In the words of Eminem🍀 “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to “go”. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime”… After intensive research and thinking we’ve come to the conclusion that Roadschooling is an amazing way for our children to “learn while living” and so we have decided to withdraw our kids from their schools to roadschool them for 7 weeks to travel around our great country. 🚎💨🇺🇸📚🗺 Roadschooling follows a more hands-on approach to learning, where we use landmarks and attractions available throughout our country as a means for educational exploration. 🗺🚎♥️ To get ideas or see what we learned in the first 3 Weeks of our 5 week Maiden Voyage in our Rv you can click these links. I still need to finish week 4-5
That Time We Went on an RV Trip to the Midwest: Week 1- Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana 🇺🇸🏟🎨🎶🏉🎡📚🏎 Week 1 is over, 6 states in a week, 1600 miles under our belt, 21 places visited and 5 campgrounds explored! 🎉🏆
That Time We Went on an RV Trip to the Midwest: Week 2: Illinois and Wisconsin Week 2 is over, 2 states in a week, 500 miles under our belt, 21 places visited and 2 campgrounds and 2 hotels explored! 🚎💨🌇⛲️🏟🎨🌊🐮🐔🧀🥛
Families may I suggest looking into campgrounds if you want to look long term vacationing? Even short term! Campground’s are a cost effective way to travel that offers many options depending on your budget and needs. You can stay in an RV, you can camp in a tent⛺️ or you can rent the cutest cabins.
I think campgrounds are a hidden gem. I just assumed you had to use an rv or a tent but I never realized that many campgrounds offer cabins. All you need is a car! Many offer amenities and some you need to bring your own stuff. Some are studios and some have several bedrooms with kitchens or living rooms and TVs. One thing is certain your kids will HAVE A BLAST. 🎉 Everytime we entered a new campground they got so excited to explore and see what activities and amenities the campground offered. Pools, swimming lakes, jumping pillows, trampolines, zip lines, 2 person bikes, various boats, outdoor theaters, roasting smores , fishing, gem mining, etc…oftentimes we found that campgrounds were more kid friendly then staying at a hotel. We spent an average of $60 a night this summer. 💵⛺️🏕
I’m sure this blog post will be one of my most controversial one to date especially the title and I’m betting 90% of those reading will disagree. It’s a very “out there” vision and not mainstream by any means. It’s not what people know, probably have never questioned their education system, and think it’s easier to follow what is comfortable and what they know. I’ve always beat to my own drum and rarely just accept something because I’m told to accept it. I believe in questioning rules and practices if they seem to be broken, or pointless. This summer I did a LOT of reading 📚📃📖about different schooling options- homeschooling, roadschooling and unschooling. Right now I decided that roadschooling is perfect for my family, especially because of their ages. So I decided to write this blog post as a combo of my 2 passions: traveling and inspiring families to seek out alternatives lifestyles and break free from the shackles of convention. 🆓 My catalyst that inspired me was after I read the book Homegrown.
This book will open your mind and inspire you to think differently about the meaning of an education. You can buy it here ⬇️
We’ve decide to throw caution to the wind, 🌬buck convention and take a huge leap of faith that *GASP* after 7 weeks our kids will survive and live to tell the story of the time they missed the end of September and October of 4th and 6th grade to see their America. Despite all the naysayers and fearmongerers I have a feeling they will BE OK! Listen I can’t predict and I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, and I’m sure they will have a transition time coming back but I have faith in my kids…👏🏽🙏🏽👍🏽
“Roadschooling is a growing trend in which families pack up their belongings and hit the road to take the trip of a lifetime. Rather than teaching what is dictated by textbooks or state curriculum, these parents teach their children based on where the road takes them. Roadschooling follows a more hands-on approach to learning. Families use the landmarks and attractions available throughout the country as a means for educational exploration. There is a growing subset of folks who refer to themselves as road schoolers, whose entire purpose is to take their kids as many places as they can, learn in as many different environments as they can, and make their entire educations one big field trip.” You can read more from the roadschooling article here:
Like I’ve always said trigonometry is bull shit. Freaken prealgebra and algebra is one big waste of time. Instead of Hailey slaving away at her desk this week learning about the useless unit of Mesopotamia she will be learning about NY State Government as we visit our Capitol in Albany. She will learn about one of our nations greatest Presidents at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library. She will learn about the New Deal, the Great Depression, unemployment and social security. Forgive me if she doesn’t learn about the Hammurabi Code, ziggurats and cuneiforms. It’s safe to say I’m pretty sure you can live a great life if you never learn these words. I can go on and on about the pointless things and wasted hours my children will suffer in our education system that will eventually burn them out. They will be put under tremendous amount of unnecessary stresses and tortured with pointless standardized tests and mundane rote memorization activities that means shit in REAL LIFE. 😤😡They will be forced to learn math that they will never use again after the test. They will memorize random facts that will be forgotten as soon as they put their pencils down after the test. They will be bored to death and most likely be turned off to units in SS and science. Her peers, this month will learn terms like meiosis and mitochondria that have no relevancy to an 11 year old and is “more” age appropriate to a 9th grader which is when I took Biology. Her peers will sit for hours of damaging homework that will not positively affect them, robbing their childhoods. Read the studies people. 🤔 It boggles my mind why our society continues to live like sheep. Just because we had homework doesn’t mean our children need to have homework, especially when the proof is NOT in the pudding. For example “First, no research has ever found a benefit to assigning homework (of any kind or in any amount) in elementary school. In fact, there isn’t even a positive correlation between, on the one hand, having younger children do some homework (vs. none), or more (vs. less), and, on the other hand, any measure of achievement. If we’re making 12-year-olds, much less five-year-olds, do homework, it’s either because we’re misinformed about what the evidence says or because we think kids ought to have to do homework despitewhat the evidence says.”
