What is Worldschooling? At Worldschooling Central, we believe that Worldschooling is the deliberate inclusion of travel and learning from the world around you as a method of educating children, using the world as your classroom!
Worldschooling is a state of mind – it’s seeing education more inclusively. Understanding that learning happens everywhere and throughout the day. It’s opening your children up to the world beyond their immediate four walls and teaching them through experiences by doing, being, touching, smelling, and feeling.
But what is Worldschooling? What does it look like?
For some, this means selling everything and traveling the world full time. Trading in a mortgage, car payments, electricity bills, and a stationary life for airfares, accommodation, experiences, and adventures. For others, it is traveling 3-6 months of the year while children are enrolled in a traditional school setting. For some, it’s just traveling at every possible opportunity but valuing the educational benefits their children receive from travel.
Whether you choose to be a full-time, part-time or casual worldschooling family, Worldschooling is unique to the individuals. What it looks like in one family can be completely different from what it looks like in another. Worldschooling is about creating an incredible lifestyle, perfectly tailored to your family’s needs, to your children’s learning styles, and your interests.
We recently interviewed a group of experienced worldschooling families and asked them to share what Worldschooling is to them.
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Leanne Heggie – Cake and Eat It 3
Worldschooling is just learning while experiencing the world and being able to do that as a family so that you’re actually a part of those wonderful memories with your kids when they’re growing up.
It’s the freedom to learn every step of the way. Not necessarily within any classroom or learning environment, just learning through life. And the people that we meet.
Martha Nieset – Mom and Kid Travels
I see world schooling as basically using the world as part of our education. So, learning from the world in the ways we travel, and the people we meet are the cultures we come across. So making that an integral part of how we learn and what we learn about.
Sarah De Santi – The 5 World Explorers
Taking the world as your school, as your classroom. When you take every experience of your day, in a new country, as a learning experience.
Sometimes we think that we just learn in school, but the truth is that everybody has a different way of learning. All of us remember different things on the same day, but we’re all learning something. Once you’re world schooling, you can start being conscious about this and that you’re not wasting your day because you went to a cooking class or hiked instead of staying on your books in school.
World schooling is experiencing and integrating whatever landscape you’re in and understanding who you are and how you fit into the greater picture.
Generally, I think world schooling, and I immediately think “families who travel the world and school their kids while they travel.” Still, I also think it’s a concept. You can worldschool at home.
I think it’s just a way of teaching your children. And you can do it while traveling the world or while living in one tiny part of it.
Kylie Gibbon – Our Overseas Adventures
Having the freedom and flexibility to do our own thing and travel and show them much more than what they learn at school.
There is only so much you can learn in a classroom. We see them totally blossom when we pull them out of school, and we travel around, and we go to these different countries, they’re just like little sponges, they soak it up.
Elly McGuinness – Parenting Passports and Profits
We see it as an amazing opportunity to learn from the world. For us, we slow travel, full time. So that is our picture of world schooling.
Worldschooling means different things for everyone; everyone’s on their own journey. Some people don’t necessarily do a lot of travel but may consider themselves still world schoolers because they’re interested in the world. And they may include some form of world learning or learning about other cultures from right where they are at home. Some people have their full-time jobs or their home base, and then they travel when they can.
Alison Netzer – Five Family Adventurers
Exposing family and kids to other cultures. And getting them out there, showing them that not everyone lives the way they do.
Introducing them to new foods, to new languages, to history, to different geographical places.
I want to get them out there and show them that everyone lives a little bit differently. Things don’t always work the way we want them to work, and sometimes, when you do travel or when you do experience something new, it may not go exactly as planned, and that’s okay. You have to roll with it. Sometimes you have to change your plans at the last minute and that it’s okay to do that.
It can look different in each family. So yes, of course, traveling full time and showing your kids the world is certainly the thing that I aspire to. Still, for now, we’re dipping our toe into world schooling, the way I would like to work school, which is to travel full time. But in the meantime, we’re going to do everything we can to travel the world while we can.
