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Homeschool, Roadschool, Worldschool, Oh My!
A few weeks ago, I was invited by my dear friend, Ashley Logsdon, to chat about what our roadschool days look like on her podcast, Mama Says Namaste. As we drank our coffee and chatted about roadschooling, I realized how much I had learned over the past two years.
Our family distinguishes roadschooling from homeschooling in that we do it while traveling full-time on the road and leverage the resources found during our travels to enhance our education. What I mean by this is if we are in a national park, this is a great opportunity to practice research, writing, geology, history, and myriad other skills. Instead of just sitting and reading books to learn these topics as you would in a classroom setting, get out and experience it! For example, a student can research when and why the park was established, write a report about it, pick one or two significant geological facts and teach it to the rest of us while having discussions of the parks history.
Here are the TOP LESSONS I have learned:
Lesson One: Before starting our roadschooling journey, I was judgemental and wrong about everything I had thought I knew about homeschooling. Don’t criticize what you don’t understand.
Lesson Two: Home School Legal Defense Association (HSDLA). Why? Because every state’s laws on homeschooling are different. Some easier than others. HSLDA can point you in the right direction with what is required, any paperwork that needs to be submitted, and any yearly testing. Not only that, their membership gives you protection, resources, and support.
Lesson Three: Before choosing a curriculum, decide on your homeschooling style first. Faith based or secular school? Unschool, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, or classic? It took me until last year to realize we were not a common core classic homeschooling family. After reading The Call of the Wild + Free, I realized we are more of a Charlotte Mason/ Montessori family. By the way, this book and associated website are inspirational and full of great information and advice.
Lesson Four: Your schedule doesn’t need to mimic a traditional school schedule or calendar. It also doesn’t need to look like any other families who you may know that homeschool. Create a schedule that satisfies the needs of your family. We aren’t “rise and shine” morning people. Because of this, we start our lessons a bit later in the morning when we are all happy and awake. You don’t have to take Columbus Day or an entire week off for Spring Break. You can school year round and take most of December off. As long as you meet the guidelines for your registered state and are keeping attendance, you’re good to go!
Lesson Five: Curriculums. If it’s not working, change it. Yes, even in the middle of the school year. I’ve done it and everything works out just fine. My daughter wasn’t challenged enough the first year, and her lack of motivation showed. Into the trash it went. We spoke with other families about what was working for them and found exactly what we needed. If you are planning to travel and homeschool or roadschool, I highly recommend looking into Fulltime Families. This organization has a group dedicated to homeschooling/roadschooling and offers many tools and resources to its members.
My biggest lesson that I am currently learning and am incorporating into our third year is this: To have grace. To be flexible. To be patient. To have fun.
This year is different for everyone, and can be very hard on the kids, so just take it day by day. And remember to have grace, to be flexible, to be patient, and most of all to have fun.