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Are you planning or dreaming about full time RVing with your family, but wondering what you would do about your kids' school? In this article I'll share several resources to help you understand your options, make sure you're legally compliant, and prepare to hit the road with your kids.
Homeschooling While Full Time RVing: Is it Legal?
One of the first questions that always comes up about roadschooling is whether or not it's legal. Many states have laws that require homeschoolers to report to their local school district or keep records, so how can fulltime RVers be sure they won't get in trouble if they are staying in an area for an extended period of time and someone finds out they have kids who aren't in school?
Below is a list of articles I've found which all do a great job of explaining the practical aspects of roadschooling and how to do it legally:
This article from FulltimeFamilies.com (a website that every full time RVing family should be well acquainted with!) provides an excellent overview to the various school options available to full time RVing families. It explains the differences between homeschooling, roadschooling, and unschooling, talks about what school on the road looks like practically for most families, and links to more helpful resources on the topic.
This super helpful article goes over the laws regarding homeschooling and roadschooling in each U.S. state. It also talks about how to make sure you're legally compliant while homsechooling/roadschooling, as well as some alternative options (such as online schools, umbrella schools, and charter schools).
This article talks about some of the benefits of roadschooling, addresses some common questions you may have, and includes helpful links to learning resources for roadschoolers.
In this blog post from Exploring the Local Life, a full time RV mom shares what roadschooling is like for her family. She gives lots of tips and ideas for others who are considering this lifestyle.
I have to admit, as a former middle school English teacher, I have been somewhat skeptical about unschooling, but this article cleared up some misconceptions I had about it and helped me understand how it could be a great option for kids who are self-motivated and love learning. It also talks about some of the drawbacks to unschooling that families will want to consider before choosing this option.
The Long-term Impact of Roadschooling on Kids
It's one thing to read articles by parents talking about what roadschooling is like, but what do the kids think of it?
To hear this side of the story, check out my friend Kelsey Henry's book Growing Up Roadschooled: Stories, Lyrics, & Lessons Learned From Full-Time RVing & Life After Roadschooling.
Kelsey lived in an RV full time with her parents between the ages of 11 and 17. Now and adult, Kelsey shares stories in her book about her adventures on the road and what it was like to transition from a nomadic lifestyle to more “normal” parts of of growing up like getting into college, living stationary in one place, and starting a career, as well as how her unusual teenage years have shaped her outlook on life.
How to Get Started with Roadschooling
If you're thinking about fulltime RVing with your family, these articles will help you get a good idea of what your options are when it comes to school for your kids.
If you've already decided that you want to roadschool but aren't feeling completely confident about it, I recommend the online course Ready to Roadschool, by roadschooling mom and professional educator Kristin Murphy. In this course, you'll learn everything you need to know to get started, including:
- The pros and cons of various styles of homeschooling, and how to develop your own style
- Making sure you're legally compliant when homeschooling
- How to find and choose curriculum
- How to make sure your kids won't be behind if they return to a “regular” school
- Establishing routines and maintaining a sense of structure while traveling full time
- Ideas for building lessons around your travels
- Where to find deals on visiting museums, National Parks, zoos, and aquariums
- How to find community with other roadschooling RVers
- How to make sure your kids are connected and have opportunities to socialize