Schooling Whilst Traveling Longterm
Unschooling & World Schooling
This week should be the start of a new calendar year of schools in Australia but we are in Panama.
Traveling is amazing and we see and do so much. Yet it has proven to be really hard for both of us in some ways. Trying to get a ‘normal routine’ is impossible. Striking a balance is never that easy at times – the stressful part of single-parent travel I imagine?
Our Travel Days And Travel Life
On some days, we are up at 6:00 a.m. and traveling all day; while on other days, we are out seeing and exploring. Rarely are we sitting down doing nothing.
The World Is Our Classroom
To give you a brief explanation:
- homeschooling was originally done inside the home;
- unschooling was originally allowing the child to educate through what they are interested in,
- and worldschooling uses the world around us to teach what is right now.
Things like local language, geography, history, currency conversion are a few examples.
Being On Par
We have tried so hard to ensure that Explorason is ‘on par’ with his fellow classmates back in Australia as he wants to return to his classmates one day.
As a conscientious Mum, we seize every opportunity we get for a world schooling as we travel the world.
Explorason likes routine and pages he can complete as part of his education, so English and spelling were completed on New Year’s Eve. Most kids had been on holidays for weeks but he just wants to catch up he says.
Maths was still going, and here it is and the first month of the year is already finished, yet our maths from last year is not quite done.
He’s Had Enough
But today my son explodes. We have an official tantrum along with “I can’t do it”, and it turns into a screaming match. He walks out and slams the door as his inner frustration erupts. Later, he returns with more anger and the frustration, verbal abuse, and lashing out.
Meanwhile, this goes on for over 1.5 hours but all he wants is his technology to play on. He is time wasting and I feel it is important I read the signs and see how we can remedy this. But, I must acknowledge he is feeling inner torment and pain that we need to soothe and rectify.
So I log on my laptop and search Google and try finding out how other traveling parents have dealt with this issue. Most seemed to give up and threatened to send their child to public school. Others give in to the pressure from their children. I don’t have that option – unless we stop traveling.
We talk about how hurtful he is being towards me but that this isn’t dealing with the problem, and suggest he write me a sorry note. So he starts to write, and I leave him to it.
Suddenly, it all clicks to me. We had found a scorpion outside – now dead. I go out and bring it in on a piece of paper. He is fascinated with it. So we Google scorpions. We turn the morning into a biology lesson.
Next thing I know, he is drawing and looking up all sorts of things. This is because he has written a whole page. He is decided to investigate diet and habitat of the scorpion and is having a great time.
I really think he should drop the books that are causing him personal pressure and we discuss this later.
Discovery Time Is Fun
When we discover an iguana outside the window – another lesson. I realize I have to change how I school him to make this work.
Language Is Fun
For language we decide it is time to order in Spanish, play games in Spanish, count the money in Spanish etc.
Art Is Fun
We are making art out of toothpicks – then we turned it into a clock and improved our time management skills:)
Hunting For Fun
Yesterday we did a scavenger hunt and he had to find nature items. Today it was a treasure hunt and map reading. I am learning to make schooling fun. And we are both learning – a lot!
The Point System
So each day we will have 5 subjects. These may change with time. Each subject is worth 2 points. The goal is to reach 10 points a day and then he gets to play on his technology. He also loses points if he gets out of control. He can earn extra points if he wants to do extra subjects.
This a.m. we discovered termite tracks on the roof. We found them in the woodwork. So next thing the lesson was all about that. We found a great website on pests. Even games for kids on pest detection.
Well, this has been going for a few days now and I cannot tell you the change in him. He WANTS to study. Especially nature – he tells me.
His Education Improves Vastly
His personal advancement is so distinct over the coming weeks that if he keeps it up, he will be ahead of other kids his age. I am really proud of him. He chooses the subjects based on what is around us.
Questions and Comments
- How do you strike a balance between studying and traveling especially if you are a single parent?
- Do you always have a normal routine?
- How does your child keep up?
- Do share your comments with us below.