Friday, April 14, 2017

RV Full-timing with Children? Homeschool Rocks

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What RV Women Need
To Know About Homeschooling

    Is your children”s school schedule keeping you from going full-timing? Homeschool can get you Out There sooner than you think. 

    For answers I went to Shirley M.R. Minster, M.S. Ed., a Master Degree certified teacher with credentials in education, educational guidance, and counseling. A founder of Royal Academy Education and a long-time leader in the homeschool field, she works full-time as an online teacher.
    Learn more about Royal Academy at

    QUESTION: I am a single mother on a budget. I can’t afford a large RV. What space do I need for a school setting?

     SHIRLEY MINSTER. A child needs only  a flat space on which to write or draw. The table is fine, but so is a lapboard.   Have a quiet area (the bed space, for instance) so reading and writing can be more focused. A good reading lamp is helpful, too, and internet capability. Younger children  need art materials, which can be boxed up so they don’t roll around.. I recommend a math textbook and some reading books, but with the accessibility of textbooks online, and excellent choices of literature online, space isn’t as much of an issue as in earlier years.
    Children can work inside or outside. Keep one school box per child so school materials are all together.

    QUESTION: When leaving a homeschool program, how can I return my children to  public school?
    SHIRLEY MINSTER. Records are important. Keep a portfolio for each year that each child was homeschooled. It should include the child’s picture, a list of courses completed, names of textbooks and materials used, a list of literature read,  field trips taken includingphotos of places visited and proof of projects completed (e.g., murals, posters, science experiments). (If you keep these reports and photos on a thumb drive, make sure to have a backup.)
    If you kept grades for your child, write out your grading scale (i.e., A = 90-100, B = 80-89). If you didn’t use a traditional grading system, write a simple explanation of how you knew when your child was ready to move on to higher levels. I also recommend that you include an explanation about the many enriching opportunities your child had while Rving.

QUESTION; Is any financial aid available?
SHIRLEY MINSTER. No, but look for materials in used bookstores, Goodwill, and Salvation Army stores as well as online. Suggest to family members that they give gifts of books and materials, but be specific so you have what can be used that year. If you have more than one child, look for materials that can be re-used.

QUESTION: My son has ADHD and is now in a special program in public school. Is it fair to him to try homeschool?
SHIRLEY MINSTER: Often a child with ADHD is very successful in homeschool because he can focus on one subject at a time for a smaller amount of time. The atmosphere is more conducive too. There is no classroom noise, no other students distracting him. Because you are celebrating what he is learning and his personal interests, he will enjoy homeschooling, too.

QUESTION; When I’m on the road, all alone, where can I get help?
SHIRLEY MINSTER.  First, go to state and national websites. They often list free, downloadable materials. Also, check out the state library. AAA and the National Park Service have  interesting materials, many of them free.I also work with families who are on the road, on the ocean, in the air!
JANET GROENE ADDS: There are also online support groups for full-timers with children such as (www.) and (www.) 

QUESTION: How far can my children go in homeschooling?
SHIRLEY MINSTER: You can continue through high school. Students who are considering college can take online courses. Some parents stay in one location for a semester so their high schooler can attend a local college on campus. If a student is considering a career in science, it’s important to have lab equipment and materials available. They can be purchased through supply companies. Your child can take an online course, do the experiments in the RV, and complete the course.

QUESTION; I don’t have a college degree. Can I handle homeschooling for my kids?
SHIRLEY MINSTER: One does not need a college degree to homeschool. If the parent does not feel qualified, either hire a tutor for that  subject or enroll the student in an online course. A LIVE-TIME course is better, in my opinion, than one that has been taped because the student can ask questions immediately rather than emailing questions and waiting  until the teacher gets back to him.

QUESTION; Tell us more about your role.
SHIRLEY MINSTER: Royal Academy is a full-time, internationally accredited, year ‘round school. Our staff will design the program that best fits your child. We work live-time (personally present) with each child .We also write courses to fit each student. Some classes have up to 5 students and they can interact, encourage, and have fun with others. Other courses are taught one-on-one. Our teachers and staff love to travel, too, so you’ll be talking with like-minded folks!

JANET GROENE. Thank you, Mrs. Minster. /

RV Travel on a Budget, a Mother and Son Guide to Roadschooling the USA is available at

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