"The jobs that these kids in school will be having, do not call for this kind of right-answer-vending-machine approach.They will be doing work that calls on their artistic abilities, that calls on their abilities of synthesis, that calls on their abilities of understanding the context, that calls on their abilities of working in teams, that calls on their abilities in some sense to be multi-disciplinary, multi-lingual, multi-cultural." Daniel Pink
"So the coin of the realm is not memorizing the facts that they are going to need for the rest of their lives. The coin of the realm will be
*do you know how to find information,
*do you know how to validate it,
*do you know how to synthesize it,
*do you know how to leverage it,
*do you know how to communicate it,
*do you know how to collaborate with it,
*do you know how to problem solve with it.
That is the new 21st century set of literacies and it looks a lot different than the model that most of us were raised under."Clay Christensen
Creating at the Junibacken Museum in Stockholm where we bought lots of books not available in U.S.
AFRAID TO HOMESCHOOL?
It is not uncommon for homeschooling to sound scary or
intimidating...it was for us as well, before we began...but just like
extended travel or independent travel, it is MUCH easier than most people realize. There are also many online schools and courses if you prefer that method.
really is a false fear that you can not facilitate your child's
learning which every good parent does from conception.Who helped
facilitate your child to learn to walk or talk?? Parents are the
primary educators of their children & every good parent should take
full responsibility for their child's education, even if you do use
schools. No teacher will ever love your child like you do &
love/passion are the greatest tools to learning. It's really about trusting yourself and trusting your child. Learning is easy and natural.
“What children need is not new and better curricula but access to more and more of the real world; plenty of time and space to think over their experiences, and to use fantasy and play to make meaning out of them; and advice, road maps, guidebooks, to make it easier for them to get where they want to go (not where we think they ought to go), and to find out what they want to find out.” — John Holt
Kids, all humans
are geared to learn and parents have always been the
first teachers. Most brain development takes place in the first 5
years..so most parents do all or most of the teaching/education in that
time period! The rest is a piece of cake in comparison! It's really less about teaching and more about fascilitating or guiding and there are endless, free resources and support online for every age.
"This faith is that by nature people are learning animals.
Birds fly; fish swim; humans think and learn. Therefore, we do not need to
motivate children into learning by wheedling, bribing, or bullying. We do
not need to keep picking away at their minds to make sure they are learning.
What we need to do - and all we need to do - is to give children as much
help and guidance as they need and ask for, listen respectfully when they
feel like talking, and then get out of the way. We can trust them to do the
Did you know the literacy rate
was higher BEFORE compulsory schooling began when most taught their own
kids? Old ways of the industrial revolution, no longer serve in the
internet/digital revolution & education/schools are going through a
paradigm shift. I won't even speak to the major problems with funding schools in this new economy or the insane, crippling debt that too many go into to get a college education, except to say there are ways around these.
I am not against schools and know a ton of amazing teachers including a niece who does remarkable work with disadvantaged and slow learners, but like most
things, just blindly following the status quo, will rarely give you the
best results. Embracing homeschooling/roadschooling can add a lot to your freedom
(who wants to be tied to a school's schedule to time travel only at peak prices?) as well
as greater bonding/ quality AND quantity time as a family.
“Nothing is REAL about what kids learn in school…they basically learn school-survival skills that are only useful in that setting, and when taken out into the *real* world, they are not so useful, effective or ~ more important ~ they are not the tools one needs in order to truly know one’s Self and to live a rich, full life.” — Anne Ohman
"As a student in a digital world, tell me again why I need the building? The administration? The system? I
don’t. And as accreditation becomes less meaningful because it’s easier
to test the student than to test the system, the top heavy
organizations will falter. And fast." Seth Godin
Reading on a train in Norway
For us, the only real
value to school is language/culture immersion in a foreign land, connecting deeply with
local families through the local school and friend consistency while
doing world travel (returning yearly for a few months)...but we also picked a school
where we can come or go as we please, do an incomplete school
year, & it has a very short school day. We'll do the same when we pick a school in Asia next winter to immerse in Mandarin Chinese.
“The only time my education was interrupted was when I was in school.” — George Bernard Shaw
How can I connect with my children today, bring joy into their lives, expand their worlds, nurture and encourage what they love to do?’ That’s my guideline. That and the dear hearts of my dear children. — Anne Ohman
Having lunch and recess with a friend from UK in Barcelona after roadshooling some Singapore math
WHAT ABOUT FRIENDS?
