Homeschooling and Traveling

Homeschooling and traveling, two wonderful freedoms in life. We are one of a growing crowd of homeschooling traveling families, we’ve been on the road 3 years now but we homeschooled in Australia for years before that. These days we homeschool overseas, all around the world, full time.  Homeschool probably doesn’t mean what you think it does. It is not “school at home” we don’t do lessons or distance education. We don’t fill the kids up with the same stuff the schools try to teach. We just learn, in total freedom. This is how we homeschool as we travel. We’ve been educating outside school for a long time now, my two are 11 and 9, it’s working out great. 

Homeschooling and Traveling. Homeschooling While Traveling the World, for 3 Years +

Read on to find out how we do it, why we do it and to pick up tips and ideas for homeschooling on the road. This site uses affiliate links, they cost you nothing and are how we keep this site free for you to use. Thanks for being here.


Homeschooling and Traveling, Traveling homeschoolers on educating your children as you show them the world.

Homeschooling and traveling, the two go together. Hover over this image to bookmark it to Pinterest.

What’s in a Name? Homeschool, Unschool, Worldschool?

Homeschool is the preferred term in our home state, Queensland Australia, it incorporates unschooling. In other parts of the world Home Education is more commonly used, to separate our style of learning from that employed in schools.In the UK this is the norm. Worldschooling is a way of describing any education provided by, or enhanced by, travel and the world, it’s a popular term amongst traveling homeschoolers. Unschooling is a complete rejection of the school system, but does not imply un-educating, good unschooling is very proactive.

Find out what is worldschooling here.

Find out what is unschooling here.

We’ve tried them all and found what works for us. I really don’t care what you call it, they just learn, without school.

As the boys get older I find myself updating these old posts. What worked when they were 6 and 4 isn’t what works today. Home education is fluid and adaptable, that’s one of the beauties of it.

I have an academic background, I went to a good school, did well, got my degree and worked as a scientist. Education and knowledge are important to me and I’m fanatical about giving the boys a good one. We homeschool in part because we care deeply about education.

I make no apologies for the fact that I insist on them getting a proper education, but that doesn’t necessarily include exams. It’s about them having the tools they need to make life choices, to know what they want to do and be able to go for it.

We Were Homeschooling Long Before We Started Travelling.

Homschooling while traveling. Traveling homeschoolers in India.

In India. A new friend to paint, dance and skip with.

Homeschooling and traveling go together, they have to, but we’d already chosen that path before we even thought of returning to the travel we loved.

After 2 years of homeschooling before we left on this trip, I wasn’t at all worried about the kids’ education. I’d been through the de-schooling process. This is the term used for forgetting everything you’ve been conditioned to think about acquiring knowledge. Learning happens all day, every day, it doesn’t come from teachers, text books, tests and exams. But that said, it doesn’t just happen by chance, the parent has to be pro-active in seeking inspiring learning opportunities.

The Legality of Homeschooling on The Road

You need to check this out for yourself, but I can tell you what I know.

I was a registered homeschooler in Queensland Australia, this meant I had to submit my curriculum for approval every year and put a report together 12 months later, complete with work samples. We were approved each year. Once we left Australia this was no longer allowed, nor required, if we return we’ll need to re-register.

If you’d like to see examples of Queensland applications, reports and homeschool curriculums, they are on our other website, Homeschool Group Hug. Regulations vary enormously between Australian states. Your decision to homeschool or withdraw your child from school is nothing to do with the school, they cannot stop you and you do not need to ask permission, you will need to register in some way with your state’s homeschooling body.

I’m British, so are the boys, one of the wonderful things about the UK is that no homeschool registration, reports or checks are required. We’re legally free to educate our way. ( visit this site to find out about home education in the UK)

You’ll need to check regulations in your home country or state, but it’s important to remember that if your kids are un-enrolled from school, they cannot be truant.

In a handful of countries, homeschooling is illegal, you can find that list here. My understanding is that these laws only apply to residents and citizens, but check for yourself.

Travel is a Great Way to Enhance an Education.

See this post on education through travel, if you want to know what we picked up in our first year of travel.

Obviously, travel does amazing things for children, helping them along with their self-confidence, resourcefulness, social skills and ability to empathise. Alongside this there is the more concrete learning in geography, history and languages that comes naturally from visiting every country. I say naturally, but there is a lot of parental input in getting this “natural” learning to happen.

Homeschooling while traveling. Khmer cooking course in Battambang Cambodia

A cooking class in Cambodia another way of homeschooling while traveling. Why would any child need to do domestic science in school? I don’t get that at all, maybe because their lives are too busy with homework to cook.

Our travels put us in the amazingly fortunate position of being able to take the kids TO the learning. So if they want to learn about the Mayans, we take them to Tikal.

For art, we take them to world renowned galleries or to see local artists at work, maybe they can join in or take a class.

Homeschooling and traveling. Stone carving class Mamallapuram. Homeschooling while traveling in India

One of the boys took a stone carving class with a master craftsman in India. He made Jeremy the turtle.


For music we watch diverse performances, use internet resources and try our hands at different instruments from around the world.

History is all around us, you can touch it. My elder child has just been studying the Seven Ancient Wonders through an online course, so he was keen to see the remains of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus at the British Museum and we’re taking him to Turkey for Ephesus. Imagine finding out about Pol Pot and the Vietnam war through being there, on the spot. Don’t you think that’s better than a book?

For religion, we visit as many temples, mosques, churches and museums as we can, talk to the locals and see first hand the realities of their faiths. We observe their practices, respect them and sometimes join in. This style of learning is so much more fun than books!

 Making Coir rope in Kerala

Learning about local industry in Kerala. Here making rope from coconuts. I bet you learned about that from books. Homeschooling while traveling makes those text books redundant.

What about science? I was a scientist in my life before kids and we have done a lot of hands on, fun, homeschool science. This will be hard on the road, but I am pretty good at talking about the science in a situation, from frying an egg to the zoological classification of every animal we see.

