What is Roadschooling and is it Right for My Family?
Roadschooling is the New Normal in Education
Everyone I know thought that school shut-downs due to Covid-19 would be a temporary event and we would get back to “normal” within a few months. Well….. years later, schools have reopened, but for many adventurous families, Roadschooling has become the “new normal” option in education. If you love to travel with your family, Roadschooling might be perfect for your family.
Even though public schools have reopened, many parents find that their children are less engaged in school, and many have fallen behind their grade level due to what is known as the “Covid Learning Loss”. This prompted thousands of families to look for a viable solution from virtual school experts. Fortunately, there are hundreds of online schools with years of experience teaching virtually. Whitmore School, the world’s first online high school, has been providing online self-paced mastery learning since 1994!
According to Travel and Leisure, RVs hit record sales in July 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Here is why RVing became a great solution – families could still travel and be in a safe environment. Combine this with online school and you have Roadschooling.
Roadschoolers typically must abide by the same regulations as homeschoolers, which vary from state to state. Several states have no requirements for homeschools, while other states require an approved curriculum, standardized tests, and formal evaluations. Even if you enroll your children in an accredited private online school, your state may require you to register as a homeschooler. Check with the Homeschool Legal Defense Association for the homeschooling regulations in your state.
Learn What Experts Say About Roadschooling
Marc and Tricia Leach began Roadschooling in 2016, (long before there was Covid-19). Feeling overwhelmed with the rat race of exhausting and expensive vacations – hotels, car rentals, eating out, crowds during school breaks….. they decided to make a change. Initially, they decided to buy an RV and travel the States for six months. Seven years later, they are still traveling, and their three children have excelled in online school. They have traveled to four countries, almost 50 states and over 100,000 miles. Read their story at Keep Your Daydream.
Caleb Leach, graduated from Whitmore School earning all A’s while his family traveled full-time in their RV. He loved the flexibility of going to school any time of day and from any location their travels took them (which includes all 50 states!). Marc and Tricia discuss why they chose Whitmore School in the KYD episode RV Living and High School.
Connor’s version of Roadschooling is on the family’s 44’ Catamaran, the SV BlackSheep. The family takes fishing excursions through the tropical waters of the Virgin Islands. In the photo below, Connor dives for lobsters for dinner – nice. Connor attended Whitmore School while the family sailed. Update on Connor: Connor is now the captain of the SV Blacksheep and is the youngest captain in the Virgin Islands! Way to go Connor!
After years of balancing work, kids, sports, and a house, Harold and Cindy Strange chose to make a change. They converted their beautiful Grand Design Momentum Toy Hauler into a beautiful home on wheels and have been traveling the country and working virtually, while their children, Nick and Makayla, attend Whitmore School. They feature their travels weekly on their YouTube Channel 1StrangeAdventure.
Makayla recently graduated from Whitmore – GO Makayla! – and she will be attending college in the Fall! Watch their video about their experiences roadschooling two teens.
Resources for Roadschoolers
Other resources for Roadschoolers include organizations such as Fulltime Families, a community of families who travel full-time with their children. They host rallies and events and gather for fun, games and learning. Their website includes tips for family RVing and schooling while on the road.
Check out these other great resources:
National Parks Conservation Association – Most National Parks offer Junior Ranger programs where children complete activities and earn badges. They provide useful tips to using the great outdoors as your classroom.
Homeschool Legal Defense Association – Founded by Mike Farris and Mike Smith, two attorneys and homeschooling dads. Today, homeschooling is legal in every state. HSLDA offers advice and tips on navigating the process of homeschooling.
National Center for Education Statistics – A recent report from the US Department of Education states that on average, homeschoolers are one year ahead of their traditional schooled peers.
Parent Training and Information Center – Helps parents understand what services are available for students with special needs.
Coalition for Responsible Homeschooling – Offers a 16-week Introduction to Home Education course for homeschooling parents.
About Whitmore School
Whitmore School, accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED), offers four Diploma Programs for students wishing to enroll full-time to earn their high school diploma. Additionally, students looking to get back on track to graduate on time can enroll in individual courses. Students enroll and begin at any time of year, work at their own pace, and may take up to 12 months to complete their courses.
Written by: Ellen Ray, Principal, and parent of Alina, 2009 Whitmore School GraduateSee all blog posts