Our daughter is four years old and she has yet to be enrolled in a typical school program. She’s young yet, yes, but we don’t actually plan to enroll her in the traditional pre-school or kindergarten experience, or anything beyond that, unless she is interested. I’ve been hearing more and more lately about challenges people have with their own child’s instructional environment – some minor, some more significant. These are largely from people whose children are already enrolled in traditional school models. Our thoughts here may be similar to some of yours. Our solution, however, one of a myriad of ways to respond to these educational challenges, may be different. I’m excited to share our approach to our daughter’s education, so those of you who may be feeling any of these thoughts can consider some alternatives to various degrees, if you’d like.
Here’s why we’re opting out of traditional schooling, what we are trading up for instead and how all of this fits in with an outdoorsy + traveling lifestyle. (more…)
Back in the fall, my daughter was exploring the woods with her forest playgroup when I reminded her to double check the sturdiness of the limb she was climbing. Now that she’s become much more adventurous, we find ourselves talking about how things change in nature everyday. The experience we have one day cannot be replicated the next. Not just because of the many variables we bring with us into the woods – our friends, our feelings, etc. – but because nature itself is constantly in a state of flux. Seasons are always changing, no matter how slowly, nature as a whole is growing and decaying right under our feet. And while this can be a beautiful and mysterious thing, it also means she’ll often need to approach nature with alert senses. The fallen tree she climbed on last week may have rotted in new places by the time she scales it again.
In the moment this didn’t feel like an idea that would expand beyond that. Things change. Climb like it’s the first time. Done and done.
Except this idea, this notion that each experience is absolutely unique, kept reappearing in our life in various ways. I realized it went far beyond safety or understanding how nature works; it had just as much to do with how we approach adventures in the first place. To seize the moment, to say yes when opportunities present themselves and to appreciate the experiences for what they’re worth. Because before we know it, the moments will have passed.
It’s near impossible to anticipate all that a year will hold. Where will we go? What adventures are in store? Who will we meet? How will we grow? I can make plans, but by and large, I can’t answer these exciting questions just yet. I simply don’t know what 2015 will bring until we’ve lived it. And let’s be honest, that’s how we like it. We love life’s surprises.
I’ve talked about our hopes for the year ahead here – the bigger takeaways – but let’s talk some of the fun plans too, and figure out what roadschooling is all about in the process. Here’s what we’ve slated for 2015, and by way of that, what you can expect to find more of on the blog this year:
As I look back at these pictures, I can’t help but smile. 2014 was a great, active year for us. We spent lots of time exploring indoors and out, we found rhythms whether we were home or traveling, we laughed with friends and family and we fell more in love with worldschooling than ever. Here’s to hoping 2015 brings even more of the same.
– first Broadway play –
When we do things from the soul, we feel a river running through us, a joy. – Rumi
I’ve spent the past few weeks reflecting on this year, on what we’ve done, on what it’s meant to us. And then Christmas Eve day, my sister and I sat in a yoga studio waiting for our class to begin and I saw this quote on the wall. I read and reread it, connecting with it deeply. More than understand what it meant, I felt what it was describing; I lived that joy. For that, to me, was our 2014. Deep joy in everyday living, wherever that took us and whatever we did there.
This week, welcome guest blogger Serena Rice of Faith, Family + Foccacia as she shares her reflections on the way expat living transformed her life perspective. Serena had the incredible opportunity to live abroad in Italy with her family – including her two young children – for three years. Now that they’re back in the US, I’m thrilled to have her here sharing her experiences. Welcome, Serena!