Worldschooling While Traveling Full Time With Four Kids

by Janelle Schroy

Now 41 countries into our family travels, we are absolutely loving our lifestyle of educating our kids while exploring the world together. With four young minds to grow and nurture, we’ve learned that travel, academic rigor, and social-emotional development can happen synchronously.

It’s called worldschooling — and it’s the idea is that the whole world is a classroom, and everything in it can be an intentional learning opportunity.

We are currently in South Africa, where we are are exploring the African savanna biome with our four children while we film our TV show, Journey Into Wild.

Through it all, these children are thriving in their online learning.

Madison takes a walk with an elephant in between her classes

Worldschooling is a Thing

We not alone in this educational trend of virtual learning paired with traveling. In fact, through worldschooling Facebook groups, hubs, and websites, we are connected to a tribe of over 60,000+ other families who are of the similar mind and heart.

The kids’ study penguins while walking on the beach in South Africa

Educational Family Travel

Our family explores a new country each month and we typically stay in beautiful homes rented on Air B&B. From there, we carry out work and educational activities as a family. Lots of families do this, and it’s entirely possible.

Our family provides just one example of how this lifestyle might work out practically, but for us this means the following.

  • Myself and my husband share the facilitation of our four kids’ ongoing education and we both have our own careers, which we do from wherever we are in the world. My husband is an impact consultant for NGOs and philanthropists, and I am a travel journalist.
  • Our whole family is out together exploring the world for 6+ hours every weekday (between 11 am — 6pm) as well as on most weekend days. This amount of time together gives us a deep and rich family bond, as well as a treasure trove of precious memories.
  • The children learn through real-life, hands-on experiences as we travel, and they also study academics like Global Studies, Languages, STEM, The Arts, and Health & Wellness. They do this via iPads using a variety of stellar educational apps and platforms. These include favorites such as as Reading Eggs, Math Seeds, BrainPOP, Teacher File Box, and Epic.
  • As a side project, we are often filming episodes for another TV show called Adventure Family Journal, which is a child-focused, educational show. Together, we have released over 70+ episodes so far. In addition to YouTube, our show is available for kids to watch on on KidsBeeTV and SensicalTV, and Epic.
  • Our children (ages 7, 9, 11 and 13) are also actively engaged in a variety of live learning experiences on platforms like KubrioSynthesisOutschool, and Spark Learning.
Reagan considers what she’s been learning in Kubrio’s science club while observing animals in the wild

Globally Distributed Education Platforms

Like remote working opportunities, globally distributed education platforms are on the rise. 

They are meeting the new demand required by families who choose this lifestyle of travel. Since covid began, traveling families have increased exponentially.

Here is a quick look at some of the top distributed education platforms.

Kubrio is an engaging learning platform offering clubs, bootcamps, and on-demand nanocourses to help kids find their superpowers, and then dive deeper into their preferred topics.

Outschool is a learning platform with thousands of on-demand (flex) and live classes for kids across many subject areas.

Synthesis is an online enrichment school, which is a brainchild of Elon Musk’s AdAstra school.

Prism is a full-time virtual school where kids choose what they learn and are mentored by coaches along the way.

The girls walk around Cape Town’s waterfront between evening clubs with Kubrio

Multi-Age Learning

In distributed education platforms, there is a trend away from grouping children by age and school year. Unlike mainstream schools, many of the above platforms have found great success in combining wider ranges of ages.

Rather, they’re invited to learn in a shared setting for students ages 8–12 or 13–18 and so forth. For example, the Kubrio platform is right for children who have already learned to read and right, understand basic math, and have strong communication and technology skills.

This rich, diverse, multi-age learning environment stretches the younger ones in their communication, vocabulary and languages, and it provides leadership opportunities for the older ones in mentoring and coaching the younger ones.

Year-Round School

Many of these kinds of learning opportunities are offered year-round making the learning more flexible for global travelers and less dependent on school grades and rhythms specific to a country or region.

Giraffes make for an interesting view while kids study their English and French lessons

Open Door Learning Experiences

Many offer a range of on-demand, video based courses or video recordings of past classes. But usually thecore of the platform is around the ongoing classes or clubs which happen each week.

Learners can pick and choose which learning experiences they want to participate in depending on their personal passions and interests.

The community’s tend to be more of an open door culture, allowing students the freedom of choice. No classes are required. That’s right — everything is optional.

This means what kids are learning can ebb and flow naturally with students’ interests and/or with family lifestyle. There are no repercussions or judgements if kids don’t show up to a learning experience or choose to take a break from it a while. They learn WHAT they want to WHEN they want to.

Sometimes, this means parents and teachers must let go of a focus on mastery — which the traditional school system depends on. Some critics say mainstream education’s need for aligning with state or national standards requires teachers to “teach to the test.” Kids must learn the information, perform it on the test, and move on.

The trend of having a more open door approach revolves around spiral learning, which allows kids to come back and revisit ideas, concepts or subjects as their passions and interests drive them to be interested in them. It does not require mastering a concept before moving on to the next one.

Passion-Driven Learning Schedules

This means kids can dip in and out of learning experiences as their interests change and as their time and schedule allows.

This is vastly different than traditional schools, which require kids to follow a one-size-fits-all learning schedule and set of coursework.

With this freedom, my girls’ schedule changes slightly from month to month based on what the platforms are offering and what we have happening as a family. As their learning coach, we have a collaborative process where I work with them to structure a robust learning schedule which includes a range of activities from different platforms.

Flexibility

My kids can participate from anywhere we are living in the world and still be enjoying the same facilitators and experiences. We simply adjust the learning schedule to a new time zone when we arrive in a new country.

These platforms present an incredible step in making remote learning possible from anywhere — even the African savanna.

Plus, it makes for a consistent, familiar learning environment for the kids within a deep and rich community where they are loved and known.

Is this educational trend right for you?

Learning platforms are taking a whole new approach to what the word “education” means and how it can be re-imagined to be more:

  • Globally-distributed
  • Year-round / open door
  • Inclusive of multi-age learning
  • Passion-driven
  • Flexible in scheduling

I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions about this learning trend or about these platforms.

Email me anytime: janelle@adventurefamilyjournal.com.

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