A while ago we wrote an article and shared our thoughts about whether or not we would be homeschooling the kids or enrolling them in conventional public school. With all of the travel that we do we weren’t exactly sure where we would land and if we would just scale back so the kids could go into school or if we would be worldschooling them. Well, we opted for worldschooling.
Worldschooling means something different to everybody, so we’re going to share what it means to us, why we’re doing it, some of the resources we are using, and what we hope to accomplish through this. Worldschooling has just started for us and it’s already an adventure in itself… And we haven’t even left the country yet.
What is Worldschooling
Like I said, worldschooling means something different to everybody. What it means for us is taking the principles of homeschooling and the knowledge that travel in itself is an education, and melding the two together. Worldschooling is learning math and science at home while we are also studying about our next destination and what we’ll find. It’s mixing different languages into our conversations so the kids develop an understanding and appreciation for speaking another’s language.
There’s no doubt that travel is an education on its own, so we are trying to take that educational opportunity and turn it into something more. Even before either of our kids were school-aged we knew that they were learning a lot by the adventures we would take them on. Is there any better way to learn the basics of science and nature than by being out in the world and observing it firsthand? Do kids really understand the purpose of learning a second or third language if they are always at home just speaking English?
Worldschooling for us is finding the gaps that we believe exist in a public school experience and filling those gaps with the sites, cultures, and nature that we can find on the road or in another country.
Why worldschooling over public school
We have great respect for the many teachers we know and have met over the years. Teachers are incredible people who have so much care and kindness to give, but that doesn’t mean the US education system is going to teach the kids exactly what we want them to learn. Our schools around here are very good, but they’re not top-notch across the board though, and we do live in an area of Washington state with some of the highest rated public schools. Also, being top rated doesn’t mean that putting our kids into those schools is going to teach them everything they NEED to know for our changing world or give them the best chances in life.
With worldschooling we are able to get them the educational care they may need and that we can tailor to their own learning styles. We can take into consideration both what the general principles and standards of education systems are, as well as focus on what drives the kids passions. Worldschooling should make learning fun, engaging, consistent, cutting-edge, adaptable, controllable, and in general it should meet all of the kids’ needs and then some.
Sheltering the kids through homeschooling: um, no.
When we first talked about worldschooling the kids a lot of questions came to us about if we thought there were too many problems in public schools or if we wanted to protect the kids from bullies and other situations they might face because of our family structure.
To be honest, the bullying or us being a two-dad family didn’t actually cross our minds until people started asking us about it. We are all about being present and leading by example and showing the world that a two-dad family functions just like the standard mom/dad family. It didn’t occur to us that the perception people would have was that we were homeschooling the kids because we ARE a two-dad family wanting to protect them.
Seriously? Are people really that closed off to the world that they would want to shelter their kids from opposing views and obstacles in life? That’s not us. We’ll be sure to teach the kids about both sides of every coin (or most), including opinions and philosophies that are way different than what we hold. Worldschooling will then give us the chance to get the kids into the world to see these opposing views and form their own thoughts about people, cultures and the world.
The reason we have opted to homeschool, or in our case worldschool, is because we have seen firsthand from the time they were months old until now that our kids directly benefit from experiencing culture and nature beyond our own backyard. We would rather our kids learn how to use chopsticks and try all kinds of Indian food than to learn that ranch is delicious on square cut pizza from a school cafeteria. We would rather the kids go and see antique cannons and battlefields than to just read about it in a book and not understand what actually happened in our country.
You see how worldschooling can fill the gap between standard curriculum and life experiences?
What is in store with worldschooling our kids?
We have lots and lots of travel plans already in 2018. And in 2019 and ‘20. The goals with education and traveling with the kids in the coming years is to:
give them a good frame of reference for why they need to learn other languages (international travel)
continue to progress in math, reading and writing, ensuring they’re ahead of the curve in the event we eventually enroll them in public school
Teaching the kids to care about the world early on is imperative to growing them into productive members of society, whether that’s here at home in the United States or if they choose to venture off to some other part of the world when they’re older. The immediate goals for worldschooling include conquering our penmanship, getting at least one grade level ahead in math and reading, teaching both kids beginning Spanish, and creating all kinds of fun art.
Our worldschooling education plan is adaptable and exciting. The kids love it; the dads love it. Worldschooling is the right choice for our family and we really look forward to the amazing adventures it will allow for all of us. Please be sure to follow along on our journey and to ask questions and make recommendations as we try new things and learn about new topics.
Thinking about homeschooling or worldschooling your kiddos? Pin this for later, as this article is going to be our jumping-off-point for more articles about worldschooling and what us dads are learning about it along the way.
Rob Taylor is the founder of 2TravelDads, the original LGBT Family Travel blog. Focusing on ecotourism and education, 2TravelDads inspires LGBT families (and traditional families also) to go beyond their usual getaways and use travel to learn about and be part of a bigger world. “Traveling the globe and giving the kids a broad worldview.”