I’ve had lots of requests lately to share my thoughts on home schooling. I haven’t done so previously because I didn’t feel qualified– after all, there are so many other parents with years and years of experience, and we’re still newbies. But, I suppose it’s never a bad thing to open up a discussion, share some tips and encourage others to share theirs. I’m hoping this post will inspire those thinking of home schooling, those already home educating and those just looking to supplement their children’s traditional schooling. Many of the activities and exercises we do with our kids are fun and would make for great rainy day activities, even if not part of a home education.
I should preface this post by saying that Michael and I have always held a relaxed view on formal education. Rather than focusing on academic standards, grades or test results, we’ve been more interested in encouraging our children to play, to be creative, to be independent thinkers and to learn for the enjoyment of learning. Up until this year, our kids were in a school that held this same ‘whole-child’ educational philosophy. The transition from learning at their school to learning at home was, for this reason, a relatively smooth one for our kids. Learning how to be good home educators was not so easy for us.
We’ve been home schooling our children since our travels began last September. Actually, we like the term, ‘Road Schooling’, a reflection of this year’s special flavour of tuition. It wasn’t an easy start. In addition to adjusting to life in new places, it took a couple months to figure out how to teach and to understand how each of our children learns best (they’re all so different!). It also took some time to figure out our rhythm and schedule as a family on the road.
At first, because of the novelty, the children struggled to take school time seriously. Quin, our best student in a classroom setting, couldn’t quite wrap his head around the fact that he had to focus and listen to his parents. Teaching him was an unexpected challenge! For Ivy, being in a comfortable setting meant it was easy to get distracted, and she kept finding excuses not to do her work. Like Quin, it took her time to become self-disciplined with home schooling. Easton, our eldest, who has always found it difficult to focus in a classroom, was (and has been) surprisingly easy to teach. He quickly took to the one-on-one tutoring, and is excelling and progressing faster than he does in school. As a result, his confidence has skyrocketed.
The other big challenge was knowing what and how to teach. Our three school-aged children are sufficiently apart in years, so a one-size-fits-all approach could not work. After struggling to keep their attention, we realised a whole lot more preparation was needed before each lesson. This makes total sense, of course, but naively we thought we could just open some interesting school books and get all of our children to follow along and learn with us. Not so. While there is overlap in some areas, for the most part lessons needed to be individually crafted to make an impact—more work than we expected.
More patience than expected was also required. We had to learn that when a child wasn’t getting something on the first, second or third explaining, it wasn’t always lack of focus or effort. More often it was often the explanation that was at fault. Learning how to rephrase or explain a lesson in a new way is a skill we’re refining. And being more patient in general is a quality, we now know, every teacher must possess in great quantity.
Though a surprise to us at the time, all of these initial challenges seem predictable in hindsight — as with anything, there’s always a period of adjustment. After six months of navigating our way along this home schooling journey, I think we are finally getting the hang of it. Well, at least we have a better grasp on the whole process and what works best for us. In fact, we’re really enjoying it now. I’ve broken up the rest of this post into different subjects, as it was just easier for me to organise my thoughts this way.
Michael does most of the teaching (he’s the one with the most free time, and truthfully, the one with the most patience!). I help come up with ideas. I’m also the one who reads with them, and occasionally I’ll take one of the kids and work with them on an assignment Michael has given them while he works with the others. But in general, he does most of the actual teaching and preparing of lessons, especially with maths, writing and topical studies. I thought it was worth pointing this out because it takes a certain type of person to be a teacher, and it’s certainly not for everyone. It only really works for our family right now because Michael isn’t working and he has the time to teach the kids. I know that I could not do it on my own.
In terms of schedule, we try to spend about three hours a day ‘in school’, doing the more structured learning. Sure, kids spend six or more hours in a traditional school day, but when you back out all of the breaks and non-learning activities (though these are equally important), three hours of structured learning is probably about what they get a day. In any case, it works for us.
