What Back to School Means for a World Schooling Family

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This time of year in the United States, kids are starting to go back to school. But for our world schooling family, we’re pretty much schooling our kids all year long.

As a family who world schools – homeschooling on the road – we use our travel experiences as opportunities for learning. We incorporate the things we see and the activities we do into our schooling lessons for our kids. School for us happens every day, even if it means just 30 minutes. And learning just happens naturally.

This post was updated on December 19, 2019.


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Learning about American History in DC (September 2018)

Finding our groove as a world schooling family

As a world schooling family, essentially a family who does homeschooling on the road, we’re always trying to find homeschool activities that we can do anywhere in the world. We like to use free resources available online, as well as YouTube videos and ebooks to make learning interesting for our kids. The possibilities for learning are virtually endless!

We like to consider ourselves as unschoolers, because we don’t subscribe to a specific curriculum or methodology for teaching. However, every family is different, and every child is different. So for families who are looking into world schooling, I suggest you take some time to consider the many methodologies out there for home education. You may find one that fits with your family really well.

We’re still relatively new to the world schooling life, and we’re still trying to find our groove when it comes to teaching our kids. But the one thing I do enjoy about learning on the road is how flexible and spontaneous it can be. There are so many educational benefits of travel. But there are certainly ways that you can make the education a bit more guided and focused.

Working with magnetic tubes at the Leonardo in Salt Lake City (August 2018)

A typical week of learning for our world schooling family

There’s really no typical week for our family. Every day is something different, and our daily lessons are based on the travel experiences that we have for that day.

However, there are common types of activities that we like to do, such as hiking, visiting museums, and practicing our writing. Here’s a snapshot of the subjects our world schooling family was exploring this past week:

A world schooling family hiking at Arches National Park
Hiking at Arches National Park (August 2018)

Music:

On Monday, we visited the Museum of the Rockies and explored their guitar exhibit. The kids had a fun time learning about how different instruments can make different sounds, and even how guitars have been made throughout the course of history.

A world schooling family learning about sound and music at the Museum of the Rockies
Learning about sound at the Museum of the Rockies (August 2018)

History:

While at the Museum of the Rockies, we checked out the Pioneer exhibit, the Native American exhibit, and the Dinosaur exhibit. The kids had a chance to learn about the people and creatures that lived in Montana.

We also read a Magic Treehouse book as a family this week that was all about the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The kids learned about the devastation that occurred after the earthquake.

A boy from a world schooling family takes notes while looking at a dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of the Rockies
Taking notes about dinosaurs at the Museum of the Rockies (August 2018)

Science:

We did a Yellowstone day trip while we were in Montana. At the national park, the kids learned how geysers like Old Faithful erupt. And we also learned about the bears and animals that live in the area.

At the end of the week, we camped and hiked at Arches National Park with kids. We learned about the ecology of the desert, and explored the natural arch formations that are so popular in the park.

A girl and a boy from a world schooling family interacting with an exhibit at the visitors center at Yellowstone National Park
Learning about geysers at Yellowstone National Park (August 2018)

Writing:

My kids love watching Wild Kratts, so as a writing exercise, I had them write letters to the Kratt brothers. I took pictures of the letters, and plan to send photos to them via their Facebook page. We also use the book What Your Second Grader Needs To Know to get ideas of what writing skills we need to cover for my daughter.

My daughter’s letter to the Wild Kratts (August 2018)

Math:

It’s been hot as we’ve been traveling from Montana down to southern Utah. During one of our travel days, I had my daughter record the temperature at several points during the day. And at the end of the day, she plotted it on a line graph.

We also spent an afternoon this week at The Leonardo, a fun museum in Salt Lake City. The kids did math and science based puzzles and activities, and also saw some interesting optical illusions.

Working on math puzzles at The Leonardo (August 2018)

Foreign Language:

Since we’ll be traveling to Mexico at the end of the year, we’ve been using Duolingo to learn some Spanish words and phrases. It’s one of our favorite travel apps we’ve been using lately!

As a world schooling family, our daily lessons aren’t always formal, but I do try and make sure we incorporate some aspect of learning into our daily activities. We like going to museums, or reading books out loud that showcase a certain part of history.

It’s amazing to see how inquisitive the kids are, they truly do want to learn, and they’re always coming up with their theories to explain the things they see. Part of the journey for our world schooling family is to guide our kids in finding the answers to the questions they ask. Often, I don’t always know the answer myself, so it’s almost as if we’re learning together.

Learning about desert life at Arches National Park (August 2018)

Getting used to learning as a world schooling family

I have to admit, it’s been a bit strange, to know that we’re not going to be taking part in the whole back to school tradition that the rest of the country is doing. For our family, learning happens every day.

But we’ve enjoyed the experiences we’ve had so far. And the kids have enjoyed the less frantic pace of our day to day. We don’t miss the back to school madness one bit! I’m not anti-traditional schooling, but as we travel, being a world schooling family seems to be the best option for enriching our kids’ travel experiences with learning.

How does your family do back to school? Share your experiences in the comments.

What Back To School Means For A World Schooling Family | The Wandering Daughter | How a world schooling family does back to school while traveling.

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4 Responses

  1. I love seeing what your day to day schooling can look like when you’re traveling with your kids. There are so many learning opportunities in all of your travels & sounds like you’re doing a great job of incorporating so many different opportunities with the different subjects. Love it!

    1. Thanks Jen! I do have to say, sometimes I don’t have as much patience as I would like with the kids when we’re doing focused learning time. Let’s just say that we end up doing a lot of field trips!

  2. I love hearing about alternative ways to educate kids about the world. If I ever had any, I would want to teach them my doing and traveling too. I feel like they would retain the information so much better by experiencing the thing instead of just reading about it in a book.

    1. Yes, absolutely! Kids learn and retain so much information just by doing, instead of reading about it in a book. And my kids are so young right now, they zone out when I try and read information to them anyway. 🙂

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