We crammed in a lot of practical science before we left, got ahead of the game. I can’t pack the chemistry sets but opportunities will present themselves while we are away. Recently we’ve got a lot out of London’s fabulous and free museums, including the kids science shows at the Science Museum and the incredible Natural History Museum.

Homeschooling while traveling, Travelling with kids, worldschooling, homeschooling, home education and unschooling

Hover over this image to bookmark it to Pinterest

Curriculum and What We Do Now.

I wrote our curriculum back in Australia, because I had to, based on the progression of learning, the government curriculum from a few countries and our own interests and needs. I had to get it approved each year. I facilitated learning from this curriculum by bring up topics in conversation, showing them books, toys and films about the topics we need to cover and taking them to places where they could learn at source. We also followed the boys’ interests as they cropped up, we didn’t have to follow that curriculum to the letter, we did more.

Traveling homeschoolers have more time to read. Homeschooling while travelling in Cambodia. Getting to Cambodia 018 (550x433)

Because they don’t go to school or do homework, they have MORE time to read. Love that!

I would class myself as maybe a partial unschooler, certainly an eclectic homeschooler. I’ve always employed some work books for maths and English, but in a very casual way. That is more to do with me reassuring myself rather than any real need. Lately I’ve been using more work books as a response to their needs, I find they are a great way to get the boys writing, and mixing it up with some online courses.

Children outside mainstream education can forget about sitting particular exams at particular times. They are free to progress at their own pace, according to their own needs. Should my boys wish to go on to any further study or university, there are multiple ways they can do this without the standard school certificates. It’s a long established process, generations of kids have gone before.

You can find out how homeschooled children can go on to tertiary education in Australia here.

I think it’s important to keep records in the form of a journal, photographs, spread sheets or work samples. You need to be able to see and show that a quality education is actually happening. Keeping records will help you reassure yourself.

Educational Resources We Use as We Travel.

Craftsman village Pak Ou Luang Prabang

Socialisation for traveling homeschoolers. They meet and interact with all kinds of people, old and young. We don’t keep them locked up all day.

We use the internet and a few books on the road. We can’t be weighed down with a travelling library so once a book has served its purpose we give it away. If it is a work book I date and photograph every page.

Workbooks and “School” Books

It’s easy to pick up work books around the world, we saw some brilliant ones in Sri Lanka and stocked up in the UK.

After much trial and error, we’ve discovered that we prefer the Carol Vorderman series of work books for English (English Made Easy ), Maths (Maths Made Easy) and Science (Science Made Easy) along with the Letts Enchanted English and Mythical Maths series and (Smelly Spelling) books. They come in age appropriate levels and can be found on Amazon UK (click through). For, the US site, you’ll find Carol Vorderman’s books here.

Quite often we simply have nothing to do, work books fill the time nicely and done right, they’re fun. Don’t forget that puzzle books, crosswords and word searches can also count as “school”, they’re all improving reading, spelling and vocabulary.

Online Learning. Reading

When the boys were tiny, just learning letters and starting to read, they both used Reading Eggs, The Online Phonics Program That Kids Love. They used them for fun, simple, brightly coloured games were their first steps in letters and phonics. You could, of course, use this online course in a much more structured way. Reading Eggs now works for children right through to 11 years old, there have been big changes on the site allowing it to be used for more advanced reading and comprehension.

You can trial Reading Eggs for FREE here.

Learn to Read

Online Learning. General, Reading, Maths and More

We have a subscription to an Australian online learning site, Studyladder (paid), this covers English and Maths and gives us a good idea of where they would be if they were in school. It also has a useful science, music and art section, although these are in no way complete enough to be used in isolation.

Online Learning. Computer Coding

For computer coding we use Scratch and Code Academy, both are free. We supplement this with this book Computer Coding for Kids which is tied to the UK coding curriculum ( Thiscomputer coding book is also available as a work book here). Scratch is loads of fun, the kids do this without realising they’re doing “school” and the book gives them ideas for projects. This book also covers Python and has earned a place in our backpacks. Code Academy introduces HTML, but I found it easier to teach myself this coding language from a book (HTML for Dummies). I use this skill on the websites all the time.

Online Learning. Typing

My 11 year old recently decided to learn to touch type. He’s doing brilliantly on BBC Dance Mat and loves doing it. This is pure self-directed learning. Love that! He’s found some other online typing games and practice sites, I’ll have to ask him what they are.

Online Learning. Art

I find that both boys CAN draw, but don’t know WHAT to draw, so online drawing and art classes are great fun for them and they’re always proud of their creations. We use a variety of free online art and drawing classes.

Thrive Art has 1 good free lesson, but we don’t think the full course is worth the money.

Art Hub For Kids has great Free drawing and painting lessons ( including Minecraft).

Art Venture has a few free art lessons, mostly using the wax resist method.


This series of famous artist Coloring and drawing books finds its way into our packs sometimes too. This one is Van Gough, the kids’ favourite because of Doctor Who. We always have coloured pencils and sketch books with us.

Online Learning. Languages

You will find many, many apps that will help you learn languages, our favourite is Duolingo which we use for Spanish along with the excellent BBC Languages website. Here you’ll find FREE languages courses.

Online Learning. Geography

Seterra is an online geography game, you can download it to your computer and have endless fun beating the kids at identifying countries against the clock. It’s great when they start to beat the grown ups.

Online Learning. History

Our particular favourite learning resource on the road is the Crash Course in World History by John Green on Khan. Lots of fun!

Other Homeschool Resources for Travel

You Tube gives us plenty of documentaries and movies to tie in with whatever they’re learning about, along with some great online lessons for kids.

As the boys are getting older we’re using Khan Academy (FREE) more and more. That includes me, I’m studying art history on Khan, something I never did in school.

The kids sometimes use Minecraft Homeschool (click through to read more about this cool resource). They not only learn the finer points of redstone construction, they can study science, history, geograpy, all the usual subjects , in a Minecraft environment AND answer questions and submit work.

We take local classes whenever we can, including cooking and stone carving this year.

