Homeschool and Travel

homeschool and travel go together

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.

I am big fan of audio books for the car, particularly Horrible Histories and children’s e-books for my elder son to read on his Kindle.

 

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. 

One Year of Travel. How much learning happened?

Homeschool and Travel. How’s it Going?

The Socialization Myth ( Words I never want to hear from my children)

Homeschooling. Bin the Schedules.

Why do we Home School?

What is Worldschooling?

Bali and Sight Words

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.

 

Comments

  1. I would love to travel around the world and let my kids learn naturally you guys are very lucky
    Nicole recently posted..One, Two, Three, Oops!My Profile

    • 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.
    Dana recently posted..Visiting D-Day Sites in Normandy: American CemeteryMy Profile

    • 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!
      alyson@worldtravelfamily recently posted..What Does A Homeschool Day Look Like?My Profile

  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:

    Hi,
    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.

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