As people learn that we live on the road traveling the country fulltime, a common question is "Do you homeschool?" (Um, we're not hauling a school with us!) Yes, we live, work, play, and school, at home. Our home just happens to have wheels.
Our homeschooling process though has changed over the past few years. I have a feeling it will always be changing, as are the kids. It's hard to define, but here's our attempt.
We are roadschooling. Simply put: learning on the road.
We don't use a curriculum beyond life, because what a wide variety of topics life provides! As we travel, we learn together, about the area's history, customs, geography, attractions, culture, etc. We cover math, science, reading, and writing, by using them for life, not a test. When the kids are curious about something, we research it together. So they learn the thing, how to find the thing, and that it's fun to find the thing! They're not in grades, or getting grades, but they're getting a solid education, as we roadschool.
We're not recreating school at home. We did that for a bit and while it's easy to do for just a few hours a day, and the kids were grade levels ahead due to the personal attention, it was still the stressful memorization of facts that someone else said were important. They would get it, then forget it, because that's what you do (that's what I did) when the learning isn't part of life. It was beneficial, and survivable, but not fun, for us or for the kids.
We are unschooling, but I hate that term since, to 90% of the world, not schooling means not learning. Of course the other 10% understand that schooling doesn't equal learning, so they're simply saying learning without school. But the negative connotation makes me unlike the word unschooling. I realize that some people are passionate about the word, and helping people understand that school isn't necessarily the best way for children to learn, but I'm not. I'm passionate about unschooling our kids (and chocolate), but not about the terminology. Some also call it life learning, self-directed learning, learning without school, or autodidacticism.
Here's what it can look like, though each day is different. Sometimes we learn literally on the road.
The Junior Ranger program is an amazing and fun way to learn about our national parks. The kids earn badges when they complete books from the park and most are very challenging.
Plus, the national parks are just amazing places to see extraordinary things!
The kids love to explore and try things out. They especially love seeing/feeling/touching history.
Learning about a fort, sitting in that fort, is beyond cool and also hard to forget.
Sometimes roadkill is educational? Hey it was a porcupine and we'd never seen one!
The kids know how to research online and have plenty of fun games too.
They love to help Daddy fix things and are quite handy.
And there's plenty to learn by just being buried in the sand!
But what about socialization? Really? Yes, homeschoolers are still asked. Here's what.
Other roadschooling links:
JoyfullyRejoycing.com - Lots of info and many links here.
Unschooling Vs. Homeschooling - What is the difference between the two?
But What about Math? - Close to my math-degree-having heart.
The Beginner’s Guide to Unschooling - What, Why, & How at ZenHabits.
50 Best Blogs in the Unschooling Movement - 50 great links.
FamiliesOnTheRoad Roadschooling Page - Info, articles, and interviews.
ChristianUnschooling.com - More info and links.
The Past, Present, and Future of Unschooling - History and information.
Let me know if you have links I might want to add. Thanks!
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