Before we left on our big adventure in 2013 our kids had always been in the public school system.  They attended a typical California elementary school in the Bay Area.  Our oldest had just finished 5th grade and our twins had finished first.  Our lives revolved around our little school.  I was PTA secretary, a room mom and ran the school auction.  My husband coached soccer and helped in the computer lab.  So when we decided to pull the kids out and travel the world, our first hurdle was education.

Homeschooling never crossed my mind.  My first thought was a full-time online school.  There were several to choose from so we picked our favorite and decided to sign up in the fall.  We started our adventure in July, so we were in no rush to start. Our days were filled with visits to castles, historic towns and museums. We spoke new languages and discussed science and nature.

The kids seemed to be absorbing so much, so we kept pushing back starting online school.

Then we discovered Worldschooling and our lives were forever changed.  I have never seen an official definition of worldschooling but two of my favorite worldschooling moms, Lainie Liberti (Raising Miro) and Robyn Paulete, wrote this definition for the Facebook group Worldschoolers:

Essentially worldschooling uses traveling as a platform for education and favors the idea that mental knowledge is just one aspect of learning. Development of personal and global awareness, practicing mindfulness, patience, communication skills and language immersion are valuable qualities often overlooked in traditional models. One family calls it, “Homeschooling on a global field trip”.  Families who identify with being “worldschoolers” employ different learning styles. Some are unschoolers, some are traditional homeschoolers, some enroll their children in schools in foreign countries and others go to correspondence schools. There is no one right way to worldschool and as worldschoolers, we embrace our differences.

For us worldschooling is about combining the best resources and experiences.  We use websites like Khan Academy and Udemy.  We take language classes in countries that we visit.  We watch movies and read books about the history and cultures that we are immersing ourselves in.  We visit historical sites, learn new currencies and try to immerse ourselves in local culture.  Sometimes, when we are in a place for several months the boys attend the local school.  We let them decide.

In the last three years our boys have had amazing hands-on experiences.  They have toured coffee, sugar cane and chocolate plantations and learned how to create each product, they learned to herd sheep in Ireland and experienced Viking history in York.  They have learned about art history at the Louvre and Roman history at the Colosseum.

Holding a Tu-can, La Paz Waterfall Garden, Costa Rica

We are very fortunate that we are able to travel full-time with our boys, but you can do worldschooling from home.  Just choose a spot on the map and dig in.  You can study the currency, language, religion and history.  The world is your classroom!  Check out our 10 favorite worldschooling resources in Our 10 Favorite Worldschooling Resources to get started.

Want to learn more about Worldschooling?  Here are some amazing travelers who often write about their worldschooling journeys:

http://www.raisingmiro.com/

http://thenomadicadventures.com/

http://traveldeepandwide.com/

http://goodiegoodiegumdrop.com/

http://www.andoffwewent.com/

Are you worldschooling?  Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.

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  • 40 Comments

    1. Wow, that great that you can do this and travel full time. I always wonder about the social side of not being in school, the interaction with other kids on a daily basis etc. In the end, I say whatever works for you will work for your kids in many other ways

    2. What an amazing education! And hats off to you guys – we do this in short bursts whenever we travel but doing it full time takes a lot of energy and commitment.

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    4. World schooling skjnds amazing. I would love to do something like that. Right now I’m thinking about homeschooling.

    5. This is amazing! I have said that I would like to travel for long periods of time when my son is older. World schooling might be the way to go. Love this!

    6. shiv blogs Reply

      Thank you for such an informative blog post, world schooling is an amazing concept!

    7. This right here is better than any type of books. I always thought that school and education were two different things. It takes courage to do that ! I like that instead of sitting down and memorize book passages, they actually experience the world. It’s harder to forget. Your sons are so cute 🙂

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    8. Now this is really interesting! I’m happy to hear there are so many options nowadays for worldschooling! Your kids will have so much more knowlegde of the world now!! Very interesting for me to know whenever my time for mummyhood will come 🙂

    9. Your kids are very fortunate that you are open-minded parents! We are also thinking about this option and wonder how to do it. This is great information, thanks for sharing!

      • Jennifer Reply

        Thanks Jey Jetter! We are happy to answer any questions in the future!

    10. A very interesting article – thank you. The children will be learning such a lot and experiencing many different cultures – priceless!

    11. Great post! We did things the opposite of you – homeschooled full time from K through 9, taking lots of adventures (but not full-time travel). Now my boys are in high school and homeschool part time. We still travel a lot, but more often than not, they want to stay home with their friends. We’re making it work though. 

    12. Love seeing new forms of teaching and especially those that involve travel. I do believe in that travel is the best teacher there is!

    13. I think that is amazing. I don’t have kids but if I had them, I think this would be the way to go. And I love the fact that you as a parent probably also learn a whole lot of new things by teachers from everywhere!

    14. I struggle with wanting to teach at home and travel with the kids. I really want to but also want them to go to school school. You’ve inspired more conversation for us to have at home.

    15. I am really admirative! What an incredible adventure for the whole family! kind of scary but exciting too!

    16. Michele Peterson (@atastefortravel) Reply

      Great info for anyone considering long term travel with kids. What an enriching experience for your family – adults too. I know from my travels with my grandson that he’s learned a lot about cultures and the natural world by experiencing it rather than reading about it.

    17. I always love reading about family’s world schooling experiences and wish I felt confident to take the plunge myself! I guess I found it hard enough travelling + working online + parenting when we spent last year away and wonder how schooling would fit in as well, especially while our kids are young (our oldest just started school here in Aus which is why we returned, our next is 4 and we are about to have a baby) and need to learn to read and write – I guess I just can’t see a way that learning those skills isn’t labour intensive? I am actually a former high school teacher. For some reason this makes me more nervous even though I saw first hand just how much of school time is really wasted.

    18. Absolutely love this idea! I’ve traveled quite a bit with my son, but never taken the leap to full time.

    19. I firmly believe that this is one of the best ways to learn… you gain so much experience from travel. Wish that this had been an option for us when my daughter was growing up. Great resources!

    20. How amazing I think kids learn so much by actually experiencing things rather than reading about them in a book. Your kids are so lucky

    21. I would be interested in which schools the boys decided to attend and really, why? Love this post. I think it engenders a love for learning, and as an educator that’s all we hope to do.

    22. We just finished our homeschooling journey this month. 10 years doing it and I am so glad we did. It has made the WORLD of difference in their learning — ad it freed us up to do some much needed traveling. World Schooling was definitely want we needed in our lives. So glad your kids are thriving and having fun on their adventures.

    23. Had no idea that this was possible. Thank goodness is it. So great that you discovered the process and are able to immerse your family in this interesting world. Nice read.

    24. It’s great to see families who realize that education happens everywhere! We currently plan to go the more traditional school route (whether public or private), but I’ve not ruled out other options. I’m a traveler at heart and my need to show my kids the world seems to contradict the school district’s need to mark anything more than 3 days gone as an unexcused absence.

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