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