Welcome to the series, Inspiring Resources. We share websites, programs and opportunities to highlight some of the best out there for families. If you’re drawn to the outdoors, traveling, worldschooling and creating your own path to happiness, then this series is for you.

Have you ever had a time when you learn about something and your gut response is, “Wow. This world is filled with amazing people. Amazing people doing amazing things.”? Enter Lainie and Miro. Every time I hear about what they are up to, that is what I’m left feeling. Today, I want to highlight one of their efforts, Project World School.

The world is…our infinite classroom. The planet is our home, travel is our passion, learning is our mission, discovery is our gift. We are WORLD SCHOOLERS. – Lainie Liberti

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Chances are you may have heard of Lainie and Miro through RaisingMiro, where they chronicle their worldschooling experiences. I was long ago inspired by their approach to life and learning, and now, they’ve expanded their inspirational offerings. This mother and son team are the creators behind Project World School, where for three years they have been offering international youth and family retreats to those looking to begin or expand their worldschooling experiences.

The more I read about the retreats, the more I want to take part in them. We already love worldschooling, but even if it’s a new concept, the Project World School experience comes across on the whole as adventurous and powerful, while at it’s core, communal and harmonizing. There is something that feels extremely rare and formative about creating a community and exploring the world together – especially in your youth. This is true whether it’s in your own backyard or halfway around the world. Lucky for all of us, Project World School makes it possible to do the latter.

Here are some more details about the retreats, as explained by Lainie herself:

What is a Project World School retreat like?

“Every retreat focuses on a specific theme related to each of our host countries. In 2015 we will be hosting our first retreat in Ecuador and will host two others in Peru. Our learning communities merge immersive learning experiences with personal and social development focusing on global citizenship, cultural sensitivity, developing relationships, through exploring ethics and conflict resolution.

Participants both lead and follow in an atmosphere of dynamic co-creation and immersive discovery. Each day builds upon the last, with every exploration leading the group into uncharted directions.

However, this is not your typical study abroad program. Project World School utilizes the power of a learning community to produce a project driven by goals, knowledge acquisition, and changes in a global perspective.”

 What Inspired the Creation of Project World School?

“…as Miro moved into his teen years, community started to become a greater need for him. A couple of years ago, we were invited [to] speak at an alternative education conference….During the conference, Miro connected with many other self directed learners (unschoolers) for the first time, in-real-life. Yeah, he had friends when he attended primary school in the States, with nothing more in common than being the same age and living within the same geographical area. He does not describe those friendships as deep in any way. But finally, as a 13 year old teenager, Miro came face to face with his peer group,  an intelligent, quirky, liberal minded, self-directed group of teenage learners. ‘Finally’, he thought, ‘my community, my people’.   And that experience alone,  left an impression on Miro which changed the course of our lives.

We flew back to Peru, and furiously started to make plans to focus of our first planned immersive family retreat into a learning community specifically designed for teens (which it is now).

Now we are on our third year of producing teen retreats in the form of an immersive learning communities known as Project World School.”

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What do you hope for youth and families to get out of the experience?

“The nature of co-creating a ‘temporary’ learning community is very intentional. It will only exist in a certain point in time, and will rely on all of its participants to come together and breathe life into it. Somewhat within the vein of other temporary communities such as Burning Man, which comes together to form an actual city of a half a million people in the desert for one week. The magic happens in a intentional singular point in time, but the effects remain for a lifetime.

The benefits of creating a learning community are countless. The primary distinction is experienced through collaboration influencing the overall learning experience.

We are a true believers of social learning. We have noticed on our travels, when we have shared experiences with a group of other people, everyone spontaneously contributes through conversation, observation and sharing previously acquired knowledge. These social learning experiences are lasting, transforming the ‘natural learning’ into a meaningful social activity.

Our temporary learning communities includes intentional social learning, immersive cultural experiences, team work and leadership activities and opportunities for deep interpersonal development.”

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When + where are the international retreats? 

The international retreat schedule released for 2015 focuses on the South American countries of Ecuador and Peru.

Ecuador:

Ecuador – Surfing & Marine Biology- 25 Day Teen Learning Community
April 28 – May 22, 2015

Ecuador – Surfing & Marine Biology-12 Day Teen Mini- Learning Community
May 11 – May 22, 2015

Ecuador – Marine Biology-10 Day Family Retreat
April 28 – May 7, 2015

Peru:

Peru- Cusco & the Sacred Valley – Long Form Teen Learning Community
June 29 – July 23, 2015

Peru- The Amazon Jungle – Long Form Teen Learning Community
August 3 -August 27, 2015

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You can connect with Project World School on their website: projectworldschool.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

I truly hope you are able to join one of Project World School’s retreats, as much as I hope to join one myself. With a community ready to explore the world together, it certainly feels like an opportunity not to be missed, at any age.

As we continue to roll out this series, please let us know if there any specific kinds of resources you’d like to learn more about or any recommendations for specific profiles. Cheers!

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