The challenge of getting a good education in the RV while on the road can be addressed with some fairly good preparation combined with understanding the needs of your kids. One of the key elements that must be taken into consideration is that kids “stagger” their activities. This is due to less room available.
One exceptional idea is to begin by creating individual “packets” that simply contain a schedule of what they are required to do. Simple images such as getting up in the morning, brushing your teeth/washing, having breakfast, sitting down for school work. With multiple kids, these help them to stay on task.
Remember that parents can’t be experts at everything and expect that as you move forward in road schooling that you will need to research, read and even learn things that you didn’t know.
To address the main topics of homeschooling on the road, you will need to try to do your own homework.
- Do the research for preparation of a short term and foolproof syllabus. You will absolutely need to set up equivalent grades such as Primary, Upper Primary, Middle, High School, etc.
- Feel free to customize the syllabus to accommodate how your kids can learn and benefit from them.
- Try to keep things a bit flexible. There may be some guidelines, but keeping things interesting means making an attempt to stay away from hard rules.
- The flexibility should also apply to “school hours”. RVing often involves arrivals, camping, and departures that can interfere with standardized hours. If you are on the road without those interferences, you can have preset hours of work.
- It will be important for your children to be involved in a camping environment with other kids. This will offer peer education and while you are camping you can share/talk to other parents that are road schooling. A great way to get new tips.
- Encourage your kids to keep journals. This can be one of the daily assignments and even one sentence would be acceptable.
- Each child should be given the task of learning a minimum of one new skill per year. Think of the kind of activities that the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts accomplish. These are a combination of outdoor and life lessons. Make sure that you follow the same reward concepts with badges or some form of honor for learning the skills.
- Have a preset storage area for all school materials that are not required to be out. This should include all of the tools that they will need to accomplish their daily tasks and can be easily accessed.
Customizing an area for each of your children is important so everything that relates to them should have their name on it. Each child should have a work area system that can hang on the wall with assignment pockets and a goal to accomplish one item from each pocket every day. They can either select or you can assign them.
Each pocket addresses a particular subject that complies with the syllabus. Be very specific on the assignments, an example might be a book in one of the pockets and assignment of a specific number of pages within the book. For kids that have specific issues that they must focus on such as handwriting or reading, make sure that there is emphasis on their areas of attention in their pockets.
Use Your Locations for Creativity
We all remember school outings. These were trips designed to visit areas such as museums or historic places and learn. You and your family have the unique opportunity to take advantage of designing your own school trips by visiting them as you travel.
You already have a preset concept of your destinations so do your due diligence ahead of time to find out what places of interest are in the areas. Make it a fun part or whole day trip and incorporate some of each child’s daily assignments for accomplishment. Mix up the visits to include a variety of interests. If the visit takes up the entire time, offer them the choice of creating their own assignment based on what they learned from the day.
Some may be artists while others are writers; still others may want to create a photo or video display of what they got from their experience. Encourage creativity at every turn. If you have a child that seems to lack the imagination or ideas, feel free to nudge them with a few thoughts.
Although they share a lot of the same traits, road schooling is different than standard home schooling. You have limited space and every square inch must be used to your best advantage. Children do need a concept of scheduling and regimentation, but since RVing involves a constant state of “change” you will need to incorporate that philosophy into the daily routine.
The beauty of road schooling is that you can let your travels be part of the education and memories that you give to your kids.
Additional Resources for Road Schooling your Kids