What are you going to do about school?
The second most common question we get asked about our plans (after “What are you going to do about your house?”) is “What are you going to do about school?”. The short answer to this question is “We are going to figure that out as we go.”
The good news is that there are a lot more options and choices available now than there were when Marcus and I were young. When we were school-aged children who traveled, the primary option that was available was “correspondence courses”. A set curriculum where students completed work, then mailed it to a teacher to be graded. The whole field of “alternative learning” has grown by leaps and bounds since then. It is far more socially acceptable for parents to take on the responsibility of educating their children than it was when we were growing up as well. And – there is a lot of virtual “community” available to support parents who are educating their children. There really hasn’t been a better time in history to do this.
There is no shortage of “hows” to choose from when it comes to educating our children. As an instructional designer, who has spent decades studying educational philosophy and methodology – I confess to having spent a lot of time and energy exploring the options that are available. It has been a pleasurable indulgence for the curious and academic sides of my nature. But, as I often tell my clients, the most important question is not “How?” – but “Why?” And, when you are clear on “Why?”, the “What” and the “How” will more naturally fall in place.
So, as fun as reading through curriculum, provincial standards and studies on the outcomes of children educated using different philosophies has been, I know that the most important question to ask is “Why?”
Why, so that we can do this adventure are we:
- Disrupting our comfortable life.
- Saying good-bye to many people we care deeply about.
- Leaving what is known, relatively stable and certain for two years full of uncertainty.
- Putting ourselves more than just a little beyond our comfort zones.
When Marcus and I got married almost 13 years ago, (in a wedding where NOTHING went according to plan…) both of our vows included the line “I commit to a life of adventure.” This trip is an adventure we have wanted to have with our kids since before they were even born. To us, it is worth doing purely for the sake of doing it. Beyond that, fundamentally as parents – we feel that we have a responsibility to raise our children so that they are equipped to deal with an uncertain world, and so that they grow into adults who care deeply about the world and those who live in it.
So outside of meeting provincial standards in any set subject areas, by the end of this journey, we want our children to:
- Recognize that the world is a beautiful place, full of wonders and people who are worth their respect and worth protecting.
- Appreciate that there are many different ways to live, learn and earn.
- Recognize that dreams are worth pursuing.
- Be able to communicate with others in a variety of meaningful ways.
- Know that the most valuable “stuff” in life, is the stuff that is inside them.
- Identify the things that spark their own curiosity, wonder and passion.
- Know that whatever life throws their way, they have it in them to handle it and that when they can’t handle it – there will be people who can and will help them.
About the Author
Professionally, I am an e-learning instructional designer who breaks down the barriers of space and time in learning. Personally, I'm the Mom in the Little-Green Family, and co-planner in our adventures.