As homeschooling becomes more popular, many parents are realizing just how much freedom there is when it comes to educating their children. Learning can take place anywhere, and in fact, it should!
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There are numerous ways “roadschooling” – teaching on the road while you travel – can expand your child’s education. For example, imagine visiting the national monuments in the New England region as you study the founding of the United States. Think about how visiting the Grand Canyon or Arches National park can help cement the concept of erosion.
These are just a couple examples of how traveling can really highlight the lessons you teach your children.
Roadschooling can happen in many ways, whether you want to continue schooling through a short trip or if you’re setting off on a longer term journey! If you’d like to incorporate roadschooling into your own homeschool plan, these tips will help you make the most of it.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed about which books and supplies you should take with you and which ones you can safely leave behind – especially if you have multiple children. You’ll stress less by traveling as light as possible. Stick to the basics – take only books that are absolutely essential to your curriculum.
This is where electronics can be particularly useful. You can replace a whole stack of notebooks, resources, and books with a tablet or Kindle. The more you can go digital, the more space you can save.
When your resources must be more tangible, consider mailing them to yourself or to a family member for safe-keeping as you complete lessons to lighten your load.
Free Public Resources
Many monuments, parks, and educational sites you visit will have free visitor information that you can use for teaching and learning! You’ve seen these materials before: pamphlets and guides detailing the history of the location are common. Some locations might even offer DVDs, guided tours, and other informational experiences for people of all ages.
Let Learning Flow Naturally
Even though roadschooling is “school on the road,” it’s best to let the learning flow naturally whenever possible. The last thing you’ll want to do is spoil a perfectly enjoyable trip with endless worksheets and unnecessary busywork. As you probably already do in your homeschool, try to keep the learning more natural and tailored to your child’s strengths. Your audio and visual learners will gain a lot from guided tours. Your hands-on learners will learn a ton from participating in nature activities. Your readers will love reading facts about your destination.
Document Your Journey
Journaling, writing letters, and blogging are all great ways for your children to hone their writing skills, document the journey, and cement what they learn as you travel. Photography, scrapbooking, sketching are all other creative ways to combine learning and travel documentation. As an added bonus, these habits will provide you with wonderful keepsakes to look back on long after your trip is over.
Learn from Locals
When you can, connect with local teachers to learn more about the areas you visit. Is there a local restaurant that specializes in creating meals from what grows in that region? Is there another language spoken in the area that you could take lessons in? See how you can learn from people in the community you’re traveling through. Here are some other ideas to look into when it comes to local educational experiences:
- Guided hikes can help you learn more about local plants and wildlife
- Museums may offer classes about local folk and Native American art
- Consider the local landscape: sailing lessons, for example, are only available in certain areas. Take skiing lessons in Colorado.
Whether you’re roadschooling temporarily or full time for a year or more, rest assured that travel is one of the most enriching experiences you can provide your children with. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey!