Keith and Tia Sims take their boys on the road to bring learning to life, outside of the textbooks. Here are a few of their favorite roadschooling adventures.
Keith & Tia Sims
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While most people have heard of homeschooling, how many have heard of roadschooling? There really isn’t that much difference between the two, you just take your studies, your lessons, and the learning opportunities on the road. You free yourself from being tied down by one location. Sounds fun, right? Or does it sound scary because you have no idea how to accomplish this? Well, we’re here to help.
We have been homeschooling and road schooling for the past five years. Because of road schooling, we have had some incredible learning experiences and created some lifelong memories. We want to share a few of those with you in hopes of helping you to get started down the path towards your own road school adventures! We highly recommend you give at least one of our roadschooling trips a try. We promise you won’t be disappointed. It was impossible for us to pick our favorite roadschooling trip, so here’s a few of our favorite roadschooling trips to peak your interest for roadschooling. Enjoy!
Part of this year’s Earth Science curriculum included studying the geography of the state of Georgia. There are five different geological provinces, or regions, within the state. While studying those regions, we came across something known as the seven natural wonders of Georgia. While taking a deeper dive into the regions for these seven natural wonders, a few of them seemed like the perfect roadschooling opportunity. First off, what is the “Little Grand Canyon of Georgia”, or Providence Canyon? After studying how this incredible canyon was carved out of the earth through poor farming techniques and natural erosion, I knew it would be a great roadschool trip. Talk about a place that brings to life what you read in a science book! Providence Canyon is a must see. The boys and I hiked down to the bottom, and I really enjoyed seeing the different layers of earth. The colors of the layers of dirt, sand, and clay are so vibrant. With 43 different colors of sand, you can spend all day trying to identify each one. I can’t tell you how many times I heard the boys say “wow,” or “this is amazing”. Well worth the trip.
Staying with geology, another trip took us to the second of the seven natural wonders of GA. Tallulah Gorge State Park is located in the Blue Ridge Mountain region of the state, and is also a must see. Tallulah Gorge is about two miles long and 1000 feet deep. The walk down to the bottom of the gorge is not for the faint of heart. It is listed as a strenuous hike, and it lives up to that billing. With over 500 plus steps down to the swinging bridge, you will be ready for a break. It is a perfect rest stop and a must-have photo op. But for the real payoff, take the additional 300 steps down to the gorge floor. They only issue 100 passes per day to explore the gorge floor, so plan accordingly. We stopped by the interpretive center, where we learned about the history of the gorge and how its hydroelectric power supplies power for GA. Another fantastic road school trip in the books!
US Space and Rocket Center
Ok, raise your hand if you have ever dreamed of being an astronaut! I know I did as a kid. I can remember laying in bed and dreaming of piloting a spaceship headed to explore Mars. This road school trip definitely brought out the inner kid in me. The US Space and Rocket center is located in Huntsville, AL, and it even has a campground on site, just a short walk from the doors of the center. Convenient right?
This center is famous because Space Camp is held here. Our boys got a chance to experience “mini–Space Camp” for the day, and came away wanting to do the real camp once the pandemic ends. The center also has outdoor exhibits and a few rides. But to me, the star of the show was the Saturn V Rocket. It is just huge! The exhibits were fascinating, learning about the challenges of the technology during those days. Pretty cool seeing the Astronaut Quarantine Airstream on display. Definitely a fun learning adventure for the entire family.
Solar Eclipse - Experiencing Totality
This might be the roadschool trip of a lifetime. Our boys have always loved studying the solar system and space. So, when we found out that the US was going to experience a coast-to-coast total solar eclipse, we instantly thought of a roadschool trip! We picked Greenville, South Carolina as our viewing location. It was less than 3 hours from our home in GA and was set to experience more than 2 ½ minutes of totality. The Roper Mountain Science Center had a huge viewing party planned, so we bought tickets and were all set. Talk about a once in a lifetime experience! Total eclipses happen every year, but this was the first in 107 years that was visible from coast-to-coast across the US. Experiencing that solar eclipse in the path of totality with our boys was something that I personally will never forget. In those 153 seconds, we felt so connected with the rest of the solar system and felt the awesomeness of God. Each one of us was so thrilled by this road school trip. We already have the next total solar eclipse trip planned on our calendars: April 8, 2024. Maybe you can join us on this next trip!
History is a subject that is a perfect companion to road schooling. There are so many incredible places to go see that you study in books. Our trip to Selma, Alabama was one of the most emotionally moving experiences we have ever had. Our boys had studied the basics of the Civil Rights Movement and we thought it would cement what they were learning if we went to visit. We chose to visit Montgomery, the state capital, and Selma right around the 52nd anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”. It’s hard to put into words what we learned, saw, and felt. We got to march with 10,000 others across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, as we reenacted the famous march on Bloody Sunday. It sent chills down our spines to actually walk in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, John Lewis, and all the other heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. It was thrilling.
We don’t need to tell you how great it is visiting our Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C. You can spend weeks in D.C. and barely scratch the surface of things to do and see. We enjoyed touring the Space and Aeronautics Museum, the International Spy Museum, the Smithsonian African American Museum and so many more.
When you think about visiting the Nation's Capital, there are an endless number of options. As we planned our first trip, we were almost overwhelmed by the number of choices to see and do. The best advice is to realize that you can’t see and do everything in one visit.
Boston is a city dripping with American history. Think back to the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. It even was one of the largest centers for the abolitionist movement to abolish slavery. Many key battles of the Revolutionary War were fought in the Boston area. With Tia being a huge fan of American history, it just made sense to plan a roadschool trip to Boston. Any of you who are interested in American history will find more than enough things to do to fill multiple trips to Boston. Of course Boston has one of our kids’ favorite science centers of all time, The Boston Science center.
We spent almost 3 full days enjoying the different experiences, experiments, and classes. Our visit to Minuteman National Park was a big hit. Our boys learned about the events leading up to that fateful moment which plunged the colonies into war. We walked where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired, and the boys received their range badges.
So, there you have five of our favorite roadschooling trips and locations. We hope some of these trips have encouraged you, showing that you can find great places to learn on the road no matter where you are. Take advantage of historical sites, museums, and amazing places like science museums. It doesn’t matter what you’re studying or what you’re interested in, whether it be history, science, math, or language arts, you’ll typically find something to roadschool about on your next adventure. Have fun, and as we like to say, never stop learning and never stop seeking adventure. See you out on the road!
Keith - Dad of Soulful RV Family
Soulful RV Family
Keith & Tia Sims
After 11 years in the trenches of the NFL, Keith Sims was ready for a change of pace. Little did he know his wife, Tia, had been plotting for this moment for years, and had long ago decided that they and their three boys were going to discover new roads in an RV. They now spend more than 100 days and nights each year touring the country, and use the travel experiences to enhance the boys’ homeschool education.