possible. Many jobs can be done remotely. If you don’t want to commit to working a set number of hours, you may want to consider freelancing to give you more flexibility.
Some jobs (like traveling nurses, translators, and sales agents) require a lot of travel. They will pay you to travel! However, the downside is that you won’t likely have as much control over where you travel or how long you stay.
Write about Your Travels
Some roadschoolers have earned money from writing or vlogging about their travels. If writing, videography, or photography is a skill you have, you might be able to support yourself this way.
Even if you can continue working while roadschooling, there are some large expenses associated with it (such as the purchase of an RV or camper) that you will need to plan for. Some families deliberately lower their living expenses for years to save money to put toward roadschooling.
How to Use Your Homeschool Curriculum while Traveling
When choosing a homeschool curriculum to use while traveling, you will definitely need to consider your space limitations. Many roadschoolers prefer to use a minimalist homeschool curriculum that is mainly online so they don’t have to pack as many books.
BJU Press online is a great option for roadschoolers because not only are the lessons online, but the kit also comes with an eTextbook and digital copies of the teacher edition and any answer keys. Students in grades 5 through 12 even take all of their assessments online! With BJU Press you can truly homeschool from anywhere.
Tips for Roadschooling
Research Your State Homeschooling Laws
Roadschoolers still have to follow all the homeschooling laws of their official state of residence, so make sure you know what they are. You can find out the homeschool requirements of each state at hslda.org. Be sure to reach out to them if you have any specific questions.
There are a few states in which roadschooling would be difficult (but not impossible) to do legally. Some homeschoolers in these states have chosen to change their legal residence to a less-regulated state that is more friendly to a roadschooling lifestyle.
Invest in a Great Wireless Data Plan
If your children need to be online in order to do their schoolwork, make sure that you invest in a robust wireless data plan. You never know when you will need to use your phone as a wireless hotspot for the day. Not all campgrounds have Wi-Fi, and if they do, sometimes it is too slow to use for video streaming.
Embrace Digital Resources
If you are planning to roadschool, you are probably already aware of the limited amount of stuff you can bring with you. Luckily, a lot of resources are available digitally. You may want to check out what your local library offers. Many libraries subscribe to Hoopla or Libby or other digital collections that you can download e-books and audiobooks from using your library card. Local library websites will also likely have a host of other digital resources (online encyclopedias and periodicals, databases, and even online classes) that can help you as you roadschool.
You may want to purchase an eReader or tablet that your children can use to read e-books and to play educational games. If you are looking for some great educational apps, check out the post “8 Best Reading Apps for Kids” for some suggestions.
Establish a Routine
Roadschooling demands flexibility, but every good homeschool needs some kind of routine to make sure that learning actually takes place. Maybe you reserve a couple days a week for visiting local places of interest and spend the other days going through your curriculum. Or maybe you work through your curriculum in the mornings and leave your afternoons free for exploring. Find a routine that works for your family and try to stick with it as much as possible.
Some roadschoolers prefer to homeschool year-round in order to have as much flexibility as possible. Check out the post “How to Homeschool Year-Round” to see if a year-round schedule might work well for your family.
Plan Regular Outings
Part of the magic of roadschooling is the ability to enhance your child’s education through field trips. So take time to visit local places of interest like museums, historical sites, zoos, nature centers, and more. To save money on admission, you may want to invest in buying a membership in a museum or zoo that participates in reciprocal memberships. The post Budgeting on the Go: The Power of Reciprocal Memberships has a great explanation of the different types of reciprocal membership programs and how they can save you money.
Connect with Others
You and your children need opportunities to connect with other roadschoolers for encouragement and support. Many roadschooling bloggers suggest getting to know other roadschooling families by joining the Fulltime Families Facebook group or attending RV rallies. The Republic of Nomads group and the Xscapers Club are other organizations that you can check out. Once you do get to know other families homeschooling on the road, try to travel with or make plans to meet them occasionally—you will be able to mutually help and encourage each other!
Roadschooling can provide your children with a rich homeschool experience. Being able to walk around the actual historic sites, hear the roar of factory machinery, taste the local cuisine, smell all the farm smells, and touch fossils and rock formations will make learning come alive in a way that it never can through a textbook. And the best part is that your family will be able to experience all these precious learning moments together. Now that’s happy homeschooling!