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Homeschooling is a hot topic in the pandemic. Is road schooling next?

Originally Published by: – October 5th, 2020

With about 1 in 4 Americans still working entirely from home as of August, and a record number of students remote learning or home schooling, the coronavirus has untethered families from the geographic ties of in-person school and work. That’s created an unusual opportunity to opt for a kind of mobile learning called “road schooling” (or “world schooling” in the international version). The coronavirus “has been an inflection point in a lot of ways,” says Jennie Germann Molz, a professor at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., and the author of the forthcoming “The World Is Our Classroom: Extreme Parenting and the Rise of Worldschooling.” “With schools going virtual there has been a resurgence of interest in home schooling in general, and then people realize, ‘Gosh, we don’t have to be home to do it.’ ”

In 2014, when Molz, 51, and her husband, Martin, 52, took their then-10-year-old son out of traditional school for a year of travel to all seven continents, their choice to road-school was still considered extreme. Now Molz sees it becoming more mainstream among parents who don’t mind “taking a risky leap of faith to live a more fulfilling lifestyle than the one that’s served up by a consumerist suburban society.”

That was the motivation for Sandra and Julio Peña. Thinking “there has to be more to life” after they found themselves priced out of buying a house in boom-times Silicon Valley, Calif., they bought an RV in 2017. They’ve been road schooling with their four children, ages 10, 8, 5 and 3, ever since, using a mix of purchased workbooks, free learning apps and websites. It’s an approach that Sandra, 38, describes as “eclectic unschooling,” but she plans to add some more structure this year with a paid curriculum like Time4Learning.

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