Both boys have their own blogs, they write posts, create images and are learning about the technical side of website creation, including HTML, and social media marketing. Find out how to start a free blog for them here. They’re learning a trade that could provide them with an income long before they leave school, my younger child is blog-mad and now has a professional self-hosted site.

Traveling homeschoolers. Socialization while traveling. child friendly villa in Italy

New young friends, of all nationalities and mixed ages, during a week in Italy. More of that socialisation thing!

Occasionally the boys join group classes (such as Forest School).

Obviously, the boys get to take part in all sorts of sports and activities, from kayaking to rock climbing, no worries about PE.

I am big fan of audio books for the car, particularly Horrible Histories ( click through to see the range) and children’s e-books to read on their Kindles.

The Kindle Paperwhites are the single most important tool we carry, other than the laptops, we couldn’t travel without a never ending supply of books, in English, click the link above and buy the kids one each. Ours, the paperwhite, do not play games, they are purely for reading, we have a no computer game or phone rule when we’re outside the house, it applies to adults too, if we had the Kindle Fire they’d just play games. Without books to read, travel days would be long and hard.

Museums, historic sites, zoos, farms, rainforest and places of interest are my best friends, luckily the kids love them too.

The older they get, the more they are getting out of guided tours and audio guides, when they were tiny this was pointless, but now we seek them out. We had a fantastic day long tour in Assisi and recent big successes with the British Museum, Tate modern and National Gallery tours.

We do not travel lite, that’s not fair on the kids. Alongside the books, computers, pens and pencils, we’re always picking up new Lego sets, Nerf Guns, cuddly toys, frisbees and Harry Potter paraphernalia. We have two very full adult backpacks, we’ll never travel carry-on only. Kids need some “stuff” which is part of our decision to buy a house as a base. The house is bought, you can find out where here, we’ll still be travelling, don’t think we’re settling, if you travel with kids we’d love you to come and stay.

Further Reading

To help you get the ball rolling, a few classic books on education.

How Children Learn (Classics in Child Development)

Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling

The Unschooling Unmanual

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling


How Many Hours Does Homeschooling Take On The Road?

Homeschooling and traveling. Socialisation gor homeschoolers. Forest School woods

New friends and a new environment, discovering British woodlands at Forest School.

That’s up to you and your kids. This is what we do.

When we’re actively travelling, backpacking around, seeing new things and places, we do NOTHING!

They’re learning enough, why spoil it? ( for example during our month in India)

By nothing I mean no work books, online learning or reading other than what they would do for pleasure. They are, of course, learning enormous amounts every day, totally unschool.

When we’re settled, in one place for a few weeks or months, we do SOME.

A bit, a little, what we need to do or what they want to do. We never let “school work” get in the way of going out, seeing friends or having fun, it’s purely something for down time. ( for example during our breaks in London, month in Antigua or 6 weeks on Ko Phangan)

There are no term times, no holidays and no weekends. The education fits with us, not the other way round.

It’s working out just fine.

It’s important to remember that “school” isn’t just the dull stuff, it’s easy to focus just on maths, English and science and forget that drawing, making things, reading and computer studies are important too. Let them have fun with their interests and make sure they know it counts towards their education.

Traveling homeschoolers. Socialization and history at Siem Reap Cambodia, visiting Angkor with kids

Today we’ll do history. At Ankor Wat. And meet the funniest, nicest tuk tuk driver in the world. More socialisation on the road. It’s not confined to same-age kids!



That’s just a quick overview of how we roll, how we cover all bases on the road. If you’re new to taking the responsibility of facilitating your kids’ education, I’d strongly suggest you find other homeschoolers online to talk to. Everybody does this thing differently, there are philosophies and routes that you probably haven’t heard of, it’s about picking the right one for your child and for you. I started blogging because of my involvement with the Australian homeschooling community. I met inspirational and knowledgeable people online and eventually became heavily involved in supporting and encouraging other new homeschoolers. There are plenty of us out there and our numbers are growing. Seek us out, we love to share.


You would be amazed how well young kids can learn to read, develop incredible grammar and improve their spelling, just through having what they think is fun. I’ve been through the early years of learning to read and primary school maths, they’re there, they did it, it worked. We were far more unschool in those days. My younger son took a long time to start reading, he was 8 before he really started reading books, but now he’s a voracious reader like his brother, the “catch-up” period was just a couple of months once he was ready. That’s the beauty of it, there’s no pressure, let the child go just as far and as fast as they like, it doesn’t matter. The elder one was totally put off reading by school, once he was out, he flew.

I don’t know where we’ll go from here, maybe they’ll want to try school and exams, maybe they won’t. We’re looking at the British iGCSE system, kids can take their GCSEs without ever going to school, we love this as the boys can pick whatever subjects they like. Nobody can predict the future, but I can tell you for sure that what we’ve done so far has been amazing and that they’re doing just fine.

If you would like to read more about how we roll educationally, have a look at the links below.

Homeschool and travel are inextricably linked, if I can help you, I will, gladly, just fire me an email. 

One Year of Travel. How much learning happened?

Homeschool and Travel. How’s it Going?

What is Worldschooling?

What Does A Homeschool Day Look Like?

World Travel Family now has a sister site Homeschool Group Hug, which deals exclusively with Homeschool related topics outside of travel, unfortunately I have very little time to put into it, but it will grow.

If you now need further information on the nuts and bolts of making this travelling lifestyle possible, you need these posts.

How We Financed This Trip

How To Start Your Own Blog

What Gear Do You Need to Travel 

Tips For Backpacking With Kids



  1. Nicole says:

    I would love to travel around the world and let my kids learn naturally you guys are very lucky

    • Thanks for posting a comment Nicole, comments are brilliant, we love comments and every one gets a reply. So cheers! It may look like luck, but it’s not, we’ve put a lot of years of effort into getting our lives set up so that we CAN travel, starting with living in the grottiest flat in the world, no hot water or heating, in a British winter, whilst pregnant, renovating it for money. It was hard work, but it paid off, gave us a good financial starting point. I think anyone can do it if they want it badly enough. It’s all down to priorities and making your dreams the most important thing in your life. I’m struggling right now, I admit, with the thought of selling everything , it’s hard, I’m starting to have doubts. But stay tuned and see if we actually pull this thing off! Your day will come, Nicole, if you want something badly enough.

