4th Grader Set for 6 Week “Homeschool Across America” Tour; Businesses Consider Homeschool an Emerging Market

A nine-year-old Oregon girl will homeschool across the contiguous United States this fall, calling attention to an emerging niche market.

Lake Oswego, OR, August 05, 2007 --(PR.com)-- Like millions of other children around the country, 9-year-old Caroline Haroldson of Lake Oswego, Oregon will start school the day after Labor Day. But unlike most fourth graders, she won’t enter any school doors. Instead, Caroline will begin a six-week trek homeschooling (or “travelschooling”) across the contiguous United States in a quest to learn about our nation’s history, geography, and government.

Amy Haroldson, Homeschool Across America’s founder, hopes the adventure will inspire families of the over one million homeschoolers in the United States to take advantage of the freedom to travel homeschooling offers. “I can’t imagine a more enriching way to learn than through travel to the actual places where history took place,” says Haroldson, who is also Caroline’s mother and travel companion for the journey. “Homeschoolers can travel anytime to learn. We avoid the holiday break crowds and long lines and can take advantage of off-season discounts.”

Many in the travel industry think Haroldson might be on to something and recognize homeschooling families as an emerging niche market. After attending a mini convention for homeschoolers in New Jersey, Sales and Marketing Director for Great Wolf Lodge, Pocono, Christopher Salerno said, “I came away seeing a great potential for our resorts to generate incremental business during our traditional slow times.” The lodge will launch a promotion specifically geared to homeschool families this fall.

National destinations such as Colonial Williamsburg, Disneyworld, and Hershey Park have already developed special programs specifically for homeschoolers. Williamsburg’s event, “Home Educator Week” is held each fall and spring. Attendees are treated to discounted rates on lodging and passes as well as specially scheduled educational activities and programs.

In planning Homeschool Across America’s Itinerary, Haroldson has been amazed by the amount of support businesses have provided. Many museums and tours, including the The Mark Twain Boyhood Home, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Boston Duck Tours and Hershey Park have offered free passes. The Great Wolf Lodge and Colonial Williamsburg have both offered to host Homeschool Across America’s visits to their area. “They definitely realize that the homeschool movement has created a new audience."

Homeschool Across America’s ambitious itinerary will take Caroline through every geographic region of the U.S. highlighting destinations appealing to families seeking enriching educational experiences. The website, homeschoolacrossamerica.com, encourages visitors to learn along with Caroline with educational activities, games and links. When the adventure begins, the site will track Caroline’s travels on an interactive map and through pod casts, a blog and video postcards. “The site is also a great resource for families looking for educational travel experiences,” says Haroldson.

Haroldson is interested in helping other homeschoolers see the benefit of bringing the classroom to locations that inspire learning. Those who would like more information about Homeschool Across America can visit homeschoolacrossamerica.com

About Homeschool Across America:
Homeschool Across America is a cross-country journey focused on finding and promoting educational vacation destinations for families seeking edifying and enriching travel experiences, and encouraging homeschool families to take advantage of the travel benefits offered them.

Homeschool Across America
Amy Haroldson