Homeschooling your kids while traveling in an RV (aka “roadschooling”) might sound like a dream come true. In many cases it absolutely is. But one of the most important roadschool tips I can give you is that it can also be a lot of work.
Not only are you learning how to homeschool while traveling, which is a lot of work on its own, but you also have to juggle your travel logistics. Plus, overcome the challenges that traveling full-time in an RV with kids tends to present.
Fortunately, there are ways to go about this. Plenty of us are out here doing RV roadschooling right now. In this article, I will give you a list of top roadschool tips to live your full-time RV dream with kids.
Top RV Roadschool Tips from a Full-time RVing Mom
From educating your RVing kids at historic landmarks, to joining roadschool organizations, here are some of the top RV roadschool tips I’ve discovered during the last seven-plus years of full-time RVing with my own children.
Learn to Use the Online Library System
In my opinion, having easy access to books is key when it comes to full-time RVing with kids and giving them a good education. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tote tons of books around in a tiny RV. On top of that, not many libraries are willing to allow travelers to check out books.
For this reason, we very quickly learned how to use our library’s online system for checking out books and learning to use the online library system is now one of the number one roadschool tips we give newbies.
Not only does this give us access to the hundreds of e-books and audio books the library already owns, but we’ve also been able to suggest books to the library and they almost always buy them to add to their collection.
Subscribe to Book Platforms
In addition to using the online library system, we also have a subscription to the “Epic!” kids reading app. This is a nifty little app that has a decent amount of reading material for kids.
I love that it’s super easy for the kids to navigate. The material is 100% kid-friendly so I can let them have total freedom on the app. I also appreciate that the kids have instant access to the material, something that isn’t always the case with the library.
The material on Epic! is relatively limited. If you want more choices, you might consider a subscription to Scribd. This program has tons of books for all ages. The downside is that Scribd it isn’t set up for kids, and can be harder to navigate.
Find Educational Podcasts
We often find ourselves on long car rides. This happens on travel days, obviously, but it can also happen when traveling from a given campground to go sightseeing. One of the best ways to make use of this time spent in the car is to listen to educational podcasts.
One of my top road school tips is to download favorite educational podcasts for kids. Brains On! and But Why? are two of our favorites.
Use Travel Days for School
Of course, you can also use those long drive days for traditional school work. In fact, many families find that nearly all of their book work gets done on travel days. This is awesome because it means you can then take full advantage of your days in each spot, exploring what the area has to offer.
Have a Reliable Internet Connection
Even if you don’t choose an online curriculum, it’s good to be able to stay connected to the internet. Jump down research rabbit holes, download new reading material, and stream your favorite educational podcasts.
Before you hit the road, consider how you will stay connected while traveling. Starlink and cellular hotspots tend to be the best options out there.
Invest in Reciprocal Memberships
One of the major benefits of giving your kids a roadschool education is the fact that you can visit so many different parks, museums, zoos, and other educational spots. Unfortunately, visiting all of these kinds of places can get really expensive really fast. The solution? Reciprocal memberships.
There are reciprocal memberships for museums, zoos, national parks, state parks, and more. Investing in a few of these will ensure you have access to a huge number of educational field trip destinations throughout your travels.
Make Use of the Junior Ranger Program
Speaking of national parks, we have to mention the amazing Junior Ranger program offered by the National Park Service.
The Junior Ranger Program is for kids of all ages. To participate, you simply ask for a Junior Ranger book at the park visitor center (or download one online), do the park-related educational activities inside, and return the book for a Junior Ranger badge.
My kids have quite the Junior Ranger badge collection at this point. The children of most other full time travelers we know also have brag-worthy badges.
Take Advantage of Location-Specific Learning Opportunities
We mentioned museums, zoos, and parks in one of the roadschool tips above. But these are far from the only learning opportunities you’ll come across in your travels.
Take advantage of the location-specific learning opportunities you come across as you explore. Look for unique museums, awesome animal encounters, opportunities to volunteer, etc.
Examples of the very best roadschool experiences we have had include:
- Homeschool Days in the Historic Triangle
- Plimoth Patuxet Plantation in Massachusetts
- Whale watching in Maine and in Baja, Mexico
- Surf school in Washington
- Sandboarding in Oregon
- Sand sledding in New Mexico
- Sea turtle release in Baja
- Sifting for shark teeth in Florida
- Ingalls Homestead in South Dakota
- Junior Ranger programs at 70+ NPS sites
Create Unit Studies Around Your Travels
One of my top roadschool tips? When you can, take a look at your travels and weave your studies around them.
Planning to visit the Abraham Lincoln attractions in Springfield, IL? Read up on Lincoln before you go.
Want to learn more about the Oregon Trail? Plan a trip along the trail to see some of the sights in person.
This can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. I have compiled some RV roadschooling location ideas here.
Find RV Roadschooling Friends on the Road
Learning opportunities are always more fun with friends. When your kids aren’t doing traditional schooling, I highly recommend making some roadschool friends and planning travels alongside them.
Not only does this help keep the kids happy, it will also make traveling more fun for you. I can say with confidence that without our travel friends we would not have made it these 7+ years out here on the road.
To make some roadschool friends, you will want to make a point of attending events where other kids will be in attendance.
Fulltime Families, Republic of Nomads, and Xcapers are all good organizations to consider joining.
Once you find some friends, ask for their travel plans and see if you can make some plans match up! Group roadschooling opportunities are endless once you connect with other parents who are full-time RVing with kids!