  2. I homeschooled my daughter for 5 years but she is currently in a private school. We did a LOT of learning by TRAVELING! And, I miss being able to just take off & go! Our biggest “drop everything & go’ trip was almost 2 years ago. My brother called & asked if we wanted to go to Japan in about 10 days. YES!!! It was incredible!!! And, we got back only 2 days before the devestating tsunami.

    • I’d love to go to Japan, Dana, I don’t think it’s going to happen this time, unfortunately, it’s just too expensive and stretching our budget for as long as possible has to be our priority. But maybe, if we get our fill of SE Asia and The Indian Subcontinent we may have enough cash left to head that way. Thanks for visiting and commenting ( twice!). I hope you’ll stick around to follow us, we’re just getting to the exciting bit!

  3. Carra says:

    Brilliant! An only child, I grew up home-schooled globally – along the way I learned to speak six languages; prayed in churches, synagogues, cathedrals, temples, mosques and shrines; made friends that I still have 60 years later; learned to be a world citizen; acquired 3 passports; and went on to be an epidemiologist. My children were educated the same way – now my grands are keeping up the tradition.
    Journey on………………..

  4. Hello:

    Now with online education, committed parents can get a quality education for their children anywhere. My wife and I are both educators who travel the world. She teaches online and I teach/administrate in international schools. I do not want to ever teach in a public school again, especially in the U.S. Take care.

    • Thanks Curtis, I think we’re doing an exceptional job of educating these kids with very little in the way of online programmes, I really don’t think they’re necessary. After two years of homeschooling before we started travelling, I could see how the learning was happening, worksheets and online repetition weren’t helping at all. But some kids enjoy them, I know. We just have Studyladder now as a sort of back up, just something to do now and then if we’ve bored.

  5. While in travel mode are there any blog posts from the children’s point of view? Like what they enjoy, what they don’t, or what they think they are learning/ have learnt? etc

    • Not really Gee, mostly because they don’t give you the same answer twice! I asked them what they’d learned once because another blogger ( Heidi at Wagoners Abroad) wanted to interview them for a series on travelling children. They said “nothing”. You won’t get much useful information out of them I’m afraid, they’re not interested in vocalising that sort of thing. I know what they’re learning, they don’t realise. They’re having the best fun!

  6. Julie Rayner says:

    We are planning on travelling Europe with our two boys as soon as possible, got a few things to sort out here in NZ 1st, but hoping to leave here by mid-May. So excited and scared it’s not funny, our budget isn’t much at all, we will have to work as we travel…but still the budget is low but that isn’t going to stop us, i think showing our boys that by us having them hasn’t stopped us living our dream will be one of the best lessons they will learn..I’m actually looking forward to home schooling..I know it will be hard, but it will be worth it.

  7. Symone Black says:

    Hi There

    I’m really interested in what you are doing, as my family and I will soon be doing the same thing. We are pulling up stumps in 12 months time and heading to Europe. I have never homeschooled before, but know we will be fine for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I have plenty of friends and family that homeschool and see that they are all going along great, and secondly, because I know from experience that learning while travelling almost happens without trying (having said that, I will try!) We are in contact with friends of friends in Spain and Portugal, all of which say that is illegal in those countries to teach your children from home. Do you know if because our children are technically being educated through the QLD system that they are actually legal? Any advice is very welcome. Thank you!

    • QLD like you to register with a school of distance Education if you will be away long term. If you will be away for reporting time, you can’t get your registration in, you need that reporting pack that they send out to resubmit. If you are Australian and registered with QLD HEU you’re fine. But, I don’t think it’s illegal in Spain or Portugal, I’ve never heard that before, only Germany, Croatia and Sweden. But I haven’t checked. As you won’t be a resident, I really wouldn’t worry, you’re Australian. Send me an email if you need any more help with registration, I’m QLD too and an old hand at this stuff.

  8. Jen Reyneri (@jenreyneri) says:

    I love finding your site and a fellow homeschool on the go family! We lived almost a year abroad with a baby in tow in 2004, and still travel as much as we are able! (Thus, my launching the homeschool/ travel podcast Destination: Inspiration) Now, we host other travelers at our cottage 🙂
    I’d love to have you as a guest on the show!

  9. Kami Anderson says:

    I love this! I have been contemplating teaching my four kids through travel for while. This information is helping me sort out how to best plan for this!

  10. Meilan says:

    Hi Alyson!
    First of all I would like to say I love your website! We’re looking into hitting the road next year, and this website has been an inspiration. Thank you for that!

    We’re preparing our own website (in Dutch), so I might fire some questions at you later about that.

    Just a few things I wonder now.
    Have you sold your house in Australia? I think renting ours out would be such a hassle, and I’d rather just get rid of it. My husband on the other hand would feel better holding on to it. He would feel more secure I guess. Any thoughts on the matter?

    Our daughter would be 6 when we leave. She goes to school now, and I would be home schooling her while traveling. It seems a difficult age to start off, but the perfect age altogether, if you know what I mean. How will home schooling turn out at that age?

    Thanks for everything and keep up the good work! Maybe we can meet up for a play date somewhere in the world next year 🙂

  11. Jenna says:

    Hi there.. I live in Cairns am loving reading your articles!! I am planning to take my daughter travelling next year for at least 4months (april-july approx). She will turn 14yrs old early 2015 and be in grade 9. Am not sure what the legal ramifications are for taking her out of school for this period and would appreciate any advice? We will be going through a bit of Asia before spending most of time in Europe. I am entilted to a British passport which will organise prior to help with travel throughout Europe and would like to stay open to idea of staying longer (months!) in Scotland (where family are) at the end. Would daughter be able to go to school in Scotland?

