Roadschooling with the Binedells

Our Travelling Family, the Binedells are volunteering around Europe. Here, mum Karen tells us what it is like to be roadschooling.

Roadschooling, as the name suggests, refers to education whilst travelling and as we are two months into our travels I think we now qualify to chat about the subject.

So far our volunteer tour has taken us through beautiful Portugal where we have volunteered on four very different projects, in very different parts of the country and where we have worked and lived with four very different families.

In two months our children have acquired an incredible amount of knowledge, as well as, learning new skills that they will have for life. We have overcome language barriers, we’ve laughed, we shared traditional meals and we’ve built solid friendships. Above all this, we’ve also managed to keep up with their education on the road.

Our Travelling Family, the Binedells

Sebastian, Aiden and Ella homeschooled with Wolsey Hall Oxford for 18 months while they travelled around Europe in a caravan.

Aiden has the support of tutor and Progress Manager to teach homeschooling progress

A Day in the life of a roadschooling family

To be quite honest this is something that doesn’t exist as no two roadschooling days are alike. Some days are spent volunteering in the morning, some days work is reserved for the afternoon and there are other days where we are driving 700km to reach our next destination.

In terms of education we try our best to be flexible and plan ahead. Whilst volunteering we ensure that a few hours a day are set aside for studying. We take a look at the children’s assignment timetables at the beginning of the week and set realistic goals for the week.

Studying on the go

When we know we will spend much of the day in the car we make sure everyone has their English Literature books at hand and I will often read a chapter or two out loud while we are driving and all five of us will discuss what has been read. Regardless of age, having a range of opinions from each member of the family has made it much easier when it comes to assignments and tackling questions from different viewpoints.

When it comes to study areas we utilise what we have. At our last volunteer project Aiden was working on a rather large and in depth History assignment. He felt he needed quiet and to be on his own to focus, so he chose to work in our hosts living room and I am very proud to say he scored a whopping 94%. At the same volunteer project Ella close to work on the Mac in the caravan and Sebastian opted for a table on the porch. In our two months of roadschooling the children have already got quite a good handle on what works for them and how to adapt their timetables to fit in with our environment.

Difficulties we have encountered…

Right now we are staying at a farm with absolutely no WiFi or telephone reception of any sort. Luckily from the offset our Student Progress Manager, Tina, suggested we print off assignments beforehand so that if we ever found ourselves ‘disconnected’ the children would still be able to complete their studies with the aid of their textbooks.

In all honesty they have found this quite tricky as they are unable to access Canvas or other online resources. Having no internet could make a great argument for a day off and extra time at the beach/river/pool, (they are high school age kids after all!) but instead we have encouraged them to use more traditional ways of learning.

Sebastian roadschooling in a hammock
Ella working in teh caravan while roadschooling

…and how we have overcome them!

What we have found in this circumstance is that they sometimes need a little extra support from Mum and Dad. Someone to talk them through an alternative way of tackling their studies when things don’t go quite to plan and for us this isn’t a problem as that particular lesson is one of the main reasons we chose this adventure.

I’ll end on that note as it’s time to pack up. Tomorrow is one of those 700km journeys I mentioned earlier and there is plenty of packing and planning to do. Next stop – Spain.