Tag Archives forworldschooling

I can’t promise you sandwiches cut into special shapes, but I can promise you adventure

Mum of 4 boys Sarah Cole reflects on her wonderful abilities and honest shortcomings in this open letter to her 4 sons: "I can promise you adventure."

By Sarah Cole | Multifaceted Mama

To my four sons:

Over the past 10 years, I have had many failings as a mother. There are a lot of things I am just not good at. There are promises I just can't keep.

I can’t promise to be a neat or organised mum. There are craft supplies piled up in the corner and books on most surfaces most of the time. There isn’t really a picture perfect corner of our house, despite my attempts when company comes. It’s not unusual to have to shuffle construction paper or pens and pencils over to make a place at the dinner table and the search for a pencil can sometimes take a while. Despite occasional efforts I am not, and I never will be, a “neat mum.”

I can’t promise to be things will be worthy of a page on Pinterest. I don't think to cut your sandwiches into special shapes or make creative bento boxes. I never volunteered at preschool, or remember to schedule play-dates. I don’t have clever “life hacks” or make cute crafts.

I can’t promise storybook holidays. I don't decorate much; I can’t keep up with the shelf elf; I don’t have special fun “tricks” to make little holidays special and I’m sure I let it slip that there is no Santa Claus. It’s a poorly kept secret that I don’t even actually like holidays. And the Happy Birthday banner has been hanging in our kitchen for nearly 2 years now as a monument to my spectacular failure at these kinds of things.

I can’t even promise to be a “have-it-in-any-way-together mum”. I’m not as consistent, or as on top of things, as I should be. These things have never been my strength.

But I can promise you adventure.

If you want to see something, we’ll pack our car with snacks and books and go see it. I promise to let you explore. If you want to do something, we'll figure out a way that you can do it. If you want to learn something, we'll go learn it together.

I promise not to rush you. If you want to stop in the middle of our walk and watch a caterpillar, I’ll rest my bones on the rock next to you.

I promise to say yes as much as possible.

Yes, you can run. 
Yes, you can climb.
Yes, you can get your clothes dirty.
Yes, you can walk in the creek with your new shoes on.
Yes, you can touch that frog or cricket and catch that fish (as long as you're gentle).

While I won’t be waking you up to rush you off to school, I may take you to the river to watch the sunrise. Our home might not be perfectly decorated but, I’ll promise you we'll see some art-worthy views. You may never have a football trophy, but I’ll proudly display the treasures from your pockets on the windowsill.

Perhaps we may not have cookie cutter sandwiches, but I’ll pack a little peanut butter and some bread and we can stay outside until the sun sets.

I can't promise you it will all be picture perfect, but I can promise we'll take pictures. And I know we'll find beauty wherever we go.

This article originally appeared on amultifacetedmama.com and has been republished here with permission.








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Sarah Cole

Blogger

After working full time and part time for the past 10 years Sarah abruptly quit her jobs to stay at home and homeschool her 4 boys ages 10, 8, 3 and 1. Sarah writes about her parenting and homeschooling journey when she can catch a few minutes on her blog Multifaceted Mama and shares her adventures on Instagram @multifacetedmama. She lives in Virginia, USA.

Want to travel and worldschool your kids? Here are 5 things you should know

Worldschooling, travelschooling, roadschooling... there are so many ways to take your kids with you and see the world, so here is everything you need to know.

By Grace Koelma | Editor of The Mulberry Journal

* A quick note to readers: This article is based on my experience being 'worldschooled' as a teenager, and the things I found helpful for learning on the road.


The biggest mistake many parents make when choosing to take their family on the road and ‘worldschool’ is thinking that their kids’ education will occur in a similar way to school, or even like more structured styles of home education. But worldschooling is a law unto itself and will be an amazingly educational journey for you and your kids, if you let it.

Relax. Let your children process and digest what they’re seeing, the conversations they’re having and the new experiences they’re immersed in. Trust that the learning is happening beneath the surface. Every so often you’ll be the audience to an outburst and overflowing of this learning, maybe in a wonderful way you weren’t expecting.

Here are a few tips for how to plan your trip to best suit your children’s learning needs.

1. Consider what kind of ‘worldschooling’ you’ll be doing

How you choose to worldschool will depend on whether you are taking your kids out of school for a few months, or are planning on continuing to homeschool them when you return.

