Worldschooling: How to Start & How to Afford It
It has often been said that “the world is a classroom.” Some homeschoolers, however, take this adage quite literally! On this page, you’ll learn about the growing trend of world school, and how families can get started with this unique approach to education. You’ll also discover how curriculum fits into worldschooling, including a curriculum option that has become increasingly popular with world schoolers.
What Is Worldschooling?
Worldschooling is an educational movement that recognizes that a student can receive no greater education than by experiencing and interacting with the world around them. For families able to make it work, this often involves traveling together and using the journeys to enhance their child(ren)’s education.
While every worldschooling family is unique, some of the sentiments they share in common often include:
- A desire to travel
- A wish to introduce children to the wider world around them
- A holistic approach to learning
- A preference for experiential learning to solidify knowledge
- A need for flexibility in exploring children’s talents that traditional schooling cannot provide
- A desire to understand and become sensitive to other world-views
It’s also important to keep in mind the myriad of ways to incorporate world culture in your child’s education. Some families, for instance, might travel to a country and enroll their children in schools there with the goal of culture and language immersion. Others with the time and resources may choose to travel to multiple countries with their children to gain a wider worldview. Still others may only be able to take the occasional world journey, but will focus heavily on subjects like geography, social studies, and world culture.
How to Start Worldschooling
If worldschooling is a lifestyle you are seriously considering, there are some steps you may want to take to prepare.
- Evaluate whether you want to be a full-time or part-time worldschooler (each requires different levels of financial and personal commitment).
- Begin saving a designated part of your income for your future worldschooling goals.
- Research what it takes to homeschool on the road and what considerations you need to take into account.
- Research the laws that you will be homeschooling under, based on your home country and/or state.
- Choose the homeschool curriculum that will best fit your worldschooling goals.
- Have fun traveling and learning together!
World Schooling Curriculum
Without a doubt, a worldschooler’s primary curriculum is the variety of experiences he or she has while traveling. Many families, though, want to also incorporate a formal educational course of study into their worldschooling plan. When choosing the best homeschool curriculum for world travel, families have several considerations to take into account. These include:
- How much storage space the curriculum requires
- How heavy it is (if it will be shipped or packed)
- Whether or not it requires supplies/materials that are not included and must be purchased or obtained
- Whether it requires an internet connection
- Whether multiple students can share materials
- Whether the curriculum is flexible enough to complement a varied schedule
It is important to choose curricula that will allow you to blend what you are learning experientially as you travel with the core courses that your homeschooler needs.
How to Afford World Schooling
The ability to afford world schooling is highly dependent on planning ahead. If you know that homeschooling while traveling is something you and your family want to do, then it can become a financial goal to reach for. Just as you budget for food, housing, and utilities, you can budget a specific amount into a worldschooling “savings account” that you dedicate to your future homeschooling adventure. Cutting out unnecessary expenses can go a long way toward building savings, as well.
Certainly, you will hear of families who sell everything they own to make worldschooling possible. However, if this is too radical for you, you might want to consider other ways to “live the worldschooling dream” including:
- Having one or more parents take a job that they can continue to do while traveling
- Looking for entrepreneurial ways to take advantage of while traveling (e.g., travel reviews, writing a book together, etc.)
- Minimizing material possessions to only those that are true necessities, and using the profits of what you sell to help bankroll your travels
- Finding ways to utilize your skill-set in the places you want to visit (for example, a parent who is a carpenter taking on short-term work in the country you’ll be exploring)
- Renting out your current home for income
- Keeping homeschool costs to a minimum by utilizing free and low-cost resources
Using Time4Learning for Homeschooling While Traveling Abroad
Many families have discovered that Time4Learning’s online curriculum is the perfect complement to a nomadic style of homeschooling. This low-stress program requires no extra storage space because all of the thousands of lessons, activities and assessments can be accessed from any desktop or laptop device with an internet connection.
The advantage of Time4Learning for families traveling abroad include:
- Students get individual logins and work on their own schedule and pace
- Standards-based lessons that cover core subjects in grades PreK-12
- A platform that appeals to children of different learning styles and preferences
- Multimedia lessons that feel more like video games, offering a fun way to present difficult concepts
- Automated lesson-planning and recordkeeping is taken care of by Time4Learning so parents can focus on more important things
- Access to more than one grade level of material in case children are working at different levels in different subjects
- Low monthly subscription cost
Time4Learning is flexible enough to be used as you need it. Your subscription provides you with an entire year’s worth of material that can be navigated as you see fit. Your student can work sequentially through his/her grade level, or you can pick and choose lessons that tie in with your specific travel itinerary. The possibilities are as endless as the road ahead of you.
Additional Resources on Homeschooling Styles
Want to know even more about the different approaches to homeschooling? The following pages can help: