More and more families are choosing to homeschool their children. According to the report released by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the number of homeschool students has increased by 300,000 since 2007.
There are many reasons why many families prefer homeschooling over traditional education, from trying to do away from the negative environment of public schools, to protecting their kids from bullying, aiming for a higher quality education, and more.
But there’s one even more interesting reason – to be able to travel the world. Home education is fluid and adaptable, which makes it a great option for traveling families. Homeschooling and traveling go together – the best of both worlds!
Why Travel Makes a Good Teacher
Traveling with kids is fun. But it can be overwhelming sometimes. However, the benefits of traveling together as a family certainly outweigh the hassle, stress and headache that many parents had to endure. More than the joy of seeing new places and creating positive experiences, letting kids travel even at a younger age is a great way to teach them many things, such as:
Appreciation of other culture
Traveling helps children realize that people of different colors, backgrounds, languages, and traditions live in the world too. And it doesn’t matter what the differences are, as long as there is respect, love and understanding.
Being exposed to various situations helps develops children’s flexibility and adaptability, something that can be difficult to learn within the classroom. Going to different places doesn’t always mean fun and play. It could also mean a little discomfort during a delayed flight, extreme tiredness after hours on the road, and some sacrifices when they had to give up a comfortable bed for an adventure in the wild.
Creativity and courage
New experiences mean new learning. Riding an elephant, swimming with the whale sharks, camping in the desert, zip lining in the jungle – traveling stirs every child’s imagination and fuel their creativity. It also gives them confidence and courage to try new things.
Homeschooling Tips for Traveling Families
You’ve probably heard stories about parents quitting their jobs and giving up their homes and everything to travel the world with their kids. They call it “edventures” – having long-term trips while children learn on the road. Homeschooling while traveling may sound like music to our ears. But it comes with some challenges too.
Making sure that you allocate enough time for your child’s learning activities is one. Another thing, aside from the ‘life skills’, children needs to learn about academic subjects too, from their basic English to science, math, arts, geography, etc. It can be difficult for a homeschooling parent to juggle with travel and teaching tasks from time to time, especially during busy traveling periods.
Fortunately, there are ways to make homeschooling easier and more effective even while you travel. Check out these tips:
1. Bring books about your trip
Books that talk about a city or country’s history, geography and culture is a great way to boost learning and get them more excited about going. Reading is learning. Find books that contain fun facts, activities, quizzes and other interesting contents.
2. Stick to your homeschooling curriculum
Make a commitment to follow the lesson plan in your child’s homeschooling curriculum. This should help them create and stick to effective study habits.
3. Incorporate learning in all your trips
Whether it’s learning to convert dollars into Chinese yen, understanding why certain plants survive in extreme weather conditions, uncovering the history behind a popular site, or writing a reflection paper about their latest adventure – finding ways to incorporate education with your family travels is a sure-fire way to boost your child’s learning.
Have you ever considered homeschooling your children? Why or why not? What other tips have worked for you while traveling and homeschooling? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to post your comments below.
Check out our Kids' Travel Guide series and maps for kids. Now, more than ever! Teach your kids about the world!