I had a very in depth conversation with my five- year-old today about day-care, homeschooling and worldschooling. Back in Berlin a lot of his friends from daycare are starting school this month. He and his little brother have been in day-care since they are one year old. There are so many things we have appreciated about their day-care and they have learned so many social skills there and have made great friends. And we know it was completely exhausting for them. It was the best option for us at the time, yet we are very happy that we changed our lifestyle, and are able to combine work and family. It’s the one thing both kids have been completely consistent about since we started our travels: “I don’t want to go back to daycare, I want to stay with you.” No matter if they miss their friends, no matter if we just had a fight, no matter if we don’t have time for them, so we can work… they are very clear, they highly appreciate being around us 24/7.

In Germany, homeschooling is not legal and before this trip, I didn’t know anyone who actually did it. And I admit that I had some prejudice against it. Families from countries where it is legal, and who choose to travel long-term often use the term worldschooling, as the learning is happening out in the world, not in the home. As we are traveling, Eliasz learned about these options and met kids who are being homeschooled. We also learned how homeschooling can be a community experience when your friends also homeschool.
Yesterday Eliasz asked me again, who of his friends is starting school now. He was very clear he wants to stay home to learn. He told me all he remembered learning about grasshoppers earlier that morning, being very aware that we combined playing with a cute grasshopper with learning a lot about what he eats and does. As our conversation about schooling continued, he wanted to know if there is a specific animal school. We talked about the fact, that in any type of school you always learn reading, writing and math, and also about nature. In an animal school, you would probably read stories about animals and learn to write animal worlds.

I love how our decision to travel opened up these kinds of conversations and thoughts. When I studied education I was always interested in alternative schooling, I did an internship in a “free school” in Berlin and had many great conversations with friends in the US who have either attended or worked at alternative schools. Joanna’s work has revolved about technology supported learning concepts and education for kids.
Worldschooling has now become a legitimate option we are considering. It might require for us to officially move to another country, which allows homeschooling, once Eliasz would be forced to attend school in Germany. We are willing to explore different options as we continue to learn what’s good for us. In this, I am very grateful and impressed by Eliasz’s clear communication about what he wants.

So much for us all to learn on this trip, this is just the beginning : )
If you care for a good laugh, read how worldschooling has ruined this persons childhood.

What are your thoughts and experiences or concerns with homeschooling or worldschooling? I would love to read your comments.