The nice thing about home schooling is that you can be flexible on timing and can teach at the most opportune times for your family (no morning school run rush!), taking into consideration when they are most receptive to learning and when their attention span is greatest. For us, it seems to work best in the mornings, after we’ve had breakfast as a family. The kids know if they focus well and work hard, we can spend the afternoon out on the beach or on a walk, etc. — surfing has proven to be a great motivator to get through the morning lessons! If we aren’t able to squeeze in schooling in the morning, then we try to fit it in later in the afternoon before dinner. And sometimes it’s not three consecutive hours – sometimes we have to break it up throughout the day. Occasionally we’ll miss a day or decide that a special outing (like a trip to the Australia Zoo) was educational enough, but if we don’t accomplish everything we want to in a week, then we’ll make up for it the following day or on the weekend. We are not fussed about when they learn, just as long as it happens.
When you are your child’s teacher you end up teaching throughout the day — working on multiplication tables in the car for example, or summarising topical lessons while on a walk. We were on a trail in the Blue Mountains recently when the kids asked about the ‘Sydney Funnel Web Spider’, one of many potentially deadly arachnids here in Australia. Michael explained that this spider lives mostly within a 100km radius of Sydney. When the idea of ‘radius’ perplexed Ivy, we stepped to the side of the trail and drew a circle in the dirt with a stick. He then explained the concepts of radius, diameter and circumference to all of the kids. Little lessons like this happen throughout our day and this is another joy of home schooling — seizing these moments of genuine curiosity and watching the lessons really sink in.
Our biggest focus this year has been on maths, writing and reading. Before our travels began, we bought the Core Knowledge UK Fundamentals books for each of our children’s school years. These books offer a great summary of the curriculum in each year, and have helped give us an idea of what the kids would be learning back in school. We have found these especially helpful for Maths, as we really had no idea what maths concepts they learn at their ages. These books are also great for introducing poetry and extracts to books appropriate for their age and reading level. Though they also have sections on history, music, science, etc., but we are using these less. We believe our kids are learning so much through their travel experience that they’ll get a well-rounded education over the course of the year anyway.
Maths: Michael uses the Core Knowledge books to prepare daily math exercises for each of the kids. He writes out the math problems/questions in their math exercise books in black ink (usually the night before), and the children solve the equations and write their answers in pencil. The kids usually have 2 pages of maths to get through each day, and Michael works closely with them, answering questions if they have them. Additionally, each of the kids has a ‘Letts: Make it Easy’ maths activity book for their age bracket, and the kids work in these as well. When we hit a wall with a certain Math topic, we’ve found the Khan Academy to be really helpful. There are free, instructional videos for just about every maths topic. Sometimes hearing another teacher explain it is all it takes for a new concept to be grasped.
Writing: The kids are keeping journals where they document their travels and write down the things they’ve seen and done. We had hoped that they would write in their journals daily, but they seem to do it more conscientiously if we aim for 3 times a week. We also found that the kids wrote more and had an easier time if we provided simple questions for them to answer, like ‘what did you do yesterday?’, ‘what was your favourite thing you saw?’, ‘what did you eat?’, ‘who did you meet?’, etc. (You can read more about this here.) In addition to being a great keepsake from a special year, we use their journaling to practice grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting. After an entry, we go over their writing together to correct and explain mistakes.
Additionally, at least once or twice a week, Michael chooses a topic to focus on for our weekly topical studies. This is almost always something relevant to what we’ve done or seen that week, or something the kids have shown interest in. For example, when we were in Brazil the kids learned about the production of coconuts, in Chile they learned about ocean currents and swells, and in Uruguay we studied up on Rheas, a large flightless bird. When we were in NZ, the kids learned about Maoris, about the extinct ‘Giant Moas’ that used to roam the country and about Captain James Cook and his voyages to NZ. Since arriving to Australia, the kids have learned about flying foxes (fruit bats), goannas (large monitor lizards), and we’ve learned all about marsupials and how they differ from other mammals. The kids write down notes and findings in their journals, and we encourage them to include a drawing on the opposite page.
The kids have also written their own fiction stories. When we were in NZ, we asked them to write a story set in New Zealand that included NZ animals, plants or people. This was such a fun exercise and one they all really enjoyed. In fact, it was hard to stop them writing page after page.
Lastly, we’ve asked the kids to write book reports of the books they’ve read or we’ve listened to. This is another good writing exercise that helps develop reading comprehension and writing skills.
