Roadschooling Through Canada
Our family is currently on a three month RV trip, from Ontario to the Yukon and Alaska and back.
Since Fall will be busy with moving, unpacking and possibly renovating, I had hoped to do as much “school” as possible while we were away! Ha! Half way into our trip, our projects and most curriculum books are sitting, untouched, in the cupboard above the fridge. Turns out, by the time we get back to our trailer each day, we usually have just enough time for dinner and our evening routine before we head to bed.
I am not feeling in the least bit guilty, however, for not doing the usual school routine. We are ALL learning so much as we travel. I think the type of learning we are doing will stay with the children much longer than the bookwork we tend to do at home.
During drive time, we often listen to music, audio drama and audio books to combat boredom. For this trip, we’ve chosen Adventures in Odyssey CDs lent to us by a friend and The Story of the World to help us pass the time. I have been reading aloud from the Canada Close Up series (Scholastic) about each province or territory as we travel through it. Each book is a great overview of provincial or territorial symbols, economy, history and geography.
Of course, there is endless learning as we visit regions and attractions across the country. We’ve passed through the Canadian Shield, boreal forests, tundra, taiga, mountain regions and rainforests, learning a great deal about Canada’s physical geography along the way. We have lost count of the wildlife we have seen in nature and on reserves. From listening to presentations and reading posters and plaques, the children can now talk confidently about so many animals, their habitats and their behaviour.
At museums and cultural centres and conversing with locals, we are hearing much about our country’s First Nations groups including their history, culture, arts and traditions. We have eaten bannock and have seen first-hand how a moose hide is tanned and turned into moccasins. We also learned much about the general history in areas across the country, my favourite being the Gold Rush in the Yukon.
Not surprisingly, the best part of this trip is our family time. We have had some pretty amazing days on this journey. We’ve also had uneventful and disappointing days. We end each evening with a recap of our activities, journal writing (adults too!), bible devotions and prayer. No matter what has happened through the day, this time brings us closer, calms us down and strengthens our family bond.
Learning comes in a variety of forms. Since our homeschool has always leaned toward a traditional school approach, it is hard for me to set aside the curriculum and the schedule but I am in awe of what we can learn by travelling. If only Canada wasn’t so cold in the winter . . . I’d consider doing this full-time.
For us, full-time RVing is only temporary but I know for many, this is a way of life. If you are a full-time RVer, what is your routine like?
Shari Talbot is a Freelance Writer from Wasaga Beach, Canada. She currently homeschool two wonderful bobbins, supports her husband in business and blogs at Becoming the Proverbs Woman.