What do you think kids will remember? Things they’ve read about in books or things they’ve experienced on their own? Imagine that everything other kids learn in school, your child could try by himself, right from the source. There are no class hours, no distraction of formal curriculum and no limitations of your free time. Imagine you can show your child all those amazing pieces of art other kids only read about, or give your child the experience of the culture other kids hear about from their teacher.
What would you teach your child if all this was possible? And how would you teach your child?
- 1 What is worldschooling?
- 2 Worldschooling tips
- 3 Worldschooling: before you leave
- 4 Worldschooling activities at home
- 5 Worldschooling at your destination
- 6 Worldschooling after you come home
What is worldschooling?
Worldschooling is the best of education and travel with kids mixed together. It’s just that, and so much more! Worldschooling doesn’t mean you pack a suitcase and go for a vacation, where you dutifully visit a museum or two, and show your kids some landmarks. No, it doesn’t work like that. Families who choose to worldschool take their child’s education seriously. They pick this lifestyle because they question the traditional 9-5 way of life and they want something more. They want their children to learn from the world and experience this knowledge on their own. There is nothing better than to experience things by yourself!
Think about yourself when you were a child. When you sat in that classroom, listening to your teacher talk about history… Did you remember it a month later? Did you feel as if you were right where the history happened? I don’t think so. But now imagine yourself standing in the very place where the history took its course. Imagine reading about it right there and seeing the place where it all happened. Would you remember it a month later? I think there is a pretty good chance you would!
That’s what worldschooling is all about! It’s about giving your child the best lessons you could possibly afford. And just like any schooling, it’s hard work.
Worldschooling is such a complex way of educating children. It starts at home, long before you take off. It continues at the destination and it lasts long after you come home. There are just so many valuable lessons world schooling can give us. And there are so many lessons you can prepare for your child to boost his knowledge!
Some hardcore worldschoolers will say that you can only truly worldschool if you travel fulltime. But the philosophy of worldschooling and the worldschooling mindset can also be implemented on shorter trips or even at home.
Unschooling or formal homeschooling
There are many ways you can do worldschooling. Some people unschool their children and let them figure things out on their own. Unschooling is child-focused and child-supporting learning. Unschooling parents introduce ideas, objects, experiences and opportunities, but let their kids choose what they want to explore. They believe in stimulating a child’s intrinsic motivation to learn. Every child will eventually learn everything he wants and needs. Children love to learn and they soak up the information like a sponge!
Some worldschoolers still want their children to have some type of formal education, and they chose a more traditional way of homeschooling, following a set curriculum or a combination of methods also used in school.
Whichever type of homeschooling or worldschooling you decide on, you might not have all the materials you need at home. Take a look at this list of affordable school supplies for some ideas of what you might need.
This is one of my most important homeschooling or worldschooling tips. Be flexible and go with the flow! It’s good to plan your day and kinda plan your lessons. But If something unexpected happens and your child is interested in learning about it, just let him or her explore! Let’s say I planned the lesson about rocks today. I took my kids outside to see this amazing little rocks by the lake, but out of nowhere a ladybug landed straight on my child’s hand and she’s never seen a ladybug before. I will forget the lesson about rocks for now and teach my child about the ladybug!
There are many ways you can educate your kids and it doesn’t have to involve worksheets and sitting at the desk 100% of the time. Check out these tips for fun learning activities while on the go
Worldschooling: before you leave
Budget your travels
Finances play a big part in worldschooling (and homeschooling in general). Traveling with kids is not cheap! Transportation, restaurants, hotels, car rental… it all costs money and it all adds up. Do a little research and write down your expected expenses. This way you have at least a general idea of the cost of each trip and you can plan accordingly. Of course, you can also worldschool on a budget. Not all your trips have to be to far away destinations.
