International Travel and Homeschooling – A Great CombinationMay 18, 2013
International travel provides opportunities for incredible learning experiences.
Through travel we learn about other cultures, lifestyles, languages, unique and beautiful geography, history, politics and current events, art and more. Because of this, international travel isn’t just for adults – our kids benefit as well!
There are numerous options for families when it comes to traveling and homeschooling overseas.
- Live…learn…travel overseas together as a family. This includes military families, expatriates, and adventurous homeschoolers. Click on the following for oodles of information and inspiration –
- Kids Can Travel – Homeschooling on the Road
- BootsnAll Travel Network
- Vagabond Family – Roadschooling Highschool
- Visit overseas as a family. You can organize your own trip or work with a travel agency. Consider Experiencing Israel.
- Encourage your teens to travel internationally, as part of a group. Unschool Adventures leades international adventures (and US-based programs) for young adult unschoolers. Each trip is an opportunity for self-directed young people to make new friends, challenge themselves, and explore the world.
From Our Readers
A number of Homeschool.com readers wrote in about their personal travel experiences and a few of those comments follow:
“We lived in Germany for one year, in 2004. Our children were 5 & 7 years old. We became official residents and actually received permission to homeschool while we were there, which is unheard of in Germany. They prosecute many homeschool families, extensively. We did carry that letter around with us everywhere just in case we got stopped and questioned, which never happened.
We used the K12 curriculum, and I shared the scope and sequence with the government so they would understand what we were doing. We were very open with them about our academics as well as our plans for being in their country. They were very receptive. We had also talked to the legal group who supports/protects homeschoolers in that country so we knew what kind of language to use (and not to use) when talking to government officials about our educational choice.
As for travel, in Germany, they workers received 5 to 6 weeks of vacation per year. We used it all! We loved to jump in the car (train or plane) and tour various countries on long weekends. We always had a GPS in the car so we got get distracted but always find our way home. Our goal was to expose our children to as many different cultures and see many of the places they have (and will) study. Each city was a treasure hunt to see what we have studied as well as all the cool places we didn’t even know existed, and taste all the various foods. We lived life to the fullest and loved it.
As with homeschooling here, we did it when we could where we could, to keep their academics familiar (a home base), but they learned so much by traveling. They are very comfortable with all kinds of modes of transportation and are always excited to visit new places and see what makes them special. One of the biggest lessons they learned, was that, deep down, people are people and all have feelings, needs, and dreams. The special part is that every culture adds its own spice to each person.”
Peggy writes ,
“My son and I traveled to England and France in May of 2010 with a friend and her daughter. Our friends from the UK have a holiday house in the south of France that they invited us to stay in for 5 1/2 weeks. We flew into London had spent several days there. Hotels are fine for short stays which we did in London and Paris, but a house, apartment or gite are better alternatives. You can have down time, meals at home and get to know the neighbors this way. By the time we left the little village of Trebe were we stayed, we felt like we were one of the locals.
My son, Luke and his friend Annika were 12 at the time which is a good age for travel. Their curriculum throughout the year included medieval studies so this was easy. They had also studied ancient Egypt and Rome as well as Luke being interested in World War II.
We also arranged for a Michelin trained chef to come to the house we were staying at in France. The experience was incredible for the children and us alike. He took us to the market and then showed us how to prepare a simple French meal. The children were included in every step of the way. We made sure that everything we did was tween friendly.”
International travel – a great gift you can give your children! After all, traveling is your time to “explore together and grow together.”