Mum ditches daily grind to 'roadschool' her children in classroom camper van

·4-min read

Watch: Mum ditches the daily grind to 'roadschool' her children in their very own classroom camper van

A mum-of-two has ditched the daily grind to 'roadschool' her children in their very own classroom camper van, complete with mini library and a white board.

Kate Hennessey Bowers and her husband Danny first began home schooling their children, Edith, 7 and Clarence, 5, two years ago but recently decided to ditch the rat race altogether and move out of their five-bedroom detached home in Staffordshire and into a minibus.

The couple set about converting the bus into both their home and a school for their children and have cleverly incorporated a miniature library and white board into the space, as well as the usual beds, kitchen, storage and living area.

Read more: Parents quit their jobs to travel round Europe in camper van on two year 'familymoon'

Kate Hennessey Bowers with her two children in their classroom  camper van. (Caters)
Kate Hennessey Bowers with her two children in their classroom camper van. (Caters)

In a lifestyle dubbed 'roadschooling', the family now travel around Europe, living and learning on the go, often holding lessons on location, in the woods, on the beach, at a museum or in their tepee tent.

The couple, who are currently renting out their old home, bought and refurbished the van at a cost of around £10,000.

The transformed van now features a table which acts as a school desk, which can be removed when driving, and plenty of storage for learning resources such as workbooks, Lego, journals, crafting kits, board games, maps and jigsaws.

The couple refurbished the minibus before leaving their five-bedroomed house to live there. (Caters)
The couple refurbished the minibus before leaving their five-bedroomed house to live there. (Caters)

Ms Hennessey Bowers, 36, who works as a freelance consultant said the family are embracing their new lifestyle.  

"It's something we have been intending to do for quite a while," she says. 

"It's still early days but so far it's what I expected. There are highs and lows and niggles but equally it can be so serene at times.

"We now live very frugally but it's a very rewarding way to live.

"We had to declutter and get rid of a lot of things, but that process has been going on for a while now."

Edith at the top and Clarence on the bottom right corner learning on location. (Caters)
Edith at the top and Clarence on the bottom right corner learning on location. (Caters)
Edith doing maths on the beach. (Caters)
Edith doing maths on the beach. (Caters)

The family have introduced a one-in-one out system for toys. 

"With regards to toys we have had a one in one out system for some time, so for every new toy that comes in they donate an old one to charity.

"Due to lockdowns people assume homeschooling means not mixing with other children but in my experience, it is actually more sociable than mainstream school.

Watch: Couple quit their jobs and head off for a two year 'familymoon' in a camper van. 

"We have a really busy schedule, staying in campsites run by other home educators and doing activities and things with other children and families all the time.

"It definitely gives the kids a deeper connection with themselves and also with nature and the community too.

"They aren't learning about history from a text book, instead we go to visit the castle itself and learn that way."

Read more: Woman transforms old van into glam motorhome to travel Europe

The family are loving their new frugal life. L-R Mum, Kate, Clarence, dad, Danny and Edith. (Caters)
The family are loving their new frugal life. L-R Mum, Kate, Clarence, dad, Danny and Edith. (Caters)
The miniature library which the family has incorporated into their classroom camper van. (Caters)
The miniature library which the family has incorporated into their classroom camper van. (Caters)

When it comes to family meals and cooking she says things have become much more basic.  

"It's all one pot meals really, but we also have an outdoor fire pit which is useful," she explains.

Read more: Trailer flash: How caravans got cool 

Dad Danny on the left, Edith in the middle and Clarence on the right, stargazing while on their van adventure. (Caters)
Dad Danny on the left, Edith in the middle and Clarence on the right, stargazing while on their van adventure. (Caters)

So is there anything the family miss about their old life? 

"Of course, we miss our friends and family back home but they do come to visit," Hennessey Bowers exlains.

"Edith sometimes says she misses her old bedroom, I think she probably had the biggest bedroom in the house, but they are enjoying this new adventure just as much as us.

"We can't wait to see where it takes us."

Additional reporting Caters.

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