Listen to this story
By Scout Williams
What’s so good about roadschooling you may ask? EVERYTHING!
I had such an adventure while being roadschooled. For school, I do fun things that teach me in ways that I will always remember. You could call it a lesson that I will never forget.
Sometimes history books can be a little boring. With roadschooling, I get to experience history.
One of my favorite places to learn about ancient history was at Mammoth Cave, Ky. While spelunking in the cave with a ranger on a special youth tour, I was able to view ancient artifacts exactly where the Indians laid them down thousands of years ago.
The two battlefields I liked visiting the most were Gettysburg and Little Big Horn. I learned about Gettysburg while being homeschooled, but never really understood it very well. Then, I watched a movie about the battle, but still couldn’t relate to such an old war.
When my family and I went to the Gettysburg National Battlefield on its 150th anniversary, I joined a ranger program to walk around the site and soon understood every step of Pickett’s Charge.
My mom and dad hired a ranger to drive us around to places on the battlefield. We stood right at the spot where the soldiers fought, and the ranger described it so that I could imagine the battle happening as if I was a soldier in that war.
When I read about Custer’s Last Stand at Little Big Horn, it was interesting. However, when I visited the battlefield and saw all the gravestones and knew the fighters were buried where they had fallen, I felt sorrow for the families and their loved ones.
Some of them didn’t know which grave contained their husband, father or brother. I left with a heavy heart for the Indians, the American soldiers and their families. I don’t know how I could get this in-depth education if I just read about it or just watched a movie.
I also visited the Seminole Indian reservation in southern Florida where we watched a re-enactment. It was interesting to observe the battles through the eyes of the Seminole Indians. They always win in the re-enactment and overpower the whites. It’s a very good show.
A roadschooling school day could also involve just learning about culture through friends. I have made friends all over the United States, but the friends who taught me the most are my Inuit friends up in Alaska. They taught me how to fish on a boat for salmon, how to catch shrimp and so many other things about their life.
Learning about local games and customs helped me to understand a region’s culture. Sometimes museums have games that people played years ago or even still play in this era. In Alaska, I was able to watch the World Eskimo Indian Olympics where each challenge was tied to way of life for the Eskimos.
For example, a blanket toss challenge goes back to when they would toss a child in the air using an animal skin held by villagers so whales could be spotted.
Food is also a good way to learn about many cultures. My dad always looks up local food in states he knows we will be traveling through, and we are all encouraged to try the dishes. From Philly cheesesteaks to burgers boiled in Mississippi water to Indian tacos, I have really loved learning this way.
The Center of Science and Industry (COSI), in Columbus, Pa., was a great, fun, hands-on museum. One of my favorite exhibits was the Teen Tech display. The museum offered the use of their recording studio so we could record songs or even dance routines.
We could also use their 3-D printer, which was really interesting. The people who operate this exhibit were so nice. The staff took time to explain everything that we needed to know so we could design our own creations.
We were able to make anything we wanted to make. My brother made an “egg bird,” my sister made a feather bookmark (my mom calls it a quitter stick) and I made a ring with my name on it.
When I was there in 2015, there was no extra cost for Teen Tech. I highly suggest checking it out. COSI also has seasonal shows, a medical exhibit, an IMAX theater and so much more. I spent nine hours there and didn’t get to see the whole museum.
In Fort Myers, Fla., my mom took me to the Imaginarium Museum. This is a great place for mom and dad to relax while the kids learn and have fun.
The Imaginarium offers a touch tank, as well as shows involving animals. After the shows, people are invited to touch the animals. I attended homeschool classes htere and I found them very informative. The Imaginarium recently added field trips that coincide with the lesson taught (small extra fee required).
I also attend rallies for a group we belong to called Fulltime Families. About twice a year we have these get togethers where I get to see my friends, as well as meet new kids who roadschool. We share ideas and curriculum with each other. Sometimes my mom decides to add or change our current curriculum based on those ideas.
I learn so much from attending churches while we are on the road. In 2013, we attended a church that was planning a mission trip to Moore, Okla., in order to help the tornado victims. I helped the kids stay entertained while their parents filled out necessary paperwork.
Sometimes I helped with shopping for a family’s food, shoes, clothes and other necessities. The mission trip taught me not only to be a servant of the Lord, but also about what tornado destruction can do to a town’s infrastructure and spirit.
My family is big on factory tours. Most factories offer tours to see the process it takes to produce their product. Sometimes a factory may even have samples, if it’s a food or snack factory.
From Snyders pretzel factory to watching our new couch being made at Home Reserve to watching an RV just like ours being made, there is always something new to learn in every state, so be sure to look for these opportunities.
Parents, you don’t need to be a genius to teach kids while roadschooling.
Whether your lessons comes through friendships made, tours taken, museums visited or even people helped, education is available to all who are willing to learn and be creative in searching for resources.