The Homeschool Minute ~ Schooling on the Go

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Schooling on the Go.
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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family

I remember several years when I had three teens (none of them driving yet) and each had an outside class, a job, and a ministry opportunity outside the home. Talk about on the go! I was doing more going than schooling in those days! I had to come up with things the younger kids could do in the car as I transported their older siblings all over the city.

I felt guilty about the time the younger children were traveling and not “schooling,” so I came up with a couple of guilt-savers.

Instead of the stress of  having the younger ones find and then suddenly lose all of their regular schoolwork for these trips, we kept all of that at home in their regular school crates. Instead, we made what we call “to-go packs” that always had pre-packed picture books they could read, puzzle/sticker/coloring books, and workbooks set aside just for the to-go packs and of course, lots of pencils and erasers and a few small toys. The books and workbooks were ones I already had on my bookshelves that were waiting for someday to come and someone to use them. The workbooks were multi-subject in order to continue the learning even when we weren’t in our normal routine. Workbooks like: SAT Prep, McGraw Hill, or grade appropriate workbooks from the local dollar store. We kept these to-go packs in the car so we wouldn’t spend time looking for them at the last minute.

Longer trips called for more fun! We listened to great books on tape (or CD), from historical fiction and non-fiction to the classics. Books and stories like, The Chronicles of Narnia, Pilgrim’s Progress, The Hiding Place, the Jonathon Park series, science songs and devotionals, and many, many more. Check your local library for audio books.

Go, go, go! That’s a lot of what you do when you homeschool. There are those wonderful, cozy days at home, but then there are all those days when you have to (or choose to) get out and go. You can dread those days, and feel guilty about what you are not getting done, or you can prepare some learning in advance.

It’s just a season, mom. It will soon be over and you’ll be driving those little darlings away to a college or away to a job, or away to a wedding or wherever God leads them.  

In all your going, remember this: Jesus said to get out and go, too! Go out into all the world and preach the gospel! Irish evangelist Gipsy Smith said: “There are five gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian. And most people will never read the first four.”

Inside an older child’s and a younger child’s to-go packs:

Books to take along


Books to pack




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Raising Real Men    

Schooling on the go describes our lives perfectly. We do about 30,000 miles a year traveling around the continent speaking about raising boys, marriage, homeschooling, and family life. If we don’t get school done on the road, we don’t get enough school done! Here are some things we’ve learned to help make it happen:

Get materials organized. If we’re going to be mostly in the van, tubs that fit under each seat are the easiest way to organize curricula and materials. Each child gets his own and puts everything they need in it. It’s worthwhile to get the more expensive durable ones or they don’t survive the drive. Backpacks work, too, but if you have children young enough to spill drinks, backpacks on the floor don’t provide much protection for your books.

Think through supplies. You’ll get MUCH more done if you consider all the supplies you’ll need before you leave: pens, paper, notebooks, a lap desk or something to write on. Buy mechanical pencils (best option) or make sure you take along a pencil sharpener.

Set a time to start each day. It is sooooooo easy to sleep in the van. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with kids sleeping all day and wild every evening.

Set goals and incentives. “If we get school finished in time, we’ll stop at a park for lunch.”

Arrange seats so Mom can reach those who need more hands-on help–maybe designate the first row of the van or the seat behind the driver as the “student seat.”

Use audiobooks for history and literature. They’re low stress and will make the miles pass more easily.

Incorporate your travels into your school work–get maps, guides, and study what you’ll be seeing. And be sure to take time to see things instead of just aiming for more miles. Getting there a few hours later is worth it when you’ve built memories along the way.

Bring a football, soccer ball, or Frisbee, and use bathroom breaks to work off some energy. Stop at rest areas or places with grass nearby.

Be merciful on yourself–just traveling will teach your children an amazing amount, so don’t fret if you don’t finish everything you planned. Instead, be sure to talk about the land you’re traveling through, the places you see, and more. It’s a huge adventure–have fun!

Maybe we’ll see you out there!

Hal & Melanie Young 

We’ve got some fantastic, educational, and fun audiobooks at our site that the whole family will love! Check out Hero Tales by Theodore Roosevelt, the Pollyanna classics (a hilarious way to teach gratefulness and your boys will love them, too), A Cry From Egypt Radio Theatre with over 50 actors, and G.A. Henty historical fiction teaching manly virtues. 


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The Familyman 


Right now, we’re about as not-on-the-go as you can be. We’re buried under 15 inches of the prettiest snow you can imagine. The kids are hoping for another “weather cancellation,” but we did that yesterday and it’s time to get back to work … maybe.


Actually, as I was working to unbury our cars, I looked over at my RV nestled under a blanket of snow and thought of warmth, travel, and the open road. It won’t be long until we fire up the beast and start down the homeschool convention trail once again.


I’m not quite ready, but I love the road and schooling on-the-go. We never would have dreamed of its impact on our family’s life when we first started doing it twelve years ago. In a few months, we’ll trade in most of the academic books for a better kind of learning: road-schooling.


Not only will my kids visit historic sites and significant places, they’ll also get some close “family” time where real learning takes place. For a couple of months, they’ll have to share one miniscule bathroom and one tiny sink to take care of all their needs. They’ll have to go when we want to go and stop when we stop. They’ll be forced to work as a team, enjoy as a team, and suffer as a team.  Imagine nine people (my oldest is getting married early June) bunked shoulder to shoulder and nose to toes. You tell me that’s not a powerful curriculum!


So here’s my encouragement for the topic at hand: GO and don’t take your books. Pick a destination, pack some PB&Js, and let the REAL learning take place.


Most of all be real,



PS – Don’t make your kids write a report after your trip. Learning isn’t increased by that activity and your children will negatively associate traveling with assignments. Talk about a “learning killer.”


***Attention Homeschool Leaders: I’m always in the process of adding new speaking engagements. If you live within 250 miles of Northern Indiana, I’d love to come encourage your men’s group, church, or homeschool co-op. Even if you live farther away, I might be headed your way in the next several months. Check my travel schedule and maybe we could work something out. To get the ball rolling, fill out this form.



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