    • You’d have to check with the school first, see if they will allow you to take her travelling ( they should!). If they won’t you’ll have to un enroll her and send off a Homeschool application to the HEU. It’s easy done.My applications are on our other site Homeschool Group Hug. Get in touch if you get stuck Jenna and good luck

  12. Lisa-Marie says:

    I am Canadian, but I have a friend from Australia with a child that will be 4 in September. She and her son would like to stay here for a year, but she doesn’t want to keep him from daycare or school for that long. I was wondering how we could arrange something to either home school him or get him registered in one of the schools here. She has no experience in homeschooling and hasn’t finished school herself. She dropped out when she was a teenager. So I doubt she would be able to register as a homeschooling mother. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
    P.S.: She lives in NSW

    • If she’ll be in Canada for a year the only way I know is to register with distance education in Australia ( which isn’t really homeschooling, it’s school). But at 4, he’s too young, in QLD kids don’t officially have to start school until year 1, which can be as old as 6 and a half. I’m not familiar with NSW school starting ages, but if they are the same, he’s still a preschooler and does not need to be in formal education. NSW regulations are the tightest in Australia, there is a lot of paperwork and reporting, but even so, there is nothing to stop her registering. She just needs to be able to keep up with the paperwork.If she’s out of the country she’s not bound by Australian regulations. But can she get a visa for Canada for a year?

      • Lisa-Marie says:

        She can come 6 months a year – but since as soon as the year switches she can stay another 6 months, she could stay a year if she comes in June. If she comes any time during a year before June she can stay 6 months.
        She says he can start preschool next year, since he turns 4 in September. Which doesn’t make any sense to me at all. So basically she can’t do it. Or rather won’t do it, because of all the paperwork.

  13. Love this! Everything about it. It sounds like Australia is just about as easy as Texas for homeschooling (we don’t have to report at all), but how do you take what you have learned from travel and turn it into a report?

    • I don’t have to now Jessica, once we left Australia we weren’t their problem. In the UK there are no restrictions and we’re British, so we go with that. But back then I’d just waffle on about learning, about religion, climate, food production….whatever we’d encountered. It looks really impressive on paper.

  14. Tania says:

    Alyson, I can’t tell you how amazed I am to find a site like this just at the time when my husband and I are teetering between continuing on with our “normal” lives and going on a journey just like the one you’ve described! How to educate the kids while doing this was a bit of a obstacle, but I’ll be reading your blog very closely and will probably be pestering you with questions from now on! Another “obstacle” we can see is the Visas. Did you travel on holiday Visas only, or do I vaguely remember your husband working from time to time? Did you sort out the Visas as you went along? If we did this trip I think we’d like the option of being able to work if it came up. Any advice is of course appreciated! Congratulations to you and your husband for being brave enough to start a journey like this, it takes a lot of guts!

    • Hi Tania, we have British and Australian passports, so he can work anywhere in Europe and is currently supporting us by working in London. This is the only time he’s worked, I work on the blogs. We just get normal tourist visas, sometimes ( as in Laos) we extended them for a few weeks more. Very easy to do when you’re in the country. If you need visas for certain countries, China, Russia, maybe a few others, check the regulations, some need you to get the visa in your own country, but that;s rare. Most countries give visa on arrival.

  15. I learned a lot of things about homeschooling while traveling after reading your article. I traveled all the time for work and i let my kids stay with there grandparents. I think i’m gonna take my kids with me next time.

  16. Karin says:

    My husband and I just quit our jobs and are taking our kids travelling. We are in Costa Rica now and in two months will be riding tandems from Croatia to Czech over 4-5 months.
    Since it is so new, I am struggling with the homeschooling (especially motivating) curriculum. I was considering investing in a curriculum where there is a mentor involved to help us with the language arts/writing aspect. My husband and I are both science minded as with our professions. What do you think about that just to help my kids with accountability and motivation? Also, how did you get your kids to enjoy reading when they don’t (would rather play video games in their free time). And lastly, I was wondering if there is a type of curriculum that caters to the new world technologies (renewable energy, computer-focus, gardening, economics, etc.) and brushes over/brief summaries of the wars/history.

    • Karin, for 4-5 months I would do precisely nothing! It’s a tiny amount of time. When computers aren’t available, they read, you can’t make a child enjoy reading, but my eldest adores it and often chooses his book over anything else. At bedtime they read, on buses and trains and in cars. D also reads at meal times, which kinda bugs me, but it keeps him happy. We don’t have hand held devices, so laptops are easy to escape. I have never used any sort of bought curriculum, sorry.

  17. Bridget says:

    It was great to come across this page as only two days ago did my husband and i have this discussion. We have always felt that kids can learn more by Travelling. We just feel that if we don’t do it in the next year or so we will never do it. My boys are 6years old and 2 years old. We where looking at the next 1year or 2 giving us enough time to get everything together and do our research properly and have enough funds to keep us going. My husband has his own business so we are able to be anywhere in the world and he can still work. With regards to home schooling i have no idea where to start. We live in Cape town, South Africa. Where do i start? As i don’t want the home schooling be a problem when the kids need to go back to school. I am in the process of doing all my research, but we looking at travelling around Australia, new zealand, thailand, bali, indondesia, vietnam, then around Europe. Then in a camper van around the States. So excited to start this journey with my husband and boys.

  18. Christina Liu says:

    I’m so excited to have found this site! I’ve just started reading it and have barely scratched the surface. This is exactly the kind of life I am trying to show my husband is possible for our family. Our daughter is 1 and we are saving every cent possible so we can retire in a few year and see the world with her (we are in our mid 30’s and already travel as much as possible). I’m nervous about homeschooling. I don’t have any examples of it in my life and I am afraid that I will fail and ruin my daughter’s prospects in life. Hopefully, by educating myself on how it’s done I can overcome that fear enough to do it! Perhaps it’s already on the site and I will find it as i read on, but can you point me to resources that may address my concerns? Thanks

  19. Love the info on this website. My hubby and I with our 10yr old son are preparing to leave California next year around June to travel the world for a year. One of my biggest concerns is the schooling part. I don’t want to fail my child, i’m having a hard time finding specifics on road school. Everything out there is homeschooling at home where theres a lot of text books and projects and touching base every 20 days with a teacher. We wont be able to carry textbooks or check in unless we are online. My son will be responsible to carry his own laptor and a workbook or two with all his other things in his backpack. When we return to the states he will mainstream back into public school, so I want to make sure he’s fully ready and I didnt miss anything.. Looking for any ideas, websites, advice to help me plan for his success.

