This is a wonderful guest post by a member of our worldschooling community. We are happy to share a variety of voices to inspire and show you there are many paths to worldschooling and many more ways to worldschool. More about the author at the end of this article
Becoming a Worldschooler
by Ginny Barrett
A few years ago, I spent a good amount of time worrying about all the things I wanted to teach my daughter when we would homeschool her. The thing is…I was still pregnant with her at the time. I thought about how I liked learning and about the things I did not like. I considered my childhood and my experiences. I even started collecting things that I thought would help her along the way. I remembered the places I had visited and things I wanted to show her. I researched the different ways to homeschool a child. By the time she was born, I already had some serious plans in place. My husband was so generous in saying he would go along with most anything. Too bad I was way ahead of myself…hahaha.
Julie’s first two years were challenging. We were dealing with some extensive behaviors from my son who has Autism. Once we finally got that situation under control, I started going thru the box of things I had collected and reevaluating the ‘plans’ I had made. I decided that since I had been so distracted her first two years, I wanted to be as close to her as possible and watch her grow and mature and not miss another thing. I thought about what had made me happy as a child and the best times I had with my parents and traveling was the number one thing that came up for me. I didn’t feel a need to make her happy all the time but wanted her to love learning as much as I did. I started making a list of the important things my parents had taught me and my husband’s parents had taught him and then added lessons we had learned as adults. None of these items had anything to do with a public education.
My original plans had been based on doing school (or a public education) at home. Schooling her at home would allow me to add in the lessons we wanted to add and protect her from the things we didn’t want her exposed to. I felt I was a part of a growing movement away from the norm for educating children. Most people rely on the government to educate their children or at least for deciding what should be taught. The lesson most parents have forgotten is that they ARE the government. We are the ones that get to decide what is best for our children. What do you want your children to learn?
For Julie, we decided that we wanted to expose her to the world around her. The world is open to any parent to use for their children. There are museums almost everywhere in the US and around the World. There are historical markers lining the highways crisscrossing our homeland and other countries. There are infinite opportunities on the internet to offer experiences to your child from the comfort of your living room. But how many families do this? How many families do things to enhance their child’s education beyond the curriculum?
While I believe almost all homeschooling families do some extra things, I think focusing on the extra things is what worldschooling is about.
If you research all of the types of homeschooling you can choose from to teach your children, you will find that a lot of them blend with worldschooling if you will let them. You can be a traditional homeschooler that uses a preset curriculum and then add things in. You can unschool your children and travel the world or the US and just let your children experience the environments they find themselves in. You can focus on things that interest you as your children are young and then focus on things they are interested in as they grow. You can even follow the Charlotte Mason method and add worldschooling in when an opportunity arises. You can travel full time or just a little.
We have chosen to go backwards in how we approach teaching Julie. Instead of having a curriculum to follow, I print off what things a person should learn from multiple places (in addition to the lessons we have accumulated) and then we go about our lives. As she learns something on the list, I check it off. She is currently working in Kindergarten, first and second grades…without any pressure because there is no model or curriculum to follow.
I cannot express how excited I was to learn about worldschooling.
It took so much pressure off of me. Little thoughts like if we go on a trip, what do I do about keeping up with the daily requirements of a curriculum? What if we are on a trip and we find a historic site to study….but she isn’t supposed to learn that part of history for a couple of years? Now these types of questions do not bother me. I get to look at the world with awe and study to my heart’s content…taking her along with me right now while she is four and then following her lead as she learns to express her wishes more.
We are worldschoolers now and proud of it.
My name is Ginny Barrett and my first website is called simplyginny.com. I write two blogs and offer my homemade bodycare products for sale. One blog is about me discovering my daughter, who she is, and how to teach her about her world and the other is about discovering who I am. Fall is my favorite season. I love all of the deep and intense colors. I love to read, to write, and finding out about the world on the internet. I love to make my own bodycare products, arts and crafts. I love to be a mom to Julie and a wife to my husband Jay. I love to homeschool Julie. And I am so excited to be Discovering Ginny and Teaching Julie.