RV ROADSCHOOLING - 10 Great Ways to Homeschool in Your RV
At first glance the terms "hitting the road" and "hitting the books" might appear oxymoronic.
But if you:
- Currently home school your children and have access to a motor home or RV.
- Are considering going full-time RVing with your family
- Have a child heavily involved in sports and travel for it constantly
- Are homeschooling and like to take extended holiday trips.
- Want to leave behind your suburban lifestyle to explore the country
- Look to expand your horizons while educating your kids
- Dropping out of corporate America thinking about pulling the kids out of school and buying an RV
- Hitting the road in pursuit of a new American dream.
- Looking to live a life of simplicity and quality time together as a family.
- Trading in careers for the entrepreneurial lifestyle i.e. RV blogging, workamping etc.
- Wanting to provide a hands-on education and give your child unfiltered learning.
Then read on.........
Your School House on Wheels
One of major concerns of parents who decide to homeschool their children is that their child is not exposed to the wide array of mental stimuli encountered by children who participate in a more conventional education. Children who go to public and even private schools are exposed to many different cultures, personalities and diverse beliefs. However, children schooled in the home sometimes are not exposed to a wide variety of ideas or cultures.
Homeschooling requirements should be a factor that full timing families consider when choosing a home base state. Some states, such as Texas, have minimal requirements, while others may require supervised testing, record-keeping and more. Parents can obtain information about these requirements by contacting the state Department of Education. Often, a homeschooling group in that state will have helpful information as well.
Pursuing an education while traveling provides some unique opportunities and challenges to those who want to balance education for their children with traveling. These 10 Great Ways to Homeschool in Your RV provide tips, links, resources and advice about homeschooling on the Road:
Tip 1: Math Class: How To keep Count
As you head down the highway in your school house on wheels, opportunities for teaching present themselves. In addition to the regular daily lesson plan, you can incorporate trip specific lessons into the daily work.
For example, the math lesson begins when you stop at the neighborhood filling station to top off your tank. Review the owners’ manual of your motor home or RV and find out the capacity of gallons of your fuel tank. If age and grade appropriate have your young student convert this measurement from gallons to liters. For younger children, a fun activity is to let them watch the pump through the RV window and count the gallons or even tenths of gallons that pour into your motor homes fuel tank. Of course with the current price of gasoline, this activity will be much more fun for them than for you.
Extra Math Tip: You can help your child use the map to help navigate as you travel along. Plan a side trip at the spur of the moment. Ask your child to tell you how this side trip will affect your timetable and fuel bill.
Tip 2: History Lessons: RV Culture, National Parks etc.
Plan your trip so that you follow a historical route. If you’ve got the time, follow the route of Lewis and Clark or explore the vast expanse of the Louisiana Purchase. Whatever path you choose to follow, make sure you have plenty of supplemental materials for your student to study. Many motorhome parks have high-speed internet available to their campers. At the end of each day, have your child connect to the Internet and gather information about the history of the places you’ve visited.
Tip 3: Social Studies
Take a trip through Appalachia. Venture some distance from the Interstate into the heart of a small town. Stop at a small store or local diner. Observe the people who live and work there. Listen to their accents or eavesdrop on a conversation. There is no better way to discover how other people live than to explore these microcosms of America. You might even want to contact local parents who also home school their children and arrange a visit to learn more about each other and compare home school curriculums or plan to visit.
Tip 4: Physical education
So how do homeschoolers handle PE? You would be surprised at the number of people who ask “Does [swimming, hiking, gymnastics, dancing] count as PE?” Of course! If your child is getting exercise, he is engaged in PE. For some families, this is easy, particularly if your kids are part of an organized sports team. It may seem like every kid in the U.S. participates in a competitive sport, but that is just not the case. Every state has its own requirements for physical education for high school. Your goal should be to make PE a regular part of your lives, not just a short-term program to meet a requirement. Try to be intentional about PE and plan out a schedule for the week so that you and your kids are doing at least 30 minutes, 3-4 days per week. You want to keep plenty of variety in your PE because kids get bored with the same thing.
Here are some great ideas for Home-style PE
Home Workout: Do an internet search for “home cardio training” and put together a list of cardio and strength training exercises you can do 2 to 3 times a week.
Walking: Going outside for a 30-minute walk is probably the easiest from of exercise.
Biking: You can send your kids outside for a bike break in the middle of the day.
Hiking: This could be a way to teach the history of our National Parks, plan vacation trips and have the family exercise together.
Tip 5: Roadschool Curriculum List
In the beginning, you may want to follow the classical model of education. As time goes on you may want to try a hybrid model of classical school and homeschooling so they can receive the benefits of the classroom setting while still discovering the relaxed atmosphere of homeschooling. The ultimate goal is to maintain the right fit for your child.
