Roadschooling. Is it a thing? Schooling while on the road? Do you need a sketchy-looking, decked out schoolbus? Will any old Mommobile do? Can you really use your road trip times and not skip school?
It is totally a thing.
Roadschooling: Homeschooling on the Road
Homeschooling moms in general need a meter on their dashboard for all the miles they clock while driving their rugrats to and from their various activities and chores.
A meter and maybe a coffee and sandwich dispenser.
A meter, a coffee and sandwich dispenser, and one of those neat limo windows that roll up giving the driver some privacy for when the little angels get to squabbling in the backseat.
Why the minivan designers have not considered that as an option I will never know. They would sell out in a heartbeat.
Until then, I have some tips for surviving road trips. I have done more than my fair share of road trips in my quest to show you What Not To Do, dear ones. I hope it helps.
How to Avoid Common Issues
I now need all two hands and two feet to count the number of highways I’ve shut down over the years in spring time. That’s an accomplishment not many can boast.
During snow season, I barely make it through the White Witch’s Winter Wonderland, my eyes blood shot from the force of the defroster melting my face, finger nail scratches on the windows, small children hyped up on the emergency candy supply (chewing makes them talk less which is a bonus when you are scared beyond belief and need quiet to plan your own funeral), blocks of ice eerily similar in size to the one that sunk the Titanic stuck to the windshield wipers, bladders about to burst, a scene from Ice Road Truckers being filmed next to you, a penguin sighting, and the Lord’s Prayer bursting forth out of my mouth in intermittent gasps, when I see friendly state troopers turning everyone back from the Mountain of Death and Dismemberment.
Where are such friendly troopers when I attempt to go up the mountain, huh? Why are they always waiting at the bottom for me? Are they biding their time in order to judge my state of mind when I finally slide down on the black ice?
Hey, Roger Roger, here comes the Mommobile now. Gettin’ a good look as she fishtails by…yeppers, by golly, her hair is white and there’s a Twizzler stuck to her ear. That calls it for me: shut this mountain down, boys.
Roger that, over and out.
It really doesn’t matter what time of year I plan a road trip, but perhaps you’re different. When we lived in Wyoming, we learned there were four seasons to choose from: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Road Construction.
So I (erroneously) thought it wasn’t my fault that I was constantly being stuck in near-death survivalist adventures. Then we moved to sunny Southern Oregon, only 30 miles from California. And my powers grew in strength.
(I did, however use my powers for good and not evil, and solved California’s drought problem a couple years back when I decided to drive to Six Flags and caused a torrential downpour of Noah like proportions. You’re welcome. *blushes modestly*).
Roadschooling Car Maintenance
It doesn’t matter that you carefully and sensibly took your car into a dealer for a full service go-over before your trip. You can get an oil change, get new tires, get a car wash and detail, fill up the tank … doesn’t matter.
Something you’ve never even heard of will break. The flux capacitor. The signal fluid.
Part of the thrill of a family road trip is the bonding you’ll experience when stuck on the side of a five lane highway or on the side of an abandoned wilderness goat trail, waiting for a tow truck that may or may not ever be coming.
You can play games and sing songs! You can snuggle and share snacks and witty stories!
And in ten minutes when that gets old and Daddy gets crazy eyes, you can promise yourself to never leave your home again.
Lessons in Geography and Culture
It also doesn’t matter what state lines you plan to cross. You can turn any state into a homeschooling lesson for the youngsters.
For example, when we drove a U-Haul from Idaho to Michigan, we went through approximately forty-eleven thousand counties, and they all grew one thing: corn.
Yes, teaching your kids what is growing in those fields as you putt-putt by is important.
Never mind that an ear of corn will give them PTSD flashbacks for a while.
Hey, kids, guess what they grow in Nebraska?
Hey, kids, we’re in Iowa now!
Hey, kids, look at Illinois!
Hey, kids, it’s Indiana …
So many wonderful educational opportunities, this roadschooling thing.
Planning for the Weather
It also doesn’t matter what the weather men say. Weather men are evil liars, who twirl their evil mustaches in delight when you get caught in a May blizzard.
Or maybe it’s not them: it’s me. Whenever I hop in the car, rain or snow is sure to follow. I may in fact be the answer to Global Warming (Al Gore should probably hire me).
If your crops are in a drought, dear readers, I can save them. Either that, or bury them forever in snow. Let’s not be picky, friends.
Now, no more silliness. I must go unpack my suitcase; I’m fairly certain there’s a small child in there somewhere eating all my secret Twizzlers.