Updated: Feb 13, 2020

World Schooling is a term that gets thrown around quite a bit these days. Especially in the travel family circles. When we initially made the decision to take the kids out of mainstream schooling and travel the world for a year, the first thing I did was book an appointment with our school Principal. I knew he was a wealth of knowledge, with several decades in the education system under his belt, and I was open to taking his lead when it came to this next big education step for us.

I was like a little kid when he called me into his office, equal parts nervous and excited to talk with him. Thankfully I hadn’t had much to do with him personally over the years as our kids were both good students and sticklers for rules. We had a really good chat and he was quite enthusiastic and supportive of our upcoming adventures. He gave me a lot to consider and talk over with Andrew.

We ended up deciding not to go down the Distance Education path for a few reasons, and instead chose to work in line with the Victorian school curriculum for each year level and take on homeschooling ourselves. I’d done so much research and we were looking forward to the challenge! I also sought the expertise of a dear friend who is a school teacher, to bounce a few ideas off. She ended up offering to be the kids “Cyber Teacher” for the year. We all got together to discuss this option with the kids and decided it would be perfect!

As a result this means we have quite a special and unique set up. We have an online class room between the kids, us parents and the teacher (Mrs J). She sends tasks, which the kids complete in their time and send back electronically. Mrs J then corrects or assigns additional work and sends back to the kids to read their feedback and marks, and everything is being kept on file.

They each have an iPad which they required for their schooling back in Australia and have many helpful and fun apps that they use often. Study Ladder has proven to be a very good one, as well as Pic Collage for presenting research tasks and projects.

Andrew and I have also bought the kids activity books (literacy, numeracy, problem solving etc) along the journey. These are great for travel days, or when were trying to cut back on screen time. They both keep a detailed daily diary each day which includes tickets and memorabilia they have collected, as well as reading their current novel either each morning or night.

Kids are like sponges. They learn so much when travelling, no matter the age. I am so surprised when Lily vividly recalls a memory from a trip we took when she was only 4. Or when Spencer can recite the facts he learned from our guide at the Taj Mahal in India.

Whenever we reach a new country, the children both work on a “Tourism Poster” which includes the flag, local currency, cuisine, traditions etc. This has been a fun exercise for them both and great to look back over and remember the different places they’ve visited.

Some days, they may not do any official school work. We are out exploring, seeing the sites, at the beach, or wandering a museum. Other days – we will sit in session for 8 hours flat and only break for lunch. As a parent, I have really enjoyed seeing how they both learn so differently. How they work, and what sets their souls on fire in the “classroom”. It has been very special to take this time with them at this precious stage of their lives – before the pressures and chaos of secondary school begins, and share in their education so deeply.

As I type this, Lily is working on a research task of Highland Cows, and Spencer – the Loch Ness Monster. It’s Sunday here in Berlin. We all had a sleep-in, made a late brunch, and got stuck into some school work before we will head out late afternoon and explore this wonderful city a little more

REPOSTED WITH PERMISSION: Her Life+Loves with Clare Barnes

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