Viewing The World As A Classroom… And Not The Other Way Around

Viewing The World As A Classroom… And Not The Other Way Around
May 1, 2012 Guest

This guest post comes to us from another unschooling and traveling mom. So happy we are a growing community. We hope you enjoy this post. For more information about this family, see the links at the end of this post

The World As A Classroom

I was sick of LA.

Not to say Los Angeles doesn’t have some incredible aspects to it. But being stuck in a cramped apartment with a baby, in North Hollywood, wasn’t doing it for me. For any of us. As we began to think about what type of school we would send our one day preschooler to, it dawned on us both: we didn’t want her to be stuck in a classroom, scared to emote in case other kids make fun of her, forced to learn specific subjects in a linear fashion and tested regularly. We certainly couldn’t afford a private ‘alternative learning’ preschool; to quote my OBGYN ‘ My daughter’s preschool costs more than my pre med and med school…combined’.

We decided we needed to make a break for it, and quickly. So we packed up and moved to Asia, where we began our adventures in worldschooling: a combination of unschooling or homeschooling and travel. Three years later and we are still enjoying the path we’ve chosen, although it hasn’t always been easy. First of all, explaining to family, friends, and strangers why we love to travel and homeschool isn’t very easy. Some people are very receptive to the notion, while others can’t think outside of a classroom mentality. Like other home educators, we get the whole ‘how is she going to make friends?’ line a lot, and we explain that we don’t trap her in a closet or something. You know, she does get out a lot. We do the ‘normal’ family stuff, going to the zoo, playing in parks…only we do it in a foreign country.

I began a blog to try and connect with other like minded folks and also released a photobook, The World As A Classroom: Adventures In Family Travel which showcased the amazing things our daughter has seen and experienced on our travels. Surprisingly, there are lots of families like us, and even more who aspire to hit the road with the kids in tow. And there are even more who really love the idea itself, even if they never personally pursue this path.

What I have learned in the last few years is that a classroom is suffocating. I love the academic path and hope my daughter becomes a bibliophile like her parents and grandparents, but I am so thankful that she won’t go through what I went through, and what millions of other kids endure: bullying, harassment, incessant testing, conformity, low self esteem, and the numerous other problems that occur due to institutional learning.

A real classroom-where learning occurs- lacks walls. It begins in the heart and not the mind, and it grows with the help of dedicated parents and mentors who are there to challenge and yet not force a child to acquire knowledge.

The world is a classroom, indeed.


The Bradley Family

The Bradley family are nomads, currently living in Thailand. They love lifestyle design and global citizenship, and they unschool their daughter.

Follow their adventures at


  1. Elizabeth 12 years ago

    Thank you so much for having us hun! I am so thankful to have found you in the cyber world, and look forward to the day we can meet!

  2. Martin Pietrzak 12 years ago

    I belive institutional schooling is harmful and kills the kids’ imagination. It is however difficult to find good alternatives, especially if you home-school. I will admit we had a tough time to keep a routine including time to learn…I’m sure you guys offer a great alternative and hope to follow your progress. All the best and thank you.

    • Elizabeth 12 years ago

       Thank you Martin! All the best to you as well! 🙂

    • ilainie 12 years ago

      Thanks for your comment Martin!

  3. Jeremy Branham 12 years ago

    I have to admit that the idea of putting kids in school doesn’t excite me either.  However, I am not sure what the future holds but I want life to be more than work, school activities, and vacations.  I admire those who have the guts to do it and I agree – the world should be the classroom.

    • Elizabeth 12 years ago

       Thank you Jeremy! I appreciate that, it is a really fun and enriching lifestyle. I esp admire Lainie and also Talong from 1dad1kid for traveling as single parents. They do an incredible job of raising their kids while seeing the world.

    • ilainie 12 years ago

      Elizabeth and her family are a great example of a success story!

  4. Cornelius Cashdollar 12 years ago

    I am so happy I found this website. This is exactly what I have been telling everyone I’m going to be doing when I get out of grad school with my daughter… just never had a name for it. I can’t get enough of this stuff!

    • Elizabeth 12 years ago

       That is so exciting that you are looking into traveling and unschooling! It is an amazing journey.

  5. amakoko 12 years ago

    Were you two not recently in London?  I am so certain I saw both of you on the tube. 

    • Elizabeth 12 years ago

       No we weren’t but I wish I was lol!! 🙂 I haven’t been to London in ages, my fam is from Cambridge.

  6. Emily Christopher 12 years ago

    I would have not thought that you’d go for that, moving to Asia and such. Kind of an unconventional decision but it seemed like it work out pretty good for you guys.

    • Elizabeth 12 years ago

       I spent time here as a child and my hubby teaches ESL; we hosted exchange students in LA so it prompted the decision 🙂

  7. Laurie 9 years ago

    I home school now and would love to figure out a way to make it all work that would include world schooling and having a career to support such an endeavor. I commend anyone and any family who world schools and makes it all work out!!

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