Roadschooling Q&A

roadschooling, homeschool, rving with kids

I have to be honest and admit that I find it a bit hilarious that I’m writing a post on roadschooling after the past few days we’ve had in our own schooling endeavors after getting started back from a month long Christmas break. It has been, shall we say, a bit turbulent getting back going again….like as in, I actually texted my husband that I was quitting today. Haha!

While it is totally true that it isn’t all fun and games and lovely, smooth days of peaceful learning. There are also so many other days past and many more sure to come that prove to remind us why we roadschool, why we are grateful for the opportunity and why it is a beautiful and fun way to get an education! ….But I’m pretty sure it’s okay that every day just isn’t that day.

We are in our second year of homeschooling (3rd & 1st grades) and our first year of roadschooling, living full time in our RV. So needless to say, we are far from having things figured out and are always changing things around, getting rid of what doesn’t work and holding on to what does!

I thought maybe it would be helpful to put a post together of a few frequently asked questions we’ve been getting in our inbox from others living on the road, or with hopes of getting on the road and road schooling one day soon.

So here goes!

Q: What method/teaching approach do you use?

A: It would be completely fair to say that I don’t adhere to any one approach straightforwardly. I’m not a very rigid or scheduled person, or even a great rule follower myself. So it stands to reason that I don’t and can’t teach that way. I would say that we are a mix of traditional, Charlotte Mason & student interest lead in our homeschooling style.

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Q: What curriculum do you use?

A: We have chosen not to use a full “boxed set” curriculum. Although I’ve found that I do need a certain amount of structure, I don’t want or need to be “boxed in” to a set way of learning and doing things. That was just one of the many reasons we pulled out of traditional education. So our goal is not to replicate a classroom with intense seat work/chair time at home.

Below I’ve pulled together sort of a hodgepodge collection of subjects from publishers I like for a particular subject.        For example: I love Abeka & Bob Jones math because of how they teach subject matter and the kids learn well from them (sometimes I use them together & double up on Math because they teach two different approaches to learning math) But I do not care for their History, Science, Ect. so it stands to reason that it wouldn’t make sense for me to simply order each full grade level material in any one curriculum.

Here’s a grade by grade breakdown of the more traditional approach to the core subjects & curriculum publisher we currently use for each:

MATH

Gr. 3 – Abeka / Gr. 1 – Abeka

ENGLISH

Gr. 3 –Bob Jones

READING

Gr. 3 – Bob Jones / Gr. 1- Abeka

LANGUAGE

 Gr. 1 – Abeka

SPELLING

Gr. 3 – spellingcity.com / Gr. 1 – Abeka & spellingcity.com

SCIENCE

Both grades – Apologia Science (Creation based)

*We do Science & History together. For History we do not use a set curriculum but instead choose a time period & person to study in detail for a while before moving on.

*I also use a curriculum book from Flashkids for some supplementary work for each grade of the core subjects as needed. It can be purchased at Barnes & Noble for just $19.99

LIVING BOOKS

No matter what state/city we find ourselves in, we always make frequent library trips. (Just show the library your RV park lot fee receipt for proof of residency for a library card) Some days we just scrap all the seat work curriculum and lay around reading real, living books.  I don’t anything can ever replace the wealth of information and education to be found in simply reading a book. Life on the road lends itself to lots of extra time to visit the library and to learn the love of reading!

20140114-202732.jpgTime4learning.com has been an invaluable learning tool for our boy 1st grader. It’s internet based so it goes with us wherever we are! He does not love seat work and loves to be on the computer, so it works beautifully to supplement when he needs a breather from his seat work or to help him understand a concept he’s having a hard time grasping. It’s free for 14 days (no catches) and then $19.99 a month thereafter and worth every single penny!

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For our 1st grader we try to limit the amount of seat work/chair time he has each day. Especially since he is a kinesthetic/tactile learner and has trouble sitting still in one spot for more than 2 minutes. We take advantage of many other avenues to learn such as technology, laptop, iPad, games, manipulatives & dice games (for math) libraries, museums & documentaries.

20140114-202758.jpgHere is a list of some of our favorite educational apps. & websites we LOVE to use on a weekly basis. Many are free, only a few aren’t.

