Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Roadschooling with the Lundy family

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!

24 comments:

Krista said...

wow, what an amazing way to school, be a family and fun too!! I found you through the Hip homeschool hop! can't wait to read about your adventures!

Debbie R said...

I love what you are doing as a Family and If I could convince my husband to do it, Id do it in a heartbeat! Good for you Lundy's!!
Iam envious!

Debbie

Meghan said...

LOVE your post! Thanks for joining in Hip Homeschool Hop. I look forward to getting to know you better! I use to live in Parkersburg, WV - are you from that area?

Meghan
www.facebook.com/hiphomeschoolmoms
www.thetuckerstaketennessee.com

Mama to 3 Blessings said...

Wow - roadschooling that's awesome! Your children get some awesome experiences! Saw you on Hip Homeschooling. Nice to meet you! Can't wait to read more about your journey so I signed up to follow you! I invite you to come visit my hoemschool blog back! :)
Enjoy your travels! God be with you! :)
Nicole

Joy said...

WOW! What an awesome way to learn!! Stopping by from Hip Homeschool Hop!

Anonymous said...

I just found your sight and will add it to my favorites list. I am also going to share it with my sister and daughter. What courageous parents you are and what blessed children you have. All of my children are grown and now I have four grandsons. I do believe there is such a wonderful, big world out there we can learn from so lets get our children out there to experience it. Has your out in the world ever taken you to Big Bend National Park? It is the largest and least visited Park in the national park system. You might want to reseach it. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

joyce:waddleeahchaa.com said...

Hi, I just left the post and forgot to leave my name. It's Joyce and I am in Texas. :)

Féepoussière said...

Thank you for your visit on my blog! I had a translator at the top right for the French eh!

I love your blog and I will follow your adventures like no other! - A translator will not be turned down! -
Read you soon!

The Valentine's said...

Great post Margie!
Dave and I were were just discussing the negative connotations of the word 'unschool' or at least it's perceived negativity. He came up with lifeschool, think I might have to use that!
I don't know what I'm going to do without those Jr Ranger programs once we're at our stick house, love, love, love them, I've learned so much!
Ali
PS Glad you found a moose ;)

Complete Knowledge said...

What a cool way to school! Wish my husband had the type of job that we could do what you are doing. I cannot wait to read about your future adventures!
Amy

Féepoussière said...

I love your roadchooling!
When you have time, pick up two award on my blog!
Cheers

Leslie said...

We hope to be roadschooling next year. Our kids are older (grades 3-8) so we are wondering if we have to be concerned with the state assessment tests because we will most likely not be in our home state. How do you handle that?

The Lundys said...

Ohio requires a narrative assessment, but we can do that long distance. Though we may relocate to Texas to avoid the hassle anyway!

The Valentine's said...

Leslie, PA requires a written assessment in 3rd, 5th, and 8th. We actually came back to do testing in the Fall in PA but there is an option to buy a test and have a 'non-interested, preferably a teacher, party' officiate the test in any state, so there are definitely options to complete testing. Research the needs for your specific state, there are always ways around things ;)
Ali

Amy said...

As you said: I'm so glad we are not the only roadschoolers learning from dead animals.

We were like you that we were very curriculum based and the kids were shooting ahead from the personal attention. But now we dont and use life and literature, they are so much more interested in their learning. I just cant bring myself to use the word 'unschooling', but it is probably the closest. Does 'eclectic' cut it as a cop out term?

Kristenph said...

Very cool! It looks like your kids are learning lots! Thanks for sharing your link on The Front Porch.

Steve said...

Great quote: "[School is] the stressful memorization of facts that someone else said were important." Thanks for sharing your Roadschooling experiences.

Christa said...

Love this! What a fun (and effective) way to educate your kids! Many homeschool parents deal with a lot of clutter that comes from learning at home. How does your family deal with that? Also, lifeschooling sounds much better than unschooling! Although most terms have inaccurate connotations, right? How many HOMEschoolers actually spend most of their time at HOME???

Christa said...

Another family doing roadschooling and living the dream! http://www.familyonbikes.org/resources/school.htm

The Lundys said...

To address Christa's question: "Many homeschool parents deal with a lot of clutter that comes from learning at home. How does your family deal with that?"

We don't. :) The RV isn't huge, so we're careful about what we keep. But we're outside or online exploring and don't tend to collect things. Books we swap out at campgrounds. Nature stays in nature. Clutter's just not a problem once you simplify!

abis said...

I love your website. This is exactly what our family of four wants to do. Our kids will be in 2nd and 4th grade. Thanks for showing me that we will not be alone in our adventures.

Joan Concilio Otto said...

Just found you guys - and HAVE TO comment on this page, even though I'm way late to the party, because I'm a math-degree-having unschool mom too, and hopefully a future RV momma! :)

Jessica Van Vleet said...

I love this page. We have recently turned to unschooling. My kids adore it. They are learning so quickly, because they chose to learn what they want to learn about. Does that change all the time? YUP! So they are learning about a LOT of things. Thank you for putting this out there, so people don't think that unschoolers are crazy!

Mel said...

Thank you sooo much for this post! My husband and I are thinking about RVing full-time with our 2 year old and "baby bump"...I have started to think about homeschooling but I mostly dreaded the whole idea. I never would have thought that "unschooling" was even something you could do! It makes perfect sense, but the part of me that I am trying to "unschool" myself would think that there must be rules against it! Your post just encouraged me so much!! I can't wait to help my kids actually learn things instead of memorize to forget!