The Brown family visits the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 2019. Parents Tammy and Jayson have been taking their kids on educational trips for five years. (Jayson E. Brown via AP)

The Brown family visits the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 2019. Parents Tammy and Jayson have been taking their kids on educational trips for five years. (Jayson E. Brown via AP)

The Marker Key West Harbor Resort offers private tutors for distance learners. It also has technical support and educators to help students. (AP)

The Marker Key West Harbor Resort offers private tutors for distance learners. It also has technical support and educators to help students. (AP)

The Walker family visits the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. Some families have turned the new school year into an extended summer vacation. (Breaux Walker via AP)

The Walker family visits the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. Some families have turned the new school year into an extended summer vacation. (Breaux Walker via AP)

Paul Hendricks receives some help from his mother Anne as he attends his first day of 5th grade from his bedroom in St. Paul, Minnesota. Many schools have gone online this year. (AP)

Paul Hendricks receives some help from his mother Anne as he attends his first day of 5th grade from his bedroom in St. Paul, Minnesota. Many schools have gone online this year. (AP)

Road Scholars

Posted: January 1, 2021

“Let’s hit the road!” Some families have spent more than enough time at home this school year. They want a change of scenery. Seizing what might be a rare opportunity, some parents are choosing “schoolcations.” They’re taking young scholars on the road—without waiting for summer break!

Addison Poses is from Austin, Texas. But the 13-year-old attended school online from Park City, Utah, in the fall. She also rode horses, hiked, and zip-lined. The Poses family went tubing and enjoyed an alpine slide. Addison had to log in online for school throughout the trip. But no one said she must do it only from her own home!

Schoolcations aren’t new for another family, the Browns. They’ve taken them for the past five years. The Browns choose their travels with school topics in mind. (Homeschoolers have done that for decades.) Whether they’re in South Africa or the Middle East, Mr. and Mrs. Brown make sure that their kids complete all their regular school assignments. Then they see more in person on family outings. What do their kids think about their schoolcations? “I find it much more fun . . . to experience firsthand what I’m actually learning in class,” says daughter Jay’Elle.

Some hotels try to help students on schoolcations. They offer quiet workspaces for children. Tutoring and after-school activities are sometimes available. Even sports training for student athletes can be an option.

“Family vacations are the new field trip,” says Lee Rekas of the Marker Key West Harbor Resort.

Stephanie Gunderson planned a two-week trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks with her four children. Each will bring school-issued iPads. “We plan primarily to stay in the cabin doing schoolwork. That’s the number one priority.” But they’ll be free in the late afternoons to enjoy the beach, she says.

The Walker family hit the road for a motor vehicle camping schoolcation. Logging in for school and doing homework is still mandatory for the Walkers’ sixth-grader and twin first-graders. But afterward, “We’re out in the woods every single day. . . . They’re getting the coolest, most experiential, useful education every day,” explains Mr. Walker.

Road scholars can soak up God’s creation outside the classroom! Do you get to travel during the school year?