Sandi & Jimi Falin – Tryn Something New
Learning from all of our travel experiences and the kids learning firsthand, because you know, when you’re in school, you’re learning from textbooks. And Skylar says it all the time. She’s nine. She says, “I love learning from the world and not through a book,” because she’s very hands-on, she loves to see, touch and feel, and experience the vibe of wherever we are. And that’s just something that you cannot get sitting in a classroom and looking at a book.
For us, it’s seeing it first hand and experiencing it. Whatever the culture is, whatever the country is about, nothing can replace actually physically being there.
We’ve harvested rice with the locals, gone snorkeling on shipwrecks, and just all this amazing epic stuff. We’re actually learning history and how to do this and that and the other.
There’s not a point where “okay, we’re learning from eight to three,” and then it stops. And then, from three to nine o’clock at night, we’re not doing anything. We were in Thailand, and we were watching The Perfect Storm on our computer. It was nine o’clock at night, and the kids started geeking out on hurricanes and how hurricanes are formed. And why does the hurricane sink the ship? So we stayed up until 11:30 at night studying hurricanes in bed, and I thought, “we’re doing school right now. This is so crazy.” I was studying weather patterns.
It’s constantly changing. The curiosity is always there. We learn a lot just from the kid’s curiosity. And that’s just one of the little cool side effects that happen with this kind of learning,
And hopefully, they take that on throughout life. There’s never a point where they say, “okay, I’m 18, I’m done learning now,” or “I’m 21, and I’m done with college. So now I stop learning and go into a job.” Hopefully, it is always just, keep going, keep learning, keep going – it doesn’t matter.
Réka Kaponay – Dreamtime Traveler
For me, worldschooling is the pursuit of what you truly love and the world being there as this launching pad that will send you off shooting through the stars, in a sense. Worldschooling is just an endless opportunity.
Exploring and trying new things, trying different foods, trying different cultural dances, trying different things, learning about the world outside of themselves, and learning to be compassionate and empathetic to other people’s living situations or stories.
Andrew Jernigan – Insured Nomads
My definition of world schooling would be to give the kids the best education in their season of life, in the culture we’re presently in.
It’s changed as we’ve traveled the world. When we’ve lived in England, when we lived in Ghana, when we’ve stayed in Mozambique and traveled to the Middle East and Asia and different things, the school would be off the books. Other times it would be very structured because we set out to raise our kids differently. And they’ve truly become third culture kids.
Kimberly & Kelvin Wong – Globetrotterkin
Through their travel experience, children get to learn first hand. With the knowledge and the insights that they gain through the process, they will be able to apply it through the process of their travels. And at the same time, because of the process of exposure that they gain in traveling, they’re able to actually expand their horizon and be able to learn about different cultures, different heritage. And at the same time, of course, in the end, we want them to be able to actually put it into use in real life.
Instead of reading thousands of scrolls and books, you might as well travel thousands of miles, and I think that’s what we’re trying to do with our son. We want to experience firsthand with him, everything we’ve seen, what we’ve met, everything we’ve experienced together, and learn together rather than reading in the text.
Brandon & Jennifer Pearce – Pearce On Earth
Life is learning and just that idea of exposing yourself to as much of the world as possible, so you can learn what you don’t know. And just having that curiosity and just asking questions and finding answers and just that whole process and how it evolves.
For me, it’s using the world as your classroom.
Tanya Sharkey – Perfectly Flawed Woman
I think it’s different for everybody, but world schooling, in general, encompassing some kind of travel into your children’s educational or experience of life.
Sarah Decker Russell
People are naturally inclined to learn. When the systems push you into learning this thing right now, that makes it so that kids don’t like to learn as much. And so, if we let that happen, let people learn from everywhere around them, then it’s so much more effective and so much more fun.
Kevin Wagar – Wandering Wagars
Travel helps take that position of self and helps you understand that you are a much smaller piece in a much bigger puzzle. And that humbles you, and it takes you into a position where you’re more willing to learn from other people.
To me, World schooling means having the liberated mentality to work out where and when you choose to live, work, and educate your children.