How A Family Of 5 Lives In A Van During COVID-19 Times

COVID-19 has actually made some parts of van life easier: Our three kids, ages 7, 10, and 12, are better about focusing on school now that the playgrounds and RV parks are closed and there are no friends running around wanting to play a game of tag. It took a while to get into our home-schooling rhythm, and I feel for the parents around the world who are suddenly needing to jump into it quickly.

Here’s what works for us: I usually sit with my kids individually on Fridays and review their work for the week. We started this home-schooling adventure using a certified teaching app, but with the kids coming from a more self-directed Montessori background, they weren’t used to that regimented approach, and it lasted only about three months. We ended up ditching the app and going with books I ordered online that touch on math, language arts, science, reading, and writing. (Up until now, we’ve left the history lessons for when we can visit historic sites close up.)

Every day, we’ll clear off our kitchen table, which doubles as the kids’ workspace. It’s not a very large table, but it honestly feels nice to all sit around each other—and if one child has a question when I’m in the middle of teaching another, there’s no yelling required. We’ve also found it helpful to loosen the rules a bit since COVID-19 started, so if the kids feel like doing their work while hoverboarding (yes, that really happens), we let them.

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