Why We World School

Why We World School

 

One of the most frequent questions I get from friends, family and readers is “what are your kids doing for school?” This should really be answered in a 10 piece series or something, but here’s the short story. I know it seems insane to pull our kids out of good schools and drag them around the world, but we feel they’ll get more education and experience out of a year around the world than a year in the classroom.




Feeding Horses on the Farm in Idaho
Feeding Horses on the Farm in Idaho

There are definitely drawbacks. They miss their friends and the structure of school. There are probably gaps, where I don’t know to teach a specific subject or math fact. The projects they did in school were probably much more fun than the projects I come up with at home and on the road. Sometimes my creativity lacks and I don’t have hours of homeschool prep before each lesson.

Kayaking down Sunday River in Maine
Kayaking down Sunday River in Maine

 

Homeschooling isn’t something I ever thought I wanted to do. We toyed with the idea when we moved to Hawaii, but I was too scared. I had a newborn and an extremely demanding 2 year old. A huge part of our hesitation to travel full time was the fact that I would be spending nearly 100% of my day with my children. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my children and the most important role I have is being their mother. But you know…it’s a lot of….togetherness! But over the last few months I have grown to really love homeschool. It has been a huge paradigm shift for me, but I believe it has made me a better, more involved, more patient mother all around. I have a long way to go, but I can see myself and my children improving in all aspects of our life.

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Bird Watching in Idaho
Bird Watching in Idaho

And you know what  I don’t miss? Those chaotic mornings of dragging my kids out of bed at the crack of dawn (don’t worry they are still early risers), rushed breakfasts, trudging through snow to the bus stop. What a way to start the day off! And I’d lose my kids to the best hours of the day! They came home at 4:00 in the afternoon exhausted, hungry and dreading the hours of homework they had to do. I did the math and in total I spent about 4 hours each day with my children before bed time. 1 hour rushing, 1 hour wasting time on busy work, 1 hour cooking and eating dinner, 1 hour for the bedtime routine. Throw in piano lessons once a week and it’s all out the window! We knew we needed a change for our family. Our kids went to schools with a 10 greatschools.com rating. They had fantastic teachers. They loved school and were excelling, but our family was suffering! Suffering!

Exploring the flora and fauna in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.
Exploring the flora and fauna in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

I missed my children! Not my tired rushed children of the morning, or my worn out grumpy children of the afternoon. I missed my children who stood in awe of the beauty of nature, who delighted in spending a rainy day reading by the fire, who found joy in creating! I missed those children. I missed being their mother!

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Exploring the beach of a tiny island off the coast of Maine
Exploring the beach of a tiny island off the coast of Maine

And you know what? I finally got them back! Of course I have days where I want to quit and maybe I’ve threatened a time or two to drop them off at the nearest public school. We are definitely still finding our groove in this world of home education. I have nothing against school. My children have been to public and charter schools and we have loved them all. This was a choice that we made for our family. And what could be more important than that?

A who kayaks together stays together!
A family who kayaks together stays together!

 

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “Why We World School

  1. Irina Vakulchik says:

    I love this post… Homeschooling has been the best decision I have ever made. I am just like you… I sometimes… on really tough days… when kids don’t want to their school work.. tell them that I’m sending them to school. But I never have. I have been homeschooling for 8 years. Don’t worry about not teaching them everything because as long as our students are confident students and love learning then we did a good job at this homeschooling thing. I went to public school and I think I only remembered 5% of what I learned in school that day. It was so rushed, so much pressure, and I was distracted by all the other students in the class room. May God bless your homeschooling journey. 🙂

    • Wanderlust Crew says:

      You are so very right about that Irina! I think I remember less than 5% haha! Homeschooling is definitely not for everyone and I totally respect people that don’t homeschool. I never thought I would be up to the task, and most days I don’t feel like I am! But it’s definitely right for our family. I honestly can’t imagine having my kids gone all day! Well, I can and it sounds amazing…but not every day! I’m glad that we are close enough that we would miss each other. You can’t gain that in school and in the end that’s more important right? Thanks for your insight, you give me so much hope!
      -Vanessa

    • Wanderlust Crew says:

      Almost! Haha! I know the feeling. Sometimes it sounds fantastic in theory, but in practice, it can be a beast! Your kids are great and you are doing just what is right for them! Love you girl! xoxo

  2. Stephanie says:

    I love reading about your internal journey with homeschool as the amazing pictures you post evoke emotion and meaning. Keep Calm and Carry On

  3. Hilarie Robison says:

    Thank you for this post full of reason and inspiration! I’ve been struggling with homeschooling recently, wondering if it’s still the right decision for our family. You beautifully articulated all the reasons we chose to make that leap in the first place, and reminded me of all the things I don’t miss… Especially the lack of meaningful, intentional time together because there is no time or energy left after public school and homework. Everyone’s exhausted and family quality time suffers, just as you said. 🙂 Thanks again for being a wise voice I need to hear right now.

    • Wanderlust Crew says:

      Thank you so much Hilarie. Trust me, I so struggle with those days too. Wondering what on earth we are doing and WHY!!! Oh my goodness, why? Those days do pass I guess and I too am so inspired by other homeschool families! I really don’t know what I would do without this community. Probably throw in the towel. And I completely agree…that intentional time together…it’s so hard to get when everyone is running a million different directions! I’ll never regret spending more time with my kids.

  4. Victoria says:

    Thanks for sharing. I am just about to take the plunge this December (wish me luck) and I have 7 kids, whew! Most are bigger now (taller than me, yes) but they’ve never experienced me being away for long intervals than a two-week camp or something. I am doing this the other way around, now that they’re bigger so will bring my 2 smaller whilst the rest are about to finish high school and University. And can’t wait!

  5. Annette, Four Acorns says:

    I have thought about homeschooling/unschooling since my eldest was a toddler! Their school is lovely, but I nearly pulled them out of it 18 months ago, and changed my mind at the last minute. I came to realise that what I want is to have more time as family, i.e. with my husband around, so we’re looking to ‘unworking’ our lifestyle before we jump the gun. I would love to spend more time in France, and travel the world as a family, but his job is unfortunately very location-bound!
    Thanks for sharing your experience, pros and cons and all! x

  6. Berry says:

    Hello! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

  7. Nolan says:

    Thanks , I have just been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

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