We did it! We successfully completed our first year of road schooling.
There were several components to navigate when we first decided to give up our stationary lives to adopt this mobile nomadic life of travel, but none were as important as the education of our children. Delving headlong into the home school/road school process, I educated myself on the various methods and philosophies before deciding to use the eclectic approach. Compiling our curriculum could have been an overwhelming and daunting experience had it not been for the grace of families like our own who helped to pave the way and the informative world wide web. Meeting the ever changing needs of our children, we cater to their individual interests while adhering to our state specific requirements.
Looking back at this last year, I’d like to share three opportunities and experiences my children have had that they normally wouldn’t have received within the confines of the typical classroom. I hope this may help those out there who are trying to decide if home school/road school is right for them or who may have just started out.
- Wood Working and Remodel Unit
One of the first things we needed to do was find an RV. It needed to be diesel, affordable, and able to accommodate our family of five. Wanting to avoid costly monthly payments that would detract from our monthly budget, we planned to buy our RV outright. We were ecstatic to find a used thirty-four foot RV that met all our needs nicely.
Investing a little sweat equity, we would make it comfortable and distinctly ours. This was a perfect chance to have a unit on woodworking and remodeling.
The Bathroom: Remodeling the bathroom floor, we had to first start by pulling up the old hardwood floor. There wasn’t enough room for two people to work on this together, so the kids took turns prying up the boards with a crowbar.After the old wood was replaced, we tiled the floor and replaced the old worn toilet with a new one. Scraping the old wall paper off the bathroom walls, we finished things off with a fresh coat of pain.
The Living/Dining Room: Pulling up the carpet in the living room and dining room area, the kids took needle nose pliers And eliminated the hundreds of staples that had been left behind. Next, we laid down the foundation and the new hardwood floors. Having pulled out the dining room table to complete our floor project, we decided to forgo it completely in favor of more comfortable sitting and sleeping arrangements.
While this was very much a family project, the kids learned first hand to appreciate the hard work that goes into making any house a home.
- Commerce and American Ingenuity
At first glance, Wall, South Dakota, appears to be nothing more than a road side tourist attraction with its many souvenir shops, the statue of the giant jack rabbit, the restaurants, the traveler’s church, and the various other attractions. However, it is so much more. It is a flourishing town built on American ingenuity. Wall, South Dakota is one of America’s most well-known tourist attractions thanks to the business acumen of Dorothy and Ted Hustead. Settling on the edge of the Badlands in Wall, South Dakota, the Husteads opened Wall Drug Store in 1931. They hoped to put down roots and to make a nice living for their family. Unfortunately, business was bad. They struggled along for nearly five years, quietly hoping business would pick up when Dorothy had an ingenious idea that soon had their business flourishing. Free ice water. It was an economically brilliant idea. Dorothy and Ted Hustead had plenty of water and ice, but they needed customers. Travelers going through the hot desert of the Badlands would surely be thirsty and in need of refreshment. Putting up signs along the highway route advertising their FREE ICE WATER, the Hustead’s store was soon extremely business with the traffic they attracted from their road signs. Standing in Wall Drug Store reading Dorothy and Ted’s story brought to life what two hard working people with a little American ingenuity can do.
- United States History and Art
Home to over forty memorials, museums, and art galleries, there is no other place quite like our Nation’s Captiol when studying the history of the United States.
We spent two weeks here, but could have easily spent several more. There is so much to do and see it can be a little overwhelming. However, with a little thought it is easy to plan your time here. To make the most of our time, we splurged and took a city tour which allowed us to see many memorials within a day. Knowing we didn’t have enough time to see and do everything the city had to offer, we decided it was only fair to divide and conquer. Taking turns, we each chose a museum or gallery the family would visit. This seemed to be a fair method that appeased us all. Complementing what we saw with reading and writing assignments, the history of our country was brought to life.
Ninety percent of the memorials, museums, and galleries are free to the public making it much easier for families to enjoy.
- The National Mall
- The White House
- The National Museum of Natural History
- The Smithsonian Institutions
- The United States Capitol
- The Lincoln Memorial
- The National Zoological Park
- The National Air and Space Museum
- The National Gallery of Art
- The Washington Monument
- The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- The National World War II Memorial
- The National Museum of American History
- The International Spy Museum
- The United States Holocaust Museum
- The Newseum
- The Washington National Cathedral
- The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
- The Korean War Veterans Memorial
- The Smithsonian American Art Museum
- Ford’s Theater
- The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
- The National Portrait Gallery
- The United States Botanic Garden
- The National Museum of the American Indian
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
- The National Archives Building
- The National Building Museum
- The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool
- The United States National Arboretum
- The National Postal Museum
- The National Museum of African Art
- The Freer Gallery of Art
- The Folger Shakespeare Library
- The Arts and Industries Building
- The Corcoran Gallery of Art
- The Arthur M Sackler Gallery
- The National Museum of Women in the Arts
- The Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
- The Arlington Cemetary