FOTR - Families on the RoadYosemite

Roadschooling by Subject

The purpose of the roadschooling pages is not to duplicate the hundreds of thousands of homeschooling sites and resources that are already available. But to arm those who live and work with their kids on the road with educational resources, no matter what form of schooling your family prescribes to.

Top Sites and Blogs for Roadschooling

Adaptedmind.com, A better way to learn math.

Science4us.com, is a complete K-2 curriculum for use in any brick and mortar schools, virtual schools, families, home schools, and homeschool co-ops that are interested in engaging their students in inquiry-based science.

KHAN ACADEMY - an online homeschooling program that is providing free cirriculum for on the go learners.

The Homeschool Buyers Co-op is the nation's largest purchasing cooperative for families educating with a homeschool curriculum.

For ease these pages are divided according to traditional school subjects.

History (includes all social studies)

Language Arts (reading, writing and Foreign Language)

Science

Math

Miscellaneous: includes Health and Fitness, the Arts (performing, visual, and music) and Scouting

"The more we can expose our children to, the more they'll learn, and the better off they will be. Regardless if they were ever taught anything or not. "

~Vicki (FOTR since 1999)

Roadschooling in Motion

A personal account by the DeMichiel Family

The DeMichiel Family homeschools or as they put it "roadschools", taking advantage of every educational opportunity they can.

And the opportunities for first hand learning experiences are many. Studying the tide pools in Malibu, CA, hiking through Arches National Park in the Utah, reading the original Constitution in Washington D.C., visiting historical sites like Williamsburg, in Virginia, and watching crayons being made in Pennsylvania are just a few examples.

"We view education as a lifelong endeavor, " says Peter. So although our kids are the only ones legally required to do school work, Mom and Dad "roadschool"as well. When they aren't visiting museums or historical sights, the family gravitates toward libraries and bookstores. "They have become our living room. "Rita notes. And for those times when they spend 8 to 9 hours driving non-stop, the RV is stocked with books, musical instruments, great conversations and other supplies.

While no two days are ever the same, our kids describe a typical day as, "Get up early, eat breakfast, do some reading or learning, play with our friends, swim if its warm enough. Then we head on to a new city, and we work in some of our curriculum – like algebra."

Web sites that provide a collections of educational links, lesson plans and more:

  • 100 Awesome Blogs for Roadschoolers an excellent comprehensive list of web resources
  • ABCya.com, is the leader in free educational kids computer games and activities for elementary students to learn on the web.
  • Awesome Library
  • Free printables activity sheets
  • Eduhound.com your educational technology resource
  • Pink Monkey offers a library of free online Literature Summaries, with over 460 Study Guides / Book Notes / Chapter Summaries. (Warning the site has lots of things that flash and blink. Be sure to turn your pop-up blocker on if you go there.)

SHOP RELATED PRODUCTS

Switched on School Review

~by Michele Moore

Christian Perspective, Grades 3 and up

We use SOS for my son for 3rd grade. We have enjoyed most of it. Last year we used Abeka and while it was great curriculum it was too many worksheets for my son.

Here are some pros and cons from our experience with SOS this year.

PROS

  • Very user friendly. We jumped right in and neither my son or I had any difficulty figuring out our individual teacher/student applications.
  • You can use this on more than one computer. You install the software on one main computer (preferably the one your child will be on most often) and then you can install the "client" version on other computers. The computer with the main install does need to be on in order for the "client" computer to access the information, but it has allowed me to be in checking on his progress without standing over him and looking ahead at planning while he is able to continue working. It would also allow 2 children to work on school work at the same time and allow you as a parent to monitor both. This is a feature I have used a lot as it seems like in our house the main desktop is always in use by someone, but there is usually a free laptop.
  • Very easy to customize. You can decide which days are school days, how long you want to have your school year last, whether quizzes and tests are open book, change due dates to allow more time on a project, reassign missed problems, change grading if the computer grades something incorrect for spelling or incorrect word order or just because you think the question is vague. Also if your child has mastered a skill you can allow them to skip some of the problems on the assignments by unassigning them. You cannot skip whole lessons without answering at least one question, but if your child has mastered fractions and is ready to move on you can choose for him/her not to have to do 35 problems.
  • Very inexpensive and has NOTHING to store or copy or try to find at the library. Except for science experiments everything you need is within the program. And in our box there was a list of everything we would need for science for the whole year, and a very inexpensive way to order it (less than $25) so we didn't ever have to scramble to find the things we needed.
  • My son loves working on the computer. All the subjects have lessons with games and web links or little videos built into the lesson to show another aspect of the subject. He has really come a long way this year and has developed a stronger independent learning ability. He still wants us to sit and work together and still likes our reading time, but for him...at least for most subjects, he is loving it.

CONS

  • While having my son work on the computer has been a blessing as I have been chasing my 2 year old, I miss the time we spent at the table learning together. The computer isolates the learning, and that time together, learning, sharing ideas, seeing the light of understanding and interest in his eyes... Well, for me that is one of the best aspects of homeschooling, and I miss it.
  • I did not like the History aspect of this years' curriculum. Don't get me wrong, it was interesting and challenging, but I felt like at times it took some obscure points and had it on the assignment, quiz, and test and elevated it to the idea that "if you only remember one thing about the farming community it should be when the farmer in this one part of the country plants his lettuce" Also we had done communities and community helpers and we were ready to move on. I wanted him to start on history and geography, so after a couple of months we stopped using SOS for History. I don't feel cheated though because it was a personal preference and when we bought the complete curriculum the pricing was basically buy 4 get one free, so I looked at it like, well we aren't using the free one. Much better than the feeling I had about all the Abeka we didn't use after spending $500.
  • I hate the way spelling is handled in Language Arts. They introduce a list (poorly...more later), focus on something else the next day, and the next day have a spelling quiz. There is just not enough time for him to learn these words in the traditional ways and I can tell you he remembers it for the quiz and loses it. But because of the way spelling is lumped in to Lang Arts you cannot postpone the quiz without postponing all grammar and reading as well. And if you do that you quickly fall behind. SOS does not allow you to skip around in the lesson order, you must complete lesson 1 to move on to lesson 2 and so on. Also these list are based on spelling rules like I before E except after C, but this rule is never actually stated and taught. They just give a list and talk around the rule and it makes it confusing. Also the list is not grouped by whether or not it follows a rule, it is alphabetical. This is a pain for 2 reasons 1) I cannot assign ABC order without rewriting the list 2) It makes the concept even harder to grasp If there is 2 words that are _ie_ _ and then one that is a rule breaker followed by 3 that have cei and then 3 more rule breakers it is hard to follow what they are trying to show you as a pattern. If these words were grouped by type, the rule would be more evident.

So, next year we are using SOS for bible and math, going classical for science and history (this will allow me to be across the table again and make it easier to teach 2 the same subject matter even if on different levels, also it allows me to change it up to allow for interesting museum or field trips and not bury them in extra work), and I am still searching for Lang Arts. I would use SOS if not for the spelling issue, and I may still and keep cheating around it and doing our own thing as we have been, I have not decided. The rest of the Lang Arts program has been very good.