Some may agree and some may disagree, but, and there’s a big but here – there are amazing benefits to taking your kids out of school for a year of travelling. Not convinced? Well, read on and find out why we’re big advocates to this approach. There may be downsides, but in our opinion the benefits far outweigh any downsides.
In years gone by this would be an almost impossible task, but today this is more than possible as education has come on a long way. Not only can you educate your kids through home schooling and road schooling, but you can raise culturally aware kids, as they actually ‘experience’ learning as opposed to just ‘doing’ learning. You can take on road schooling in a big way, and the best part, you can take it one anywhere in the world. Think of it this way – your kids can see, hear and feel geography, history, science and many other subjects up close and personal, while not being tied down to a desk in a normal classroom environment, scrambling through text books to learn the theory.
My kids will fall behind
Absolutely not! Home schooling and road schooling systems can email, or if you’re really remote, post and fax the curriculum to you, so they are certainly not missing out on anything educational, plus they’re experiencing the world in a whole new way. It’s a real, tangible experience. They’ll learn life skills second to none as well. It can’t really get any better than that.
Give them the opportunity to grow
Believe it or not, it has been proven that allowing your kids to have this amazing experience will teach them maturity and independence and they learn in a real world environment. They also learn that wonderful art of taking responsibility for their own work and learning, and they’ll learn how to cope in different environments. Are you feeling a little less sceptical yet?
We’ll be weighed down with travelling and school work
Another big ‘no’ here. Instead of a rigid and structured approach to learning, your kids will learn in their own time and their own pace, and instead of that long 7 hour day, you can fit school work in when it suits you, plus they’ll also learn to appreciate nature in a whole new light, and yes, they will exercise more and screen time blues will not rule your lives.
Your kids can learn from iPads, tablets and laptops instead of carting round a bag heavy with books – making the load a little lighter.
Curriculums can be changed and adapted to suit your travelling family’s lifestyles and plans and as one mom explains, ”Our kids have assigned work four days a week, including maths, language, arts, science, geography, history and literature. They are required to read and write every day. We decide together what their interests are and then I design the plans to get them through the year.”
A learning experience like no other
So your kids get to learn about geography in a classroom and one of their themes is Peru. They sit and listen to a teacher, see pictures and study cultures – take them travelling and they can learn about Peru first hand as you visit Machu Pichu. Now that’s a real lesson.
From a young age they’ll experience different cultures and religions, becoming more open to people who are different and they’re actually exposed to their lives, again, as opposed to learning out of a textbook parrot-type way. Your kids will be raised to not be prejudiced or judgemental of others, but real culturally aware human beings.
If you think about it, learning through experience actually makes it easier for children to study and remember – they’ve been there and bought the t-shirt at the same time. When it comes to remembering their schoolwork they already have a picture in their minds, not just an abstract thought. For example, learning about Ancient Greek monuments while being there is something quite different to learning about it in a classroom, and seeing pictures in a textbook.
Children who are road schooled have more advanced language skills as they get the chance to interact first hand with several different languages, in person.
Oh yes, there’s more thing – road schoolers often make use of retired or active teachers in the communities they travel to, to have a few weeks’ worth of new education that they aren’t offered such as hiring a Mayan woman to teach you to weave on a back strap loom, learning to cook from Italian women and taking scuba classes on the islands and becoming certified.
You’re creating an open and engaging learning environment
What kid really, really loves homework? You’ll probably find a few out there, but not that many. Now, they’re seeing things in a whole different light, and they’re learning in a whole different way – homework is no longer a task, but an encouraging way where you all get to learn and participate.
Think teenagers and opportunities
Yep, teens can be interesting, and travelling with them can sometimes be hard, but there are things you can do to make it seriously interesting for them. Get them to start a travel blog and maybe they can even start earning some money from it, giving them a taste of work skills and experience. Mention the potential of earning money and they’ll probably be racing to get that travel blog started. They’re more likely to take an interest in the activities you’re doing as a family.
Depending on their age, they might be able to intern for local businesses and learn some brand new skills in a foreign country, which they just can’t learn in a traditional schooling environment. And if they ever apply for citizenship for a foreign country, they’re probably more likely to be accepted with their international experience.
Spend more time together as a family
What an awesome way to bond as a family as you take on new adventures and create incredibly memories through travel journals, photographs, videos and maybe even that travel blog.
Housework has been thrown out the window – yes we’re almost hearing those loud sighs of relief, there’s no 9 to 5 job, so what does this mean? Uh huh, you guessed it, more time to dedicate to your kids.
Teaching your kids about the gift of giving
Wherever you may roam as a family, there are always amazing volunteering opportunities for you, which without a doubt, will teach your kids about the value of giving back to people, animals or even the environment.
The benefits are pretty substantial, aren’t they? So for us, why don’t you take that leap and give your kids the freedom to learn in a whole new and exciting way! Just go for it!