Why do people Worldschool? That’s a really big question? And there are as many questions as there are Worldschooling Families. It is a very personal decision to get started, but typically it stems from a desire to make change, to have a better life… better relationships with your kids, more time, more freedom, less stress, and a better education for your children.
We recently interviewed a group of experienced worldschooling families and asked them to share why they started worldschooling.
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Sandi & Jimi Falin – Tryn Something New
Well, we were miserable.
We hated the preconditioned life that we were supposed to live, that society says “you should be happy if you have all this stuff.”
I think we just got to a point where we go is everybody this miserable is the daily grind this horrible for everybody because this is not fun. We didn’t sign up to have kids to be going through the stress of every morning, our kids are freaking out, they don’t want to get dressed, you know the whole…. the whole craziness. We’re running late, get in the car, eat your breakfast, pack your lunch, oh my god, do your homework.
Then you get the kids from school and then it starts all over again now with getting the homework done, making dinner, trying to actually spend some time with the kids. And we did that for a couple of years. And you just think that’s what you’re supposed to do, because that’s what everybody else does in your neighborhood, and that’s what we did when we were kids. Until we were introduced to world schooling. And I think that just seriously opened our eyes and our minds to like, whoa, there’s an alternative here? How come nobody talks about this?
We went to a conference and we saw other people doing it, and it kind of took the mystique away from it and showed us that this is possible, and these people were having a great time. And so we fell in love with it. We came home, set a date, and then a couple of months later, we sold everything we owned and moved into the RV full time. So we went for it and haven’t looked back since.
We really love the people we meet. We really love the freedom and the educating real life topics instead of what one particular curriculum determines essential for surviving life.
George & Bobi Kaponay
We felt flat, we felt like our working life, our sedentary life really wasn’t taking us in the direction that we were being called to.
It started with us taking our children out of school and then lo and behold, you know, just three weeks after we we made that decision, and we started, I was made redundant at work. And it all the answers that we were stuck on started coming. But we decided to follow that, for probably the first time in our lives, we really listened to that inner voice and said, “Okay, we’re really going to make a go at this.” And that’s sort of naturally all flowed into what eventually became world schooling.
My husband and I both have always loved to travel, but we wanted something more than just a two week, even a month vacation. We wanted something that was more of a major dramatic lifestyle change.
We were feeling so exhausted and rundown by our day to day obligations, that we weren’t even able to spend time with our kids so much. It was a struggle for us to have our kids, and now that they were here, we weren’t able to spend time with them. So we wanted that quality time with our kids. And we wanted to travel and we’re like, “let’s do this baby.”
Kelvin & Kimberly Wong – Globetrotterkin
I guess we just thought that with Carson, our son coming along, we just couldn’t let him miss out on all these wonderful things that we’ve seen in the world, so he just gradually made it back to every location that we’ve been to.
During a Seattle trip with our son, back then he was only like a year old. And he didn’t speak much. His first words were mama, papa. And is third word was airplane. And that was from the Museum of Flight in Seattle. So we were really touched back then, because he was learning through his first hand experience and he was so excited for it. And we wanted that to extend on and on.
A failed family business, gave us the opportunity to open our minds and go, hang on, okay, we don’t have loads of money, we’ve just taken this huge financial hit because our business majorly failed. We had to sell our house, our cars and get rid of most of our things, and we did have to later sell our rental as well. So it put us in a position that, to the outside world, might have seemed like, well, you’re not in a good financial position, this is not a good time to consider travel again. But yet for us, in the way that we think, we will let this is the perfect opportunity to travel and to do things differently and think of things in a different way.
We’d both loved to travel in our younger days and this is this is the opportunity again, and there’s different ways of doing things, and I can say that our slow travel life style at the moment costs us less than living in a developed expensive country, like New Zealand.
My husband kind of jokingly said, “why don’t we travel the world?” And it just got in our head. And we say that though, once it’s in your head, it’s hard to get it out of there.
Joseph & Jensine Morabito
Joe’s job became compromised. And so we decided to see what else was out there at that time. And we started looking and we found websites like yours, that talked about world schooling, started following them and really fell in love with the idea of it.
We wanted to travel anyways. So the idea of learning without a textbook is amazing.
It was just our desire to show the kids Different cultures and different that it isn’t all the United States of America and we love to travel and so our kids went with us.
We had always wanted to travel. And, you know, the years go by and you think professionally and with the kids in school like when is the right time. And when our third child was entering High School, we thought, eighth grade would be a great year to sort of break away from all of it. Take that year off. And so we made plans to sell our apartment in Brooklyn, and quit our jobs and plan to kind of worldschool/ homeschool our son.
