RV homeschooling is a great opportunity to immerse your kids in the world that surrounds them fully. You can teach and explore your kids in an RV that expands minds, creativity, and boundaries, from learning about geology while being in the Grand Canyon to understanding the evolutionary history by touring Valley Forge. Whether you have already started RV homeschooling or are thinking of starting, here is a couple of tips that you can follow.
1. Don’t Recreate the Traditional School Setting
When you try to recreate traditional school, you will be most likely setting yourself up for failure and frustration. What you can do instead is to take some time to understand the homeschool requirement for your state of residency. Then, it would be best if you built your school days accordingly.
It is best to make room for an adjustment period when you are transitioning or starting RV homeschool. The adjustment period is not just for the kids but also for you and your significant other. During this transition time, you will understand the daily rhythms and routines that will work best for your family while traveling on the road.
If you are not a morning person, you can start your homeschool after lunch. If you are working during the day, you can hold your classes after dinner. There are no formal rules to your schedule when it comes to RV homeschooling, and the schedule would really depend on you.
2. Make Sure to Keep Everything Simple and Flexible
RV homeschooling will allow your kids to be more open to growth and opportunity. You don’t need to have all the supplies, textbooks, worksheets, and projectors for you to create meaningful and memorable lessons. Most times, these lessons come in the form of telling or writing stories, assisting with daily chores, or even reading out loud.
When it comes to RV homeschooling, flexibility is your best friend, and it is much more enjoyable when you embrace this way of teaching with your kids. Don’t beat yourself up too much if you find yourself not confident in teaching a particular subject.
What you can do is find online resources that will help supplement your skills and aid in teaching more complex subjects. If you realize that your kid is a better visual learner, make sure that you focus on image-based teaching. The most important thing is to stay nimble.
3. The World is Your Classroom When It Comes to RV Homeschooling
RV homeschooling offers a unique learning opportunity for your children and yourself. Take advantage of your mobility by visiting different national parks, zoos, visitor centers, or museums. You can build in days for natural exploration through hikes, driving or walking tours, or local city and community events.
If you want a crash course on the local government, there are plenty of city council meetings that are being held weekly, while others are held daily and are open to the public. Going to these meetings can make your afternoon jam-packed with learning goodness.
4. Be Sure to Understand Your Options While RV Homeschooling
When you are establishing a curriculum, there is no such thing as a one size fits all situation. Make sure that you figure out how each of your children learns best for you to find the curriculum that will work for his or her learning style. You can also do some research and identify your preferred RV homeschooling style.
Some common ones would include Traditional, Roadschooling, Classical, and Unschooling. It is worth noting since you are in an RV and on the road, it doesn’t mean you have to follow the Roadschooling style. When you know the pros and cons of each style, it will help you narrow down the options and find the perfect fit for your kids.
Remember that where there are tears, there is no learning. It takes hard work and patience when it comes to RV homeschooling. When the curriculum is not working, don’t be scared to change it up a bit so that you can find the perfect fit for your kid.
5. Know the Different Homeschool Styles: The Key to a Successful Learning
There are different types of homeschool philosophies and styles. It is important that you learn about these types of homeschooling and decide on one prior to the beginning of your journey. It is also important that you keep an open mind since children grow, change, and you acclimate to your new lifestyle.
School at Home. Here, parents will teach from a packaged homeschool curriculum while the children will sit at a desk or table at particular hours each day. The curriculum will either be a traditional format, which is similar to public school, or a classical approach. It is based on liberal arts and history-based curriculum.
It also has the benefit of feeling like your child is staying on pace with other children their age who are making reintroduction to school easier. Now, packaged curricula don’t accommodate different learning styles, and school at home is not as conducive to taking advantage of opportunities that arise while you are on the road.
Also, this approach will require plenty of books, which are heavy and difficult to store in an RV since you have limited spacing.
Literature-Based School. This type of homeschool is a form of literature or living books curriculum. There are different curriculums that you can find both free online and available for purchase, secular and religious. The different advantages to this type of learning are it is flexible and can be adapted to individual interests.
Unit Studies. The approach here involves teaching children all subjects on one topic, also known as roadschooling. History, Math, English, Science, and more are based on a book, field trip, or topic of interest. Plenty of RVers uses this type since they can base all learning on a location that they are visiting.
Unit Studies allow plenty of child-directed learning and don’t need plenty of books at one time. Most children use more of the internet, documentaries, art supplies, and field trips. Children can work on the same topic at different levels.
