Closing the Books and
Hitting the Open Road:
“Roadschooling” Family of 10 on a Mission
There was a time when our 3,000-square-foot house over- flowed withbooks. Ifour foun- dation cracked, my book addiction would have been the culprit. We
were homeschoolers, and to me homeschooling means books . . . and occasional videos for Mama’s naps.
Nearly five years ago we said good-bye
Learning to Close the Book
to our house and hit the road full-time
for our Christian music mission. Since
then we’ve spent more time learning
outside the pages of a book. Why? After
squeezing ten people and two fuzzballs
into a 30-foot travel trailer (that’s 258
square feet—I’ll let your kids do the per-
person math), there ain’t much room for
books—and yes, I mean ain’t! With lim-
ited library privileges and sketchy Inter-
net access, outside-the-book learning be-
came a necessity for our nomadic tribe.
I know what you’re thinking. Home-
schooling without walls of books is like
mornings without coffee, afternoons
without chocolate, movies without pop-
corn. I get that. I used to hyperventilate
at the thought, myself.
Removing bookshelves from the homeschool equation made this English major freak out—think “giant spider in the
shower” sort of freak out. Still, one reason
we homeschool is for the freedom to learn
in whatever ways work best for our family.
Leaving behind most of our books forced
us to pursue other “better ways” and
stre-e-e-e-tch out of my comfort zone.
The book purges we’ve made, while
tough, have been freeing. Closing the
books has taught us to keep our eyes
open to what the physical world can
teach us and to listen—truly listen—to
the people God places on our path, be-
cause you can’t “re-read” an experience.
How do we do it?
Learning doesn’t mean mastering everything, but rather gaining an understanding
of people and the world we share, and being able to function well and use our God-given talents. That means our musically
inclined daughter must master life-based
math, but pre-calculus is not a priority.
We often prioritize a subject only for a
season. We might not be formally studying history right now, and that’s OK. No
science books this year? No problem!
Learning opportunities still arise, even
without a curriculum.
We also prioritize space. I can’t teach
math without books once kids move past
Show & Tell
We love exploring creation. Here we are in Arches National Park in Utah.