We had a very eventful year in 2012…our youngest started kindergarten, while our oldest went off to college. Not to mention my only daughter starting middle school and my big four-oh birthday. It was exciting and scary all at the same time. And 2013 holds many more adventures. Looking forward to the coming year, there are many things I want to change, improve and accomplish. One in particular has had us excited for several months now. It’s a huge, adventurous, gigantic dream. My husband and I would like to embark on a 12 month roadschooling adventure in 2014.
What is roadschooling?
It’s a fairly new thing, or at least it is to me. Families of all sizes and income brackets are rolling out into the U-S of A to see the countryside and be a full time family. During this time, they are homeschooling their children and incorporate national monuments, historic sites, live archaeological digs, and museums into their lessons so that science and history become real. A study of erosion will be accompanied by a trip to the Grand Canyon to see it in person. A lesson on civil rights will go hand-in-hand with a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum. And so on.
The beauty of this vision is not just in the educational benefits. Families who have taken the leap to roadschooling have shared over and over again how strongly bonded they become with their children and spouse. Free from the rat race and the trinkets and technology that once separated them, they find a peace and connectedness that had been lost. I ache for that.
We have spent several years working extra hours to pay off debt and provide therapy for our autistic son who is now doing very well. When we aren’t working, we have errands to run, laundry to fold, home maintenance and all the responsibilities of a large family. It has blessed us beyond words to be able to watch our children grow and see the fruits of our efforts. But the long hours have stretched us. We have become disjoined and somewhat fragmented as a family. Now that we are nearly debt-free and our son is doing well in school, we have a deep desire to spend a year strengthening our family ties, teaching our children and making lasting memories with them.
Despite what it may sound like, this dream is not for the wealthy. In fact, you can read many testimonials from average families who are living the dream over at Families on the Road or Full Time Families. But a trip like this take does a lot of planning. First off, we must be debt free. We must pay for our travel trailer in cash. And we must find means to earn an income on the road. So these are our driving goals for 2013.
Having a job as a blogger means I am able to take my work with me wherever I go. And without a mortgage, car payment or medical bills we will need less money to travel than we would spend staying put. So the blog income will suffice, once the bills are paid off and the trailer is purchased. We won’t be eating in five star restaurants or going to amusement parks every day, but that’s not the purpose of the trip anyway.
As the year passes, I will share our big milestones with you. We will even be starting a blog to document our journey! We don’t expect to be on the road until 2014, but our goals start this year.
Roadschooling Goals for 2013:
- Finish paying off medical bills ($8300)
- Increase blog readership by 30%
- Finish my first book – more on that later
- Write three ebooks
- Pay cash for 5th wheel ($9000)
Along with these goals, I will be learning all I can about homeschooling. Particularly in the area of homeschooling a special needs child. I am blessed to have several experts who have worked with him for years and are helping me maneuver through this. We are also choosing our curriculum for the other children and formulating a one-year itinerary of places in the US we would like to visit.
IT STARTS WITH A DREAM…
While roadschooling isn’t for everyone, it is valuable to know that having this huge dream has deeply inspired us to stay on track with all of our other goals. Things that would once tempt us to waiver are no longer an issue. The excitement we feel about living this dream outweighs everything else by a long shot. This was the missing ingredient for us in the past.
Not too long ago, I emailed my blogging friend Crystal from Money Saving Mom to ask her how she managed to overcome so much and accomplish her goals. HERE is what she said. Her advice was dead on the money. Once we had a goal that we were both truly excited about, the momentary discomforts that would sometimes push us off track were no longer an issue. I have no interest in new shoes or curtains or dinnerware if they will set me further away from my roadschooling dream. I now see them as hurdles that need to be pushed aside. They are no longer the least bit tempting.
If you have been unsuccessful in the past with goals you have set, I would encourage you to formulate a huge dream for your family. Find ways to break it down into small, do-able chunks and go for it. We are well on our way to our roadschool 2014 dream and if we can do it, anyone can. If you have a giant goal for 2013, share it in the comments! I’d love to hear! Or if you have suggestions for educational trips for our children, favorite campgrounds, homeschool wisdom or any traveling advice I am all ears