What in the world is worldschooling?
Worldschooling is a concept that is developing as we speak. Worldschoolers are embracing travel as education. For some this is pure unschooling, for others it’s accessing online courses like Kahn Academy or Outschool, or a more school at home (or on the road) approach, and everything in between. Like homeschooling, there is every kind of variation depending on the family, their needs and their choices.
How do you worldschool?
A family gap year
is a new concept that worldschoolers are embracing. Even for those who aren’t homeschooling and don’t intend to when the year is over, the family gap year is a way families are combining travel and education.
Nomads navigate visas, work, travel and education perpetually. They may stay in one country for a while, rent an apartment or house sit and then move on. Many of these families make a living via online work. Where ever there is wifi you will find them.
Part time worldschoolers
For those who haven’t taken the leap entirely, part time worldschooling could be taking a trip for weeks or months. For some this is a great ‘hedging your bets’ type option as it doesn’t involve selling everything you own and living life from your backpack (not that there’s anything wrong with that)
How do children learn from travel?
Travel is not just a holiday, it’s a new paradigm. Sometimes we don’t realise how much we take for granted in life until it’s different. Adaptability is one major skillset that comes from travel. Things change all the time and learning to adapt to the changes is a growth experience. (Remind me of this when I’ve been waiting for a delayed plane for 4 hours – growth experience right!)
They learn geography. Pure and simple, borders, mountains, lakes, capital cities, vegetation, animals, they learn it first hand. Lucky ducks.
Resilience. Schools love this one, but there is nothing like a long haul travel day of trains, planes and cars to teach you that ‘we got there in the end’. Yes it was boring at times, but looking out the window we saw all sorts of things. Some patience may be learned along the way too.
A language, or two or three. Kids and parents learn that communication happens, regardless of skillset in said new language. Inspiration to be able to communicate better can be found. It could be a basic few words of please, thank you and where is the toilet, or a more complex interest in delving into a new language.
Inspiration of every kind from food to photography, compassion to cooking, living out of a backpack takes you out of your comfort zone and shows you your life through new eyes.
Notice I’m not just focusing on what the kids learn. It’s damn near impossible not to change.
How we do worldschooling
I’m fortunate to say we have taken the part time worldschooling route a few times and plan to do so again next year. For us that involves about 8 weeks of travel and Italy is always on the menu.
Yes I love the comforts of home but my gypsy soul craves the road less travelled. The things I worried about (terrorist attack) did not happen and things I hadn’t even considered (earthquake) did. There are no guarantees in life, none on the road either. If you’d told me we’d be in a 6.6 earthquake on our trip to Italy I probably wouldn’t have gone. But we did, and we survived. Shaken, anxious, and with a story to tell, we did as the locals did and went out for coffee and cake. Well food IS medicine.
Here is some worldschooling inspo for you (and me) as you dream, no plan, your own kind of worldschooling.
Jenn really is an expert and she has the teenage children to prove it. Read about their worldschooling life here.