My husband’s career as a commercial airline pilot provides our family with an amazing opportunity to travel. We started traveling with our children, Red and Fred, when they were infants. Now at ages nine and six, they are experienced travelers. The majority of our travel happens on spontaneous whims. As Red and Fred have grown older and started to attend school, we discovered that it was becoming more and more difficult to find the time to travel and satisfy the requirement to attend school. With our flight benefits, we are able to travel on an airplane as long as there are open seats. Unfortunately, a lot of people travel when their children have breaks from school, and now that our kids are also in school, that makes travel a little more challenging for us.
Enter homeschooling. We were introduced to homeschooling by a friend of ours. I was very curious about the idea but figured there was no way I would be able to handle teaching my children. I continued with this mindset for about a year. Once my youngest, Fred, started all day kindergarten it really sunk in how limited our time to travel would be. We started to do some more in-depth research on what homeschooling would entail and really thought hard about making this drastic lifestyle change. In the end, we determined that we would be able to offer our children an education with amazing benefits by traveling the world. We decided to go for it!
What better way is there to learn and retain information than actually seeing and touching something? We can actually go do things and visit places that pertain to the topics that we are studying. For example, when it comes time to study the Civil War, we can actually visit the battlefields and museums that pertain to the subject. I’m hoping to be able to give them a sense of awareness that just reading about something in a book is not be able to do.
Once we made the decision to homeschool, the next step was to determine what materials we were going to use to teach with. The number of homeschooling families in the past decade has grown by about 60%. This growth, along with the growth of technology, has provided many different tools and methods for teaching children outside of a traditional brick and mortar school. This is both wonderful and overwhelming. There was a lot of sifting through that I had to do in order to determine what was best for us. We’re going into this process with the mindset that we will all be learning together. Since no family operates the same as another, and no child learns the same as another, I determined this was not a one size fits all situation for materials. I decided to use a few different publishers of materials based on what we thought best fit our needs. At this point in time, I have ordered and received all of my materials. The next step will be creating a calendar and determining what we are going to do and when. That will probably be a future post.
Even though our family and friends may think we are a bit crazy to take on this new adventure, we are confident and excited that we will be able to give our children a quality education, while giving them an opportunity to travel the world.