It has always been our family’s dream to travel the country in an RV while turning the whole trip into a giant schoolroom. The lessons to be learned are enormous on the road. There is so much to be gained by roadschooling that simply can’t be learned in the confines of the home. It is the epitome of real-life learning.
Well, this summer our family is embarking on this adventure. Circumstances are bringing us down south to Florida from New Jersey, and a trip down the east coast is in the works. The planning of the trip has been a lesson already in saving, budgeting, mapping out the trip, etc. We have included the children in every aspect of the plans. From saving up money each month, to collecting spare change in a jug, to repeatedly going to google maps and exploring the different areas we will be stopping. We have even been taking books out of the library on each of the states that we will be visiting.
Roadschooling appeals to us for many reasons. For starters, being able to visit the places we have learned about at home is such a unique opportunity. For example, a few years back we learned about The Declaration of Independence, and since we live about 1.5 hours from Philadelphia we took a day trip to Independence Hall. I can’t describe to you the feeling of standing in the actual place where the debating and signing of the Declaration of Independence took place, after reading about it for so long in our history lessons. History truly came alive for our family that day. The looks on the children’s faces were priceless. Eyes wide open as they could now imagine seeing Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin seated in that very room.
Learning about historical sites definitely comes alive when seeing them, just like learning about the different geographical areas. It is one thing to read about the Grand Canyon, but to stand at the edge of it and see it? Or to read about the surrender at Yorktown, but to stand on the battlefield where it took place? It is an opportunity for making so many connections in our minds, and to solidify our learning of these subjects–fully being immersed in the lessons.
While the benefits of learning so much about our country are huge, there are also many more lessons involved in roadschooling. One that can be overlooked, but is certainly important, is just getting along together as a family on the road. When you put a family of six together in a 32-foot space on the road for three weeks, there are going to be situations to deal with. Learning how to put others first, deal with limitations, and overall just deal with varied situations on the road are all valuable educational lessons. There are certainly character tests along the way in roadschooling. Real life lessons are always the best lessons.
Even learning how to take care of the RV is a lesson. Boys will especially benefit from learning the mechanics of the RV and girls can learn how to maintain the small space. Efficiently cleaning and cooking in an RV are skills that will certainly be needed on a trip like this. Learning how to adapt to a different environment will be essential. Things aren’t always easy in life and hard work is a character trait that is invaluable.
We are looking forward to the simple things on our trip. Learning to live with just what we need-without fancy entertainment. The view out of the window will suffice for us! In this world of busyness, it is important to teach our children that we can just enjoy each other and this beautiful country we live in.
I also think it is so important to get out of our comfort zones these days. For myself, I know I can get too comfortable in my little bubble at home. We have our routines, we have our plans, and we have comforts. Yet, there is a whole big world out there, and I want my family to experience it. Being comfortable isn’t always a good thing. We need to be challenged outside of our comfort zones. It grows our character.
As Christians we are not called to be comfortable. We are called to go out into the world and make disciples of men. We can’t live the Great Commission in the comfort of our home. Experiencing new ways of life, new areas, and most importantly new people, are all things that we are looking forward to this summer.
I feel called to show my children the world and to teach them how to care for our neighbor wherever that may be. Showing them that people in different areas live differently than we do, and our home is not all there is in life, is crucial. Developing their awareness of the world, delighting in the majesty of Creation firsthand, and loving thy neighbor are all a part of roadschooling.
This summer when we step out of our comfort zone, I will be journaling the whole thing. You can follow our adventure at my blog, Simply Living…for Him. We are eagerly anticipating all that God has in store for our family on our first, but hopefully not last, adventure with roadschooling!
Now it’s your turn. Have you done some roadschooling before? Leave your favorite tips and lessons learned in the comments below!