What is RoadSchooling and How do You Get Started?

horse ride bryce canyon utahWild West - USA

We've been roadschooling for many years and didn't even realize it. What this means to you is that it's simple to do and simple to get started.

If you've held back because you thought this is too hard or too expensive, read some of the examples below to help you and your family hit the road on the adventure of a lifetime.

Home Schooling on the Road, a Plane, a Train, a Bike, a Sail Boat… Maybe by Horse --

Simply stated, roadschooling is home schooling while traveling.

One of the advantages of home school is that your kids are not tied down to a traditional school schedule. Your child's education is not handicapped because it's forced to happen inside a concrete box called a school.

Instead, learning is liberated because it happens in your everyday life. And roadschooling is the most exciting way to drive this point home.

Roadschooling Through China

What I've discovered is that the method of transportation is not too important because learning, or learning about yourself, is the real benefit.

Plus, you and your family get to share amazing adventures that help you grow closer together, and ones that you'll look back on and cherish forever.

How to Roadschool -- Big Time!

Many families do this full-time. They downsize their life, pack up what's important into a camper, RV, or a fifth wheel and drive around the country living on the road for months, or years, at a time.

(** If you're not ready for this level of commitment, I'll give you a few examples on how we do it small time and still get many of the same benefits.)

  • A few families take it up a notch and drive an RV through a foreign land like Canada or Europe;
  • Some hop on bicycles and ride across continents;
  • Others board a sailboat and sail the Seven Seas!

As you can guess, these families learn something new each day.

In addition, the learning also happens when they visit museums, national parks, historical sites, foreign countries, meet friendly strangers, solve problems on the road or at sea, or when they volunteer on community projects.

If you're concerned that your child won't get solid academics, no problem. Simply pack his books and computer along for the trip and schedule schooling time.

Homeschooling on the move creates a rich learning experience that's hard to duplicate in any other way.

Aren't There Risks and Sacrifices to Roadschooling?

Yes, roadschooling has special risks and the families above had to make special sacrifices other families do not.

But life is full of risks and sacrifices no matter what you do, right?

Many of these families downsized their life, left well paying jobs, found alternative forms of income, saved money for many years only to spend most, or all, of their savings doing it, and they took special precautions you never think about because they were strangers in strange lands.

What was their solution? Plan and prepare ahead of time, and develop backup plans.

How About Costs?

You may have upfront costs buying your vehicle, which in many cases also serves as your home.

But if you're going to live out of an RV, boat, or at campsites, and cook your own meals, roadschooling may end up much more affordable than you think.

Plus, when you're done with your education adventure, you can sell your boat or RV and get back most of your upfront investment.

So buy smart. Look for a high quality, second-hand vehicle, maintain it, and it will take care of you and your family.

You will also need to buy other equipment you may not already own. The good news is a lot things, like camping gear, a GPS unit, etc. can be found pre-owned and in good working condition on Craigslist or eBay, at garage sales, or by asking friends and families who want to clear some stuff out of their attics.

If you plan ahead, you can buy things on Amazon when they go on sale. And many things can be bought as needed after you're on the move.

When driving, fuel will be an ongoing cost you have to budget for, but you may find that it's cheaper than your current monthly mortgage and utilities combined, plus you can increase your MPG by practicing a few hypermiling tricks.

Of course, if you use your legs or the wind to power your vehicle, fuel won't cost much at all ;-)

How to Roadschool the Simple Way With Less Stress --

If you're not ready to unplug your family for a year or more to roadschool, you're not alone.

Luckily, you can still take advantage of home schooling on the road by starting small. Like we do.

We've taken many learning vacations and our kids have gotten a great education on wheels while traveling through China, Oregon, Utah, and California.

They pack their lessons along with their swimsuits and sunblock and work on assignments during scheduled study breaks or downtime (i.e. rainy days).

We get the same benefits the multi-year roadschoolers do. We all have a ton of fun, grow closer together, learn about ourselves, learn from boots-on-the-ground experience, plus we save a lot of money by traveling during the off season when it's cheaper and the crowds are smaller.

The only thing we lack is the "cool" factor. We can't say things like, 'we rode our bikes across South America,' or 'we sailed around the world and almost died in a storm.'

If roadschooling appeals to you, go for it!

These life learning adventures only get harder to do as your child grows older. Make sure you have a collection of these meaningful experiences before your child grows up and leaves the nest.

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