Reading: This is pretty straight-forward. We encourage the kids to read for about 20 minutes a day. Some of our kids really enjoy reading and will do so without being prompted, while others need the reminder (and nagging). Ivy still needs an adult to read with her, while the boys (aged 8 and 10) read on their own. We had to bring quite a lot of books with us to South America, knowing that we probably wouldn’t have access to English books while we were down there. The boys read a lot of the same books, which helped, but Ivy needed different books entirely (we have an entire suitcase devoted to exercise books, journals and chapter books!). In New Zealand and Australia, we were able to find bookstores to stock up on books for the kids. Unfortunately, we haven’t stayed in the same spot long enough to make use of the public libraries, but I can imagine these would be a second home for most home-schooling families. Of course Marlow (aged 3) is not reading yet, but she loves picture books and all the kids enjoy reading to her as well.
***A note about Marlow: We are big believers in learning through play so she does not sit down for formal lessons. When she shows an interest we work with her on letters, numbers and letter sounds. She writes her name and her sibling’s names, and loves writing postcards home to her friends – which consist of silly drawings and lots of random letters all over the place. She loves to draw and paint, she loves being read to, and she’s just as fond of nature as her siblings are. We think she learns a lot just from being surrounded by her family 24/7. How many 3-year olds get to spend all day, every day playing with their big siblings?! ***
Geography: This has been an easy topic to learn as we go. Each time we arrive to a new country, we study the map and learn about the different cities/states/regions/capitals, etc. The kids have drawn out many different maps along our travels, colouring in the different regions, and labelling the cities. Additionally, in each country, we learn and write down 20 interesting facts about the country. Again, these lists go in to their journals. Before and after long road trips, we show the kids the road maps and get them to help plot out our journey. When we were in New Zealand, for example, we traced our entire path from the South Island to the North Island, putting star stickers in each of the places we visited. It was a great way for the kids to really visualise where we had been and to understand the lay of the land.
TIPS, IDEAS & RESOURCES
- It took us a while to find the right journals for the kids. We wanted good quality, sturdy, A4 sized journals so they could write in them, draw in them and paste in maps, mementos or work done outside their journals. We also wanted them to be lined, to encourage nice and neat writing. Surprisingly, journals with these qualities were hard to come by. Thankfully we found Leuchtturm1917 A4 Lined Notebooks fit the bill perfectly. They are expensive but solid—sure to stand the test of time. The kids have decorated them with stickers we’ve collected during our travels – this is a fun way for them to personalise their journals, and it helps to jog memories of all the places we’ve been.
- The kids have separate maths exercise books. We’re using the Apica CD Notebooks for these (I like their design! I also like that the kids write their name on the outside and they come in different colours, so we keep them all separate.)
- Our favourite pencils are the Blackwing ones—smooth and dark, with an eraser/rubber that lasts longer than a standard pencil.
- A deck of cards and a pair of dice are handy things to have for playing maths games. I received some tips from fellow home-schooling mothers on IG recently, and one of them reminded me of all the different maths versions of the card game WAR, including addition, subtraction, and multiplication variations. (See here)
- We also love playing this letter game, which I’ve mentioned in a previous post. It’s a great game for learning vocabulary and practicing spelling.
- These multiplication flowers are a fun and creative way of practicing multiplication. Our kids have loved making these, and we continually go back to old ones for practice.
- Audio books are loved by every member of our family. We listen to fiction as well as the historical/fact-based books, and have found most of the audio books on Audible (we have the app and download the stories to our phone to listen in the car).
- Sending postcards and letters is a great way to encourage your children to write! This has become a weekly writing assignment, and the kids really enjoy it. It’s also fun to get word from home that our post cards arrived! (Ivy also has a pen pal whom she writes to regularly. I love the idea of pen pals
- Crosswords and Word Searches are great fun. There are websites (like here and here) where you can make your own puzzles based on places you’ve visited and things you’ve done recently. The kids really enjoy these!
- For inspiration and ideas, I love following @wildandfree.co on Instagram (and their website and magazine is beautiful too). I also love following Kirsten Rickert’s homeschooling IG feed @mayaclimbstrees. She has so many wonderful craft ideas and encouraging words. She has also posted videos about her home schooling on her website, which I have found very helpful (and reassuring).
