I have decided that my daughter’s education will be based on her interests and the world around her, rather than on a rigid school curriculum. At age three, I am already working to form a foundation for the learning experiences that will influence the rest of her childhood years, sculpting our lives in such a way that blends world schooling, unschooling, home schooling, and non-traditional classroom schooling to form a unique framework that will inspire my daughter’s love of learning and encourage her growth as a citizen of a global community.
1) A happy childhood
2) A self-motivated and self-directed learner
3) Emotional intelligence
4) Compassion for other living things and the planet
5) Knowledge of geography, cultural diversity, and languages based on personal experience
6) Confidence in decision-making and goal-setting
7) Basic enjoyment of the arts and sports, any or all of them, with a focus on exploration and creativity in topics of choice (art, music, dance, team sports, etc)
8) Competency in life skills (finances, health, appointment making, schedule managing, driving, etc)
9) Maintaining and creating friendships and family connections to form a community
10) Basic academic knowledge: reading, writing, math, science, economics, government, and history.
Traveling is a huge part of my life, and even at this early age I am delighted to see my daughter thrive and find joy in taking to the road (or air) in search of new adventures. Seeing different parts of our communities, our countries, our planet, and our world opens our minds to new possibilities and ideas in ways that nothing else, not even reading about them, can. World schooling doesn’t just mean exotic or far away locations, however. It also includes local children’s museums, community classes, libraries, and even every day experiences, like getting a tire changed.
I won’t be subscribing to traditional benchmarks and goals in academics, that is to say my daughter will not undergo standardized tests (or any tests), forced time periods of study based on separate subjects, or a smothering schedule that dictates to her when and how long she should spend eating, playing, and even going to the bathroom. The tenants of unschooling are what inspired me to deny the institutionalized system of “school” for my child in favor of project-based and interest-led learning. As a single parent, however, I will have to devote parts of the year to working a standard work week. I will trust my daughter to use her imagination and her own will to learn in my absence.
Even though I think that curriculum-based homeschooling is just as damaging as sending a child to typical schools, some of the homeschooling communities out there offer great resources for further learning, not just worksheets but computer programs and community classes, as well as get-togethers and information about the legalities of keeping your child out of a brick and mortar school.
I currently send my daughter to a two-and-a-half hour program at the local Montessori preschool (mixed ages 2 1/2 to 6). The teacher is especially wonderful, practicing gentle discipline and allowing children to truly be the directors of their own learning, while simultaneously providing a structure that makes them feel secure and confident. The teachers and classmates in the class are truly like family, caring for one another and helping each other grow. My goal is to leave for a traveling life before she is kindergarten age, so she may be in this class a total of 2-3 years.
Life Balance and Travel
My dream would be to live a location-independent life, traveling wherever the wind takes us, with another family. Being just myself and my daughter, however, we are looking for a community and communities generally don’t travel. This blog documents my mission to combine stability, security, and community with adventure, travel, and spontaneity. I currently spend all of my time researching, plotting, and planning to leave for a life on the road with my daughter by 2018.