The best kind of home school out there… Travel School on the road!
By Care Willink
This year has been a whirlwind for many. Changes to every part of our lives from traveling, to where we eat, how we shop; it can be overwhelming at times.
One of the things parents everywhere are having to decide is what do do about their children’s education. Virtual learning has become the norm for many around the country. And while virtual learning has been around a long time (also known as home schooling) it seems to be taking off now as parents concerned about the pandemic make the decision to keep their children home.
But home school doesn’t have to look the same for everyone. Children learn in different ways, and some methods might be more efficient, enjoyable or make learning “fun” for your kids than others. What’s important is finding what works best for you and sticking with it.
For our lifestyle, being always on the go, the term “home-school’ has become synonymous with ‘travel-school!” As you pack up and hit the road, we are here to give a few tips on not only how to do school on the road, but also why it’s so important to continue education while traveling.
Reasons why schooling on the road is so important:
- You get to choose the knowledge you share with your kids.
- Hands on learning — You have a choice to go see and experience what you’re learning about (American history for example)
- Learning is at your speed and time.
- Student-paced learning
- Creating a love for learning
- Quality family time
Here are some of our tips for homeschooling or ‘travel school’ on the road:
Cut yourself some slack!
Be sure you have your plan in place but also be sure to be flexible. Being on the road and traveling with kids can be challenging enough, but throwing in school in the mix and it can be a different story! Be sure and plan your schooling hours around your travel hours. Are there things you can do while you are in the road? Is there something you can bring to read at the top of a vista or a hike that will enhance their experience?
National Parks want to help!
Guess what!?! National Parks are encouraging you to school your kiddo’s while visiting the parks. There are some really cool resources at almost every park. Be sure and set up class with a ranger or even better find classes you can take at some parks. You can even hike along and have tours. This is the best way to have your kids just learn, but also experience! Here are a few extras we like to use in our family:
- National Parks Research Project Based Learning
- Research Paper National Park
- Fill in the blanks National Park Book
Time to Delete Netflix!
Whoa whoa, don’t stop reading! Hear us out… be sure and charge up the iPad and bring along. There are amazing resources out there to learn through your iPad. See below for all kinds of online learning options! Also, just kidding about the Netflix situation, keep it as a prize for finishing school work or in the evening for chill time… After homeschooling and traveling all day, Dad and Mom might need a special drink by the campfire.
Not just learning about it, lets actually experience it!
I don’t know about you, but when I was in school reading through my history books, I always wished I could live in different times I was learning about. Just to experience it! Now you and your family have the freedom to do JUST THAT! Before you leave on your trip, map out your route, chat with your kids about what their favorite historical place would be to visit and why. Set up a trip on Escape Campervans with these places in mind. They will not only want to learn about these places but will take ownership, be excited and soak all the information in. I remember visiting Gettysburg as a kid, and seeing where the battle took place. There was even a reenactment going on at the time. Something I’ll never forget!
Take maps wherever you go:
Maps are such a great way to have fun and learn at the same time. They are learning problem solving, how to read directions, decision making, reading, how to take direction, history, and best of all you won’t get lost! Wherever you go, pick up a map of that location… here are some maps to get you started:
Learning resources for younger children on the road (click on the links to see what we use):
- List of free iPad learning Here
- Learning to read
- Brain Quest Cards (as seen in picture)
- Lightweight Work books
- Lightweight Math books
- Lightweight Matching Puzzle Words
- 50 States Map Book – (so fun!)
- Felt Learning Books
- Wonders of the USA – flashlight book
Learning resources for older children on the road (click on the links to see ideas of what to use):
- Downloadable apps for learning – from Princeton
- Learning Games for free
- Brain Quest Cards (some for any age/grade)
- Lightweight Games for Multiplication and Division
- Lightweight Work Books for writing
- Work Book for Math
- Wonders of the USA – flashlight book
Remember to spend more time on your philosophy for teaching your children on the road rather than focussing on “what am I going to teach”. If you can think of your end goal, and how you want your kids to be educated, it’ll help you see each year in a fresh way! Remember to support other parents educating on the road and learn from each other. You got this and so do we.