Roadschooling through the Common Core

Have you ever heard of roadschooling? Learn about how families that travel more often than not can still homeschool their children while on the road!
My name is Jen Schneider, and I’m from The Learning Wagon. I’m a public school teacher turned virtual school teacher turned roadschooling mama. Roadschooling is growing in popularity as families take their homeschool learning on the road. Roadschooling families travel the country and the world in varying ways. A few examples include backpacking on foot, bicycling, in a car, or in an RV (like us). No matter which method is chosen, one thing is for sure: The nomadic life does not offer a lot of storage for books, curriculum, crafting materials, manipulatives, or other teacher goodies. For this reason, roadschooling parents must figure out how to teach standards using their environment. In this post I will share how to teach five Common Core standards while stationed at a campground. I have chosen standards from second grade because that is a level I am familiar with from my teaching background, but these ideas can be tweaked to meet the needs of students across grade levels.

 

CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.C.8

Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately. Example: If you have 2 dimes and 3 pennies, how many cents do you have?

 

Going to the laundromat may seem like a chore that pops up more often than wanted, but it can also be a learning experience that develops problem solving skills and financial understandings, even at a young age, just by asking your child to figure out how much money it will cost to do laundry today. This one question has several steps. First, the child must estimate how many loads of laundry will be done based on the amount of soiled clothes. Then, they will have to add the amount of money it will take to wash the clothes to the amount needed to dry the clothes. You might ask your child if they will have enough money to complete the task if you give them $10.00. By asking them how much money will be left over, you add another step to the word problem focused on subtraction. Ask your children to help with the family budget by having them figure out how much money is spent on laundry each week or month.

Have you ever heard of roadschooling? Learn about how families that travel more often than not can still homeschool their children while on the road!

CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.C.3

Determine whether a group of objects (up to 20) has an odd or even number of members, e.g., by pairing objects or counting them by 2’s; write an equation to express an even number as a sum of two equal addends.

Take a walk to learn all about odd and even. This is a great interactive notebook activity. Record a number at the top of your child’s notebook page and go on a search for objects that demonstrate that number. For example, if the number is three, you might find the playground has three slides or the bathroom has three sinks. Have your child draw and label what he found. Then, have him circle two of each item drawn. I recommend doing the numbers in order, one on each page. Compare your child’s observations about the numbers as you go along. They may see that five always has one left out or six is always paired with none left over. Guide them to see that a number like six can be split into two equal groups, while a number like five will have two groups that are not equal. Talking about their finds will lead into teaching the vocabulary of odd and even. Check out I Spy (Odd & Even) for more guidance with this activity!

Have you ever heard of roadschooling? Learn about how families that travel more often than not can still homeschool their children while on the road!

CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.D.10

Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems using information presented in a bar graph.

 

Every campground has a variety of campers! There are motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, pop-ups, tents, and more. Take another walk around the park while your child collects data to see what types of recreational vehicles are visiting. Have your child use the information collected to create a bar graph. Then, discuss the findings. As a challenge, have your child complete this activity twice. Graph the campers during the week and again during the weekend. Then, have your child make assumptions based on their observations. You can find FREE camper graph labels to print in my TpT store.

Have you ever heard of roadschooling? Learn about how families that travel more often than not can still homeschool their children while on the road!

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.1

Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.

 

All of us campsite visitors have things we love about a campground. Maybe they have a large lake for fishing or paved roads that are great for riding scooters, but we all have our opinions about what would make it better. Have your child make a list of improvements or changes he would like to see made to the park and discuss how those improvements would benefit the park and its owner. To give your child a feeling that their work is meaningful, pick one to share with the owner through a friendly letter. With a specific audience, you can discuss what the owner might perceive as beneficial and how to word their writing so the owner won’t take offense to the suggestion.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.2

Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

 

There are many purposeful writing activities that can be completed on a daily basis from observation journals to how-to manuals, but today I’m going to encourage you to have your child create a brochure. Have your child observe the campground and do research on the local area to find out how many sites and types of amenities the park offers, learn the history of the park, find more information about local attractions, and more. This can double as a persuasive type of writing, since the brochure should lure people to visit the park. Again, I would recommend sharing the completed product with the owner of the park. You never know what might come of it!

Roadschooling through the Common Core
My family and I have been on our learning journey for three years now enjoying incredible learning experiences like taking a ferry ride to Ellis Island and climbing the stairs of the Statue of Liberty, exploring caves in West Virginia, riding in a combine tractor to harvest cotton and peanuts in Georgia, as well as visiting historical sites in St. Augustine, Florida and Williamsburg, Virginia, just to name a few. These “field trips” give our children first-hand experiences that bring learning and their world alive with deeper understandings. They will not only have memories that will last a lifetime, but they will also be able to connect better to these ideas when reading about these topics. We don’t have experiences like these every day, but learning around the campground can be just as meaningful. Providing children with meaningful, challenging, and interesting experiences, no matter where you are, is the key to learning and success in meeting Common Core standards and what we all strive to accomplish. The best lessons you can plan are deeper studies of what you do on a daily basis and a closer look at the world around you.

I’m Jen Schneider, and I taught kindergarten in a public school classroom for seven years. When I had my first child, I wanted to stay home, so I taught second grade for two years in a public virtual school. Although I had planned to be a stay-at-home mom after having my second child, our family started traveling for my husband’s work. We loved the travel so much that we started staying in our camper more than we were at home, which turned my homeschooling dreams into roadschooling fun! If you’d like to learn more about me and how I share my ideas and resources with parents and teachers, you can check out my website.

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