I’ve talked briefly about how we are homeschooling before. The whole concept is a little ironic. I was homeschooled in high school and feel I didn’t receive nearly as good of an education or experience as I would have in public school. It has made me an outspoken opponent of it, and then… I am currently homeschooling our children. Part of the reasoning lies in my husband’s work schedule. Regular schooling would leave little family time and I think my young children would be hurt by this arrangement. I also feel that travel is the best education our kids can receive.
How does that work? I think a lot of our family travel philosophy would fit into the “unschooling” movement. We attempt to support our children’s interests through travel. We took a week long jaunt to Hawaii to visit Volcanoes National Park because Luke wanted to see a volcano in real life. Claire loves plants and animals, so we try to visit different ecoregions so that she can understand the climate in which both grow and thrive.
But the biggest advantage to me is pure exposure to different surroundings. We try to give a lot of diversity, and spark interest in things that are new to them.
For example these are lessons learned on our last trip, a three day trip to Houston/Galveston :
All that was learned in three days. And those are just the big things! I’m sure there were many more tiny lessons and observations my children made without me realizing it. Did we all have fun doing it? Absolutely! But it doesn’t take much work to feed their little brains.
The education is compoundable as well. Having learned about black sand during a trip last August helped them make connections with what they were seeing the following May. Learning the Declaration of Texas Independence was being discussed and written during the siege at the Alamo, which they visited in January, helped them understand the climate and desperation of the times.
They are 4 and 6. As they get older, the observations should increase and the breadth of their knowledge will grow. We absolutely supplement our travels with more traditional book learning at home. They are also in a lot of enrichment classes and Luke still attends church preschool. But I have a feeling when we look back at these years, we’ll all feel the greatest education they received were in the midst of travel.