When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the temporary closure of schools, millions of families found themselves thrown into homeschooling with little time to prepare. Once they had time to adjust, many parents and children discovered that they preferred the arrangement to traditional schooling. For families who already live the RV lifestyle, homeschooling on the road just makes sense.
How to Homeschool on the Road
Each Canadian province or territory enforces its own regulations regarding homeschooling. Before leaving your neighbourhood to take off in your travelling school room, you need to ensure that you follow the homeschooling laws where you live when not travelling. You can learn more about regulations for each province and territory at this link.
If you are new to homeschooling, veteran homeschoolers recommend that you determine a philosophy around your endeavour first. For example, are you a big proponent of unschooling, which allows children to pursue their own interests and learn almost entirely by doing? Maybe you are more of a traditionalist and plan to teach in much the same way public school teachers do except that you have access to greater technology.
Knowing your reasons for homeschooling and the philosophy behind your approach will set you up for success and motivate you when times get challenging. Once you have settled that question, you are ready to choose your curriculum for full time RV homeschooling.
Choose Your Curriculum Before Starting Out
Homeschooling is a popular educational choice in Canada to the point where it is almost mainstream. This is good news because it means you have numerous curriculum and program options to meet the needs of your children.
If you have more than one child, spend one-on-one time with each of them to observe how they learn best. Do they retain new material when they have a chance to explore it, or do they prefer to read and listen? Every child is different, and the beauty of homeschooling is that you can work with each child’s strengths. Should you discover that the program you chose does not seem to motivate your child, after all, homeschooling on the road gives you the flexibility to change course.
Follow a Daily Schedule Whenever Possible
Homeschooling flexibility also means that you can choose to teach your children according to a schedule that works best for everyone. Some people are simply not morning people, and that is okay. There is no rule declaring that your kids must be awake, dressed, and ready to start learning by 8:00 a.m.
At the same time, having a general idea of what to expect each day can help your kids feel more secure. For example, you can have a loose schedule of devoting mornings to homeschool activities and then have the afternoons free to explore.
Having dedicated time for homeschooling does not mean that all learning needs to take place in your RV. If you research before arriving at a new area, you should be able to find plenty of libraries, museums, and nature preserves to carry out your lessons.
Benefits of Homeschooling While on the Road
Children who receive their education while travelling around Canada with their parents gain first-hand knowledge of many of the things they study. Most children only get to learn about the country through lectures and books. Here are some other benefits to consider for parents who may be homeschooling for the first time:
- Children learn real-world skills and lessons. Instead of teaching them about different cultures, parents can choose to visit and immerse themselves in that culture instead.
- Travelling and learning together allows parents and children to form closer bonds. Parents have a greater opportunity to discover who each child is as an individual and conversations tend to be deeper. Although every day will not be perfect, parents and children have the shared experience of learning about the world together.
- Children receive much more one-on-one attention than they would in a classroom with 30 other students.
- Children have an opportunity to make new friends from all over the world.
These homeschooling tips when travelling would not be complete without mentioning some challenges. You should expect siblings to get on each other’s nerves sometimes, but providing each with their own space can help to smooth things over. You may also struggle to find resources such as art supplies, science equipment, and gyms that traditionally schooled children take for granted.
You know your own kids and what is best for them. If you decide to pursue the RV homeschooling lifestyle, do not let anyone else’s opinion stop you from fulfilling your goals of giving your kids the best educational start possible, however that looks to you.