There’s a lot of uncertainty about the upcoming school year, and all types of questions are weighing heavily on parents and their children. Will there be school? What will it look like? Do I want my kids to go or not to go? The questions are endless – but so are the opportunities to help your children continue to learn new things in non-traditional ways through roadschooling. Here the classroom takes place in new destinations as families hit the road and incorporate what they experience into the curriculum.
What is roadschooling?
While it might sound daunting, roadschooling is combining travel and hands-on experiences with a state-regulated curriculum. Instead of learning about Lewis & Clark’s Expedition from an online textbook and fill-in-the-blank worksheet, you learn about it by following the river and recreating parts of their journey, while visiting historic markers along the way. Or take science class outdoors and visit a nearby National Forest. Study the plant life and animals you encounter at education stops along the way rather than looking at diagrams.
We’re all hoping that daily life will return to normal soon. However, during this strange time, take this opportunity to hit the open road on a family learning experience that your kids will never forget. Whether you’re considering roadschooling for the entire school year or just a week, this Midwest route is a great option for all families.
What should my route be?
Stop 1: Ozark Farms Family Campground & RV Park in Rolla, MO
Step into the wide outdoors in the beautiful Ozark Mountains. Explore rivers, lakes, hiking, and natural wonders. Just 10 minutes to Fugitive Beach, 20 minutes to Meramec Springs, and 40 minutes to Onondaga Cave State Park, there are plenty of educational destinations to add to your route.
Meramec Spring Park – Open with safety measures in place, this park contains the fifth-largest spring in the state. An average of 100 million gallons of water flows from the Spring daily, making it a great location to sneak in science lessons focused on unique bodies of water.
Mark Twain National Forest – Named after the author most famously known for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, this forest has over 750 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Grab your hiking boots, or a good book, and get ready to experience all the forest has to offer.
Stop 2: Perryville Campground in Perryville, MO
This campground is perfect for enjoying the best that nature has to offer. Hang back at this award-winning campground to finish up lesson plans, take a hike by the 100-acre lake or head out to experience the history that Perryville has to offer.
Horse Island and Lewis & Clark Historic Marker – The Lewis and Clark Expedition spent a total of 103 days in what is now Missouri and camped at 70 different locations along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Near the beginning of their expedition in 1803, Lewis and Clark camped near this historic marker. As the river’s course changed over time, Horse Island was absorbed into the Missouri shoreline. However, there is a roadside historical marker nearby for visitors, making it a great destination for your next history lesson. Check out this resource, to learn more about their travels along the river.
Historic Faherty House – Built between 1827 and 1831, this four-room brick and stone house has been restored to two different time periods. The basement kitchen is done in the era of 1828-1840, and the two brick rooms, a child’s room, and a parlor are decorated in the 1870s and 1880s style – reflecting when William P. Faherty acquired the house. Book your appointment to learn its history and experience a taste of multiple decades.
Stop 3: Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort in Santa Claus, IN
A two-time National RV Park of the Year, Lake Rudolph was named the best RV Park in Indiana by Readers Digest, one of the 11 most family-friendly campgrounds in the U.S. News & World Report and one of the top 10 best campgrounds for families by TravelChannel.com. With great amenities and a long list of park features, come see for yourself why this campground provides the perfect backdrop for your roadschool road trip.
Holiday World Theme Park & Splashin’ Safari Water Park – We left a little room for recess on this roadschool route. Holiday World Theme Park is so close to the park, you can see it from the campground! With COVID precautions, like their new virtual line, you’ll now have visibility into wait times. All you have to do is join the virtual queue and your phone will tell you when you can come back and enjoy the ride.
Santa Claus Museum & Statue: Explore the town’s unique history at the Santa Claus Museum! Visit the beautiful 1880 Santa Claus Church and the giant Santa Claus Statue, standing 22 feet tall. Spend some time in the Original Santa Claus Post Office and while you’re there write a letter to Santa. Don’t forget to include your name and address, you may receive a letter back from Santa in December!
Stop 4: Whispering Hills RV Park in Georgetown, KY
Nestled in the heart of horse country in Georgetown Kentucky, this campground makes the perfect home-base for a lesson in equestrian and history. Visit a few retired thoroughbreds, or take a drive out of town to experience what life was like as a pioneer in Kentucky.
Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm – Come visit this Thoroughbred Retirement Center right in Georgetown. Old Friends cares for more than 200 horses, many of them stallions whose racing and breeding careers came to an end. A “Rural Hall of Fame”, the farm welcomes visitors to get up close and personal with stars of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners Silver Charm and War Emblem, Belmont Stakes winners Sarava and Touch Gold, millionaire gelding Arson Squad, and many more. Book your tour to learn their history and leave touched by their stories.
Fort Boonesborough State Park – When Daniel Boone and his men reached the Kentucky River on April 1, 1775, they quickly moved to establish Kentucky’s second settlement: Fort Boonesborough. This fort has been reconstructed as a working fort complete with cabins, blockhouses, and furnishings, giving modern-day visitors a true sense of what life was like.
Stop 5: Hilltop Resort and Campground in Logan, OH
Located right off US 33 exit to Scenic Route 664 and right next to Lake Logan, the Hilltop Resort offers many recreational activities within the resort and easy access to Hocking Hills and surrounding attractions. Spend a beautiful, relaxing night at Hilltop Resort and experience the beauty this area has to offer.
Hocking Hills – With cliffs, gorges, rock shelters, and waterfalls, there are plenty of outdoor activities and hiking trails for everyone. Take a hike to Old Man’s Cave! Carved by the creek, the gorge serves as an avenue for visitors to peer into the earth’s subsurface one-half mile. What a cool way to learn about geology!
Historic Lancaster – The Lancaster Historic District covers over 24 city blocks and is one of the most significant historic districts in the Midwest. While you’re in Lancaster, discover the charm and treasures of the Georgian Museum. This beautifully restored Federal-style architecture in the National Register Historic District has an impressive collection of silver, ivory, Erickson glass, quilts, and musical instruments.
This year looks a little different, and so might the classroom with roadschooling! Make it a year they’ll never forget with first-hand learning experiences, campground stays, and educational destinations along the way! Looking to add more destinations to your route? Campspot makes it simple to search for parks and campsites that offer Wifi through a filter when searching for a camping destination.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some activities may be closed until further notice or open with restrictions + limited hours. For the most up to date information, please check the status of each attraction. Please bring and wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth while in any public space.