Homeschool and travel, my two big passions in life. I’m as enthusiastic about the one as I am the other. Homeschool probably doesn’t mean what you think it does. It is not “school at home” we do not do lessons or online courses, I don’t fill the boys up with the same stuff the schools try to teach, we just learn, in total freedom.
Homeschool and travel go together, they have to. After 2 years of homeschool before we left on this trip, I’m not at all worried about the kids’ education. I’ve been through the de-schooling process and forgotten everything I was conditioned to think about acquiring knowledge. I have seen that learning happens all day, every day, with little or no need for teaching in a form that most people would recognize.
See THIS POST, 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.
What about science? I was a scientist in my life before kids and we do 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’re cramming in a lot of practical science now, getting ahead of the game. I can’t pack the chemistry sets but who knows what opportunities will present themselves while we are away.
I am a registered home schooler in Australia, this means I post my curriculum for approval every year and put a report together 12 months later to tell the government what we’ve done.
I write our curriculum, because I have to, based on the progression of learning, the government curriculum from a few countries and our own interests and needs. I bring up topics in conversation, show them books, toys and films about the topics we need to cover.We also follow the boys’ interests as they crop up.
I class myself as a partial unschooler. I do resort to work books for maths and English occasionally. That is more to do with me reassuring myself rather than any real need. The children are now outside mainstream education so we can forget about sitting particular exams at particular times. We are free to progress at our own pace, according to our own needs. ( See Some People Don’t Get Homeschooling for a quick explanation about how they can still go to university).
Homeschool and Travel Resources.
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. 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. We have a subscription to an online learning site, Studyladder and we use You Tube a lot. A few online games and learning sites are bookmarked on my computer. We’re big fans of a free Geography game, Seterra, give it a Google.
You would be amazed how well kids can learn to read, develop incredible grammar and improve their spelling, just through having what they think is fun. I have one son who adores reading, the other loves to write, they are both learning and improving every day with just a little input from me.
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.
World Travel Family now has a sister site Homeschool Group Hug, which deals exclusively with Homeschool related topics outside of travel.