We are road school warriors and have been doing it for nearly a decade. One of our favorite road school destinations is Alabama’s beautiful beaches. Here are six tips for road schooling based on our family’s fantastic adventure in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
2. Bring Resources to Leverage Your Location
It’s easy to bring resources from home if you’ve got them. We brought books about wild weather and dolphins with us to the beach.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule landed less than 10 miles away when we last visited. That was a great lead-in to our study on Neil Armstrong, so we packed that workbook also.
What books, workbooks, projects, or ideas can you bring from home that tie into the unique features of the place you visit?
4. Rely on Others to Help Teach the Kids
One of my favorite ways to road school is to take advantage of others smarter than me.
When our boys fed giraffes, the zoo trainer gave them the scoop! Why the two giraffes are different sizes, why their tongue is rough, what they eat in the wild, how they prepare food at the zoo, giraffe temperaments, and so much more.
Park rangers are always a go-to resource, and Gulf State Park offers guided walks and free weekly programs. Historic Fort Morgan also has a great self-guided tour and map of the fort that the kids can use.
Have them hold the phone and tell you what they find at each stop on the map. Teaching is, after all, one of the great ways to learn.
6. Skip a School Schedule; Embrace Your Daily Routine
Why? Because Murphy’s Law is a real thing.
As a family that travels full-time, we don’t have a school schedule but embrace routines. For example, we usually wake between 6:30 am and 7:30 am. Everyone starts with alone time when waking up (thank goodness we all agree on this).
As I write this, it is Saturday, which means my hubby (Dan) works out in the morning while I make breakfast. Any formal learning like math happens before lunch. This evening is my yoga class (virtual means I can do it on the road), so Dan makes their dinner and talks more in-depth about the questions that came up today. Then we all have family time together.
Do our routines get wonky and messed up? Yes, but not very often. If we had a "schedule," though, it would be in vain. Routines mean that when something happens – good or bad – we can adjust to it easily.
Math at 9 am every day? It’s just not going to happen because we might have stayed up late the previous night to watch a meteor shower. Or we might have 9 am. Family Camp with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. But math sometime after breakfast and before lunch? That’s easy to accomplish.
Do you have more tips for road schooling with kids? We want to hear them, and we’d also love for you to follow our road school antics! You can find us on Instagram at 365AtlantaTraveler.
Check out all the educational opportunities along the Alabama Gulf Coast and plan your next family trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.