Phew! That was a LOOONG post! If you’ve read it all the way through, then thank you. And please, if you feel inspired, share your thoughts and tips in the comments section below. We are always happy to receive more ideas!
50 thoughts on “Some thoughts and tips on home schooling”
Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been trying to read up on home schooling but I find all the information to be overwhelming.
Thank you Courtney for sharing this interesting details of your “road-schooling”. Your kids will learn so many of your travels and diffferent stops to ! I follow you from Nantes (France) with my own family. Have a good day !
Wow I read you first thing before preparing my three to go to school and nursery from the other side of the work than where you are… And I am reminded that there are always so many “good” ways to do everything in life and in parenting! I love your post bc it makes something seemingly unattainable for parents like us ie urban / educated in a classic way actually very attainable.. It makes me want to say yes I could do it it too (if Ceki was playing the role of Michael!) .. YEs I’d love to give it a try … I also cannot wait for Easton Quinn Ivy and Marlow to share their journals when they come back to Europe *_* you are doing something really wonderful for them and for you.. I am so admirative xx
This is inspirational! I was ‘classically’ educated in a UK school, as are my 3 kids, and I am a strong advocate of the UK education system…..however I’ve thought more and more about home-schooling recently. Particularly since I’ve had to sit with my kids recently to teach them bits and pieces that they haven’t successfully picked up in class. Its amazing how much you can get through in such little time. I don’t think it’ll ever be a reality for us (just my dream / my kids nightmare!), but you’ve given some really useful tips for top-up work that we might do at home. We currently use the Carol Vorderman 10 minutes a day series of books for any home top-ups – comes with an in-built stop clock which beeps at the 10 min mark. My kids love the fact they only need do 10 minutes, then they’re finished.
Wow! What a beautifully written and thoughtful post. Such great tips, even for parents (like me) who are looking to supplement our kids’ traditional schooling! I am totally inspired now to draw a map of Utah and work with Gabby to connect the dots to complete our route to each of the 5 National Parks. I also love the idea of writing out questions for them to answer about their experience. We tried having her take notes in her little National Park passport companion, but at age 5, she probably needs a bit more direction and a way to focus. You are such a gem, I swear. xx
Thanks for sharing….very inspirational.
This is fab – I love it! I think you are doing a brilliant job. I’m an ex-teacher but think teaching my own kids would be the hardest thing ever, so I’m not surprised it took a while to get into it! It looks like you are doing great things – taking advantage of natural interest is key, and you must have so many opportunities to do that on your travels. I am currently trying to persuade my husband to take the kids on a similar trip to you and yours – I think I’m going to be trying for some time!! If you have any tips let me know!!
Hi Michelle! Thanks for your comment. Oh you must try to persuade your husband to take a family trip like this. It’s the most wonderful thing we’ve ever done! I don’t have any tips – other than to keep the dialogue going, planting the seed as often as you can. (It took me many years to convince Michael – and in the end it all fell into place at the right time in our lives, at the right time in our careers, and at the perfect time for our family as a whole.) I’m sure it will happen! x
I’ve been following your Instagram account, and as a primary teacher was really interested to read this particular blog post. I’m currently on maternity leave but have been watching on with sadness at the changes to the education system in the UK, as well as following the teacher retention issues. Your approach, to me, captures what learning should be all about. I’m certain that every teacher wishes they could teach in this way, and while we (sadly) can’t take every child around the world – being outdoors, capturing learning through play, and adapting to the needs and learning style of each child are all features central to helping children achieve their full potential. It’s been a welcome change to read something that fills me with enthusiasm and inspiration again. Thank you!
Thank you so much for your lovely comment. It’s so nice to hear approval and support from a fellow teacher. x
Absolutely love this. As a parent, a teacher, a traveller. Thank you. Excellent tips for all of us in relation to how children learn/ how we can supplement their learning etc. Completely agree re your relaxed attitude to formal education at this age. I think mine changes for teenagers but I will wait to see! Don’t forget south Australia on your trip- heaven.
