I can tell you where to find the best playground in California, the best milkshake in Idaho, and the prettiest back roads in Colorado. I can entertain and educate my kids all over the country… for free (Let’s just go ahead and have a moment of silence for whoever created the Junior Ranger program in our National Parks, shall we?). I know how to pack a car to its gills without everything falling out when you open the back hatch and how to squeeze a few educational moments into a 10-minute stop at a gas station. I am officially a road-tripping, homeschooling mama.
Some days it drives me crazy (I may or may not have recently offered my four-year-old a piece of candy to be quiet instead of helping him resolve his backseat conflict with his older brother… ahem!) but mostly I love it. It’s one of the hidden perks of being a missionary: every few years we get paid to travel around the country to visit with people we love and share with them the things we are passionate about.
Our current road trip spans eight states and one Canadian province, and I am taking full advantage of the range of our travel as I home-educate my children. Of course, there is the grunt work of workbooks in the car, but we also get to do cool things like tour Moody Aviation in Spokane, WA, where many of MAF’s pilots are trained. We’re currently reading up on Redwood trees, the ocean, and the desert, in anticipation of traveling through Northern, Central and Southern California. We will take field trips to zoos and aquariums and possibly even Legoland (how to make this educational… aha… it’s engineering!).
It’s a crazy lifestyle and sometimes my brain has trouble keeping up (which state am I starting the day in, and in which state will I end the day?), but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Schandorff family is currently on furlough here in the States, and their nomadic lifestyle is typical of missionaries who are taking a break from field ministry to visit with their supporters, family, and friends.