  • Putting them back in school afterwards

Some schools and teachers will want students to keep up with what’s being learned in class so that your child doesn’t fall behind. It’s valuable to practice mathematics while you’re away, if you intend on putting your child back into school (and therefore a set curriculum and learning pace). This is because many topics in maths are building blocks for other concepts, and if you miss a key one, learning future maths concepts can be hard. So perhaps take each child’s maths textbook with you. Other subjects like writing, spelling, art, history, science, geography and health/PE can all be learned organically on the road.

  • Homeschooling after you return

If you’re intending to homeschool your kids after you return from travel, then you can go at your own pace, and choose a learning style that suits each child. To be honest, I'm a fan of unschooling for travel, there is so much to be learned simply by being immersed in new cultures and cities (more on that later!)

2. Be open to seasons of learning

Regardless of the level of structure in your worldschooling approach, your kids will naturally form rhythms of more intense and less intense learning, and you will too! It’s okay to let this process happen organically, don't attempt to stifle or accelerate it.

As notable homeschool author, Wendy Priesnitz said, “Life learning is about trusting kids to learn what they need to know and about helping them to learn and grow in their own ways. It is about respecting the everyday experiences that enable children to understand and interact with the world and their culture.”

Worldschooling boils down to this. It’s living in the present, enjoying each new opportunity and experience presented to you, and immersing yourself in culture, history and new cuisines.

3. Embrace daily journalling habits

If you do want to encourage a learning habit, start journalling what you see on your travels, and invite your children to do the same. To get them excited about the process, let each child choose a special book to write in (some kids love leather bound, others want a book with their favourite superhero on the cover). This journal can be as structured or free as they like, and include recounts of events, drawings, photos, maps, keepsakes, postcards and nature finds. The opportunities are endless.

If you do need to provide proof of learning on your travels to a teacher or a school principal, this is a wonderful way to do that, too. When I was fifteen, my family homeschooled and travelled in a caravan around Australia for 11 months. The journals I kept every day while travelling are now one of my most treasured memories of my childhood.

 

4. Be immersed in the joy of discovering new places together

Worldschooling boils down to this… It’s living in the present, enjoying each new opportunity and experience presented to you, and immersing yourself in culture, history and new cuisines. Don’t force your kids to do this, just throw yourself into it and watch as they catch hold of your enthusiasm. You’ll find endless opportunities for learning on the road: a wealth of rich history in museums and art gallery. Explore National parks (on land and in the sea – remember that in many countries, coral reefs are protected heritage area too), stop at roadside stalls and talk to buskers and craftsman selling wares on the street.

The physical act of travel is a wonderful learning opportunity as well. Enlist your children’s help in calculating the cost of fuel to drive to the next location, or how much you’ll be charged for excess baggage on your next flight. Show them your travel budget, and tell them what your spending limit is each day. Get them to help you do grocery shopping and help you cook meals, book accommodation and flights.I believe the best education is steeped in the discussion of ideas. Talk about the customs of the places you visit and why cultural heritage is important. Learn the local language, and how to respect the culture as a visitor.

 

5. Resist trying to make every experience a ‘learning experience’

There are a lot of obvious opportunities for learning while travelling… every town has museums, art galleries, wildlife exhibits and information centres. But your kids will most certainly get information fatigue if they’re towed through one row of glass displays after another. Sometimes, even regularly, it’s okay to drive past the local tourist attraction and head to a local weekend market or go to the beach and sketch the landscape.

And then relax. Let your children process and digest what they’re seeing, the conversations they’re having and the new experiences they’re immersed in. Trust that the learning is happening beneath the surface. Every so often you’ll be the audience to an outburst and overflowing of this learning, maybe in a wonderful way you weren’t expecting.

This quote by John Holt sums it up perfectly: “What makes people smart, curious, alert, observant, competent, confident, resourceful, persistent – in the broadest and best sense, intelligent – is not having access to more and more learning places, resources, and specialists, but being able in their lives to do a wide variety of interesting things that matter, things that challenge their ingenuity, skill, and judgement, and that make an obvious difference in their lives and the lives of people around them.” ~ John Holt, Teach Your Own

Have you got any worldschooling tips? We'd love you to share them in the comments below...

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Grace Koelma

Editor

Grace is a wife, mum to 2-year-old Leo, and editor of The Mulberry Journal. She believes that home educating starts from 0 not 6 years, but is glad not to have to worry about registration... yet! You can find her sharing snippets of her love of real food, picture books and homeschool on Instagram at @littlesoulfires

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