This often seems to be a common concern from those who have never homeschooled, but it is just not a problem. In fact, many studies show that homeschooled kids are actually better "socialized" than many schooled kids. Based on all the homeschooled kids that I have known, including my twenty something niece who graduated years early from a top University in Chemical Engineering with a 6 figure job waiting for her, I have seen the truth of this in real life over and over again.
I see our digital nomad lifestyle as a great ADVANTAGE in socialization. Our child has had MORE opportunities to
socialize with people of every age from so many countries, in several
languages. We do take her needs seriously, so have created a system that gives her long term consistency, but feel it is a huge advantage that she is not confined to an artificial, age-specific peer group. She is capable now of making friends instantly with every age and has established lifelong connections around the globe. We also cherish the extra bonding time together.
is never too late to build family foundations,” says Dr. Nicholas Levy,
a pediatrician affiliated with the Univ. of California, San Diego, who
advocates traveling sabbaticals for families. “Travel, particularly
international travel, exposes families to different lifestyles that
intrinsically bring families together.” “Adaptation and accommodation are probably the most valuable lessons that we can teach our children,” Levy says.
I’m a big fan of John Taylor Gatto (an award winning teacher) & love this article about why schools don’t educate. One of the worse things about schools (and the typically busy, over scheduled American life) is that they leave no time to
develop a sense of self. Schools were made for industrialization
and simply no longer work for what we need in these exponential times
of the 21st century.
A full day of bike explorations in a huge park in Dublin with an Irish friend
"In a society that values its economy over culture, the book states, the
building of strong adult/child attachments gets lost in the shuffle.
Multiple play dates, day care, preschool and after school activities
groom children to transfer their attachment needs from adults to their
peers. They become what the authors call "peer oriented." The result is
that they squelch their individuality, curiosity and intelligence to
become part of a group whose members attend school less to learn than
to socialize. And these same children are bullying, shunning and
murdering each other, as well as committing suicide, at increasing
rates." Publishers Weekly about "Hold on to Your Kids".
"We should not be shocked then by the Smithsonian Report on genius
which offered a three-part recipe for high achievement, consisting of
1) much time spent with warm, responsive parents and other adults, 2)
very little time spent with peers, and 3) a great deal of free
exploration under parental guidance." Dr Raymond Moore
In the next decade 60% of schools will be virtual. More and more jobs will be
virtual as well. Flexible out-of-the-box multi-lingual global thinking
citizens will do better in our coming world. The more we do this, the more I see what a fabulous way it is to learn and prepare for the future.
Feeding and catching baby ducklings in Bordeaux, France with friends from several countries
Most schools do a remarkably poor job of recognizing and rewarding
future achievers...The standards of success in school have very little
to do with standards thereafter. What did predict economic success was
a willingness to take chances, more educational systems honor those who
play it safe...The ones who do take chances have a hard time in school
and are often penalized for their independent ways" Farson and Keyes
We are creating a one size fits all system that needlessly brands many
young people as failure, when they might thrive if offered a different
education whose progress was measured differently. Paradoxically we're
embracing standardized tests just when the economy is eliminating
standardized jobs." Robert Reich Former US Labor Secretary
HOW DO YOU MAKE IT WORK?
We are strong believers in child led learning, that we are ALWAYS learning and that the whole world is our child's classroom. I suppose you could call us eclectic unschoolers. We always have wonderful books, creative supplies & learning tools around that she can choose at will and expose her to fun learning opportunities where ever we go. This costs less and takes up less space than you would imagine.
Unschooling is primarily about process not content. The process of learning, the process of knowing yourself, openness, confidence, self-determination, independent thinking, critical thinking...none of which one gets when following other people's agenda.Making one's own agenda is what it is about. Again this is done , not in isolation, but in the context of one's family and community. - Joel Hawthorne
Our child is an advanced
learner so can go at her own pace which is many years above her grade
level. We homeschool a small amount daily at her level in English all
year round and also use the local school in Spain for 4/5 months out of
the year for deep immersion into her 2nd language, literature &
culture. We discussed more homeschooling details in this post.
"World schooling" on a train ride in the UK, writing about recent events & reading
We plan to also immerse her into a 3rd language-Mandarin Chinese in
the same way when we get to Asia this fall. Much of her homeschooling is done
through her reading (geared to our travels) & other ways where she
just thinks she is having fun. Below I will leave links including a great one about books that are fantastic to combine with travel and an exciting thread (rich with links) about homeshooling/roadschooling/worldschooling older children including teens and tweens.