RVing has exploded in popularity since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the transition to working from home has created more freedom to travel. With more young families choosing life on the go, roadschooling has entered the everyday RVing vernacular.
Roadschooling, an adaptation of the term homeschooling, refers to teaching your kids on the road. While not an entirely new concept, it’s become a more popular option since the beginning of the pandemic. Young families began to work from home and go to school online. This created an opportunity to separate from sticks and bricks homes and begin living on-the-go in a travel trailer or motorhome.
Pros of Roadschooling
Roadschooling is a combination of a traditional homeschool curriculum and learning through travel and life experiences. This blend is a valuable experience that most children don’t have the opportunity to learn through. While any book learning kids might miss in school can be Googled, nothing can replace the experiences they’ll gain through travel.
Additionally, teaching your kids yourself offers extensive time spent with your kids. Normally, your children will spend eight or more hours a day out of the house, leaving limited time in the mornings, evenings, and on weekends to spend time with you. A major benefit of learning from home is the ability for roadschooling families to spend more time together, nurturing a sense of trust and a strong bond.
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Cons of Roadschooling
The two major cons of roadschooling are simple: effort and internet connection. Helping your kids, especially your youngest ones, learn will take a good chunk of your time and effort. Either you or your partner will very likely have to give up your job to focus on caring for the kids and helping them through their lessons. This is very different from traditional school, where your kids are cared for the majority of the day, and may create financial struggles for some families.
The other major downside to roadschooling is the reliance on Wi-Fi. Homeschool programs are almost exclusively online, so internet connection is absolutely essential. When you live in an RV, it can be difficult to guarantee an internet connection all the time. You’ll have to do research on the best ways to connect your RV to the internet, especially since all veteran RVers will tell you that campground Wi-Fi is not dependable. Although, since you’re likely working on the road yourself, you’ll probably already have your internet connection figured out.
The first thing you’ll need to do is research your state’s homeschooling laws. While living on the road, it’s important to have a home address for legal and organizational reasons. This address should be used for roadschooling, and the state laws are a basic guide for setting up roadschool.
Next, you should consider how long you plan to homeschool your kids. Is this a yearlong experience? Or do you plan to live in an RV for the next few years? A common issue for homeschool kids is falling behind kids attending class in person. If you only plan to roadschool for a year, it shouldn’t be too hard for the kids to catch up back when they return to traditional school.
If you do plan to roadschool for years, try not to get too caught up in common core learning standards. Of course, your kids should be on par with what they need to know for standardized testing. But if they aren’t at the top of their class, it’s okay. Your kids are learning through travel. They’re experiencing different places, different cultures, and learning to be inquisitive about the world around them. These are opportunities kids in traditional schools don’t have.
How to Socialize while Roadschooling
One of the main concerns parents have with homeschooling is socialization. In person classes are a huge benefit to your child’s social skills. It’s essential that kids spend time with others their age. It’s how they learn to communicate properly and sets them up for a successful future.
Even if they can play with their siblings, it’s important for kids to socialize outside of their family. Befriending new kids and kids their age will help develop social skills.
Luckily, thanks to the internet, it’s pretty easy to find other roadschooling kids near you. You can join Facebook groups where you can connect with other parents who homeschool or roadschool their kids. You can even join our official RVUSA Facebook group, Living the RV Life, and meet other roadschoolers there! Online communities provide an easy way to find other kids and set up playdates. In addition, if you plan to stay at a campground for a few months, it’s a good opportunity for your kids to make full-timer friends. Essentially, learning social skills while full-time RVing isn’t impossible and shouldn’t prevent you from choosing roadschooling.
If you choose to move forward with roadschooling, RVUSA can help you find the perfect RV for your family. Our national classifieds website has RVs from every brand in every state. Get started with a search for RVs by state and find the RV that fits your full-timing families.