Pick a destination
Think about what you would like your child to learn and what would be the best place to learn it. What is your objective for this trip? If you want to teach your child about art, Paris is a good choice. Louvre is an amazing place that will not disappoint when it comes to art. Do you want to take a lesson of italian cuisine and culture? You can’t find better place to learn about Italy than, well, Italy.
Whatever you want to teach your child, there is a destination that is perfect for it. You can also turns this around. Pick a destination on your bucket list and think about what you can teach your child when you visit this particular destination. Even a tropical beach holiday can teach your kids about marine life and conservation, climate and local culture.
The planning process
Involve kids in your planning process. It’s a great source for lessons about finances, planning and management. Don’t limit learning just to a travel destination. Make everything a lesson and teach your kids important life skills. When you are planning your next adventure, talk to your kids about it daily. Let them be a part of everything, even such complex matter as finances, because there is never going to be a better lesson about money. Teach them the value of money, how much things cost and how to budget. They will be grateful for these lessons when they are grown-ups trying to budget themselves! Let kids observe and learn how to plan the trip. Planning and time management are important skills in many professions which makes mastering these skills very valuable.
Worldschooling activities at home
Watch some videos about your next destination on YouTube. There is a lot you can teach your kids from the videos and it shows them where you are all heading. It will also allow their little mind to soak up information about the country so they know what to expect and what they would get out of this trip as well.
Arts and crafts
Another fun activity you can do with your children is coloring. Print out coloring pages that are related to the location you’re visiting. Are you going to Paris? Print out coloring pictures of Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame de Paris and Arc de Triomphe. Talk about these landmarks and let your children explore. You can also explore local art forms, such as the aboriginal way of painting with dots if you’re visiting Australia, trying your hand at Japanese calligraphy or making Wayang puppets when you’re visiting Indonesia.
Look at the map! One of the simplest yet overlooked ways to teach is to just simply take the map out and explore. Where is the place we’re visiting? What countries are surrounding it? Is it close to the sea or the ocean? What ocean? Is it in northern or southern hemisphere?
Visit your local library and pick up some books. Go to the children’s section as well as to adult section. Children’s section usually has many easy to read books that are full of colorful pictures and fun facts. These are great books to read to your children on a daily basis. Read them as a bedtime story before you go sleep or during the quiet time during the day. Adult section is a great resource for learning about history, culture and other useful informations about the country you plan to visit.
Being bilingual has lifelong benefits for your brain. Did you know that bilingual people are less likely to get dementia and other brain affecting conditions? I am trilingual and I’m raising my daughter to be as well, so I hope it is true!
Being bilingual also opens up the door to better understand other cultures and being able to speak to more people (because not everyone speaks English).. Of course you can experience the culture without speaking the language! But there is just something about knowing the native language when exploring a certain country. Even if it’s just a couple words or phrases. It’s almost like you get the people better. You connect on a different level.
Before you go, take mini language lessons at home and learn some words from the language spoken at your destination. Are you going to Spanish speaking country? Here’s a fun game. Take sticky notes and label all items around the house with spanish word! Then everytime you go do something, there is the spanish word looking at you! Let’s say I’m going to get the snack. I open the Frigorífico (fridge) and I grab yogur (yogurt). Once you are at your destination, your kids will remember some words and they will have easier time communicating and learning new words. What a great way to learn a language!
Worldschooling at your destination
A great way for your kids to remember the trip for many years to come is to write a journal! Have your children write down everything they learn and draw some pictures! Ask them to draw anything they’ve seen or they want to remember. Let their creativity go wild and let them use anything you can find during your trip. You can go pick some leaves for the “nature” picture or use sand and glue for a beachy masterpiece.
Take your kids to local museums. Let your kids explore and learn at their own pace. Don’t rush learning! As you will find out, every museum will be different from the last one. Most of the museums will have staff that will be happy to fill in the knowledge gaps. Ask away!
