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Should You Make Your Children “Road” Scholars?

Do you believe your children can learn more about life while on the road than in a classroom? Have you been wanting to give your children real-life experiences in place of canned lessons? Then you might want to consider taking your kids out of school for several months or more so that your family can get a real life education while traveling the United States. Some people call the idea of taking your children out of school for an extended period of time a school sabbatical. In Europe, the idea has been called a family gap year. Whatever you call it, taking time to travel with your family can give them valuable experiences and can also create many memories that will last a lifetime.

Why You Should Take Your Children on the Road?

In addition to learning about the United States, heading on the road with your family has its advantages, including:

  • Creating family bonding time. When you take a school sabbatical, it is typically just you and your family — there are no interruptions for work, school, friends or extracurricular sports.
  • Teaching your children real-world lessons. For example, if you give your children a weekly allowance they can spend on souvenirs, they will quickly learn if they blow their money on small purchases, they will not have enough to purchase a larger item down the road.

Planning Your Trip

Of course, a trip of this size requires a lot of pre-planning.  You will need to:  

  • Determine what you believe it will cost you each day for your trip, and then save up accordingly.
  • Understand the ages of your children could determine whether or not your trip is successful. Middle or high schoolers, for example, could be upset by the idea of being away from their friends and social network for a month or longer. So if they are not on board with the idea, they could sulk and just generally make your trip miserable. On the other hand, a child that is too young may not get much out of the trip.

Get a Recreational Vehicle

Before you pack up the family sedan, you might want to consider purchasing a recreational vehicle (RV) instead. Here are some reasons why an RV may be a better idea for an extended family road trip:

  • Hotel rooms are expensive. This is especially true if you have three or more children and require more than one room or a large suite to accommodate your family. Yes, there is an initial cost when purchasing an RV. But making payments on an RV is similar to making payments on a home. If you ever decide to sell it, you could recoup at least part of your money back. The same isn’t true of paying for hotel rooms.
  • Your children will have surroundings they are familiar with during their entire trip.
  • You can cook meals in an RV, which will also save you money.

When choosing an RV for a long road trip, consider purchasing a Class B model. This type of RV is built on a van chassis, which means it drives more like a car and is also easier to maneuver in tight spaces than a large motor coach.  The Class B model will also save you money on fuel. Check out sites like for more information.

Inform Your School System

Regulations and laws vary from school system to school system, so make sure you ask the administrators at your learning institution what you need to do in order to take your children out of school for an extended period of time. You should also consider enrolling in an online home schooling program for your kids.

In the end, your children will learn valuable lessons while on the road they could never experience in a classroom. This type of education is priceless.

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