This wonderful guest post comes to us from writer and worldschooling mom Michelle Tupy. Be sure to read a full interview with Michelle about her family’s ongoing travel and upcoming adventures here.
World schooling has been part and parcel of our children’s lives since they were born. Emilia was born in Australia and has lived in Australia, China, Canada and Peru – she is 9. Matthew was born in Australia and has lived in Australia, Canada and Peru – he is 4. World schooling even before we identified it for ourselves was already well ingrained into our lives as a natural part of learning.
My husband and I love to travel – even before we met we had both travelled extensively individually and have continued to do so together in the 10 years we have known one another. I guess you could call my husband and I world schoolers ourselves, as you never truly stop learning when you are travelling.
We have dipped in and out of structured school – our daughter attended school in Canada for a number of years although quite honestly, she never enjoyed the traditional approach. At the moment, our son attends a school 5 days a week in Cusco, Peru and at 4, definitely enjoys the social aspect of the situation. Of course that kind of traditional schooling method only works when we are in one location for a lengthy period of time.
When on the road we opt for more flexible methods of learning generally leaning between home schooling on one end and unschooling on the other. And of course, world schooling as guided by our destination.
Personally, I have found it easier to adopt unschooling and world schooling the longer we are “on the road”. While at first we did try the more structured home schooling approach, our busy and unplanned lives didn’t lend itself easily into this mould.
As a work from home ghostwriter and content writer, I had to drop homeschooling in favour of an assignment which graced my desk. We just weren’t able to create any kind of regular schedule. We have found that dipping our toes in and out of specific subjects works better for us. My daughter currently does an online art class once a week, and we find we can work around such a short term commitment; anything longer and life just gets in the way.
My daughter will quite honestly tell you that she loves unschooling and my son will tell you that he enjoys going to school. My two kids have a different learning style; what works for one, does not appeal to the other and me trying to force a specific educational approach on either of them will not end positively.
Worldschooling – it’s about being in the moment, taking every opportunity that is presented and not being afraid to try something new. That in itself is a great educational experience for any child. My son attends a school where Spanish is the spoken language. My daughter attended a dance class where Spanish was the spoken language. They have had no formal language education – it was the situation when presented to them which enabled them to learn. I doubt I would have had as much success with either had I just placed a Spanish book in front of them and asked them to read.
Travel and world schooling opens children up to amazing opportunities that may not have been presented to them if they were working within a more structured educational environment. Reading about Machu Picchu and seeing it with their eyes just doesn’t compare.
And who knows what amazing things our kids are going to see and do on our upcoming road trip from Cusco, Peru to Niagara Falls, Canada! I couldn’t even begin to plan a curriculum that would rival such a trip. All we know is that we are prepared for whatever opportunities come our way. We have learned over the years to never say never!
Read more about this fabulous family here http://www.raisingmiro.com/2014/11/18/families-on-the-move-meet-the-amazing-family-behind-the-blog-and-off-we-went/
Natural Language Learning through Travel
World Schooling Talk Episode 2 [VIDEO]
Excellent article. And how lucky Emilia and Matthew are that their parents are literally able to “give them the world.”