It's Back to School time and this year looks different than anyone hoped or expected.
There have been some discussions in the FB Group about homeschooling vs. remote schooling vs. in-person instruction. Based on what some of the school districts are providing, it may be easier to take on the “full weight” of homeschooling rather than forcing the kids to follow the school imposed guidelines – because (as I've discovered) the “full weight” of homeschooling doesn't have to be heavy.
Until last year, we were a traditional schooling family. The thought of homeschooling was overwhelming and we were quite content with sending the kids off to school.
When I proposed full-time RV living as we travel the US, my husbands biggest concern was school. For the past 13 months we've been juggling teaching the kids, running my business, traveling through 37 states, and maintaining our sanity.
Some things I've learned:
- A homeschool day does NOT have to be 6 hours like a traditional school day. An hour or two is plenty [check out this chart]
- A homeschool day does NOT have to be at a table with pencil and paper OR in front of a screen – it can be either, both or neither! There is no “right” or “wrong” way to learn. Similarly, you don't have to “school” like anyone else – do what's right for you and your family.
Some resources that have helped us (grades k-6):
- Raz-Kids – My kids each have an Amazon Fire tablet with FreeTime. We installed Raz-Kids onto their tablets, and they are required to complete 30-minutes of “reading” activities before doing anything else on their tablet.
- Adapted Mind – We love their math program. It provides instruction, practice, and assessments.
- Audible – The whole family can listen to books while we drive, or just hanging out in the RV. Then, we can discuss them. We recently finished Number the Stars and talked about the Holocaust.
- Netflix – There are plenty of movies on Netflix that are “school-appropriate.” We most recently watched Disney's Ruby Bridges and talked about the civil rights movement and the current Black Lives Matter movement.
I recognize that what we're doing won't work for everyone… but I also know that I am so much happier with our schooling set up this year than I ever have been. We've gotten closer as a family, and don't stress about tests or lessons – and education has become an integrated part of our everyday lives. I am able to check on Raz-Kids and Adapted Mind to see that the kids are making progress and mastering the material appropriate for their ages. We never took a formal “summer break” because it's all just part of our routine now.
I guess the biggest thing I want everyone to know is that there are options – and if what you're doing right now is not working, there is always something else you can try. Figure out what drives your kids – and then how you can provide education in a way that appeals to them. My tech-obsessed kids love their apps – but we also have family reading and movie time.
Follow our adventures on Instagram!
Get more tips, tricks, and information about this journey when you follow us on Instagram!