We have been homeschooling our boys for the last 6 years. For the first 5 years and 4 months, we lived in a three bedroom townhouse, until we sold up and bought a caravan. For the first six months of living in a caravan, we travelled around Australia, but now we are back on the Gold Coast, hubby is back at work and the boys (and I) have been getting back into homeschooling again.
But how can you homeschool while living in a caravan? It is not that easy, as we have found out, but it can be done. Now that we have things set up and worked out, it is quite easy and can be quite exciting. (In the picture above, our boys are sitting on our double bed in the van reading, which happens on a regular basis.)
1. Library – Libraries are great and free to join.
Our boys love to read and when living in the townhouse, we had bookcases galore full of books. Now, we use a library. Not only is it cheaper, but you can find a variety of books on all topics. We have quite a few libraries close to us that we go too, but if there is a particular book we want, I go online and put it on hold to pick up at the cloest library to us. We constantly borrow around 40+ books a week from the library and the boys read nearly all off them.
We also have to use mobile broadband which is extremely expensive, so we only have a small plan. Our libraries also offer free internet. We spend hours at the library using their internet (and charging our laptops). This means our boys can still use online programs for their homeschool.
3. Neighbours – Socialising
Living in a caravan park, there are constantly people coming and going. Our boys know an awful lot about caravans and are quite interested when new ones come in to stay at the park. They enjoy meeting the new people and families and are getting to speak to many different people from all walks of life which can be really interesting. They love learning about different cultures and ways of life.
4. Storage Space – Limited Storage Space
5. Life Skills – Preparing for the Future
I have noticed that by living in a small space, the boys are learning more life skills. As we have no room, we have to clean up as we go. We have to wash most days as there isn’t much room to store dirty washing. To save money ($4 for a load if washing), I do a lot of handwashing with which the boys are helping me, collecting the water, adding the powder and washing the clothes. They are helping cook inside in the oven and outside on the bbq. They help with the cleaning, sweeping the inside of the van and then the cemet pad outside, washing up and with the rubbish. They are also very good at playing with their lego and packing it up when they are finished.
So there are just a few ideas on how to homeschool in a small space. Homeschooling is great. It can be done anywhere on any budget. I love how you can alter it to suit your lifestyle and your child’s needs.