The number of parents opting to join the full-time RV lifestyle with their children share one common concern: what about school?
The first thing to keep in mind is, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life,” as said by Charlotte Mason, The Parent’s Review. A full-time RV lifestyle is not only growing, but children of their road-loving parents are benefiting and often excelling in all subjects – even going on to college after acing entrance tests. Much of this has to do with learning through experience. Parents often incorporate non-traditional studies into traditional history learning by visiting the places their children read about.
Says Jessica Morris, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing of Bridgeway Academy, “Roadschooling is a wonderful option for families who want to seek adventure without compromising their child’s education– just enhancing it with experiences that make learning come to life. But, choosing to homeschool can be scary, especially if it is a new concept. That’s where a supported homeschool academy can provide you with the confidence and support you need to make it a success. Our supported, customized program means you can live your dreams of being on the road together without worrying about compromising your child’s education. After all, what better form of learning is there than experience?”
Homeschooling continues to rise in popularity overall. Because the U.S. Department of Education cannot fully track homeschoolers, they have sent out questionnaires to assist in gathering some statistics. However, the exact figures are hard to pinpoint because states such as California and Texas do not require parents to register children for any type of education.
Jessica continues, “Homeschooling has become an increasingly popular alternative to public and private schools and is the fastest growing form of education in the nation! The flexibility and individuality that homeschooling provides families has made it very appealing. And, the stats prove that homeschooled students graduate at higher rates, have higher GPA’s in college, and are generally more independent. Homeschooling on the road, or Roadschooling, allows adventurous families to pursue their dreams of traveling together year ‘round and is also gaining in popularity. Parents want to break their children out of their desks and provide them with real life experiences through travel. And, homeschooling provides the perfect opportunity to do just that! From museums to monuments to national parks, roadschoolers use the world as their classroom!”
The Legitimacy of Roadschooling
Academic requirements vary from state to state with California and Texas not having requirements at all. But what about tracking your child’s progress grade to grade? What if, for example, for whatever reasons, your roadschooled child needs to enter a public high school system?
Jessica explains what Bridgeway Academy sees, “Homeschooling families are unique and have several different methods of record-keeping and determining academic progress based on their home state. Most states require academic testing at specific intervals during the life of the student. Some also require proof of progress through evaluation or progress reports submitted to the local school district.”
As states vary in their requirements, so do the many options for record-keeping and progress monitoring. Some homeschooling families choose to keep records of their own and present a portfolio to their school district or evaluator at the end of the year. Others choose to keep records online or use online programs that go where they go and provide regular grade reports. The most foolproof way of ensuring a homeschooler is on track academically and prepared for the next step is to work with an accredited homeschool academy that provides support, transcripts, and organized reports each year. The result is a seamless transition if a family chooses to return to a traditional school or upon graduation, ensuring that all credits and requirements have been met.
What about higher education? How would a child who has been home and roadschooled through his/her high school career enter college?
“This is one myth that we love to dispel! Homeschoolers, on average, graduate at higher rates, have higher SAT and ACT scores, and typically perform 15-30 percent above students who attend public school. Not only are homeschooled students attending colleges and universities, they are actively recruited! Why? Homeschoolers are often more independent and self-motivated, two qualities that are critical for success in college and beyond,” says Jessica.
Planning and Methods to Teach While on the Road
There are many methods and ways to plan for a homeschool curriculum. The most important thing to remember is to choose a method of Roadschooling that works best for you and your child.
While record-keeping is highly recommended, you do not need to set up a highly-regimented structure. In fact, many choose theCharlotte Masonapproach, which is more informal. In this approach, education is incorporated into a variety of experiences that children can encounter while traveling across country. Much depends on what you decide best fits your teaching style.
Other parents choose programs that have the materials and regular testing already in place, which cuts out parents trying to plot out their own courses. According to Jessica, “Bridgeway Academy has supported and customized homeschool solutions for every type of learner!” They are committed to providing flexibility for families. The Bridgeway Academy program starts with a full learning style and academic assessment. Homeschooling experts then custom select curriculum that suits the student’s needs and goals. Fully supported textbook, online, and live class options for students in grades K-12 are available. Roadschoolers benefit from a 12-month school calendar and flexible schedule. And, because Bridgeway does not require students to login to class at a specific time, roadschoolers can complete classwork in large chunks when internet is available.
Math-only courses are especially important. Cody Steel ofTeaching Textbooksexplains, “Our students have performed higher than average when taking standardized tests upon entering college. We have also found that ours is a program that students start and complete each course from beginning to end. We offer our courses online as well as on CD so that students can do their school work online or offline.”
If you want to adopt a full-time RV lifestyle, teaching your children with education and experience-based techniques isn’t complicated, and is often preferable due to the quality such systems. Studies continue to provide evidence of the growing number of households with children advancing and performing above-average on entrance exams and not going to an actual institution. Combine this approach with RV travel and Roadschooling might just be a perfect fit for your children’s education.
By: Shawna Newton