I read all the way, a wonderful blog. I have been following your journey since it began and have been jealous all the way along. Such an amazing experience for you all. I am a full time Mum of 3 kids who are beautiful amazing and smart children. I could never home school, far too much responsibility for me. Affraid I had to leave it to the professionals. My kids too are all totally different learners, I get that you have to teach them differently. I congratulate you and your husband on your commitment to their education and for giving them this most amazing journey.
Oh wow, this was a long post, but a very interesting one. I’m not a fan of the traditional schooling, as I no longer find it traditional. My kids are not in school yet, but my eldest (4) is a very inquisitive boy who wants facts and explanations. When I saw your post on Instagram, I wanted to suggest the Khan academy as well. It’s such a wonderful source which I will use later when the kids are school children. As for now, I teach on the go. We discuss topics that are being asked about. We have an “encyclopaedia” which we write down our topics with a drawing. It’s in three labguages as the kids are growing up trilingually and that way they get exposure to the same topic in all their languages. I also try to find poems and songs for situations to relate to as these help develop vocabulary and grammer skills without noticing and they’re fun. All the best on your journey. Andrea x
Thanks for this post, I love finding new ideas. Like you we have been home educating our children since September but unlike yourselves we are doing so from a house in a small town in the UK! My husband works full-time which enables me to be at home with our 2 boys (6&10). In a house or a campervan, we have experienced the same home schooling journey of getting to know how our children learn and settling into a rhythm of structured and unstructured learning. Wishing you all the best for the rest of your travels and for whatever comes next…
Thank you for sharing, a really interesting post. I think your children are getting a wonderfully rich education this year, a year they will never forget. Lucky children x
Thank you for sharing! I am a teacher and it sounds like you are doing everything right! This year will teach your children more than all the years in school sitting on a desk. I would only suggest for Marlow little things like lacing, play- doh and sensory related things that children usually do. Save travels!
Hi Lina, thanks for the suggestions for Marlow on sensory related activities. It’s true – we should be doing more of those sorts of things. We have recently made necklaces with seashells, and we try to encourage her to do these things on her own – but you’ve reminded me of how important it is. (Six years ago when we took Easton out of nursery school (aged 4) to travel to Australia for a couple months, the nursery school teachers reminded us of the importance of things like using scissors and doing craft projects as much as we do the more traditionally academic things like reading and writing. She told us that it’s something little kids can often completely forget – and it’s so important for their learning and development at that age.) Anyway, thanks for the reminder. x
Love this, Courtney. Great tips and also very real! Seems like the parents learn lots while teaching the kids too. You and Michael make a great team!
Thank you for sharing. As ever, a really thoughtful vignette about your year on the road. As a teacher I am also very grateful to you for appreciating how patient we need to be. 😊
Thank you for sharing this! We are getting ready to embark on our own journey around the world with our kids (at least 6 months, starting in Asia, and working our way around the Pacific) and will be road-schooling them as well. It’s inspiring to read about that part of your experience, and it makes me even more excited to work with my kids in that way. On another note, would you consider writing a post about the challenges of nomadic life? I don’t want it to feel negative, but I would love to know what you have found to be the down sides of the lifestyle, or most difficult to manage, or what was unexpected, as these are the things that I still feel anxious about as we look forward to our own trip. (Being poorly, managing the intensity of travel, handling the stress when things go terribly wrong, etc.) I always find that setting my expectations right really helps me in the planning and execution to feel comfortable with whatever may come. Would that be too vulnerable a post? Your family’s adventure has been a huge inspiration to me, and definitely helped me overcome my initial reservations about doing something similar with my own family, because you have shared what is possible if you just DO it! Thank you!
