Expat Essentials

Lauren Bordeaux on Worldschooling: When the world is your classroom, the learning never stops

When I tell people that we are worldschooling our kids we get a lot of different reactions. Many of complete confusion. Some of surprise. Others of absolute delight.

In case you’re as confused as many of our friends and family, I’ll catch you up on what worldschooling is all about and I’ll share about why we chose it for our family in Part 2 of this series.

What is worldschooling? Worldschooling is an alternative to traditional education. It’s a form of homeschooling that puts an emphasis on travel and real-world learning experiences to create a more holistic learning environment for the child.

Worldschooling stemmed from the idea of “unschooling,a term coined by educator John Holt in 1977.

Unschooling is a method of homeschooling in which the parent facilitates a child-led, interest-based learning environment. Worldschoolers tend to blend different methods to achieve the best learning environment for
their child.

What are the benefits?

There are so many wonderful benefits to homeschooling and worldschooling, in particular. I’ll go over just a few here. I‘m sure every worldschooling family can add more benefits to this list!

• DEVELOP A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

THE AUTHOR’S DAUGHTER HEADING OUT FOR AN ADVENTURE IN CROATIA

Worldschooling provides the opportunity for children to learn all about cultures, languages, history, key figures, science and more in the real world.

They have the chance to talk, interact and make friends with people different from them. This causes them to think outside of their normal, everyday environment and consider the people and environments around them.

They will consider other worldviews and opinions and it will help them shape their own views. It will – one hopes – even inspire them to take positive actions for the good of their world.

• NO SET SCHEDULE

How many times have you considered taking a grand vacation and realized that school is still in session for your kids? Taking them out of school for a considerable amount of time would probably set them behind in their traditional school environment.

When worldschooling full time, there are no restrictions on your travel and school schedules. You can school any time and travel any time, hopefully doing both at the same time!

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH THE ASSYRIANS AT THE PERGAMON MUSEUM IN BERLIN

• HANDS-ON LEARNING

One of the beauties of homeschooling is that every family approaches it differently. Worldschoolers can blend many different methods of educating to teach their children best. Often that includes a great amount of hands-on learning that is atypical of a traditional classroom.

Worldschooled children have more opportunities to learn about subjects in the real world; history where it took place; science in nature; language where it is naturally spoken.

Literature where it was written.

• MORE OUTDOOR TIME

More and more schools are cutting recess and outdoor activities. Kids need outdoor time as a break from school. Research has shown that independent, free-play which takes place during recess is critical for cognitive development.

Outdoor time makes for better learners. But schools are still cutting it in favor of more indoor school time. Worldschoolers gain an education by experiencing the world around them, which means lots of outdoor time. Many parents focus greatly on nature studies where students get out into nature and learn about what they see, feel, taste and hear. What a great way to cultivate a love of learning!

• CULTIVATE INDIVIDUAL TALENTS AND PASSIONS

Worldschooling parents get far more time with their children to learn about their child‘s passions, talents and interests. Their children also have more time to devote to learning about those topics. Entire vacations can be devoted to learning and cultivating a child‘s talent and passion!

Why would you consider worldschooling? If the benefits listed above don‘t entice you to investigate worldschooling further, consider other reasons why it might be right for your family.

● Your family lives abroad and desires to travel as often as possible
● Your family needs a break from traditional schooling
● Your kids travel because they excel in a sport or other activity

In a later post, I will go over why we chose to worldschool our own children and how to practically implement worldschooling in future posts. I hope this article has opened your eyes to a new and exciting schooling option for your children!

About the author:

Lauren Bordeaux is a freelance writer and Instagram micro-blogger.

You can find her on Instagram at @minivan_memoirs where she posts about expat life, family travel and worldschooling. 

She and her family are from the United States and and are currently loving expat life in Vienna, Austria. 

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