The concept of working remotely and traveling is not new. Millions of people worldwide have already experienced numerous advantages of switching countries, exploring new cultures, and making friends internationally. When you are on the road, you have a chance to learn, evolve, and soak up every opportunity the world has to offer. However, many people are hesitant to try this lifestyle because they have children who attend traditional schools. They don’t know about roam schooling, a rather new but promising concept that allows learning, traveling, and spending quality time together.
Here are tips for how a digital nomad family can organize education while traveling.
What is roam schooling?
While most of you know who a digital nomad is, the terms “roam-schooling” or “skoolie” are relatively new. These are forms of homeschooling where children learn while traveling instead of studying from home. And the only difference between skoolies is that these are families who decided to transform old school buses or large RVs into fully equipped and furnished homes on wheels. They have air conditioning, the Internet, and other benefits of civilization but also a chance to roam from one city to another without any strings attached and gain quality education.
Pros and cons of Homeschooling on the Go
Roam schooling sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Don’t rush to pick up the children from school because homeschooling, especially on the go, is not for everyone. To help you make the right choice, here are some pros and cons of remote learning.
- Flexible schedule. You can adapt the curriculum to the needs and rhythms of your children and family. Lessons don’t have to start early in the morning or follow a Monday through Friday schedule.
- Individual approach. As a parent, you can give your children the knowledge they want and need. Adapting to a personal learning style is extremely fruitful and productive.
- Stronger relationships with the family. Nomad children have more opportunities to spend time with their siblings and parents, whether learning together or exploring new places together. They learn how to communicate and share their feelings ecologically.
- Lower negative influence. It’s not a secret that bullying is a problem that poisons the lives of millions of children worldwide. When learning remotely, this negative impact is reduced to the minimum.
- Lower income. While some parents are able to work and homeschool, most homeschooling families have one parent who brings in the income and one parent who teaches the kids. Working while traveling may impact income as well as schooling.
- Less community. While traveling, children may have plenty of opportunity to meet new people but fewer opportunities to develop deeper friendships. More effort may be required to stay in touch with friends and family members back home.
- Lots of planning. To organize proper education, parents need to explore academic resources, plan their child’s homeschooling, connect with online teachers (depending on state / province requirements), educate themselves and make sure that children are studying and not fooling around.
- Criticism. Society often disapproves of those who dare to live the way they want to. When choosing the roam-schooling path, be ready to face sidelong glances and even anger.
How to Organize Roam Schooling
We are used to the fact that road trips take place only during holidays. But isn’t it great to explore new places at any time? You can easily implement fun teaching activities to your routine. Here are some tips for roam schooling:
- Set a dedicated studying area. It should be quiet, with good light, and enough space for learning materials and books. Consider where and how your children learn best. For example, a child who has some reading to do may want to sprawl in their bed while a sibling does worksheets at the kitchen table. If your RV is large enough, you may be able to set up a desk or table specifically for studying, which the children can take turns using.
- Create a routine for each day. Although you are on the road and experiencing new things, most children still thrive on some sort of routine and knowing what to expect. For example, the daily routine could be eating breakfast, completing some bookwork, eating lunch, and then spending the afternoon exploring nearby museums, trails, or landmarks before returning home for supper and some reading time together.
- Communicate with teachers and friends. If your children are doing online schooling or have a supervising teacher, you’ll want to stay in touch regarding their work and progress. Your kids should also have time to email, call or Zoom with friends. You can join a community of same-minded people to share experiences and help your children make friends.
- Avoid distractions. When children are studying, try to keep the TV off, notifications muted, phone conversations elsewhere, etc. Setting boundaries around schoolwork will help it happen more productively.
- Healthy meals and snacks. During studies, we use a lot of energy, so it is very important to fuel our bodies and minds with quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Remind your children to stay hydrated.
Technological Solutions that may Help
The tips above can greatly simplify the process of mastering roam schooling programs and curriculums. You may also want to consider using modern software designed for those who study remotely. For example:
- Interactive notebooks. Such programs allow creating online notebooks, designing them, creating slides, adding images, and sharing with friends.
- STEM classes. Rather often, roam-schooling lacks visualization, especially when it comes to natural sciences. STEM classes easily solve this problem and help even the most distracted children.
- Screen recorders. With the help of screen recording software, you can capture everything happening on the screen and get back to the information at any time. (If you record someone, get their consent first.)
- Online calendars. Google Calendar, for example, allows adding tasks, meetings, classes, and other events, setting notifications, and sharing them with other users. Thus, you won’t miss anything.
- Education management instruments that offer turn-key solutions for parents, students, and educators. Modern education management tools allow monitoring learning progress and keeping information confidential.
While the traditional approach and live communication with classmates play an active role in education, they shouldn’t become a decisive factor when considering the nomadic lifestyle. Homeschooling has lots of advantages and when using the tips and instruments above, you will surely organize the learning process without compromising its quality.
Follow some roam schoolers for tips and ideas:
- Jami Balmet and her husband are currently traveling the US with their six kids in an RV while working and schooling online
- Kimberley from Vintage Blue Suitcase is driving around North America and homeschooling as they go.
Have you ever considered roam schooling or learning on-the-go? Do you know anyone who has done it?