Most of us are familiar with the notion of homeschooling or unschooling, but roadschooling? Now that’s a new concept! So, what is roadschooing anyway? Like homeschoolers, roadschoolers are educated outside the context of the classroom and their parents/caregivers are responsible to make sure they are in a learning rich environment, accumulating skills, and growing in knowledge.
The main difference between homeschooling and roadschooling is that roadschooling parents use travel as the primary tool in educating their children. They believe that education is a lifestyle and that children will naturally learn given the right conditions. It’s basically homeschooling taken on the road.
Places to take your roadschooled child are so numerous that the alternatives are endless! I like to think of it like traveling the pages of history instead of simply reading them.
Our favorite road schooling resource is the Jr. Ranger Program. A free educational resource at most state and national parks.
Want to learn about the Statue of Liberty? Download the free booklet from the National Parks Website so your child can learn on the way. Or better yet, check out the For Teachers section of the same website to get their “Parks as Classrooms Curriculum” material to go in more depth.
Let me restate that – this is all FREE!
And this is just one resource. There are so many more. Most of which cost very little money or are completely free.
Absorbing information by being exposed to various cultures and ideas is both an intriguing and exciting way for all of us to learn. And one that is growing in favor with many families who are looking for another approach to their lifestyle and/or their child’s education.
Roadschooling may seem extreme if you are a traditionalist and have never thought about an alternative way to educate. But if you can step back for a minute you will see what a powerful tool it can be.
Is Roadschooling an Effective Form of Education?
Aside from being a hands on experience that allows a child the ability to gain knowledge in practical ways by visiting new destinations, it is also stimulating the use of dendrites in the brain.
The dendrites of a child that is roadschooled are constantly being stimulated which allows them to learn ALL things faster. If you are interested in learning more about the science behind roadschooling this is a great article written by educators who decided to hit the road with their children.
It is not uncommon for a child who is reading below standard levels for their age to pick the skill up easily and begin reading at higher levels in no time — simply because the learning center of the brain is being stimulated by all the new input brought in through exposure to new sites and experiences.
And just like homeschoolers, they generally score higher on standardized tests and go on to excel in college!
Roadschooling Looks Different for Each Family
Some families travel via bicycles (hardcore right?!!) to tour different areas — using exhibits, galleries, museums, landmarks, and attractions as perfect educational opportunities for their child to glean from. For more inspiration on this model check out the Vogel Family’s Blog. The Vogel family rode their bikes from Alaska to Argentina!!!
Other families want their children to be submerged in various cultures, customs and languages, so they opt to travel to foreign lands where food and art are plentiful and their children can explore in a raw and tangible way. Some refer to this as “World Schooling”.
The basic educational goals of reading, writing and math skills are being developed as they learn exchange rates, see ancient ruins, take trains, and barter with locals — all of which hold new lessons and practical life skills.
Roadschooling families come under the same guidelines as homeschoolers and your school district will require certain skills to be fulfilled and some standardized testing to be completed. Parents can register their children for homeschooling and find out what prerequisites are necessary to meet the standards of their particular district.
It is common for a school district to expect results such as a certain number of written papers in English, social studies and other subjects. As long as the parent complies with these rules, the state is happy with the results of roadschooling.
Whether you stay close or travel broad, roadschooling is a great way to expose your child to the world around them. They will see other cultures and learn to understand themselves and the world in a way that most children never will though bookwork and class lessons.
Roadschooling may not be traditional, however if you are up for it, there is no question that it can be a dynamic way for your child to learn — and one which will create memories and experiences they can utilize and treasure for a lifetime!
I have an entire section of the blog dedicated to RoadSchooling if you want to explore whether or not it would be right for your family. The post I wrote about the Junior Ranger Program and Child Entrepreneurs this is a good place to start.