How We Homeschool On The Road
One of the questions we get asked a lot on this #EndlessCaravan trip is “Do you homeschool on the road?” We aren’t following a curriculum and we don’t have textbooks, but I can say with certainty that the girls are learning so much more than could ever be assessed by a worksheet or a test.
We do a mix of “roadschooling” and “unschooling” where the girls learn about the places we are visiting through their curiosities. Sometimes we research about a place before we visit, other times we arrive and learn on-site through a guided tour or written information.
We never make the kids learn the information, but they almost always jump at the chance of investigating the fascinating places that we visit. This is one thing that I love about roadschooling. Seeing places in real life- getting to touch and experience them first hand- motivates the kids to want to learn.
Being on the road has also opened up a new experience of living in a small space and working together as a team. Unexpectedly, the girls are learning skills like how to unhitch the Airstream from the truck, crank the stabilizing jacks, or set up the hose and tank system. They’ve connected with the value of being helpful and they seem excited to help out and be a part of the team.
(Note: This post is sponsored by Lonely Planet Kids, but all opinions expressed are my own. I only share products I use and love. Thanks Lonely Planet Kids and thanks for reading!)
Our “School Books”
Aside from reading every novel Karuna can get her hands on, our only other “school books” have been a variety of travel and activity books by Lonely Planet Kids. The best one for our trip so far has been a book called Not For Parents: USA (Everything you ever wanted to know). It’s a super fun read that shares facts about significant places, the history, and relevant pop-culture of the U.S. Sometimes we’ll arrive at a destination and Karuna will start spewing out facts about the place. We all look at her, confused, wondering how she knows this stuff until we realize it’s in the USA book!
Activity Books That Are Actually Fun!
Of course we still have the inevitable moments when the kids say, “I’m boooored…” The Lonely Planet Kids activity books have been perfect for these down times. It just so happens that we have Boredom Buster Games For The Road, which has everything from riddles to table tennis to games for long car rides.
We’ve tried other activity books in the past, but the kids loose interest pretty quickly. The Lonely Planet ones are fun enough that even I couldn’t help asking to play! That’s saying a lot about a kids activity book for me.
Before this trip, I thought about how Karuna should keep a travel journal and how much she would fill the blank pages with her thoughts and experiences. So I gave her a blank notebook and… nothing. The blank pages intimidated her and no matter how much I tried to persuade her, she never wanted to use it.
So when we got these travel journals from Lonely Planet Kids, I was thrilled to see Karuna (and even Ora!) filling out the pages and capturing memories. The journal is filled with thoughtful, yet often silly prompts that record moments and feelings along the way. The girls love it!
As we’ve explored homeschooling this past year, I’ve seen a lot of learning and activity books for kids, and am often underwhelmed. Lonely Planet, on the other hand, just seems to “get” kids. It’s like they have a secret team of kids working for them, offering up ideas, and approving the final product. Or maybe the creators are just big kids themselves!
Either way, I am so glad that we have chosen these as our “school books” to supplement our hands-on roadschooling. But most of all I’m glad that the kids truly enjoy them. Because learning should be enjoyed, right? The more kids enjoy their learning tools and experiences, the more effort they will put in, the more information they will retain, and the more they will love to learn.