Some parents are not fond of this type of homeschooling because it needs plenty of preparation by the parents, which can be a bit difficult for families who wish to follow a traditional scope and sequence. There are pre-packaged literature-based curriculums for those who want to base their schooling on books instead of locations.
Unschooling. This type is a form of homeschooling and learning approach without coercion and is completely child-directed. Here, parents will provide opportunities and facilitate learning when needed, but children learn naturally. It is particularly well suited for full-time RVers since the environment is constantly changing with new things to learn at every move.
Also, when you are living in an RV, children are more a part of the day-to-day running of the home, which can provide natural learning through repairs, trip planning, and more. Unschooling would require parents to trust their kids will learn all they need to without instruction or coercion, which can be hard at times. There are some families that use unschooling in elementary school and then switch to a more structured approach when nearing high school.
Eclectic Education. When you are taking an eclectic approach to homeschooling, it is a combination of different styles that have been mentioned above. There are some subjects that may be traditional, while others are literature-based. There are also times when you may use unit studies during busy times when you choose to unschool.
Eclectic education is great for roadschoolers since you can relax and allow your environment to determine your style. When you are stationary for a month or in a place with not much to do, you can do literature-based unit studies. When you are surrounded by friends and different activities, you can use a less structured and unschooled-like approach.
Online Schooling. Enrolling your kids in the form of online school or online homeschool is a way to ensure that they meet state standards while still being able to travel. Plenty of parents would argue that if you have your kids enrolled in online school full-time, you are not exactly ‘homeschooling’ or ‘roadschooling.’
There are some cases where they might be enrolled full-time in a public or private school format is a good thing since it opens the world up to the young. The online education world is not going anywhere; people are learning with ease of access like never before. There are more opportunities in the future for them if they know how to learn in the prevalent online format learning.
6. The Legality of Homeschooling: Important Factor to Know
It is important that you know every state has different homeschooling requirements and laws. Depending on the state of your residence, you will need to follow the guidelines that are required for RV homeschooling. Some states don’t require any reporting, while others require yearly testing as well as monthly grading.
Plenty of full-time families chooses Texas or Florida for their state of domicile since they are full-time RV living friendly and have beneficial homeschooling laws. Texas has no requirements, while Florida allows enrollment in umbrella schools which require parents o report attendance quarterly.
Both states that I’ve mentioned above have online course options for college classes for free or at a reduced rate. It is recommended that following the laws of any state you will be in for more than a month but make sure you research both your state’s laws and of any state you will be in for more than a couple of weeks.
Every state has its own set of rules about diplomas. There are some homeschoolers that take college courses beginning in high school. While some colleges want to see a diploma from a school, they are willing to evaluate homeschooled students on other criteria.
When you have a kid approaching the high school with a dream of a particular college or military academy, it is best to research the requirements needed.
7. Know the Logistics of Roadschooling
Roadschooling varies greatly in when or where they are being held. If one parent works from home and all children are small, it can be hard to do it all under a small-sized rig. Some RV families set up a school area in the bunk room or even in the toy hauler garage if they have any. Others will do their school work in their bed or on the couch if space is a bit limited.
Some families gather around the dinette or picnic table after breakfast to finish some school work. Plenty of families change up the ‘school’ environment and go to local libraries, coffee shops, or campground rec centers. No matter what style you follow, it is important to remember that it is different from homeschooling due to the neverending opportunities that children can learn from the constant change of environment.
8. Socialization While Doing RV Homeschooling
One of the main missions of full-time families is to support traveling families through a growing and welcoming community. There are rallies, hangouts, and field trips that happen across the country and throughout the year where families find their terrible and build amazing friendships.
Families often leave a rally or meetup planning to travel with different new friends or meet up down the road. Technology will allow children to communicate with their friends from home and the road via video chatting, email, and online gaming. There are plenty of ways where your kids can socialize with other children, especially when the RV community is pretty huge.
There are also memberships that have communities where you can sign up to meet other people so that your kids can mingle with them. If you want to know more about RV memberships, here is an article that I have written for you.
All in all, road schooling is a really great experience for kids who want to see the world and learn everything firsthand. It can also be a good way for you to bond as a family. However, remember that these benefits do come with the responsibility of complying with your state domicile laws. It may be time-consuming to do all the research and preparation, but trust me; eventually, this will save you more time and will save you from running into homeschooling trouble in the future.