Date: 1 September 2014. Schooling for
Guest author Joy in a Minivan.
This piece is for
The Writer's Block.
It's written by an online friend and speaks to attaining the life I
had growing up aboard a 40'er (sedan cruiser) as we moved from place to place. This
article is current versus my experiences in the 1960's and I hope you
will find it inspirational. I did. Comments are encouraged.
[A group of
us were discussing schooling for children while living a mobile
lifestyle, and this letter struck such a chord in me that I suspect
others may find it useful as well.]
Traveling across America is
exactly what I am currently planning to do with my 9-year-old son in
the coming months.
Meanwhile, please know that I understand
trepidations and concerns all too well. As parents, we want only to
do what is best for our children. We have a very short and fleeting
time with them before they fly off on their own, and we want so
badly to give them a good, strong foundation in which to plant their
feet so they will go off on their own to live good, strong, healthy,
happy and compassionate lives.
As I see it, there are many ways to do this. In
fact, there are so many and varied ways to raise children to become
good adults, that we are almost paralyzed by the possibilities and
the fears that surround them. Most of us end up conforming to the
current standard of living and educating, and there is nothing wrong
with that at all. But there are other ways to love and educate
children, and if you have the courage to pursue them, there is no
one better than you with whom your son can spend his time.
As for me, I wondered since my son was born about
alternative ways to educate and raise him, but I really never had
the courage. A couple of years ago I became seriously ill and this
changed everything. I realized that while I know my time with my son
is limited to the first 18 years of his life and during those 18
years he will become increasingly more influenced by factors outside
of our home life, what I didn't realize quite so starkly is that our
time with our children is, in reality, limited to right now. NOW is
what I have with him, and if I am blessed to live for a long time
into the future, I don't want to look back on these years and wish I
had found a way to spend a year on the road with him showing him
these great United States of America which my father, his
grandfather, honored with his service in WWII.
find and insert war medals picture
We don't have much to travel with at this point.
We have little money because my illness took just about all of what
we had. But I am trying now to save enough money to set out with him
to see America at least, sleeping in state parks and forests and
wherever we can - with safety as my main concern.
All we have at this point is an
older Honda minivan with 100,000+ miles on the clock. I would love a larger van but can't
afford to buy a good one and am afraid of buying an old one which
might need repairs that I can't pay for or that will burden us and
hinder our travels. At least I know this minivan and where it has
been and how it has been maintained.
I am starting slow...but working steadily...to put
small things into place. For example, I've made some screens and
I've purchased some fans and a small portable camping toilet, etc
etc. I have started to buy things as I can, little by little, and I
have spent HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS online studying everything from
van dwelling to "road-schooling" to issues like power and wifi on the
road. I'm obsessed with trying to figure out how to best make use of
such a tiny tiny space...the two of us traveling, sleeping, eating,
and especially staying safe.
I respectfully suggest that you start figuring how
you want to lay out your van and what you need and desire on board,
and take a trip with your son in your van for a few days or a week
this summer and see how it goes. I plan to do this, and I suspect it
will give us a fair idea of what we will need for the more extended
trip back and forth across this great nation, or wherever we go.
I have my health issues to consider, and that is a
caveat of course. But every day is a gift and every GOOD day is a
miracle. I need to make the most of these days, and I want my son to
have memories and strength and a strong sense of compassion to carry
with him long after I am gone from this world.
I wish you and your son the very best as you plan
your adventures together.
© Joy in a
© 2014, 2020
The Writer's Block
Flares Expire (my solution) ~
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