Family's school on wheels visits 30 states

NEWBURY PARK, Calif. "We visited Gettysburg, and the girls read 'The Killer Angels,' which is about the Battle of Gettysburg, and the younger girls read more age-appropriate books," said Carole Meitler.

You could say education is a family affair for the Meitlers. Years ago mom and dad Carole and Paul decided to home-school their children, all four daughters: Katelyn, Rebecca, Christina and Rachel.

Last February, the Meitlers made another major family decision: They down-sized from a 3,000-square-foot home in Newbury Park to a 270-square-foot motor home. Then they hit the road to see as many national parks, historical landmarks and museums as they could.

"Mount Rushmore, the Fourth of July -- it was outrageous," said Carole Meitler. "We saw Niagara Falls and those kind of spots that we can't get to very easily. We also loved the historic sites: Gettysburg, Washington, D.C. There were Revolutionary War sites, Civil War sites."

"Jamestown and Yorktown, Boston and Philadelphia, New York, and we got to see all those," said Paul Meitler.

What started as a three-month trip turned into a seven-month, 30-state, home-school, on-the-road, "extreme edition" adventure.

"I would do it again in a heartbeat," said Carole. "It was the best thing that I've done with my kids."

"There's just something about standing in history," said Paul. "Man, there is nothing like standing right there and seeing it -- amazing."

The Meitler sisters agree: The trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"I especially enjoyed being at Mount Rushmore for the Fourth of July, and Niagara Falls, Carlsbad Caverns, and I also like going to Washington, D.C. a lot," said Rebecca Meitler.

And other than their friends, they say they only missed one thing: "Space -- definitely," said the sisters.


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