I was working way too hard, for way too long, and the girls could see I was miserable. They were in Singapore to local school and I was very dissatisfied with the level of education and their level of happiness wasn’t equating to the premium content that they were being exposed to. So we just got to a had all had enough and we just took the leap as a family and decided to hit the road.
My biggest driving force was the relevance of the education, the content of education that was being thrown down my daughter’s throats, none of its really, really relevant, especially in teenage years. And that the drive was to find a better way to get the more relevant education that they could actually implement in real life.
I personally did really well in academics at school… my husband didn’t, he learns more with his hands and he learns in a different way, so he really did not enjoy school and listening to his experiences when mine was so good, kind of made me think “maybe the mainstream education system isn’t actually beneficial to all children.”
I also was a nanny before I had my kids and I worked as a governess in Australia so basically I was a nanny, but I also homeschool the kids. So doing that and seeing the different ways that I can teach them that we’re just sitting in a classroom, really opened my eyes. And I thought “wow, this is something that I think would be really beneficial for my children” and then tying the traveling aspect into it, I think travel for kids is just incredible.
I wanted to make sure that my kids grew up, tolerant and kind and seeing people, instead of gender and age and race. And so you kind of mash all those things together and you come out with Worldschooling,
We’re lucky enough to live in a destination or in a place where we have a very high level of immigrants. And that makes for a really unique experience here. But all of those interactions with new friends and people that my children grew up with are all painted with that Canadian brush. You don’t get to experience that life where you’re the outsider, and you’re the one looking into the glass. And I think travel is really what helps take that position of self and make it into an understanding where you are a much smaller piece in a much bigger puzzle.
There are things that you can learn from travel that you could never learn from a book or from a school or from staying local.
I think I was working with a professional coach at the time, who was just really supportive and asking the question, what is it you want to do? It was this very open ended question. And it felt like out of nowhere, I was like, I want to go to Nicaragua and I want to take my kid and I want to travel there, and she was like…. I expected anybody to be like, “what you want to do what” but she was like, “Okay.”
Fumiko & Glenn Solway
But when I heard about it, kids can stay at home, you know? Oh, I didn’t know about that. And that really makes sense. And it sounds really good. Because I thought, well, kids are really amazing. They’re naturally very curious and they have a desire to know this world and to improve their skills in everyday life. They really try to achieve things naturally. So I thought that it sounds very natural and my gut feelings said “oh, it sounds really good and you’d love to do it.”
Travel is so important for us as a family for our kids on pretty well every single level.
They’ve learned so much about others. And it’s such a wonderful experience for them to learn all about themselves and the world, and also, what they learn in books, it actually brings that stuff to life.
My husband Mike and I had always traveled ever since we met and we’ve been together nearly 25 years now, so that was a lot of travel before the kids came along. And then we kind of had this mindset really, that once they arrived, that’s going to be it. So we tried to pack in as much as we possibly could, because we’re like, once we have kids, we’re going to be grounded. But the itchy feet never went away. Just because you have a kid they don’t go away and the travel bug doesn’t disappear. So we were like, “alright, we’ll give it a go. We’ll take them with us.” And yeah, it just kind of went from there.
Life was so busy and everyone’s the same. We were both working full time, full on jobs, and when we were just not spending the quality time together, it’s not long enough. We’re really lucky in New Zealand, we get four or five weeks vacation a year, so that is amazing, but it is a long way to go to places like the States and Europe, anywhere really other than Australia or the Pacific Islands. And there just wasn’t enough time and we didn’t feel that we could do that in depth, quality, traveling and immersing ourselves in a community. We couldn’t do that on a two week holiday. So we decided it’s time to do that. And this is what we want to do. And it’s time to take the plunge.
You know, growing up in the US and my kids growing up in the US, there’s very much a mentality of “me”, and that the world revolves around me and the world revolves around the US, which is obviously not the case, and the kids had been to a lot of different countries on vacations and sort of learning opportunities while we were living there, but this was really our chance to sort of dive into the deep end and really have an opportunity to go all in.
Sarah De Santi
We did this short trip in to Thailand and our kids, after a weekend when we went to see an island, they said, “we would like to see more.” So we thought it meant, you know, more of the world. So my husband was like, “oh, why don’t we just sell everything and leave?” And then we’re like, “yeah, let’s do it.” But I think they meant just about Thailand. But that’s okay.
It’s such a great way for them to learn about different ways of life and different people in different places. So we started pulling them out of school for a month at a time, spending time together, traveling,