Roadschooling: You Can Homeschool While Traveling!
Having the flexibility to learn wherever and whenever is a popular reason why families decide to homeschool. For some families, that means taking learning on the road!
Imagine the potential for immersive, fun learning as a roadschooling family: hitting the road to visit historic sites to learn how early Americans lived; or learning biology with a park ranger at a national park; or discovering new cultures by visiting different parts of the country.
For many roadschool families, this is a reality. They use the sights and attractions the road has to offer to teach their children.
Homeschooling on the Road
How does roadschooling work? Roadschooling is a growing trend in which families pack up their belongings and take their homeschooling on the road. Many families who embrace this lifestyle integrate what they are seeing and experiencing into their child’s homeschool curriculum.
Homeschoolers are able to use the landmarks and attractions they encounter as a means for educational enhancement and exploration. Students don’t just read about the Constitution, they can view the original document. They can spend a day focusing on rock formations, bats and echolocation while exploring caves. Even stopping for a pizza can turn into a teachable moment about pepperoni pie and fractions. These are just some of the benefits of roadschooling.
This learning approach, which creates opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning appeals to many families and accounts for the growth of roadschooling nationwide. Although roadschooling looks and feels different for every family, it is an approach that fits families who generally prefer:
- Unscheduled and impromptu learning experiences
- The ability to integrate travel with the subjects and themes they are learning about
- A desire to help children make connections between educational material and the world around them
Homeschool Laws and Roadschooling
If you want to become a traveling homeschooler, the first thing you need to understand are the roadschooling laws. Homeschooling is regulated at the state level, which means that when roadschooling, you will need to establish a “home state.” If you’ve already been homeschooling in a particular state, follow the state’s same requirements while traveling.
If you are new to homeschooling, you will want to become familiar with homeschool laws for your resident state. Roadschoolers have a unique opportunity, however. If you will no longer have a permanent residence and will be living primarily in a recreational vehicle, you may want to establish a “home base” in a state with regulations that are not constrictive and match your family’s overall homeschooling goals.
This information should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
How to Afford Roadschooling
Almost everyone has heard stories about traveling homeschoolers who sold everything—their house, cars, belongings—so they could buy a recreational vehicle (RV) and take their family on the adventure of a lifetime. However, selling all your worldly belongings for homeschooling in an RV is certainly not the only way to afford the roadschooling lifestyle. Roadschooling families have found many creative ways to make it work for them financially including:
- Planning the lifestyle change at least a couple years in advance to save toward it
- Scaling down your overall expenses and recognizing the difference between your families true needs vs wants
- Having at least one parent take a job that can be done from anywhere
- Taking out a reverse-mortgage on a home that they have plenty of equity in
- Using the trip as a way to earn additional income by creating a paid travel blog, writing articles about travel, or doing travel reviews
- Downsizing into a more affordable home and using the difference to help finance the trip
The other way to save money on roadschooling is by choosing affordable curricula and educational materials. You should also gain an overview of what homeschooling costs, and then focus on ways to keep those costs to a minimum.
Roadschooling and Choosing Curriculum
Families have an enormous variety of options when it comes to the programs and tools they use for homeschooling. Of course, every family wants to choose the best homeschool curriculum for their student(s). Not every program, however, is ideal for learning on the go. Some of the considerations roadschoolers have to take into account when deciding on curricula include:
- How much storage space do the materials require?
- How much space will be needed to complete the school work?
- Are all the supplies included or will we need to purchase additional materials while on the road?
- Can more than one child share curricula or materials?
- Will we have an internet connection for online curricula during travel?
How Does Roadschooling Work with Time4Learning?
Time4Learning is an online education program for PreK-12 that combines thousands of multimedia lessons and interactive activities into a student-paced environment that brings concepts to life. Students have access to math, language arts, science, and social studies. We also offer high school electives as well as the option to add foreign languages. The portable, flexible curriculum is a great complement to the learning that takes place on the road. View our curriculum overview to see all that’s available with a monthly subscription.
Since space can be limited and books and other educational materials take up a lot of room, the online, paperless format is a great alternative for families homeschooling on the road. There is no need to move books and learning supplies from place to place—the entire program is web-based. With Time4Learning, all you need is an internet connection to begin a fun and exciting roadschooling program!
Choose your subject and grade level to experience demos of Time4Learning’s interactive curriculum.
We are about a month into roadschooling…
By Sarrah Lombardo
“We are about a month into roadschooling with my 6th grader and Kindergartener. They enjoy all of the subjects they are studying and the videos associated with the lesson plans.”