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Back to School - Homeschool or World School Style

August 15, 2013

Back to school can mean learning everywhere around the world - homeschool style

Is it back to school time in your world? Or do you homeschool, unschool or world school? This is my 12 year old plowing through a book in tropical Asia on a break after visiting the local market.

"Independent/home learners are never restricted by a school-based curriculum and, instead, can and do recognize the value of all kinds of life learning." Joyce Reed

I am reading the delightful and enlightening book "What Really Matters" by my friends and veteran homeschooling parents/ pioneers David Albert and Joyce Reed, ( with brilliant, successful, happy college educated kids).. so thinking a lot about how we all learn and what is essential.


Self led homeschooling at the kitchen table...in Asia

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Our 12 year old thriving during her Johns Hopkins Univ. CTY class online

We really see everything as learning, so we are always "in school" and don't take a summer break. Our whole life is one big, permanent vacation! The local schools and Chinese schools here go from January through November, but it is back to school time for the International schools this week ( they go from August to June).

Since our daughter, Mozart takes some extra curricular classes at one of the nearby International schools, it feels a little like "back to school time" here as well. She enjoys the classes, library, big piano to practice on and the social aspects as she has become good friends with this group of kids.

Hanging out at home playing in nature

Mozart has passion for music and composing, so she has been taking classes in piano, violin and voice with local teachers that have come highly recommended. Since we walk Asia or take the bus in Penang, just getting to classes can be part of the educational, multicultural, multilingual process.

taking piano classes

We think time for play is such an important part of learning, so support her art and creativity in many ways and see it as a kid-friendly travel perk of our minimalist travel lifestyle.


minimalist toys..make your own!

I love it when she shares her imaginary world with us, (that she creates out of nothing).. like this cardboard  bed, desk, books,denim book bag, posters, even bedspread made from her favorite T-shirt recycled ( so part of her eco-friendly and frugal passion).

chatting in Chinese and working on art project = homeschool fun

She usually talks in Mandarin to friends in China every night and sometimes manages to do art projects at the same time. She is doing great with her Chinese tutor who comes here 4 times a week and is about to start 5th grade in Mandarin, so has almost reached her Mandarin fluency lofty goals ( while keeping up with her Spanish and English literary goals as well).

knitting homeschool fun

If she is not reading, she is making something and has had a passion for knitting ( for a while) which she has taught herself and designs lots of creative clothes ( I must blog about soon). She has a real fashionista creative sense of style and recently made the most awesome purse for herself by recycling an old pair of jeans! ( Photo story coming!). She did such a great job, one would not guess it was handmade.

international choir

One of the advantages of slow travel and mostly being unplugged on our ultimate family adventure trip, ( thanks to my health journey) is having the time to make good friends and participate in lots of fun extra-curricular things like choir, drama, library time, recycle club, language jobs and girl scouts.

She has a thriving social life with kids from her Chinese school, the international school and locals she meets in our apartment buildings,volunteering or even at book fairs, as well as keeping up with her best friends at a distance.

playing chess

 We also just have a LOT of fun, just hanging out together playing games like chess, discussing things or just being silly, watching movies or home movies and laughing a lot. We cherish this time together and keep connected to family at a distance.

reading Chinese books

This is an old photo of Mozart reading a Chinese book, ( you can tell because that favorite T-shirt looks brand new and has now been recycled into the bespread shown above). I am really happy that I raised a reader/ book worm and it always makes me smile to see her reading books in 3 languages.

Back to school or schools out forever? Either way it is all good as life is about learning and loving!

What have you or your kids been learning lately?

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