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How to Worldschool: Making Travel Educational for Kids

Learn how we turn travel moments into teaching moments as we worldschool around the world. These six ideas will help you to get started worldschooling.

worldschool Worldschool: When the world is your school and learning comes from your surroundings and your desire to know more.

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart and something that I’ve been meaning to write about for the past 3 years! This is really the #1 reason that we travel with our 4 kids: To give them an education and help them to see their own world through the eyes of others, to get outside of our bubble and show them all the world has to offer through worldschooling.

Whether you are going for a day trip, weekend trip, a long vacation or traveling full-time,  learning can be found all around. I see a lot of articles out there about how to keep kids happy or entertained or quiet during travel, but we can do even better than that right?! Let’s make travel fun AND educational! Travel is the perfect teaching moment. Use the opportunity to learn something new about somewhere new!

Learn about WHY we Worldschool

Here are some ideas that our family uses to turn traveling into Worldschooling:

1. Teach Map Reading Skills

I’m not sure about you, but I can’t remember the last time I relied solely on a paper map to navigate anywhere! Like, really! We got lost in the forests of Oregon last summer with no cell phone service to use my maps app and it was honestly a little scary. I was able to use my phone’s compass to direct us back, but we probably would have been better off with a real-deal map! We’ve started to learn to use maps together in case this happens again. The kids love holding a map while we are on a road trip and marking where we are. It’s more entertaining than it sounds. Try getting each kid their own map and a marker, then see how close they get to the route you’re on. 

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2. Learn State or Country Trivia

When preparing for an out-of-state or international vacation, look up some interesting trivia from your destination and try to memorize it. This is a great site for US state trivia. The car is also a great time to learn about state capitals! We love these Flashcards and these State Capital Wrap-Ups are so much fun and a different take on flashcards, and a little quieter! Win-win! These cute Wrap-Ups are available in Math Facts as well.

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3. Read or Listen to Good Books

Take advantage of any travel time, whether on an airplane, train, bus or car to read together with the kids or listen to audiobooks that go along with your destination. If you’re road tripping in the midwest, listen to the Little House on the Prarie series, etc. There are children’s books set in nearly every country and/or state.

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4. Use Activity Packets

Make or buy activity packets all about your destination. We love the Tava Adventures Passports and Zig Zag City Guides. We like to use them before we go, so we can learn about the destination before we arrive. It gives the kids some context and understanding and makes the trip more exciting, and the learning more meaningful and likely to stick with them.

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5. Plan Ahead

If you truly want to make any and all trips educational for your kids, then plan ahead when mapping out where you’ll be traveling next. Look for areas to visit that have historical significance. For instance, a trip to Virginia should include a visit to historical Williamsburg. If you’re going to Paris, visit the Louvre and turn it into a history lesson. If you’re visiting London, take them to the Tower of London. But no matter where you go, there is always learning to be had!

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6. Visit Museums

Museums are fantastic places to learn! And with so many incredible museums around the world, finding one near your destination should be easy. I love this great list of museums for kids around the world.

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7. Use Living History

Make trips to places that involve the kids in living history, such as Williamsburg or the Tower of London. There are places that do this all around the world. This helps kids imagine what life would have been like when they are studying it.

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Shakespeare’s Birthplace. Learning what children wore in the 1600s.

8. Help them Learn a New Skill

Help the kids to learn a new skill, either on the road or at your destination. Tying it into your destination would be even better! Take a sewing lesson, learn how to make candles, or split wood, build a fire, etc.

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Abbi taking sewing lessons in England

9. Make Lots of Time for Outside Play

Kids learn so much just by being outdoors. It gives them a chance to use their imaginations and act out what they’ve learned through play.

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10. Be Flexible

Be sure to allow time for going off-road and off schedule. Plan ahead, but if something interesting and education comes up, take advantage of that! Experiencing things together as a family while traveling is the best way to make a trip educational. However, you have to give yourself the ability to modify your plans while traveling in order to do so. Remember, getting there really is half the fun!

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This is how worldschooling works for our family! Everone is different, but I hope this will be a good start for you or an encouragement if you’re already worldschooling! If you need help figuring out how to worldschool, read out to me on Facebook or Instagram, I’d be happy to help!

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