Mary Lois Sennewald and Ryan Costello - Roadschooling Ryan
Mary and Ryan

On August 16, 2002, my son, Ryan and I left St. Louis and headed north up the Great River Road along the Mississippi. This was the beginning of our great experiment: a junior year spent traveling across the continent. We were going because he was ready for something different, something to fire his passion for life. We were going because I believed that there are often better ways to learn than sitting in a classroom. Travel ranks with the best. That is my belief.

- Excerpt from the introduction to
Roadschooling Ryan: Learn As We Go
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The book Roadschooling Ryan: Learn As We Go came out of our experiences in the year we spent on the road.

This offbeat memoir recounts the odyssey of a sixty-year-old mother and her seventeen-year-old son who hit the road for his junior year.

In August, 2002, the pair left St. Louis in a 1987 Volkswagen van to wander up the Mississippi into Canada, across to Newfoundland, down through New England, deep into southern Mexico, ending their journey in the high country of Colorado. This provocative tale of foibles and family, astonishment, missteps, and magical moments challenges preconceptions about education, freedom, and necessities for a good life.

By turns funny, poignant, and heart-warming, Roadschooling Ryan: Learn As We Go is about a young man on the brink of adulthood peering into the world, and a mother insisting on doing his schooling her way. It is also about survival, relative sanity, and compassion in very close quarters. Most of all, it is about having a great time no matter where the road leads.

- From the back cover

Roadschooling Ryan: Learn as We Go is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook through, and It can also be ordered through local bookstores.