Homeschool Is FunI don’t know how many times I have heard nurses say that they can’t do travel nursing because they have two kids and a hubby, to which I reply, “And your point is?”

Actually, for years I thought that I couldn’t do travel nursing because I was told that I needed to provide a stable environment for my child. I have since learned that that is a bunch of bologna when I found that homeschooling is not as difficult as it may seem.

Just exactly what is homeschooling? It is the art of using one or several techniques to provide education to your child. There are several types including the traditional method of books, modern with computers, technical with computers and the internet, and the more relaxed method of “unschooling.”

The first thing that must happen is finding your child’s learning preference. Are they audio/visual learners, like to read books, or do they prefer to use the computer? I thought that my teenager would prefer the computer, but he found it harder to learn by and preferred just to read the books and take the tests.

I would suggest contacting your local homeschool association and attend a home school book fair. Some college libraries will also have resources for home schooling. If you’re local homeschool association is not in the phonebook, just ask around and you’ll be surprised at the families who are homeschooling. Although a lot of the curriculums are Christian based there are some secular ones that can easily be found.

Once I had collected all my books and materials, I reverted to my good ole college days and packed everything up in plastic square crates. These are great to keep all your books in. You just stack them up with open side up when you’re traveling then once you get to your assignment set them with the open area to the side and you have an instant bookcase. In fact, you could also get a piece of lumber big enough to span the two and make a desk out of them.

There are also several schools that are online. They provide the curriculum and testing online and even video class instruction. These are usually a little more expensive, but worth look into if you or your spouse is uncomfortable with teaching.

Unschooling is exactly what it sounds like, the children do not learn from traditional books, but from everyday life. They learn math by keeping a record of what they earn from their allowance and subtract what they spend. Parents can also involve their children in everyday math such as how much groceries are going to cost, how much the taxes are on those groceries and how much cost for the gas to go get those groceries. Science and geography is taught by exploring the world around you.

Graduation is accomplished by either a curriculum that produces a diploma after the child has completed all the required classes for general high school or your child can go and get a GED by taking a test. Either way, it is important to keep all of your homeschool records. Get you a file box big enough to handle all your traveling receipts, travel records, and homeschool records.

One of the things you also have to be aware of is that every state has different laws. You must learn and abide by the state laws for your state. The easiest way to do this is look up the Homeschool Legal Defense Website (www.hslda.org). They will not only have the state law of your primary residence, but the laws of the state that you are traveling in, which may or may not affect you.

We started out as residents of the state of Arizona, which required an affidavit sent to the school district stating our intentions to homeschool. In most of the states, we had absolutely no problems. Only in Mississippi and Tennessee did we have to show the apartment complex our affidavit since we have a child at home during school hours. In Tennessee parents also have to have a bachelor’s degree before they can teach.

Another thing that concerns parents is the reduced socialization since the children are not going to public school on a daily basis. We always found a church youth group for socialization, but there are also many activities through the community centers. Once you get to your new assignment, you will want to look up the local home school association and join in some of their activities. If you are in a small community, it may be difficult to find the right kind of socialization for your child; therefore, that may have to be one consideration that you have to make when accepting an assignment.

After traveling and homeschooling for two years, our biggest problem occurred when it came time for my son to get his driver’s license. Home at that time was in the Northwest, but we were located in the Southeast and didn’t plan on returning home for at least six months. It can be done, but it was very difficult for him to get his driver’s education and tests done related to the fact that we were only on assignment for thirteen weeks. Another problem with homeschool that you may face is finances if you can not afford for one parent to stay home. Homeschooling when both parents are working can be done if both parents are dedicated and can work together, but sometimes this is easier said that done related to different learning styles for the children and different teaching styles of the parents.

The great thing about doing homeschooling in combination with travel nursing is that the children learn by exploring different regions every thirteen weeks. If you go to the national and state parks and tell the ranger that your child is homeschooled, you can usually get “more bang for your buck” in that the rangers are very willing to go the extra mile for you. In California, we had one ranger who actually took us up into a working lighthouses after we told him that we homeschooled, and that we had come there for a field trip. Try to plan at least one field every week to keep things interesting!

Homeschooling really is a lot of fun. I regret that I didn’t start sooner, and now you have no more excuses!!!