IPAD APPS

  • Math Blaster
  • Math Board
  • Math Fact
  • Marble Mat
  • Jetpack
  • Spelling BEE
  • Spelling City
  • Capitals
  • Stack The States
  • US Presidents
  • Brain Fit
  • Google Earth
  • Whiteboard

BEST EDUCATIONAL WEBSITES

Q: How do you know what state homeschool laws to abide by?

A: When you are on the road, as long as you have a permanent address somewhere in the US, you continue to remain and be considered a resident of that state. So you follow your home state’s laws. You do not re-register your school in every state you reside in while on the road, nor are you required to follow their homeschool laws. So for us, no matter what state we are in, we continue to know and abide by the North Carolina state laws since that is where our homeschool is registered. Just KNOW and abide by the laws in the home state you are a current registered resident of and you will be fine.

Q: How do you deal with cabin fever and doing school every day together in such a small space?

A: Well, simply put, we don’t! We like and need to mix things up. So as I mentioned earlier, frequent library trips, local museums or landmarks, extra-curricular appointments and one of our most favorite places to spend a good day of school…. Starbucks…or a local coffee shop if the stars aren’t aligned and there is no Starbucks nearby.

starbucks, homeschooling, school, education, coffee, kids, family

Roadschooling has it’s ups and downs just like anything else. We have our rough patches and hard days that aren’t so picturesque shall we say. But we sure can’t think of a better or more diverse way to get our education in.

We aren’t sure how long the road we are on will lead us in this direction, but no matter where or when we land again, I am sure that we will all look back on this time as the adventure we are so very grateful we were brave enough to take!

Happy travels from our family to yours!

Own less, live fully, travel light. 

*Please feel free to comment any questions or additions you might have below in the comment section!

 

About Rachel Rowell

A true southern gal at heart, Rachel was raised and lives in the deep south and spends her days raising her own babies, writing, making music, reading out on the front porch, and cooking supper for her family to sit around the table and enjoy together at nights! Her ultimate girlhood dream was to raise a family in a house just like "Anne of Green Gables" and now she is living her dream and inspiring others along the way.

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10 Responses to Roadschooling Q&A

  1. Papa January 17, 2014 at 3:24 am #

    I just want to send a little love to you as a bit of encouragement.
    Homeschooling your family is a great gift created through tremendous sacrifice, but isn’t that what great mothers(and fathers) do.

    • Rachel Rowell January 20, 2014 at 2:52 am #

      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. 🙂

  2. Michelle January 24, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    We have met many, many families who homeschool their kids very successfully. One family even had …gosh I can’t remember how many kids…6 or more I think… that were also on the road full time. My own kids are all adults, however I had no idea of homeschooling back then other than our famous School of the Air for those families that live too far from a school and don’t want to send their kids to a boarding school. I admire that you are giving it a go and that your kids are getting a much broader education because of that!

  3. Laura May 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this indormation! I have 3 children ages 2, 5, 7. I’m starting homeschooling this year as we simplify & prepare for our own road schooling adventure! Can’t way to get down to real living and abandon the material status quo! Raised eyebrows? Bring em on! No matter what happens at least I won’t have to regret not following my heart!

  4. Rach March 25, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    My family is in the road now to. currently in Arkansas just spent 4 months in Louisiana. I have a 10,6,4 year old and we road school as well. lOVE it and wouldn’t have it any other way!

  5. Sarah May 12, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    My fiance is in aviation & we are always on the road. Found this encouraging & I too will be roadschooling

  6. Shannon Cormier May 18, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

    Thank u for sharing. We are in our second year of homeschool & are highly considering going on the road.

  7. Shelby June 24, 2015 at 4:47 am #

    Thank you for this! I found this article on pinterest and it’s always helpful to hear about other traveling families! We travel full time for my husband’s job with our 4 year old and 1 year old twin girls. I’m about to start Road-Schooling our son daily and am nervous about it. We’ve dabbled in it and he’s on track for his age. I’m working on finding the best way for him to learn. Sometimes I feel like I’m crazy taking this on but I know it’s the best thing for him. Thank you again!

  8. Megan January 19, 2016 at 3:35 am #

    Enjoying your blog! I was wondering how you organize your kids school work? It looks like you use 3-ring binders… Do you put what they need to do in it each week? Or something else?

    I homeschool and want to take it on the road hopefully soon. Right now I write down what they need to do but I like the binder idea maybe divide but each day of the week…?

    • crystaldubois September 24, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

      I was also wondering how you organize your student binders? By subject? by week? how many weeks are included?

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