How Roadschooling Came About
Roadschooling wasn’t always on our radar.
“It’s halfway over, you know.”
My husband quietly said those words to me while I sliced cherry cobbler at our daughter’s ninth birthday party. We celebrated with a Little House on the Prairie theme that year and next up I needed to organize sack races. What was he babbling about?
“Our time with Reagan is half over, Lisa. She’s nine now. We’ve only got nine more years.”
His words finally sunk in and found their mark. Every parent comments about how time flies and I-can’t-believe-how-big-they’re-getting, but how many do something about it? We certainly hadn’t up until that day.
Public School Busy Lives
On a big wall in our kitchen I’d hung a three-month calendar which was always so full of activities and responsibilities I often listed things in the margin. We worked. We dropped the kids off at school. We shuffled them from piano to dance to birthday parties and playdates. We remodeled the house went on the road visit family and friends. We never slept in or slowed down despite longing for it, despite being designed for it.
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For a week neither of us mentioned his sorrowful observation. What could be done about it after all? Then one night, he brought it up again as we were falling asleep. The idea that time was racing, dragging, drowning us wasn’t going away and once my man focuses on something, we just have to deal with it.
Right . . . or not.
Roadschooling : Homeschooling On the Road
We started analyzing. We are fortunate that Danny’s job basically requires him to have a phone and a computer. He purposefully looked for career moves that allowed him to work from anywhere while roadschooling and when a job like that came along, he took it. It was less money and offered no annual bonus (something we’d come to anticipate with glee), but it came with a sense of freedom we hadn’t experienced in nearly two decades. No more commute. No more cubicle. The world was ours–to worldschool. We felt giddy and terrified.
Step one was handled.
Next, I sobbed in our public school’s principal’s office for an hour. She cried a bit, too. Our girls’ school was also my school. I’d served in a variety of roles there for five years. I knew every single child and their parents. As librarian, I ran book fairs, snuggled with the pre-K babies and gasped out loud at the adventures of Percy Jackson with the 5th graders. These people were my community and the girls and I left them with a serious heartache. But we did it.
Step two? Check.
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Letting Go of Our Old Lives for a New Travel Adventure
When we first moved to Austin, we fell head over heels in love with a neighborhood at the very southern point of town. Huge trees lined the streets. People waved or stopped to chat. Every house was neat and well-loved. The pool sparkled and beckoned and in Texas, the neighborhood pool is an extremely serious bit of business. It matters big time. We ached to live there and waited quite impatiently for a home to become available in a price range that didn’t make us bleed internally. We bought that fixer upper and in five years, it doubled in value. Not making that up. We knew to gain our independence, we had to sell it. We listed. It sold in a week with two offers on the table. We felt like God was confirming our decision to move forward with with this wild roadschooling plan, but even when He blesses and guides our steps, it’s not easy to say goodbye to the home we planned to grow old in.
More tears fell.
We visited various RV dealerships and attended an RV expo to learn more about RV living. We read online reviews and questioned friends. We bought a 39’ 5th wheel having never even slept in one let alone been in charge of its movement and maintenance. We purchased a used, F-250 extended cab, a work truck. It came complete with a horrible smell, sold by a greasy, untrustworthy salesman who even over a year later still creeps me out when I think about him.
The RV sat in our driveway while we frantically loaded it with what we hoped were all the things we’d need for the RV life. At the same time we packed an RV, we also packed up the house because the people who gave us thousands of dollars to move out? They wanted to move in.
In our empty living room, we stood in a circle with cherished friends and prayed. We ate one last meal at our favorite Tex Mex place. Then, we drove away.
What are you willing to do to revolt against time?
Want to know what happens next? Lisa will continue her family’s journey through roadschooling soon. Meanwhile, catch her at www.armedonlywiththis.com.
Want to Know More About How to Homeschool?
Check out this homeschooling book resource (available in electronic and print versions).