  20. Hi all! My husband and two boys (10 years and just-about-to-turn 6 years old) are 3 months into our travel adventure, we started in Singapore, and we’ve worked our way through Malaysia, Cambodia and now Vietnam (dictated by Visa length and the weather!). We both had the same concerns that all of you have raised about educating our kids. Never mind that we’re packing everything up, selling the house and car and leaving everything behind, what about the school???!!! Well, I can safely say that you WILL NOT be endangering the future of your kids by taking them out of the “school system” for a year or two. If anything, you’re making them global citizens that will never lose that bit of worldly wisdom and confidence (even if they seem a bit young now).

    We come from the State of Victoria in Australia, where the approach to education appears to be a tad different to that of Queensland (where Alyson hails from). I was told that if we sell the house and therefore are not residents of Victoria then we are no longer the responsibility of the Education Department of Victoria. So basically we can take our kids out of the country and no one would know the difference! After getting over the shock, we were left wondering now what? We don’t have to report to anyone, this means we can teach our kids how we want to, but how are we going to know what they need to know to stay “current”?

    We ended up enrolling in the Distance Education Centre of Victoria. I have no idea if a similar school is offered in other countries, but if it is I would strongly recommend that you use it. It follows the Australian curriculum, and all of the work is provided in booklets split into 2 week modules. I initially freaked when I saw how much work was to be done, and how many hours per day was recommended (4-5 hours), but the teachers are brilliant and understand the different scenarios of people who use this school. They confirmed that the kids are getting so much education in just travelling, and that the only thing to really stay on top of is the Maths and English.

    If this isn’t an option, just stick with the principle of Maths and English. Look at the curriculum requirements of your State/Country (which should be available online and/or via the Education Department), particularly at what benchmarks your kids should be reaching by the end of the school year. You’ll probably find that your kids will surpass any of these benchmarks since they are getting one-on-one tutoring with you! Subjects like geography, history and art will get picked up as you travel. Of course there are lot of websites (Mathletics and Reading Eggs are great) to help out.

    You will not fail your kids, you’re giving them such a wonderful opportunity. It’ll work!

    Sorry to blab on a bit, I’m more than happy to help out if there are any more questions!

    • Victoria has the easiest Homeschool regulations in Australia Tania. But I wonder why you signed up for distance education when you didn’t have to? If you felt the need to register, homeschooling is far less restrictive, but as you’re out of the country you didn’t need to sign up for anything. Could you share your decision making for us? Cheers.

  21. Tania says:

    Hi again,

    I originally was pushing for the homeschooling, as I thought what an opportunity to get away from the aspects of the system that we didn’t like! My husband was unsure about doing that though, partly because of not knowing where to start with working out our own “curriculum” but also because he felt more comfortable about having a record (in the form of reports against AUSVELS requirements) for if/when we ever go back into the mainstream schooling. To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I liked the idea, but in the interest of compromise we said we’d give it a try for 6 months and if it wasn’t working then we’d do our own thing. Even the teachers at the Distance Education Center said that! After doing this for 4 months now (we started schooling before travelling) I think it has worked out for the best. We’ve found that a combination of the provided school work with our own activities (which we’ve found have presented themselves in all sorts of forms as we’ve travelled around) has worked the best. There is the comfort in knowing that the kids are getting the levels of teaching they need for their grades, but there is also the control we have on when we do schoolwork, what we do, and the one-on-one tutoring that is priceless. The school is extremely flexible on when the work can be sent through, the only major deadline is half-year and full-year report writing time. No pressure on having to send things back every fortnight! We haven’t found it restrictive at all, we have a morning school session for 2-3 hours, then the afternoon is free.

    Once again I’ve blabbed! I hope this has helped to clarify things. : )

  22. beverly bell says:

    Hi I live 6 months in new York and 6 months in Jamaica. I have a 15 year old grandson and I want to find out if I enrolled him in home school on line can he do his lessons from new York and Jamaica as I go there from Nov to may.

  23. My daughter homeschooled and also received two simultaneous undergrad degrees, a BS in music performance (French horn) and the second, a BA in liberal arts. She is now in the middle of a doctoral degree in musicology at NYU. She received a full ride scholarship to NYU for this program. As a teen she has traveled extensively to compete in world cups as a fencer. I stayed home and worked to support this global child. She speaks three languages and is learning two more currently. Now that she is on her own, I do get opportunities to meet up with her and travel together. I have wonderful times with her when we travel together..

  24. This is a great resource Alyson. I really like how you encourage other families to do what’s right for them without judging… size does not fit all, even within one family. 🙂

  25. Thank you, Alyson, for doing all the work and sharing it with us. I’ve checked out many of your recommended links and see several that may work for us. All this great information pushed me to finally start my own online list of resources to work with this year. We’ve just started homeschooling as we slow travel through Central and South America. My 6-year old son and 9-year old daughter will also benefit from your experience. Thank you!!

  26. This is such a great resource! I’m not sure where I sit on the “education” fence. My boys are in a structured “junior kindergarten” program and they love it. The best part about it is the teachers! Without them, the program or teaching philosophy would be worthless! With the prospect of long term travel in the future, who knows where we will end up, but I love all of this info. Being “responsible” for their education makes me nervous!

    • You don’t need to pick a side Lindsay, it’s horses for courses, not one size fits all. I know I take on a lot of responsibility and sometimes it’s a lot of work and a lot of pressure, some days I’d LOVE to be able to pack them off to school and have a rest, But it just wouldn’t work for any of us, so we don’t. I’m very, very gad we picked this route, it’s been brilliant being right by their sides, every day.

