Here is our plan to worldschool and homeschool our children during our 1 year travel journey around the world!
Homeschooling and worldschooling is one thing that is unique to long-term family travel. Those who are traveling while single, a couple or older do not have this added complexity to their daily lives of travel. It’s a good challenge, and with every challenge, I look at it as an opportunity! Jamie and I think we are investing in their education by taking them on this long-term travel journey. So let us make the most of it!
So, how does this school out of school thing work? How do my kids get the schooling that they need when they are not in the classroom? Will they “fall” behind when we get back? How am I supposed to know what to teach them for a year?
I had so many questions and this was a big change for us since Luca has been in school for 3 years already. He is adapting well, no issues or concerns and homeschooling had NEVER crossed my mind. I can honestly say never! It was not something I was even thinking about or even took 2 seconds to consider with my children. I was always going to have them in a classroom. So when we started to talk about taking a year to travel this was a major shift in our mindset. If we wanted to travel with our kids for a year, they are going to need to have some schooling along the way.
So what the hell am I going to do?
What You'll Find in This Post
5 Steps to Planning Education for Long-term Travel
Step 1: Research
Well, I started to do research. Ask around to those that homeschool in their home, those who homeschool on the road (lots of RV folks), those who worldschool, those who unschool, those who do combinations of all the above. There are so many different options and the more I did research the better I felt about how I could actually educate my children along this journey. It can be a bit overwhelming but in the same sense pretty awesome at how far things have come to be able to educate your children from a distance. So many options that will fit with whatever lifestyle you want to have with your family – I was relieved!
Another good thing I did was joined some Worldschool Facebook group to learn from all these families that are doing it right now! There are lots of Facebook groups out there and everyone is extremely helpful in answering questions. Local homeschooling Facebook groups are a good suggestion if you want to stick closer to your “home” curriculum.
Step 2: Contact School Board
It was at this point that traveling for a year might actually become a reality. So, I phoned the superintendent of our school board and let them know of our potential plans and just had a general conversation about what was possible and next steps. The weight was lifted off my shoulders when she told me that there was another family that was doing a similar thing and how supportive they were about it. So I am not the only crazy one! They provided me with a few sources of materials and followed up with an email with all the details on what my options would be. Our school board has what is called a Home Based School Program that you create educational goals in alignment with the school. For our situation, we decided this would be the best option.
Step 3: Create an Educational Plan
Figure out what and how I wanted to educate my children! So what I had to really think about was what I thought would work for me, for Luca and for Sofia. I know my strengths, weaknesses and I know that both of my children learn differently. Different interests, different learning levels, different ways they learn, different personalities and so each of their plans are different. Another thing to keep in mind and to top it off is that Luca and Sofia are in a French Immersion program. We are Canadian, I can speak and understand basic French but I am not bilingual by any means.
I also, don’t want to over-complicate it. Keep it simple! I know I can always add more, adjust and adapt as we go but I want them to explore and be engaged on the biggest field trip of their educational life. So I created an educational plan for each of them with 3 overall goals; Luca will be learning at a grade 3 level and Sofia will be kindergarten.
So here is their Educational Plans:
Both Luca and Sofia’s education plans for the 2017-2018 year will be incorporating aspects from different experiences as they travel through a variety of countries around the world during the year. Through these travel experiences will be an opportunity for them to explore, learn and grow.
Luca – Grade 3
Goal 1: Keep a written journal of travel experiences en Francais.
- Continue to evolve French vocabulary.
- Continue to improve printing and cursive handwriting.
- Reflection and confirmation of understanding of learnings from experiences.
- Knowledge subjects will be weaved into experiences depending on the situation.
Goal 2: Continuous reading in both Francais and English.
- Continue to evolve French vocabulary.
- Evolve French reading level to outlined 3e annee completion level.
- Gain an enriched understanding of experiences. When possible books will be chosen to align with where we are and what we are learning about.
Goal 3: Continue to evolve mathematics skills.
- Continue to evolve mathematics skills at 3e annee level.
Sofia – Kindergarten
Goal 1: Learn alphabet and numbers 1-20 en Francais.
- Continue to evolve French vocabulary.
- Paper workbooks
Goal 2: Continuous reading both Francais and English.
- Reading books to her and continue to evolve French vocabulary.
- Paper books
- Ipad Apps – Raz-Kids (French & English reading level books)
Goal 3: Be able to print alphabet and numbers 1-20.
- Evolve her printing ability.
- Paper workbooks and journal
This is their school material we are bringing on our travels! I will also have a few printed reading books for them and 1 coloring book each. Each of them will be bringing a mini-Ipad that will have the apps listed above and double for entertainment with games and videos. In addition, I have left some material (extra journals, workbooks, books, etc) with my sister, so if we do need more material she can easily mail it to me so we can keep our luggage a bit lighter.
Step 4: Register for Homeschool
So, I had no idea that in Canada we have to register our children for homeschool if they are not going to be attending a provincially funded or independent school – I learned something new! So in Saskatchewan, this is the best place to start. This will give you all the information, forms and details of the process. Your school board should be able to direct you to the process that is specific to your province.
Before we leave, I will be meeting with the school board superintendent and review my education plan with her since most likely our children will be going back into the same school system after we return. It is also a great way to get a review of our plan and get feedback or input.
Step 5: Do your Best and Enjoy!
We know this will change, evolve and mold into something else before our trip is done. There is no denying that! I have no idea how well this is going to work, but I am open to paying attention to what works and what doesn’t with each of my children.
I expect that the time spent at a table doing physical school work will be minimal, as the learning I expect them to be engaged in will be constant. Learning and reflecting with every experience and activity we do, their minds will be filled with SO many questions that I will have to do my own research to answer them. But, I do think that at their age they do need the basic foundations (ie. reading, writing/printing and math). I am going to try my best to weave as much as I can into their experiences and what they are seeing and doing.
This is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for both the kids and me, so I am going to enjoy being their teacher (Mme. Fiorante) as much as possible. I will probably develop even more respect for teachers! Wish me luck and I will provide an updated post on how the homeschooling/world schooling/unschooling thing is going when we get started.
Any other tips or suggestions?