Welcome to the Homeschool Roadtrip website. I started this blog/website to explore the possibility of taking our family on a year-long road trip. We have three school-age sons who would need to continue their education during this time, of course, so I’ve dubbed it a Homeschool Roadtrip.
Now, I’m not the first one to come up with this idea. Families have homeschooled their children long before the word homeschool (as we know it today) existed. Many families have taken extended vacations or sabatticals, both domestically in their home country as well as abroad.
I think, however, what we call it helps shape what we want it to be. Certainly we like to travel for the sake of recreation and relaxation (Hawaii or a houseboat on Lake Mead are my two favorites for pure relaxation), but this is not expected to be an extended vacation. It is expected to be work. Yet, at the same time, with proper planning, we expect to have fun doing it. But our primary objective here will not be to “get away from it all” as I could if I were sipping a beer, sitting in an inner tube tethered to a houseboat on a river in the desert. Doing that, one can tune out the entire world and return to work very refreshed.
Rather, our objective would be almost the exact opposite! To go “see it all”. But it couldn’t be like Chevy Chase in the movie Vacation where we would spend five minutes looking over the Grand Canyon just to check it off our list of places to see before we arrive at our final destination. We wouldn’t rush through the country to “see” as many sites as possible in one year. For us, the trip would be the destination and our farthest point would simply be where we turn around and head back. We would map out our trip – both geographically and academically – so that our stops would coincide with our educational objectives for our sons. We would explore historic sites such as battlefields, old homes, and museums. Our trip would include a variety of areas with significant geological as well as weather differences so our children would learn through experience and not just a government issued textbook. We might spend many days or weeks in a particular area even knowing that after that length of time we will only have scratched the surface of what there is to know about a region or it’s history or culture.
We would not be taking this at the expense of leaving our family and friends either. Those friends whom we have grown close to in our hometown we would stay in touch with through our blog, e-mails, telephone, post cards, etc. And we don’t anticipate selling our home either. Our current thought would be to rent it out for a year. And we have family and friends across the country whom we would get to visit with for extended periods of time.
These are our current thoughts but as we continue to explore this idea, we are open to all suggestions and constructive criticism. Future pages and posts on this site will include traveling with children, traveling with pets, traveling in an RV, places to stay, places to visit, technology and equipment issues, cooking on the road, camping, school curriculum, communication and most important – remaining active in the community of believers of our church. But first, a little background.
Before my wife and I married, we actually had detailed discussions of how we would raise our children as well as religious and political discussions. The latter being the least important. We are both conservative but that pales in comparison to the importance of our children’s spiritual well-being and education. We agreed that although we would have a television in our home, it would not dominate the home. No TV in the kids’ rooms! We have never had cable or satellite TV, just a VHS/DVD player and now, Netflix. We watch what we want, when we want and we only pay for what we watch.
My wife and I had our sons in a hybrid home school/private school program in which they went to a private school two days a week and she home schooled the other three. This worked out well for us until our financial situation caused us to place them into a public school so my wife could get a paying job outside of the home.
While having the boys in public school has had some advantages, we believe they would benefit tremendously from a year of learning on the road. Being in a public school has reduced the stress level in the home and has also allowed the boys to see for themselves the difference between a private school, public school and home-school. Each of them has has own opinion on the pros and cons. Life in a public school has also allowed them to solidify friendships made through scouting.
Because we are not planning on embarking on this adventure for several years, we have plenty of time to think about and discuss all of the ramifications of doing this. In the end, however, we think it can only be a good thing for all of us.
Please stay tuned and please feel free to send your suggestions as well as questions.
- Looking Back to our Early Days, Part 4: Why Homeschool (livelifewithyourkids.wordpress.com)