  27. Katie Boyle says:

    Wow! Stumbled upon this and am so happy I did! Don’t have any kids yet but if I do, this is def the way that I’d like to go…my husband and I are digital nomads living in Chiang Mai, Thailand from San Francisco. Going on our second year here out in Thailand and then moving to Europe. We hope to travel as long as we can and have a home base in SF area. If you and your family find yourself out in CM, reach out! Thanks for the inspiration! Bookmarking this if a little one is in the cards for us…

  28. shirin ali malayeri says:

    i have studied natural science myself and i love to travel, been born and raised in Iran, i got married at the age of 20 and went to London, ever since i wanted to travel so started with africa and middle east, i have been to most continents and lots of places but having a materialistic partner always made it so difficult for me.
    however, i have decided to move back to uk with two kids ages 6 and 7 , girl and boy, they are in Tang Hall school in York, its a beautiful city but i am so missing my traveling. they don’t have proper swimming pool and kids are really missing their outdoor swimming ,
    i have breast fed both kids until alot older and i was furious by the fact that it is mandatory in dubai to go to school at the age of 4 , however we are in uk now and i just found out from a lady in Tennis class that you can easily home school kids in uk without any worrying , apparently there are lots in York,
    i still want to travel though and i don’t want to stay at one place all the time, being separated i feel really lonely and everything is on my shoulder lots of paper work, home work and kids education.
    my ex has agreed to pay me 1700 pounds per month until the kids are 12 and after that he will pay me around 2000 pounds per month, now i am seriously thinking of just taking off after 6 month being here and take the kids traveling and home schooling.
    my biggest worry is that they will miss out on having friends and they say no to me now because they want to play with friends ,
    can you please tel me if i can manage with this monthly expenses of home schooling and travelling , and also is it possible to travel with some other parents and kids ? would that be possible at all , it all seems so wild and unrealistic but i really cannot take it any more i want to be free and i want my kids to be free too.

    • Yes, that would be more than enough money, I feel the pain in your question. Homeschooling in the UK is totally legal and no registration is required. My boys don’t miss friends, but they have been brought up differently, they see all people, all ages, as friends, they don’t have the school mentality of only hanging out with same age kids. I think you may have legal problems, your ex husband will have a say in your decision, you will probably need his approval. If you want to talk more, go over to Plansify, there is just too much to put in a blog comment. I wish you well and I hear you.

  29. Do you know anyone who has taken children out of the NZ system? We plan to leave next March/April for a year.

  30. Davinia says:

    Hi Alyson, I have stumbled across your website in an attempt to get my head around home schooling vs distance education. I live in Newcastle NSW and we are planning to travel around Australia for 6 months with a 10, 7 and 3 year old. I think homeschooling sounds amazing (tempted to continue it for longer if I can get my head around it) BUT right now I feel completely overwhelmed with all of the requirements and have no idea where to start. Do you by any chance have a checklist if what you need to do to get started? I admire you perspective on life, it is refreshing and beautiful. Thanks for this amazing resource. Kindest regards Davinia.

  31. Mel White says:

    Hi Alyson,

    I can not express enough how thankful I am to have found your blog!!!
    I am a Tasmanian, with a husband and a 10 year old son.
    I attended University and studied Human Movement (Dbl Major in Health & Phys Edl Outdoor Education) but was unable to complete the last 2 subjects – so unfortunately I did not graduate. I also currently work for the University in a student support role.

    There is a chance of us needing to move to Laos (Vientiane) for my husbands work.
    I have been doing a LOT of research on schooling options in Vientiane, but I am really not happy with any of the schools, so I am seriously looking at home schooling him.
    I noticed that your family has been to Laos. Have you got any wisdom to pass on in regards to possible schools, or am I best to home school?

    Also, as he is an only child, I am concerned about the interaction opportunities with other children. Any advice you have would be much appreciated.

    Kind regards,

    • Hi Mel,
      I know nothing of schools, sorry, we think home education is the best possible option, so we just don’t go there. Laos is a fabulous country, but for an only child to integrate with non English speakers, could be hard. I have 2 boys, they’re best friends, it’s easier for us. I bet there are plenty of other expat, English speakers in Vientiane, loads. Try to stop thinking that he needs to be with kids of the same age, he doesn’t, that’s what school enforces, it’s not how the real world works. Get him speaking the local language, as my boys are doing with Romanian, and I’m sure things will be even better. There is a bustling evening scene down by the Mekong, there are playgrounds, markets, skateboarders, aerobics classes and kids just playing. Hang out down there long enough and I’ll bet he’ll find playmates. I don’t know the specific rules for Tassie, but I suspect that you wont need to/be able to enroll him as HS’d if you’re living in Laos. There is no advantage in it anyway. We wish you well with your adventure.

  32. I love this! This information is helping me sort out how to best plan for teaching my two kids through travel.

  33. Wow, wish I had read this article before we went away for 10 months, not that the kids did not thrive though, but a few of the resources would have been handy at the time. hopefully, we will get to trot off again in the next year or two!. Please add you wonderful site to – submit it and leave before the payment page, it will be approved. you are already on the blog roll of the site! Cheers.

  34. Yvonne says:

    A big hallo to Alyson and all the other inspiring people here!

    My story is the following: I´m a single mother from Germany and traveling with my boy since he is 2 (Asia, Australia, Europe) always had to discuss against all these scaremongers, you probably can imagine 😉

    I decided, Australia is the country I want to be and raise my son- I have been through a long process, saved money and after one year- I didn´t make it through the pointsystem. My son was in school already and as you may know: All kind of schooling besides attending a school is illegal in Germany. I tried but couldn´t stand the regularies here, I do so not agree with our society, way of life and school system.

