Meet the Harman-Woods: A Travelschool Family
What if instead of going to traditional school, you took an RV and traveled to find your next learning opportunity? One Smartick family does just that. The Harman-Woods are a travelschool family who pursue and encourage immersive and hands-on learning through real-life experiences. They use natural and historic sights as their global classroom and a means of exploration. Parents Lindsey and Andrew are lifelong learners who believe that learning is a family discovery experience. Lindsey explains that life on the road is full of trial and error, particularly when it comes to math. They found that not all math programs are the same and simply did not work for their sons. However, after some tears with other curricula, the Harman-Woods switched gears and now happily travel with Smartick as they take on the open road to continue their learning journey.
Schooling One Mile at a Time
How did you hear about Smartick?
I heard about Smartick while listening to The BraveWriter Podcast. Julie was interviewing Barbara Oakley regarding her book “How To Learn.” We were struggling with math in our homeschool, as so many families do, so my ears perked up at Barbara’s recommendation of Smartick. We started the 15-day trial that week. Suddenly all three of my boys were THRILLED about math. I couldn’t believe it!!
How do you incorporate Smartick into your family’s travel homeschooling routine?
We are a travelschool family and do our best to bring as little as possible with us in our 19′ RV. Last year we traveled with four separate math curricula to suit everyone’s needs. This year we will be traveling with an iPad and access to Smartick. Each child can work in their daily Smartick time as they see fit. Last year we literally had a math notebook chucked across the RV once, pencil markings through the sweet puppy picture on the cover of another math workbook and many moments of tears and arguing no matter what angle I approached math from. This year we have smiling, community, learning and an iPad. I’m happy I’ve made that trade!
Why did you decide that Smartick would be beneficial compared to other extra-curricular math programs?
I see that many parents that use Smartick use it to augment their current curriculum. In the last two months I’ve seen how uniquely it focuses on the needs and growth of the individual child in a way that no other math curriculum we have used has done. I prefer not to use it as an extra math but as the current curriculum. When we need to we will add in pencil and paper and manipulatives again, but for now this is a breath of fresh air.
What do you as a homeschooling parent like most about Smartick?
I adore that all three boys have Smartick as a common language and narrative for them to discuss between them. Smartick has added the element of joy to the math culture in our home which is priceless. The boys seek each other out to find out how the other is doing with their math and encourage each other to tend to it daily so that they can all continue moving forward together. This did not exist around math in our home previous to Smartick.
What are some ways you help motivate your children to work on Smartick?
We are a child led learning household so we don’t press our children to work where their interests do not currently exist. My 7 year old requests Smartick, first thing, almost daily and we do our best to assist him in making that happen. This is how I know it is an excellent fit for him. He’s hungry for all of the learning he is doing. You can see how he soaks it up and looks forward to more and more knowledge daily. The variety of other math curriculum we have in the house are all available to him on a daily basis as well. He’s so invested in Smartick that I wouldn’t dare press the other into his hands at this point. I’ll take it!
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