There are no seven wonders in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. – W. Streightiff
What is Worldschooling?
Imagine the world as your child’s classroom. Consider the four walls are no more – even if they’re there some of the time. Our world is a great big place, filled with so much to experience, from the wooded path in your own backyard to the far reaches of another culture. As you navigate through it, experience it, and explore it, you have the chance to learn so much. Be it about the the way the world works, the way other people live or how you yourself fit within it, by approaching life this way you are exposed to virtually every traditional education subject – and beyond. This is worldschooling, where the world becomes one of the greatest teachers and one of the greatest classrooms, and life becomes one of the most powerful unstructured curriculums.
Worldschooling in Practice
Worldschooling can look very different from one family to the next based on what they want and on what is feasible. Some families are full-time worldschoolers. They might never use a traditional classroom and instead travel around the world together, seeking out nature and other cultures whenever and wherever they can. Some are a hybrid, living in other cultures while using traditional schools in the new location they now call home. And others still are worldschoolers in smaller doses. They live at home, practice traditional schooling or not, and spend days in the woods or on family journeys either from time to time or intentionally more often.
To me, worldschooling is not an all or nothing approach. Do you find yourself drawn to what the world, nature, other people and other cultures have to impress upon you? Do you seek out those experiences whenever you can? Then, voilá, you are worldschooling to some degree, possibly without even realizing people have given it a name.
For families who go all-in, trading the traditional classroom for this even bigger, global one, this style of learning is similar to constantly going on field trips. Children and their families are outside in the world exposing themselves to new things all the time. But it’s also a way of living that’s not hurried or touristy, by any means. It’s filled with time for quiet reflection, opportunities to deepen your learning, off-the-beaten path experiences, and surprises, as the world unfolds around you.
In another example, full-time worldschooling might also describe what your childhood summers looked like. It encompasses this mixture of all that is grand and simple at the very same time. Some summer days you experienced brand new things on a vacation, a day trip or time spent together as a family, all which left very lasting impressions on you. You also had other days which were simpler and more aimless. There was time to be with your thoughts, to just walk and take in the world. You spent time just being, appreciating those little things, and you felt restored.
Full-time worldschooling asks, why not live like this in seasons other than summer – or for longer stretches – or forever? Why not make your most thoughtful and satisfying summer a perpetual one?
Benefits to Worldschooling
No matter how much or little you incorporate worldschooling into your family, the benefits for your children – and yourself – are ripe for the taking. Consider all you might learn about and come to respect in the world, other cultures and yourself; there is much to gain. We’ve written a fair amount on the benefits to approaching this way of life and learning here and here. Additionally, I’d highlight at least one other:
01. Defining What Happiness Means to You
When you experience a world filled with so many different ways of living, it’s hard not to examine the paths laid out in your own life going forward. Even as a child, you can begin to process this to some degree. Do those paths seem to lead to your own personal happiness? Are you living the life you want to live? Your exposure through worldschooling can help empower you to answer those questions honestly, identify inspiring alternatives and feel confident to change directions anytime.
We hope to see you out there along this beautiful ride!
As we continue to discuss this exciting topic, we’d love to hear about any of your worldschool experiences, however big or small. Feel free to comment below or contact us to share.