“Road-schooling” 101


In the four years since beginning this homeschooling journey, I’ve crossed paths with a plethora of terms in the homeschooling world. You see, there’s traditional schooling — ya know the typical brick and mortar building (i.e. public, private or charter schools). But then, under the overarching umbrella of “homeschooling”, you’ll find a smorgasbord of options.

There’s homeschooling, unschooling, non-schooling, world schooling, cyber schooling, the Charlotte Mason Approach, the Classical Approach and for those feeling frisky, the Eclectic Model! lol

Well, last week, I was pleasantly surprised to “overhear” a new category from another homeschool mama in a Facebook group for homeschoolers.

*Drumroll please!*

Yesterday, we “Road-schooled“!

What exactly is “Road schooling”…well, I’m glad you asked! 😉

On our seemingly unassuming trip to Maryland to visit friends and fam, my goal was to take the day off from any formal studies. I wanted to relax a bit and enjoy the sun. Even though we didn’t crack open a book or complete any worksheets, you’d be amazed at what we accomplished!

When it was all said and done, we tackled math, reading, science, astronomy, history, social studies, geography, STEM and P.E. And oh, did I mention a little driver’s ed too?! 😉



For starters, we played a game of “I-spy” where quarters were the prize.  On the highway, each kid had to spot various sites (animals, vehicles, signs, etc.). The winner for that particular sighting earned a quarter. Little did my kiddos know, but I planned it in such a way that they’d end up winning the same amount to stave off any fighting, haha.

This flowed into having them add up their individual and then their total earnings. Next, they had to figure out how their combined total could be divided so each person would have an equal amount. And lastly, I asked them to multiply each person’s amount again to find the quickest way back to the grand total!

My middle kid was so enthused, she wanted to make up her own game. The spin I threw on it, and for a little subtraction practice, was that we would deduct the amount I won from her earnings. Of course, I’m not a monster and I helped her earn back her money in the end. 😉

:SKILLS PRACTICED: Money sense, addition, subtraction, multiplication & division, science, reading, vocabulary (I had to define certain words including the word “vehicle”)



At one point we passed a caravan of what I could only guess were army vehicles. I pointed them out to the kids and my five-year-old had a follow-up question about the branches of our military. This led to a conversation about family members who are currently serving or have served in the past.

She needed reassurances that they were safe and sound. And as we talked, I shared stories about how their grandfather and great granddaddy fought in actual wars. Some how or another the convo turned to the topic of WWI and before I knew it, I was giving a “kid-friendly” explanation of what led to WWII!

Talk about history on the go! Lol

Needless to say, I was surprised by how interested they were in our country’s not too distant past and how it intersects with our family’s story as well!

:KNOWLEDGE GAINED: U.S., world, military and family history & social studies



On our drive back home, I pointed out the huge green road signs displaying the number of miles until a certain town, city or state. We read the location names and checked the miles. On one occasion, the fun of it turned into finding the difference of miles between Delaware and New York.

One of the signs said we were 31 miles from Delaware while New York was another 171 miles away. My oldest did some mental math and found out there were 140 miles between the two.

A little further down the road, we had 26 miles until Delaware and 166 miles to New  York. Again, she calculated there were still 140 miles between the two. This led to a convo about how that could possibly be the case.

“Is Delaware moving?” I facetiously asked her. Her answer of course was  “No”. “Well what about New York?” I asked. “NO, Mommy!” She said more emphatically. 😝

We concluded that even though those states weren’t moving, we were. In fact, we were getting closer to them by the second, yet the distance between the two places stayed the same.

As an aside, we talked about the setting sun and how it is stationary while we’re the ones rotating around it and causing it to appear as though the sun is going down. Trust me, their curious minds did not rest on this trip!

:SKILLS PRACTICED: Addition, mathematical concept of differences/subtraction, mental math, reading road signs & drivers ed, computing mileage, geography, science/astronomy



Last but certainly not least, we played too! Backtracking a bit, once we arrived at our initial destination, we hung at a truly fantastic playground with our friends. Unfortunately, because it was like a bajillion degrees outside, that only lasted about twenty minutes. But it was the hardest spent twenty minutes of our lives given the ‘center-of-the-earth’ like temperatures we had yesterday!

We quickly made better life choices and took shelter in a nearby library. It was here the kids played with a bunch of wooden blocks and constructed some pretty cool geometric structures!

:SUBJECTS CONQUERED: P.E. (that’s a no-brainer!) & STEM

All this to say, what started out as a simple road trip easily turned into a day full of learning, exploration and fun! Our time spent on the road became our classroom.

So, the next time you take a road trip, won’t you try your hand at “road schooling” too?!

It will put a totally different spin on your school day!

Happy road schooling!

~ Courtney ~

Published by Courtney B. Dunlap

Christ follower. Wife. Mother. Friend. Writer...and excited to grow! I believe there's a need for more down-to-earth online spaces in which moms like you and me and anyone else in-between can explore the in's and out's of homeschooling free from competition yet rich with encouragement. My hope is that all that you find here will provide just that!

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