    One day I took all my savings and moved officially to the UK. Health insurance, child benefits, I had to quit everything. But to be honest; we just spend a few weeks in the UK, we have been one year on the track while I taught my son the main topics like maths and german grammar but mainly, I let him learn from life… His english is so great and we both learned quite a bit spanish now. It was an amaizing time, of course with ups and downs as a single Mom with a ten- years old in South America! But it was amaizing, he did grow so fast, he is so open-minded and interested in everything- we are such a great team.

    We had to come back last summer as I couldn´t ignore my family anymore- they just call me not responsible and dear… I am so happy to have found this page even though you are from countries who are so much more liberal- I don´t feel so alone!!!

    Well. My boy settled easily back into school, he is a good pupil but mainly he is bored and unhappy about learning stuff he is not interested in… He has been so motivated before, that´s all gone. Now it´s just about learning anything without asking and after the exam: Forget about it…

    I know, that I have to do this again, I have savings left and am ready to do it- the world is calling me! But I must admit, it is kinda escape. In the end I am searching for OUR place in this world to be with likeminded people who step out of the box. If I do this again, I can´t come back here, I am afraid I can´t cheat the system a second time and Germany does have huge punishment for homeschoolers.

    Dear home- un- and worldschoolfamilies, I just start dreaming… Why not getting altogether! Preparing a base anywhere lovely in freedom, a lil community! We could share such a lot, help each other- especially the time “home” while working is required to homeschool our kids!

    Cheers everybody and keep on traveling with your kids, it´s just the best education in the world: To learn from the world!!!

    Whoever likes to get in touch:


    • That’s exactly what we’re trying to build in Romania Yve. Good luck to you. So even though you’re out of the country they still see your child as not being in school in Germany? That sucks. If you are living in Britain and your child is following the British rules they can still object? I met a German family like yours in Australia, on a beach once, he was a teacher, they refused to go back to Germany and be forced to put their child in the system. They were just going to keep travelling as long as possible. It’s a very scary big-brother type set up there, brainwshing almost, everyone must think the same.

  35. I am just starting on this journey with my 6 and 7 year old boys. We have left our home country and we intend to travel, work and homeschool. I am a teacher (senior primary) and my husband has online businesses.
    I am really concerned I am not doing enough…
    Did you cover the Australian Curriculum and then include outside references/information? I am concerned that when we go back home we won’t be up to speed in mainstream schooling. Has anyone travelled and homeschooled for a few years and then put their children back into school?

    • A lot do. But it’s not our scene Gail. If my boys do exams at 16, it will be under the British iGCSE system. Worldschooling is a whole-life choice, not something to do while we travel. I reject the limited Australian curriculum. I had to follow it to an extent for 2 years in Australia and if we return I’ll be forced to pay it lip service again, but we prefer a much broader curriculum. The boys are always ahead of what the kids would be doing in Australia, in my experience.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Gail

      We have just returned to Australia after traveling through the UK and Europe for the better part of a year with our three girls (10, 7 & 4).

      Due to our families circumstances we knew our children would be returning to the state school system (all be it in a different state to the one we left from) so I planned to follow the curriculum as best I could.

      In reality it was both difficult and limiting and the narrowness meant they were missing the opportunity to learn about the amazing places they were in the world. I’m not a teacher and maybe if you are it wouldn’t be such a challenge but half the time I didn’t know what the curriculum was even alluding to (do teachers have a degree in curriculum decifering?!).

      After about two months of diligently working to our schooling plan (which both the kids and I hated) we decided to do our own thing. Which a lot of the time meant no school at all. Unfortunately this meant they didn’t get more than about two pages written of a travel diary but they did get to do a lot of other things!

      My girls have come back into year 2 and year 5. My year two, who struggled with everything school related has returned reading fluently and a maths wizz. My year five is noticeably nervous about writing tasks and has forgotten every times table but was actively and confidently presenting information to her class (day two at a brand new school) about Berlin and the fall of the wall.

      It took a lot of soul searching to walk away from the curriculum and I was really fearful i’d made the wrong decision but in the end I figured they would know what they knew and what they didn’t they would either pick up or we would deal with at the time of coming back to school with extra work at home or tutoring. If they’d been at an international school (as opposed to being road or world schooled) before starting at their new school in Australis would the school be concerned they weren’t up with the national curriculum. No they wouldn’t. Maybe it helps we picked a school to return to that seems to have a strong disregard for the rediculous curriculum in the first place.

      So that is a VERY long winded way to say skip the curriculum!!

      Only thing worth keeping in mind if you plan to spend any length of time in the UK (or transiting through the UK) on an Australian passport – they are red hot on schooling at the moment and we got absolutely grilled about how we were educating the kids – had to show work books, lesson plans, etc at one immigration control point. I was kind of glad I packed all the national curriculum stuff for no other reason than it looked really legitimate!

      Hope you enjoy your adventure.

      • Great story Elizabeth and I’d agree, if you’re travelling for a short period ( I call a year a short period) Throw the books out the window. In the UK there is no homeschooling restriction at all. No checks, no registration, all you do is tell the govt you’re homeschooling. They have no further involvement. So….kinda weird???? The only thing you MUST not do is be truant. If you’re not registered with a school you can’t be truant. This experience makes no sense at all. I suspect you and the immigration official, didn’t know the law.


    Hi there just starting out and trying to organise for my 11 year old daughter and i to go round oz in a van next year unschooling and travelling, but i am confused how to actually tell the govt and what to hand in, has anyone got actual eg’s of what is required or what a curriculim looks like that we need to hand in? thanks so much, im in Cairns and would like any info anyone has, thankyou Sam

    • Hi Samantha. Look here for actual QLD applications and reports ( mine) but be aware that they won’t let you travel. You have to sit still for all but short periods. They will tell you that if you plan to travel you have to use a school of distance education ( eg. Brisbane) and can’t homeschool. This is far too restrictive and isn’t really homeschooling, it’s just school, on your own. So don’t go there. Don’t mention the travelling and make sure you’re “home” when you need to be for reporting and applications, would probably be the best option. We left Australia almost 3 years ago now, once we started travelling we were forced to cancel our registration, they wouldn’t let us remain registered even if I continued to submit the correct paperwork.

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