I couldn’t agree more with this statement 😤: “This is what’s worrying. Homework does have an impact on young students, but it’s not a good one. A child just beginning school deserves the chance to develop a love of learning. Instead, homework at a young age causes many kids to turn against school, future homework and academic learning. And it’s a long road. A child in kindergarten is facing 13 years of homework ahead of her.
Then there’s the damage to personal relationships. In thousands of homes across the country, families battle over homework nightly. Parents nag and cajole. Overtired children protest and cry. Instead of connecting and supporting each other at the end of the day, too many families find themselves locked in the “did you do your homework?” cycle.”
If you want to further do research on homework look up Vicki Abeles. The quotes above were from her book “Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation,” and director and producer of the documentaries “Race to Nowhere” and “Beyond Measure.” Anyway I digress…
I wave the white flag. 🏳🏳 I’m not going to be a willing participant and let my children be ran over by their education and this backwards broken and outdated system. ✖️I implore parents to start doing their own research.💻 Up until last year I never gave this much thought and then someone posted MY FAVORITE ARTICLE EVER and it changed my life. Here are some important excerpts⬇️
“So, while it’s true that resilient children need to cope with risk and failure as a part of life, we’ve set up their childhoods as a destructive march to likely defeat. “Success” equates to attending the most prestigious college and then netting the big house and the high-paying job. Winning the education race, we’re told, is the way to get there. Rather than building their resilience, such a high-stakes education drives our children to chronic insecurity. Fear. Anxiety. Disconnection. Loneliness. Record rates of depression. And, as they get older, binge drinking, eating disorders, cutting, and even suicide. The clear message they hear from their environments is to produce, produce, produce at all costs, even if it means cheating, taking drugs, or working through the night to keep up.
The most painful irony is how badly out of step our frenzied educational practices are with science. Psychology and neuroscience journals abound with studies about how children learn and thrive, and how their brains grow, and none of it bears a remote resemblance to the spirit-crushing contest we’re putting our kids through. Whipped into a panic by hypercompetitive admissions practices and by hype, kids, parents, and educators pursuing that holy grail sacrifice terribly important things: time, money, health, happiness, and childhood itself. Without our even realizing it, our driving goal has become all about preparing for the college application, not preparing for the college experience or life beyond. Performing, not learning. Amassing credentials, not growing. Not even really living.” We chose life ♥️🎉
If you want to read another awesome article on the Homework Debate it’s called “Homework is wrecking our kids: The research is clear, let’s ban elementary homework”. It’s an excerpt from the thought provoking book called Its Ok to Go Up the Slide which I once wrote a blog post about that you can read here. It was on the topic of Risk Taking. This book will you inspire you to question rules and practices that have become mainstream in our culture and ones you probably never really gave much thought to.
How in the world did we reach a place where school and enrichment activities, of all things, could literally be making our children sick? It’s ridiculous these days everything is so intense. Sports practices 3x a week for young children. Since when is softball a spring AND fall event? 😠
Another book I am in the middle of reading now that it amazing is:
The summary of the book is in the premise that “Today more than ever, we prize academic achievement, pressuring our children to get into the “right” colleges, have the highest GPAs, and pursue advanced degrees. But while students may graduate with credentials, by and large they lack the competencies needed to be thoughtful, engaged citizens and to get good jobs in our rapidly evolving economy. Our school system was engineered a century ago to produce a workforce for a world that no longer exists. Alarmingly, our methods of schooling crush the creativity and initiative young people really need to thrive in the twenty-first century. ”
“Most Likely to Succeed presents a new vision of American education, one that puts wonder, creativity, and initiative at the very heart of the learning process and prepares students for today’s economy. “In this excellent book…Wagner and Dintersmith argue…that success and happiness will depend increasingly on having the ability to innovate” ( Chicago Tribune), and this crucial guide offers policymakers and opinion leaders a roadmap for getting the best for our future entrepreneurs.”
“Our bottom line? Our nation continues to plod away with incremental fixes to an obsolete education system, as innovation races ahead. Our world continues to place outsized weight on education credentials, despite skyrocketing financial and emotional costs and considerable data that the value proposition behind most credentials is empty. For the millions of Americans charting the education waters today, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Today’s youth live in a world brimming with opportunity. Some will create, catalyze, and capitalize on a dynamic world hungry for innovation. Others will be left behind. Students who only know how to perform well in today’s education system—get good grades and test scores, and earn degrees—will no longer be those who are most likely to succeed. Thriving in the twenty-first century will require real competencies, far more than academic credentials.”
