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.
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:
Gr. 3 – Abeka / Gr. 1 – Abeka
Gr. 3 –Bob Jones
Gr. 3 – Bob Jones / Gr. 1- Abeka
Gr. 1 – Abeka
Gr. 3 – spellingcity.com / Gr. 1 – Abeka & spellingcity.com
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
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!
Time4learning.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!
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.
- Math Blaster
- Math Board
- Math Fact
- Marble Mat
- Spelling BEE
- Spelling City
- Stack The States
- US Presidents
- Brain Fit
- Google Earth
BEST EDUCATIONAL WEBSITES
- Time 4 Learning
- Spelling City website & App
- Khan Academy
- You Tube website & App
- Brainscape website & App
- Google Earth website & App
- PBS Kids website & multiple related apps
- Starfall website & app
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.
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!