When parents decide to go nomadic with their kids, oftentimes it’s their teenagers they worry about the most. Each age group presents its own difficulties. Toddlers can be difficult because of their constant crying. For little kids it’ll be because they’re desperate for constant entertainment, and for preteens, their thirst for excitement will be a challenge to fill. However, in general, it’s teenagers that will be the most sensitive to the constant change in environment that comes with traveling. What’s more they’ll also be left without a typical peer group. In addition to these factors, highschoolers are also the most difficult to educate, being that they’re at a level where most parents can no longer teach them. However, here today I present to you a checklist that you can use to assess and curate your teenager’s education, while also allowing you and them to be on the road and get your fill of adventures.
Ensure Your High Schooler Fundamentals Down
Can they do their basic algebra? Do they know what parts comprise an atom? Can they say who the second president of the United States is? These are the kinds of things that would be considered ‘basic’ for many kids’ curriculums, and while I would consider some of these things frivolous to a growing young adult’s success, it’s nice to know that they at least have most of these facts under their belts.
Have They Wrapped Up Their High School Testing?
It has been our experience that while high school may last four years, most teenagers, especially those of the home school variety, can usually pass their GED test within three years of studying, sometimes even two. Seeing if you can get them ahead when it comes to these can be hugely beneficial for them, and will allow both you and them to have extra time to prepare for where they want to go in their desired fields of work. Granite some high schoolers just can’t progress at this rate, so if they struggle with this, it’s best not to worry too much. And, of course, they don’t necessarily have to complete their GEDs either.
Focus Their Education On Where It Relates To Career Path
Oftentimes, educators can lose sight of the core reason that schooling is there in the first place: to prepare them for the workforce. While this may be a bit of an oversimplification, as road schooling parents, it certainly would benefit you to look at school from a basis of career, rather than arbitrary knowledge and high grade scores. This will involve some painstaking and difficult conversations with your children on where they see themselves in the future, but trust me, it’ll be much better to have these talks now, as opposed to five or ten years down the road. (Additionally, you can find out if entrepreneurship is the right direction for you child by checking out this blog post)
Next Step in Roadschooling
The second biggest thing that school is doing, at least in my opinion, is teaching kids to be prepared for adult life, and this is something you can provide them very easily while on the road, as there are no shortages of situations for them to learn this. In addition to what they can learn during your family adventures, you can also give them a number of simple objectives, like making them set up the RV whenever you arrive at a new destination, or have them explore new places independent of the family. Heck you can even have them learn to cook dinner. To this day it astounds me how few young men and women know how to cook even the most basic meals for themselves.
The New Age Curriculum
Science, Language Arts, Math, and Writing may have been the main subjects of traditional schooling, however, for educating high schoolers on the road, the best way to divide their learning, in my opinion as a former homeschooler, is to think of strengthening one of several skills and categories of knowledge: social skills (sort of like public speaking, but on a more one-on-one basis), tech skills (basically how well they know the ins and outs of computers), mechanical skills (anything from fixing a leaky faucet to changing a flat tire), reading skills (how well they can absorb knowledge from a traditional textbook or from a novel), research skills (using their detective brains to search the real world and the internet for answers), athletic skills (movement and exercise based), and last but not least, emotional skills (the ability to understand their own feelings and act upon them).
Using The Road To Teach the Joy of Adulthood
Much of teenagers’ angst, at least in my experience, stems from a trepidation about the future. For parents this can be hard to deal with, but it’s important to understand, your growing children’s view on adulthood will primarily come from the example that you set, and if there’s one thing that I think parents struggle to convey to their children, it’s that they can look forward to growing up. One of the best things you can do, is lead an exciting and fulfilling life for yourself, which is, after all, the reason you’re living full-time RV living, right? Teenagers may be difficult and sometimes downright unfair, but I’ve found that the best counter to this is to be content and assured within your own self and identity.
Schooling a teenager while on the road is no small feat (take it from me), but if you play your cards right, it can go down as one of the most fulfilling experiences for you and your growing high schooler.