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’ve pretty much been schooling our kids since we left Seattle.

We recently spent time with some friends in Salt Lake City, another world schooling family like us, and their kids were lamenting about how they can’t do any more play dates during the week because their friends were all going back to school.

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. Travel is educational, in and of itself. But there are certainly ways that you can make the education a bit more guided and focused.

Working with magnetic tubes at The Leonardo (August 2018)

Here’s a snapshot of the subjects our family was exploring this past week:

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 learns about musical sounds as part of their back to school music lesson
Learning about musical sounds 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.

Taking notes about dinosaurs at the Museum of the Rockies (August 2018)

Science:

We spent a whole day exploring Yellowstone 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. The kids learned about the ecology of the desert, and explored the natural arch formations that are so popular in the 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.

My daughter’s letter to 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)

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.

What’s your family doing for back to school?

What back to school means for a world schooling family

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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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Hi, I'm Astrid

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I'm a travel-loving mom of three from Seattle. Join our adventures as we explore the Pacific Northwest and the world!

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