I do not have the exact answers of how to navigate in this broken system. PS- Add social media into the mix and we are watching our kids head into the perfect storm. So what’s the answer? I guess we will wing it. What is the goal of all of this anyway? What is the meaning of success? How do you define happiness? So a kid can kill themselves studying in school and go on to a great college and get a great job. Does that mean success? What guarantees success? What if (for a random example) that same person becomes an alcoholic and gets divorced and loses all their money. Are they still successful? Is that a failure? What if someone doesn’t go to college follows their dreams and works with their hands and goes on to lead a very happy and productive life? Are they less successful because they don’t have that piece of paper saying they graduated college? I am not advocating or discouraging college I’m suggesting people think outside the box. 📦There’s a lot of ways to measure success and lead a happy life. 🎊I’m not convinced that there is only 1 path like we’ve been drilled to think. In this modern day society we need to start thinking of alternatives ways. Being different doesn’t have to mean being weird. Kids are graduating college 200k in debt and still can’t get jobs. I’m just not buying what our broken system is selling. So what does this mean for my family? I am not sure, we will figure out our own path. There is a lot to be learned and it is not necessarily always in our textbooks. I want a full well rounded life for my children. I do not want to rush their childhoods. There is no time for kids to be kids these days. Where is the playtime going? What happened to building a fort in your yard. ⛺️ Using your imagination? It’s sad. I want my kids to be exposed to all aspects of life, different cultures and people and ideologies, our National Parks and Nature. And by the way this can be done on a budget.
Back to homeschooling. After reading this article from a roadschooling family I realized that Roadschooling is great because “the great outdoors become truly great once more. Your backyard changes often, new adventures arrive on a regular basis. There are hills to climb, beaches to dig up, trees to stare up at in awe of. National Parks and new city playgrounds alike chant, “Come, have fun, be young!” all the day long. No child will find as much desire to use his imagination and his physical body to create amazing world’s of play than one who is presented with new and unusual surroundings. Life on the road is a natural conduit to getting children outside and playing, and not just for sixty minutes a day.”
There is nothing shameful about taking your kids on the road with you. It was considered quite normal a hundred years ago in America, five hundred years ago for Native Americans, a thousand years ago for gypsies in Europe. Humans have been a migratory sort ever since we began leaving Africa. It is in our nature, and if we’d spend a little less time questioning people who are living outside of the social norm today and a little more time wondering if the modern norm is really the way to go, we may find ourselves a happier, healthier, wiser people all around.”
Another Roadschooling family wrote “I am happy that we have chosen this lifestyle so that we can focus on how to spend more time together as a family and what that looks like. And also to have the freedom to chose how we spend our time. Both Craig and I grew up in a childhood filled with school, activities, sports, and day after day filled from morning to night. I can see how in that lifestyle you don’t even have 2 minutes to think about how you want things to be. Instead things just are what they are. We feel lucky that we have the freedom to make changes and decide how we want our day to look from morning to night. It also adds a pressure of not wanting to mess it up! I know as parents we all want and do what we think is best for our families and that before we know it our kids all grown up. By living our life this way it is making us all more conscious people who are aware of each and every decision we make and who are in control of our day, time, and choices. But man I had no idea it would be so hard! I thought we were signing up to be on vacation all the time . . . not quite, not even close! But what we have gotten from this adventure of full time rv family travel so far and how we have grown as individuals and as a family has made all of the struggles worth it. And we really do get to see and do some amazing things. So no it is not vacation 100% of the time but it sure is an amazing life that we continue to grow and learn from.”
We are traveling to see New England and the whole South. There’s a lot of American History to be learned on our way, especially with the Civil War. We plan on visiting several museums of all kinds. We plan on taking some time to enjoy all that nature has to offer. We plan on spending a lot of family time. We plan on relaxing. We plan on playing. We actually don’t even have a daily plan we are taking each day as it comes. We will find a healthy balance of traditional learning and learning while living. Practically speaking I had to withdraw my children from their school district. I had to sign a Letter of Intent to Homeschool and provide an Individualized Home Instruction Plan which is basically your homeschool plan that follow the law of New York State. You have some leeway on curriculum so I found one that best suited our family. There are a bunch of online programs as well like Time 4 Learning. There are several Facebook homeschooling groups for support. Each state is different. Some states just require a letter stating that you are homeschooling. NY is more difficult because they require more paperwork, quarterly reports and curriculum plans. But not hard enough to detour me. While this is probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done I am so excited to add this adventure to our families resume of life. In the words of my daughter “We are VERY Shappy Campers”🚎💨💑👭👬
Day 1: Hyde Park, NY
We visited the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and House
Day 2: Albany, NY- NY Museum and State Capitol Building where we saw the Senate and Assembly Chambers. We also visited a Governor Cuomo’s suite. We visited our State Senator Elaine Phillips and Assemblyman Tony D’Urso 🇺🇸