Kids, school, changes in the air and changes in the family.
Every year it’s too soon.
I’ve already seen the sports teams start practicing at the high school up the hill. The school supply aisle at Walmart looks like an entire row of school lockers gorged on notebooks and threw up in unison.
The resale shops are busy with audiences of moms watching the dressing room doors to part, ready to cheer or jeer each costume change of their children.
On our drive yesterday there was the hint of fall color in some trees, color that wasn’t there three days previous.
As homeschoolers, every year at this time we appreciate that our lives aren’t dictated by a school schedule. We never had to force our kids’ bodies into classrooms and heads into books when their hearts were still barefoot in the backyard.
We’d watch the neighbor kids board the school bus and then load up our family for another trip to the beach. Another swim. Another push from daddy on the swings. Another ice cream on the way home.
A New Type of Change
This year is different.
This year, we part ways with our oldest.
It’s not a school bus waiting to swallow him up, but rather his independant adult life. He’s accepted a full time job, lined up a room to rent, and has a to-do list for moving out of the RV.
It Goes By So Quickly
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The time with your kids is so short. We started traveling fulltime mainly because our oldest had become a teenager and it forced us to realize how little time we had left with him home.
Five years later, we’re so glad we made that choice.
So Enjoy Your Kids
Our friends the Longneckers have been fulltime on the road for a couple months now and Ashley recently wrote a blog post titled Enjoy time with your kids - they’re awesome!. In it she echoes our thoughts:
When your kids are grown and gone I highly doubt you will look back at these younger years and say, ‘I am so glad I sent them away for 3 hours a day so that I could be alone!’ I bet your response will be something similar to, ‘Where did the time go? I miss them being little!’Ashley @ Bareneckers.com
OK, So How Do I Roadschool?
The Matador Network recently linked to a number of families who’ve choosen non-traditional ways of educating their kids.
You can also peruse our own guide to homeschooling and roadschooling which links to resource pages for age-appropriate curriculum.
But, What About Socialization?
LetsRV.com is “an independent source for news, product reviews and as the go-to site to find the best information about the RV lifestyle.”
The site recently published I’m roadschooled, and I socialize! written by Scout Williams - a traveling teen. In the article she lists several tricks she’s learned to help make friends while traveling. I appreciated how she looked past her own age group:
I started talking to a widowed lady in an RV next to us, and we ended up meeting daily for card games. We became good friends, fast.Scout Williams @letsrv.com
But What About College?
Our oldest isn’t immediately college-bound and we’re fine with that. US culture likes to shove fresh highschool graduates into college too quickly, before they have any idea of the world they are entering.
If you are concerned with your homeschooled child’s chances for getting into college, Business Insider recently wrote Homeschooling Is the New Path to Harvard. In the article they hint at the aspect of homeschooling that roadschoolers take even greater advantage of:
The real value lies in what the added freedom of homeschooling allows students to do with their time.BusinessInsider.com
And After College?
We’re looking forward to seeing how our long-term travel affects our children over the long haul. I don’t think it all sinks in right away.
I’ve been telling them that I expect a phone call about the time they turn 30 wherein they tell me “HOLY COW THAT WAS AWESOME!” and apologize for any complaint they ever had about our time on the road.
We travel to learn, to experience, and to feel all the spectrums of being human in this world.Stephanie @infinitesatori.com
Whether my kids ever fully realize it I’m ever-convinced that from a learning and growth perspective there was no better thing we could have done for them than traveling fulltime.
What’s Your Season?
What changes is your family experiencing this season?