12 Writing Tips for RoadschoolersJuly 29, 2021
Roadschooling is becoming more popular due to its flexibility and adventurous approach to both living and learning. Roadschoolers and other traveling homeschoolers use the world as their classroom, making learning relevant, exciting, and often hands-on. Even if you can only roadschool part-time, such as taking road trips on weekends whenever possible, you are giving your homeschooler priceless gifts each time — new experiences, breaks from the norm, and chances to discover how one person fits into a global community. What you may not realize is that your daily adventures can also bring wonderful opportunities for writing, too!
For all current and prospective roadschoolers out there, here are the who, what, when, where, why, and how of what traveling can offer your homeschoolers in their development as writers.
Who to Write (about and for)
Traveling can give homeschoolers new subjects and audiences for their writing.
- Tip 1: Ask your child to write a fictional story or a nonfiction piece about someone your family meets or learns about on your travels. As your children meet people from all over the country or from around the world, they can learn about different cultures, communities, and perspectives. They can discover facts about important individuals who lived or worked in the destinations you visit, meet people with different backgrounds and opinions, and learn about famous people from a historical perspective.
- Tip 2: Discovering the differences and similarities among people can translate into a broader understanding of audiences for writing and an appreciation for the impact that writing can have to unite and share messages among all people. Encourage your child to explore the similarities and differences in the cultures they’ve experienced and learned about while traveling.
What to Write
Roadschooling can offer students new ideas about what to write based on the diverse experiences they’ve had while traveling.
- Tip 3: Fun writing projects like travel logs, journals, diaries, blogs, and even vlog scripts can naturally stem from your travel experiences. Have your child document the places you visit in a travel journal.
- Tip 4: Children of traveling families can write about different countries, states, or cities they have visited; write detailed accounts of daily experiences or more general themes surrounding people and places; or explore feelings and emotions tied to traveling experiences.
When to Write
Roadschooling can also offer extended periods of time in which to write.
- Tip 5: During longer travel times between stops, have your children dedicate time to write. Have your child write for the first hour of every day on the road, or write for 15 minutes after a certain amount of time or distance traveled.
- Tip 6: You can also use writing to fill other traveling downtimes, such as the night you arrive in a hotel or the morning before the family gets going. Make move-in days (when the family settles into a new hotel, RV spot, etc.) your child’s writing days since there will be fewer distractions.
Where to Write
As you make stops along the way, roadschooling can provide homeschoolers with new and inspiring places to write.
- Tip 7: Natural spaces, for example, can become places that spur creativity and inspiration. Allow time for your child to sit outside and write creatively within a peaceful and beautiful natural setting.
- Tip 8: Historical or spiritual locations motivate writing with a strong message and can facilitate reflective writing and introspection. Ask your child to write reflections while visiting a meaningful place or viewing an inspiring monument.
Why to Write
Traveling can also give a purpose to writing just like writing can give a purpose to travel.
- Tip 9: If homeschoolers document their travels, the traveling becomes the focus of the writing, and they experience traveling through the lens of what they will write about it. The connection between traveling and writing serves to deepen the experiences while preserving memories for years to come. Have your child write with the intention of adding photos to create a family scrapbook.
- Tip 10: Some families also choose to share their experiences with other homeschool families in a blog or vlog. Having the homeschoolers themselves be responsible for capturing family travels via writing can give a sense of purpose to the writing while guiding some of the experiences that the children want to write about. Ask your child to write the family travel blog or vlog.
How to Write
Once the writing is linked to traveling, families can use travel writing to teach children how to become better writers.
- Tip 11: Intersperse specific skill-building writing assignments into your traveling, such as a descriptive poem about a particular place, an informational essay on a species found during travels, or an argument about a social issue discovered in one of the cities that was visited.
- Tip 12: Once a trip is completed (or even during a trip), use travel journals to work on editing and revising, perhaps for eventual publication in an online family blog or vlog.
The benefits of writing and learning on the road are endless. Kids can learn about geography, history, science, art, music, and more all from traveling — whether that traveling is a short field trip on a long weekend or it’s full-time roadschooling. One thing is for sure: Traveling can be a great partner for learning and practicing how to write!