“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn” – Benjamin Franklin
What is Worldschooling?
I believe Worldschooling is ‘educating using experiences sourced from the world around you’.
If you google the term, Google will provide you with bloggers/organisations definitions of what they believe Worldschooling to be, however although many have tried to define what Worldschooling is, the concept it vast and unique from one family to another. There is no Oxford dictionary meaning, as it is a ‘buzz word’. You know, jargon that is popular within a certain culture or community for a defined period of time.
Worldschooling can incorporate anything from:
So it’s up to you to define what it will looks like for you and your family if you decide that this is the method of education you choose. Will it be learning from a set of guidelines or from the experiences you have in everyday life whilst exploring the world around you? What we do know is that Worldschoolers do not attend a physical school. That is considered main stream education.
For us, we call ourselves Worldschoolers, Roadschoolers and Homeschoolers. Road-schooling is another buzz word, but I think it captures the essence of our lifestyle of full time travel whilst road-tripping Europe. It encompasses the concept of schooling your kids based on wherever the road takes you. Sourcing experiences and learning opportunities from the environment and locations we visit.
Like many families that are pursuing the digital nomad lifestyle, travelling full-time with kids, we have our own processes, timetable and thoughts around what works best. After all, each child is different. Some families choose to follow a set curriculum with a set routine, in fact when we started to home educate our kids we were quite structured in the approach with set routines and work habits, but thats no longer for us! We need flexibility! No two days are the same when you are travelling full time.
Worldschooling – Why we do it
We started homeschooling in Australia about six months before our adventure began. Prior to that our two oldest kids went to a regular main stream school in the Adelaide Hills. It was great, I have nothing against a standard traditional school education or what it offers, but when you choose long term travel with kids, you are choosing homeschooling, distance education or unschooling. So we withdrew the kids from the school and started homeschooling.
Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. There are many aspects you need to consider before deciding which option will work for you. Teaching is a skillset and not every student is a willing as the next. Mr D and I have totally different approaches, he is the ‘lets learn through play and imagination” side of things and I am more lets “follow the steps to success in learning” kinda gal. But between us we make a good team and the kids are learning as we go as are we.
When do we Worldschool?
Education is our priority, but it doesn’t follow the structure of a 9-3 school day with set lesson plans in English, Maths, History and so on. Travel with kids requires flexibility, as we are travelling 4/7 days, schooling generally gets done first thing in the morning, with reading, journaling and technology time slotted in around the rest of the days activities. Some days we don’t do any kind of structured schooling at all, but we visit Museums, Art Galleries, Science and Exploration Centres, old ruins or do walking tours and learn about old civilisations.
How do we Worldschool?
The Australian Curriculum is our guidance on the requirements for each year level, then we use workbooks, journalling, excursions, online programs and Apps for content around these guidelines.
Apps and Online Programs we use to Educate
Our oldest started using the Reading Eggs App when he was four. It helps kids learn to read and has assisted all our children in this process. Now he is 11, he uses the Reading Eggspress App to assist with reading, gramma, spelling and comprehension. It has an online library where we can set the lexile reading level and he can select books within the range of the level he is currently reading at.
Our littlest has just graduated from using Reading Eggs Junior, which helps build familiarity with letters, sounds and words to Reading Eggs, which is helping her to learn to read in a fun game based environment. When she gets through each map stop there is a cheer.
There is a great online Library App called Libby. We still have our library cards from our old library in Australia, which means that we can access the entire collection from the State Library. There are thousands of ebook and audio books for the kids to choose from. This has been one of our favourite online resources. It has access to thousands of libraries world wide, so if you can get a library card for an overseas library you can access those libraries too from where ever you are in the world. This is a great resource for travelling families.
Audible is another resource we use whilst we are travelling in the motorhome. Audio books are a great resource to have on hand to ward off boredom and that famous question all parents love “Are we there yet”? When we have an audio book on, the kids will quite happily sit for a three hour drive totally absorbed in the story. Audible offers a huge range of audio books that you can stream or download and listen to at a later date. Why don’t you try it out. They offer a free two week trial.
We use the Mathseed App to help with our Maths education. Our nine year old loves this program that is also game based and makes learning fun.
Our kids learnt German whilst in main stream school, so we wanted to continue with that education whilst travelling. Babble is a great way to learn a language and although its not pitched at a child, the lessons are short and sweet and work well for us data limited travellers.
Other Resources we use
We use a combination of workbooks for different content areas, we carry quite a few with us (over 30) and when we finish a book we photograph it and discard it so we are not carrying unnecessary items. Travelling in a motorhome means you are limited for space.
Here is a selection of the workbooks we carry:
Pearson – Enrich – E- Matics
Macmillan – English practise books
E&R Publishers – Continents of the World
Five Senses Publication – Understanding Comprehension
RIC Publications – Economics and Business
Oxford – Homework Contracts
Pascal Press – Targeting Handwriting
When you take on the nomadic lifestyle you do plenty of research on how other travelling families educate their kids to get a feel for how you can go about it yourself. Lots advocate that benefits of getting kids to keep a journal of where they have been and what they did each day or week to keep up their writing practise. I though this was a great idea and so we tried this for a while but found it was a tedious process for all of us. They just were not engaged in this at all, so now we do book reports, write stories, and send postcards back to friends and family. Even our old cats have been sent postcards!
We love the concept of homeschooling (worldschooling) our kids. We get to see our children grow up and influence how and what they learn. Each day is a new adventure with new experiences, whether it be trials or joys we are there to share it all with them.
Worldschooling is absolutely worth it!
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