One of the top questions we are asked is about our kids and school, like “how do you travel all the time? Aren’t your kids in school?”
Ah, dude, I think … “the world is their school, life is their teacher, and they are already so beyond where I was when I was their age.
I mean, seriously, I was dressing up as a pilgrim in 1st grade, learning about the Civil War in Middle School and reading To Kill a Mockingbird in High School … all highly inappropriate and offensive subjects these days…right? Just kidding …
Fast forward a few years, and our kids are literally killing it. In addition to the 3 R’s, they are well versed in geography, history, science, art, foreign language, gov’t (does that scare you, that we are teaching our kids politics?), music, religion, auto mechanics, plumbing … and so so much more.
But guess what? They’ve also dressed up as pilgrims, learned about the Civil War (and just recently had a refresher course with all the craziness surrounding the Confederate Flag) as well as the Holocaust, and most have read To Kill a Mockingbird.
So, not much has changed, except for the fact that our kids don’t sit in a classroom. They travel the continent. They learn everywhere. They prefer to immerse themselves in the culture, meet different people, from different walks of life who broaden their world view.
But, then so much has changed. With the advent of the Internet and amazing things like laptops and tablet computers … learning is as easy as Google’ing something and/or downloading an app. And, while I’m not a big fan of screens, I am a big fan of compact and powerful learning. We use our tablets minimally, yet intentionally. The games you find on ours are all “learning” based. ABC games, French Games, Math Games … the younger kids love them!
I should definitely make a list of my favorite apps, because I consider myself a crazy app snob and refuse to purchase apps. So I’m a cheap snob … which is why I love real life learning.
You see, I believe the best homeschool curriculum occurs out there in the world. I strongly believe we need more leaders who are worldly, who have ventured out past their own little comfort zone, and really experienced life, and fear, and empowered themselves to make a difference. Compassion, love and understanding, along with perseverance, strength and drive are traits missing amongst our leaders in Washington, DC.
Hence, everywhere we go, everything we do is a learning experience, that makes each and every one of us better, and more educated. I mean sure all the places we visit are rife with educational experiences, that’s a given. But when you educate yourselves on a daily basis, all the time, you find that education is in the most unexpected of places!!
I’m psyched to say, even kayaking is a learning experience. Even climbing and snowboarding and caving … all learning experiences. From nature and ecology, to geology and geography to mathematics and biology, to history and civics … learning never ever ends, if you just open your eyes to the world around you.
In addition to learning something from a book, our kids also have the opportunity to see it first hand. They get to actually walk the halls where laws are made (no, not the Supreme Court, Congress), to see bald eagles in the wild, to see a Civil War Re-enactment, to hike the Lewis and Clark Trail, attend the opera (not fans) and the theater (preferred over the lame movies produced today) … They process the information in their own way and are, hence, much more likely to retain it as well.
They also are so subject to everyday life. You know, our car breaks down, the kids help diagnose and fix it. A cabinet breaks (NOT in the Newmar Dutch Star, no, no NEVER), they fix it (because they most definitely broke it) They help plan our vacations and our routes, they can read real actual maps as well as GPS. They cook, they shop, they make friends … even significant others … they make money, they spend money, they have to make more money.
They are entrepreneurs, they are coaches, they are students, they are handymen (and women). They are charitable and giving of their time, their skills and their money.
Life and current events also have an uncanny way of pulling together and becoming relevant to world schooling students as well. I’m sure it’s well known that I am expecting, and that there have been a few scary symptoms, and while we are “not out of the woods” we are very positive thanks to a lot of prayers from around the world. Because I’m expecting, we discuss the growth and progress of our baby in my womb.
And the past few days, our kids have learned about human biology and the reproductive system, Planned Parenthood, the media, politics and the law. Which is why there are many in our government who want to stop homeschooling!! 🙂 Because of us, and people like us, who teach our kids our morals and values and our religion, in addition to all the “other” stuff.
You know, we are rebels like that!! <3
But seriously, as a result of this discussion, we now have quite a few kids who want to join the underground, hidden camera, squad. I say that like it’s a joke, but it’s not … they really do.
I kinda do too. Except do you know how hard that would be, to act as though I thought it was perfectly acceptable to harvest, transport and sell aborted baby’s body parts?
I mean Sarah Palin is right about one thing … can you imagine if some backyard breeder was harvesting puppy parts? Oh my gosh, that breeder would be run outta the country, he/she’d be more reviled than Casey Anthony. Remember her? I hear she’s in negotiations for an interview with NBC? Whyyyyyyyyy???
But I digress, my mind wanders.
Education, is a powerful thing. It can change the world. Dan and I strive to provide an environment where learning is as natural as breathing, and we make it a point to model consistent, constant learning.
It’s important to teach your children to question, to search for answers on their own. What I have found, that I believe is absolute beauty, since taking my kids out of school and hitting the road, is that they have become leaders.
They are not persuaded by peer pressure, they don’t need to “fit in”, they aren’t afraid to voice their opinions, even when their opinions are not popular, which believe me, they are often NOT popular these days … They are great debaters and are not afraid to stand up for what they believe. They are fighters and they are lovers.
I couldn’t have seen it coming, but this last part is why, no matter what the future holds, I will always always be thankful that we were able to give our kids such a great education! It is the true sense of what a well rounded education is … It has helped our older kids hone in on their skills and their interests and be the captains of their own destiny!!
I have followed you guys most of the year as I’ve only dreamed about giving my kids this opportunity. Now, as we finalize our plans to hit the road I am even more inspired and more confident in our decision despite the fact that those around us think we are crazy. We are. We are crazy in love with our family and the idea of LIVING an ADVENTURE and not just dreaming about it.
Thank you for being a pioneer so that others can follow! I hope we cross paths on the road sometime.
Woohoo!!! Would love to meet up with you guys!! 🙂
I just found your blog and love it! My husband and I have been throwing around the idea of selling the house and taking our 8 kids on the road full time. I’m just concerned with how our teenagers will react when they don’t have their electronics and how will the get drivers licenses, get into college and the like. We already homeschool and own a bunkhouse travel trailer, so we got that down! Would love your advice on the older kids.?
This is a loaded question!! Feel free to email me and we can chat!! 😉