One Digital Nomad Mom Dishes on the Opportunities and the Obstacles
In this digital world where online businesses are thriving and children are learning from home, parents everywhere are starting to wonder why “home” has to be stationary. Perhaps you have found yourself thrust into working remotely due to the pandemic or maybe that online shop you created took off. Whatever your working situation is, I’m excited that the draw of being a digital nomad has brought you here!
But.. Can children succeed educationally while bouncing around the country? Would they flourish from adventuring the world while still young? Could road-schooling be right for my family? — How to know?
I haven’t found an ugly side to digital nomad life yet but there are definitely some ups and downs to consider before making the leap.
More time for family with less distractions and zero commute.
For our family, hitting the road was originally the means to keep us together. My husband builds, maintains, and restores power lines for a living which meant with or without us, he was traveling. Now that we have been living this lifestyle for so long, we couldn’t imagine going back to a sticks & bricks home!
Our days are spent exploring, our evenings are filled with games, and our weekends are spent taking it slow. We get to adventure when most kids are at school meaning less crowds, more enjoyment, and deeper bonding experiences. Imagine family escapades by day and campfires by night. Those dreams can be real life!
Greater effort for finding friends and making connections.
The downside to traveling is always having to move on from the relationships we’ve forged. For digital nomad families to stay social, they have to be intentional in their efforts but it isn’t always the struggle it may seem. Instead of “goodbyes” we often exchange “see you down the road” and for traveling families, we mean it.
5 Ways to Stay Connected:
Keep in touch as pen pals
Host competition nights
Join online digital nomad groups
Attend rallies for full-time families
Enroll in online educational courses
Science and history have a chance to come to life.
Nothing compares to watching your children learn from hands-on experiences from adventuring. The experiences are almost limitless and the memories last a lifetime. If you asked my children for some of their favorites I’m sure they’d include:
Watching bison grazing on the plains of Wyoming
Holding penguins at the aquarium
Watching rockets lift from Cape Canaveral
Riding in a helicopter touring the Grand Canyon.
History has come up out of the pages as they listened to people of the First Nations sing praises to the spirits and helped re-enactors prepare covered wagons as though preparing for a long journey to new lands. Moments like those truly take learning to new heights.
Books and crafting materials can be hard to keep on hand.
Traveling full-time means limited space and let’s face it: books are heavy. One way we curb the issue is by utilizing e-books, streaming experiment videos, and online courses like the ones found at Monster Education. Sometimes our children need a bit more help with a subject and I find comfort in the ability to turn to online tutors.
Group sessions are perfect for this because the kids love experiencing a “classroom” setting and we love the personalized attention they receive. If your child has ever struggled with math, courses such as Singapore Math just might be the answer. Making math fun saved our family!
Only You Can Decide
When families get serious about living life as digital nomads those around them usually react.. loudly. Some will be excited. Others will be fearful. Most will begin throwing all of the “what-ifs” your way. Just remember:
You know your children best.
You are their greatest champion.
Only you can know if roadschooling is right for your family.
Take this opportunity to ask yourself: “Why do we want to take our lives on the road?” The bonds your family will build, the connections you will make along the way, and the experiences that await all seem pretty amazing to me. Having a list close by can help keep your faith strong in your decisions. It seems like a simple question, “WHY?” but I bet, buried deep within, you’ll find your answer.
Emily Vetetoe is a homeschooling mom of five children who enjoys reading, writing, and adventuring in her free time. Emily and her family have been full-time travelers since 2014 when they sold their house to embrace the idea that “home is wherever we are together”. She hopes they can one day take their explorations beyond America with long stays in Asia, Africa, and Europe.