I'm not really one for labels, but sometimes it's good to define your Roadschooling style. It can help you find others with similar learning/teaching styles as your family. And when that happens, you can build a community that works well together. For the most part, there are three (3) different styles: Traditional Roadschooling Eclectic Roadschooling Unschooling Alright, let's get started!
For the most part, this is what folks think about when it comes to homeschooling. Traditional Roadschooling is the most common style for families just hitting the road after unplugging from traditional work life and the public/private school sector. This style mirrors a typical classroom setting and just moves into your RV.
Traditional Roadschooling relies heavily on boxed curricula/online public school, tight schedules, testing/evaluations, and a teacher student dynamic. The biggest flexibility comes from the freedom to teach to the student’s level. This is a great opportunity to speed ahead with kids that have been bored in the classroom or to slow things down for kids that have been overwhelmed in the classroom.
Field trips are built in to support the curricula/online schooling subjects currently being studied. There is a distinction between educational activities and leisurely activities.
While Traditional Roadschooling is like a classroom on wheels, Eclectic Roadschooling combines many different bits and pieces to make a complete learning experience for the student. The teacher student dynamic is still there.
Eclectic Roadschooling offers a lot more flexibility for families traveling often. If school is missed on Monday due to travels and crappy internet, it’s not a big deal. Instead of hitting the traditional books, maybe the kids get a paper map so they can help plan and navigate the day’s travels.
Most Eclectic Roadschoolers keep up some sort of curricula/online schooling, but it is not as regimented as Traditional Roadschool. Test may or may not be part of it.
Field trips are a huge part of the learning process and may or may not have anything to do with the curricula and subjects being studied.
The last method I’m going to cover is Unschooling. It is the most flexible Roadschooling style and one of the easiest to take on the road.
Unschooling is child-led learning. This means that there isn’t really a teacher-student dynamic. The child expresses their interests and the parents support it. Whether the student wants to read, hike and fish, complete worksheets, attend online school, take tests, or play video games, unschooling parents help support this.
In Unschooling, there is a lot less distinction between educational and leisure activities. They blend together. Unschoolers view all activities and experiences as educational opportunities. Learning happens anytime and anywhere.
Our Family's Roadschooling Style = Unschooling
We are through and through unschoolers. We actually began our Unschool journey before we hit the road. It worked well for us and once we started RVing full-time we realized it was the best way to learn and avoid stress for our family. Our learning flows seamlessly from everyday life to learning. There is no "OK, let's do school now". It just happens as our lives unfold.
Is Your Roadschooling Style Wrong?
Find out what works for your family and go with it. Now, this doesn’t mean that you will always be “Traditional” or “Eclectic” or even “Unschoolers”. Life, and especially life on the road, is unpredictable. Things change, people change. Your kids change. What works one year may not work the next. Or, you might have kids that need different learning styles.
The biggest take-way here is this: Learn together, stay legal, have fun. Please, don’t just go through the motions of doing all the worksheets, but never actually learn anything. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn. For the learning to become a part of your family. Make the best of it!!
Still feeling a little unsure about Roadschoolng?
Exploring the Local Life is a Latino Roadschooling family of four that has been on the road since October 2015. We blog and vlog all about RVing, but it's not always rainbows and campfires. It's real life every day as we navigate love, unschooling, and breaking free from the mold in our 26ft home on wheels.