Immerse in language
There will never be a better way to learn language than going to the country that speaks it. There just won’t. Remember those mini-lessons you and your kids took at home before you left? Use them and speak! A lot of people are shy to speak another language because they are worried they don’t speak good enough, no one will understand or they sound weird. So what? I didn’t exactly sound like an American when I moved from Europe to the USA! In fact, I could hardly ask for directions and my accent was so strong that those few words I did speak, nobody could understand. But I was forced to learn because everyone around me spoke English, and I did!
Read labels when going to the grocery store and learn how to name food, fruits and veggies in the other language. Learn basic common phrases such as “Good afternoon” and use them everywhere you go. Ask locals to speak slowly and teach you and your kids some words. Immerse yourselves into the language!
Go sightseeing as much as you can
If you borrowed some books when you were preparing for your travel, I’m sure you read about landmarks you can go see once you’re there. Go see them! Visit all historic buildings, monuments or UNESCO sites. You can find a list of UNESCO sites on their website.
Explore local flora and fauna
Every country is different. While you might have palm trees in your backyard, people in the country you’re visiting have maybe never seen one. Get out for walks and explore what grows and lives there. You might see different kinds of lizards, frogs or plants that you usually don’t see where you’re from. Ask locals about trees and plants you and your kids don’t recognize. Maybe go for a tour out into a nature reserve. Take a local with you and ask him to show you animals and plants typical for the area.
Try to visit places that are different from your home. Do you live up north in the snowy winter-wonderland? Go visit tropical country or jungle! When things are diverse is when we can compare and learn the most. Take time to educate your children about agriculture as well. What grows here and what animals are being raised for meat or for sell? Is it different from your country?
Weather and climate
What is the weather like where you travel? Is it different from the one at home? Why? Pull out the map and teach your kids why some countries are warmer and some colder in general. There is a lot to be learned here. You can teach your kids how the Earth rotates around the sun and affects the warmth. Not every country is warm/cold as your hometown.
Foreign currencyObserve people and the culture
Culture is a big part of every country. Observe the culture of the country where you’re in. Your kids will never learn this from books! It’s great to read about other cultures, but it doesn’t compare to actually seeing it and experiencing on your own. Observe people and the religion as well. Are people more open and loud, or maybe more quiet and private? Is the country and its people rich or poor? Are they one race? Is most of the country christian, muslim, buddhist or another religion? Go visit local churches, mosques and temples. Local people will be more than happy to share and they will tell you a little bit about their religion. What a great lesson!
Worldschooling after you come home
The learning experience doesn’t end when you return. In order to make the most of what you and your kids have learned, incorporate it in future lessons.
Regularly talk about your trip, what everyone saw and what everyone learned. Now you can all see things more clearly, the first excitement is gone and your brain had time to process everything.
Read in your journal
If you’ve kept a journal, reading to your kids from it is an excellent way to remember all those fantastic learning experiences and wonderful family memories. You can ask your kids questions about the things you saw and did.
Create a photo album
Online photo albums are so easy to create these days and are wonderful for years to come. You’ll see that your kids will want to see them again and again. Don’t let all those wonderful pictures waste away on your laptop. Let your kids help you select which pictures to put in and what to write in the comments.
Make a poster
Create an infographic type poster for each country or destination that you’ve visited. Make it a learning tool by adding interesting information about the country. You can start with the basic information such as the number of people living there, the language they speak and the currency they use. Either use your own pictures or find pictures and icons online.
Make a collage
Select your favorite pictures and make a collage. Let your kids decide how to group the pictures. This could be by country, but also by location (inside, outside, at the beach, in the jungle), by type of experience (nature walk, landmark visit, workshop), or even something like color or shape. Or completely random. You can also add keepsakes of your travels, such as receipts, attraction tickets or local money.
Plan your next adventure
The best thing about coming home is that you can leave again 😉 Start planning your next adventure and get your kids involved.
Do you homeschool or world school? We’d love to hear more about it. Let us know in the comments!