Oilfield Camper Homeschool



The concept of living in a camper with a child seems puzzling to a lot of folks and I find that because of this I am often asked how we are handling school for our son. The answer to the question of how to educate your children while living in a camper is a deeply personal and individual one and that answer will be different for every family. Some choose to send their children to the local school where their camper is parked. Some choose to stay in their campers for the summer and return home for the school year. Some families decide that homeschool is the best option for their children. When you are in tune with the needs of your child, your family and aware of your own strengths and weaknesses then whatever choice you make will be good and valid.

Our family has decided that the best choice for our son is homeschool. There are many factors that went into making this decision and we didn’t make it lightly. The most obvious reasons we chose homeschool are because we can take our curriculum with us wherever we go and we don’t have pull him out of school to take a vacation, go visit family or if Jacob’s job takes us somewhere else.

We also chose homeschool, because for 4 years we watched our son struggle in perfectly respectable traditional daycares and preschool.  It was apparent that his personality just wasn’t compatible with this type of traditional learning environment. After discussing it with his teachers, other parents, and even a therapist we came to the conclusion that the best solution for our son was to be in an environment where he could have his mom and dad together and learn in a way that was comfortable to him.

I know some folks worry about the socialization factor. In our experience Will actually socializes better outside of school than in a school environment. Thankfully for us there are children Will’s age in our camper lot and they  often spend the afternoons playing and running around together. When Will was in school we had to have meetings with his teachers because he wouldn’t play with the other children. When he’s here it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Another factor to consider, should you decide that homeschool is right for your oilfield family, is choosing your curriculum. There are many well put together curricula available that are based on many different methods and learning styles. You can choose from classical, religious and Montessori curricula just to name a few. There also online schools that provide access to a teacher to guide your child in learning process.

Our family has chosen the Oak Meadow Curriculum which incorporates Waldorf learning methods, because they are what most closely match our family’s beliefs and life philosophy. We have been working with their Preschool curriculum for a while now and will be starting their Kindergarten curriculum in a few weeks. Will and I are very excited!

Now that you know our story, I want to hear from you! Are you an oilfield family living in a camper and homeschooling? Oilfield family living at home and homeschooling? Oilfield family living in a camper and sending your children to the school nearest to your camper? Tell me your story! I’d love to connect with you!



About chelsea

Chelsea is mama to 4 year old Will and partner to her oilfield man and best friend of 16 years, Jacob. She splits her time between the family’s camper in the North Dakota Oil Patch and a small urban homestead in Kentucky. Chelsea writes about the family’s camper adventures at www.talesofanoilfieldgypsy.blogspot.com. She is a batik artist and loves teaching others about the art of batik at www.beautyofbatik.com. She can also be found working on her other sites www.chelseaniehaus.com and www.urbanagricultureinfo.com. In her moments of spare time she enjoys knitting, sewing and gardening.


  1. Janie Snelson says:

    Some of the best oilfield kids I know were homeschooled. I only wish I had homeschooled my stock showing son…and given him those alternatives.

  2. Bethany Potter says:

    Oh wow! This is so cool to see this! Last year my husband and our two young girls moved from Maine to Louisiana for an Oilfield job. When we got down here we had to figure out what we were going to do about school for our 1st grader. Since public school isn’t even an option( Some of the worst in the nation down here I’m afraid :/ ) We had to try and find a private school that fit our family and wasn’t 10 grand a year! When that didn’t happen we choose Homeschooling. It was a big change, that’s for sure! But now that my husband has switched from building equipment in the shop to going over seas to fix equipment, we couldn’t be happier with our decision! He doesn’t do your typical hitch, he will leave and be gone until a problem is fixed (any where from 2 weeks to 6 months) and then come home for as long as he likes. Homeschooling allows us to take time off when he has time off, when ever that may be, instead of pulling them from school to spend time with daddy.(Disney for two weeks while all their friends are in school makes it all that sweeter 😛 )
    But what really excited me about this is the fact that we have been considering buying an RV so that the girls and I can travel to where ever we would like while hes gone. We have family in Fla, Ca and Maine, and none here, so I would really like to spend time with them when I can. But I keep going back and forth. Do I give the girls the gift of traveling and seeing the country, or do I give them stability and gymnastics and dance classes??? I haven’t been able to figure out what is going to best for us, so your story helps a lot! Thank you!

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