Tip 6: Ideas for Best Homeschooling Books
Doing what’s right, educationally, for your children requires a certain amount of courage, paying no attention to the critics and balanced with the value placed on the input of others who share your vision and know what they’re talking about. Some of the best selling homeschool books which can give you ideas on how to homeschool:
Tip 7: Special Needs Curriculum Vendors Supporting Homeschoolers
If you have a child with a learning problem, and you feel apprehensive about teaching him at home then having help locate the best resources for your child with special needs is a priority.
The professional jargon may be confusing and intimidating if you struggle with discouragement related to your child's learning progress.The links below may answer many questions. These sources will help you gain confidence to teach your child at home.
You'll find resources and guidelines for planning an effective homeschool program and learn to understand the vocabulary and ideas needed to make good decisions for your child. You'll discover the emotional strength and learn to identify the attitudes that support effective teaching. Try some of these companies for specials needs resources:
Learning Abled Kids' Poll Data Results: This is Sandy’s Master’s Degree Project focused on homeschooling children with specific learning disabilities. You will find statistical data stemming from informal polls listed on Homeschooling Listservs.
Academic Therapy Publications: Publishers of High Noon Books which feature high-interest/low-level readers developed for students who are reading below their age level, but who prefer more age-appropriate subject matter.
Audiblox: A unique developmental program, aimed at the inculcation of basic skills, which are necessary for school entry, for sustained achievement at school, and to overcome learning disabilities.
Barton Reading & Spelling System: Step by step, we teach you the unique methods and sequence of teaching reading, spelling, and writing used by professionals in dyslexia clinics.
Bella Luna Toys: For every Doctor’s Suitcase sold, Bella Luna Toys will donate $5 to the Hydrocephalus Association.
Bry-back Manor: A place for folks who care for young children or children with special needs.
Tip 8: Science
Finding the right resources for science may be few and far between. Whether looking for a science experiment book that provides young scientist with safe, workable astronomy projects to provide hands-on activities and real life applications or software, kits and materials that use a combination of videos, Livestream classes, reading and exercises to teach kids real science, the secret to giving your kids a really great homeschool science education. Here is a sample of some software you can find
Ambrosia:Mac. Games from a favorite shareware company.
Chiral: teaches ion bonding chemistry in a Tetris-like game.
Arbor Scientific: Mac & Windows. "Try before you buy" demo software for chemistry and physics.
ChemLab: Mac & Windows. Lets you select beakers and chemicals and practice before blowing up your RV!
Crayon Physics Deluxe from Petri Purho on Vimeo.Crayon Physics: Windows. A 2D physics puzzle / sandbox game
Digital Frog: Mac & Windows. For homeschooling parents who do not have a science background finding the right materials is even more crucial.
Formula Master: Windows. Allows high school chemistry students to practice and test over 80 chemical elements, 40 ions and 1600 formulas.
Other general resources can be found here: http://a2zhomeschooling.com/materials/curriculum_shop/science_shop/
Tip 9: Co-operative School
Co-operative homeschooling, which brings a number of families together to share the work in educating their children, may be the experience your children need versus the more traditionally schooled counterparts. One way to ensure that your child has access to these co-ops is to search the area your motor home is in for local ones sometimes through campgrounds or local churches.
Tip 10: Technology and Homes
The iPad is used extensively in education. For example, the LA School District dropped a cool $1 billion on Apple's much-loved tablet for each of its' students. The amount of educational applications on offer is simply staggering. With that in mind, it makes sense that homeschoolers would take to it with enthusiasm.
Here are some of the apps you can have on an iPad:
Be on the lookout for other destinations
Many homeschooling cooperatives hold events at various motor home parks to compare and refine homeschool curriculums and provide new experiences for their home schooled students. An Internet search for these homeschool meet ups will yield many entertaining and informative events. If you choose to make one of these trips, be prepared to have a good time and be sure to bring your favorite covered dish.
Exercises such as these are entertaining and exciting to your child and if properly presented, your young student may not even realize he is in school. But remember, as entertaining, exciting and educational as these road exercises are, they are not a replacement for the well-planned curriculum and lesson plans available to parents homeschooling their children.
A motto we saw from NewSchoolNomads.com and their blog is a perspective on Homeschooling:
Homeschooling is about developing character.
Homeschooling is about connecting and growing relationships with family and the community.
Homeschooling is about really getting to know your kids…the lovely and not so lovely parts.
Homeschooling is about finding and nourishing strengths and addressing weaknesses.
Homeschooling is about learning to love learning.
Homeschooling is about cultivating curiosity.
Homeschooling is about learning to be a self-motivated learner instead of spoon-fed.
Homeschooling is about meeting the needs of your child and your family.
Homeschooling is about so much more than curriculum.
New School Nomads
How they did it:
Tips and resources:
Looking for Cooperatives: https://www.fulltimefamilies.com/
To keep a track of your exercising check out the President’s Challenge, a free program that encourages being active and eating healthy: https://www.presidentschallenge.org/index.shtml