By Katie B.
Homeschooling allows you to pack up your educational materials and hit the road whenever you like. Teaching on the road is also a great way to show your child the great American outdoors, and can be a real adventure for your kids. However, moving while homeschooling is a whole different challenge.
You may have to put some lessons on hold for a little while as you pack up all your learning materials and drive across the country to your new home. That said, you shouldn’t stop teaching altogether. Your children still need regular classes if they’re going to succeed in upcoming exams and tests.
With a few small adjustments, you can take the classroom on the road and ensure that your kids stay up to date with their schoolwork.
You wouldn’t try to write a syllabus the week before lessons start, so don’t leave moving-related plans to the last minute, either. Create a checklist for long-distance moving months before you start loading the car up. This checklist will help you stay on budget and will ensure that the water, electricity, and internet is working at your new home when you move in.
Start by making a clear list of all the important dates involved with the move. Overlay this calendar with your kid’s academic calendar to see how the move will impact their performance. Try not to plan a move during an important time like midterms or finals. If you have control over their schedule, try to move during a holiday or a more relaxed point in the semester.
If you have young children, consider looking into daycare centers or educational facilities in the area. Temporarily utilizing educational centers can allow you to focus on the move without having to worry about lesson planning, teaching, and grading. Look into centers that offer accredited services and speak with their teachers to ensure that your lessons align with their teaching goals.
When moving, find out what the Wi-Fi situation is like before booking hotels or moving in. Wi-fi is integral to most homeschooling lessons, and poor Wi-Fi threatens to scupper your lesson plans. Bring a few backup lesson plans with you and pack a healthy supply of physical worksheets and textbooks.
Let your state know that you’re moving before you leave. Every state has different homeschool laws, but they need to know that their children are being cared for and educated properly. Let the state know what you’re up to and avoid legal action that further complicates the moving process.
Documents and Materials
Homeschooling is made easier by the documents and learning materials you use during your classes. However, when you’re moving, you may not have access to printers or local educational resources.
Before you move, create a binder with all of the educational resources you need. This can be a great go-to resource if your Wi-Fi drops out or if a lesson plan goes awry. Ideally, this should be backed up to some form of cloud storage so you can quickly find and download documents when you need them.
Shredding is the safest way to dispose of sensitive documents that you no longer need. If you can’t afford to visit a shredding facility, book a home shredding service that comes to you. Home shredding can be particularly useful if you don’t have space for old assignments like reflection essays or personal journals that your kids fill out.
Teaching While on the Road
Teaching while you’re behind the wheel is all but impossible. You have to focus on the road ahead, and probably can’t give your kids the level of attention they need. Instead, try to set breaks during the day to teach a few lessons.
You can create a homeschooling classroom anywhere. Utilize your own storage to organize your kid’s work and find a space where your children have room to move. If you’re moving across the country, try to set at least three regular breaks during the day so your kids keep some kind of routine.
If possible, focus on lessons that have your kids reflect on the process of moving. English classes can be themed around books that discuss moving; sociology lessons can focus on human migration; geography can focus on the new geology that your kids encounter while driving through different states. Get creative with your lesson plans and try to make the most of the move.
Moving while homeschooling is stressful for everyone. You have to plan for months if you want everything to go smoothly, but you should still expect things to go awry.
Make the process easier by moving at a time of year when your kids are under less stress. Try to theme your lessons around the idea of moving, and embracing change to create a sense of adventure in your classroom. Bring plenty of backup resources with you, as you’ll never know how reliable your Wi-Fi connection will be when staying in a hotel or your new home.