Ever wanted to give it all up and travel the world? A growing number of families are doing just that and are schooling their kids by journeying the globe together.
Anyone interested in more sustainable ways of living is probably also tuned into alternative methods of schooling. Forest kindergartens, homeschooling and unschooling, are some of the more varied educational trends that are emerging, with world schooling becoming increasingly popular as people seek adventure, new experiences and a move beyond the narrow restrictions of the mainstream classroom.
What is World Schooling?
Also known as “edventuring”, “road schooling” or “travel schooling”, the world schooling concept merges self-directed learning that’s augmented with an active engagement with the world, often in the form of travelling. Its philosophy is to provide and find education from the real world and the surrounding environment. It includes experiences, places and people from across the globe. The more you can travel and the greater variety of cultures, climates, histories and societies you explore, the more education and awareness grows.
World schooling is born through a love of travel and a love of learning from the world and its citizens. It eliminates teachers, classrooms, schools and set curriculums, it opens doors, opportunities and possibilities and minds, giving total freedom in education and life.
There is a flourishing global world schooling community, as families seeing the benefits of being able to spend more time together and immerse themselves in a new experience. Kids can learn without school because the world teaches naturally.
Why World School?
Children have an innate curiosity that compels them to learn and absorb from the world around them. Many parents believe that children will naturally develop a sense of purpose, self-motivation, and self-confidence when not isolated in a classroom but rather given the freedom to explore and express their interests, transforming the world into a giant, interactive classroom.
This allows kids (and adults) to learn subjects like geography, history, math, art, music, different languages, current world events, critical thinking, and social responsibility through the first-hand experience, rather than from a textbook.
Technology for The Win
New technologies and the growth of remote work allow world-schooling parents the opportunity to travel, work and school concomitantly. With the advent of sites like Khan Academy and Lynda and apps like Mango Languages, Duolingo, and Memrise, kids and parents alike can learn from anywhere in the world.
More families than ever are taking ‘edventures’ – long-term trips where children learn on the road, and one such family of intrepid travellers are the Baldeos from Cape Town, South Africa.
In 2018, driven by a desire to spend a greater amount of time with their children, escape the pressures of work and discover new cultures and lifestyles, the Baldeo’s packed it all in, traded their worldly possessions for four backpacks and bought a one-way ticket to Borneo, an island in Maritime Southeast Asia.
Andre, a stockbroker from the UK, his wife Becky, and their two children Tiana (9) and Rico (11), went en route to an 18-month adventure of a lifetime. Their travels saw them trailing through the peaks of Machu Pichu, living with a local family and coaching soccer in Japan, wild camping in a van around Chile, Trekking the Quilotoa loop in Ecuador and getting up close and personal with Sloths in Costa Rica.
The decision to take their kids out of school was one not taken lightly. With both kids being happy and settled in their schooling environments, they knew they would have to plan a homeschooling syllabus that they could complete on the road with the emphasis heavily geared towards maths and English.
Contrary to warnings of dubious friends, what they soon found was that the kids surpassed the level of schooling that should have been at, discovering that explaining concepts on a one on one basis was far easier than being in a classroom packed with 30 learners. The kids also read a lot and got through loads of books. “The whole ethos of the trip was for us all to learn about life and the ‘real’ world through meeting people and experiences,” said Becky, the dedicated world-schooling mom.
Upon returning to South Africa, the kids settled right back into both school and their friendship circles. Both Tiana and Rico have since written articles for Lonely Planet, and both boast their very own blog detailing their experiences.
“It’s not all sunsets and happy families believe me,” says Andre, listing being on the move constantly, the perpetual hunt for food and being together 24/7 as some of the challenges.
“But we had a window of opportunity, and we have sacrificed a lot to make this happen. We’ve seen huge changes in our kids and want to open their eyes to what the world has to offer and give them the opportunity to make better decisions in life based on their experiences, and not just what society believes they should be doing.”
Back in South Africa and planning their next move, the family says it all comes back to what kind of life you want as a family. Stay relaxed and enjoy the journey because it’s not about the children learning; it’s about all of you growing and learning as a family.
Featured Image Credit: Straight Outta Suburbia