Lovely post Courtney. I second the Carol V 10 min maths books, my son enjoyed them during the year he was homeschooled. A really fab summary/revision aid for all the maths basics is a little book called Mrs J Rules – a self help maths book. For literacy – the very best thing we started during that year was a subscription to First News, a young people’s UK based newspaper. Not sure how you’d lay your hands on them whilst travelling ! It lands on our doormat every Friday in time for the weekend (I’ve noticed it for sale in Sainsbury’s too). It’s full of current news stories laid out in clear, well illustrated “home” and “world” sections. It also contains crossword and sudoku puzzles and plenty else besides. Probably not all that useful to you right now Courtney but I thought other elders might like to know about it. Gilly x
Fantastic! It sounds like your children are getting a great deal from the ‘education’ you are providing. I am a teacher of primary aged children who has been in the job for 22 years and am impressed by your skills! The best way to educate is to try things out and see what works and fits. Have you seen the 100 word challenge? We use it at school on our blog and the children love it as they get comments about their writing and it gives a real purpose. Maybe your eldest few could even start their own blog? They would then get lots of interaction with others and with just a few words and pictures get a real sense of purpose and reason for writing. Just a thought as I know our children love the interaction it enables and even our most reluctant writers are enthralled by the comments they get. Keep up the good work it will pay dividends! The best things to teach are resilience, a willingness to take risks and the opportunity to be creative and I think from what you have shown you are working on all of that.
You and your husband are doing an incredible job 🙂
This is such an awesome post! I came across from Instagram, didn’t even know about this blog until today, I will definitely be following now!!
I love that your post is so… Compassionate? Sensible? Sensitive? What I’m trying to say is there’s not so much a sniff of “judgement” about one way being right and another being wrong. I think you will find that when/if your children go back into formal schooling the work you have done/investment you have made in their education will continue, which will be a great blessing for all their future teachers! (Speaking as a teacher 😊)
Just one note, I hope you are making the connections for your kids eg. Captain Cook also has a big part in the history of Australia, flightless birds in South America might be related to the emu and the cassowary in Australia… 😉 Just another little interesting tidbit!
thank you your sharing has helped so much, thank you for helping and inspiring others to create a better life, this was awesome to read, deepest gratitude from Sydney x
When I was young I did a very similar thing to your family except we lived on a boat travelling the Mediterranean when I was 7 and America/Bahamas etc when I was 10. Im now 20. The home schooling I had from my parents was very similar to what you describe and it brings back fond memories to read of it! When we arrived back home and started mainstream school again we had excelled and were moved up to higher groups than before the trip and often knew of things yet to be taught. 2-3 hours a day and living the life you are is more of an education than most children can dream of. I love reading all about your travels xx
Loved the ideas you shared. My husband and I are considering homeschooling as well given our increasing frustration with “teaching to the test” (standardized testing), common core, etc. methods that we are finding as our children make their way through the public school system. My question to you is, do you feel that homeschooling is something your family will continue to do once your travels have concluded? Good luck and thanks for sharing.
Hay there, I just wanted to stop by and say what a fantastic post – you guys are doing such a great job of this!!! We have been homeschooling from the start (our gang ranges from 6 to 18) and though we aren’t traveling around right now, we manage to live a fairly adventurous life. Our house is positioned between the mountain and the sea. And while we don’t live in a camper van we have a two bed-roomed house for ten of us – so I am guessing we have the same space limitations – not too much stuff and hardly any toys… kids play with what they have where they are anyway… we do about an hour of family school in the mornings (where we do lots of learning together… drawing, poetry, music and so on) and then our kids spend about two hours on math, and writing. That’s it school is out – for beaching, hiking, making and playing out doors. I know it looks like reading is not part of our schooling at all, but our gang reads and is read to all the time. Our kids love books, reading is a way of life and they would never dream it was a school subject… We have really enjoyed our homeschooling journey, wouldn’t change it for the world… Wishing you all the very best on yours.
Just curious…where do you live? Sounds ideal!
Wow… I just discovered a whole heap of comments on wordpress… I never even noticed them before – severly technically challenged over here(!), but nearly a year later… we live in a seaside town about 30km south of Cape Town, South Africa… and we do love it here, thanks for asking!!!
I loved this post Courtney! xx
Brilliant throughout. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on ‘roadschooling’ and it gives a new view. We are planning to do a gap year with our children, so this was a must-read. Thanks for sharing x
one more time, i say i love to follow you. Its so inspire …. i always think that people around the world are such differents, another culture, but i dont feel that with you and your family…
loveeee to follow again.
i not thinking on road schooling but it really funny to do it as play with my kids.
love the audio libros.. here in argentina, for your surprised.. doesnt exist… im trying to found it in library for blaind people… im like looking foward.. but i will found it ….
admire the pacience and the dedication to your kids .. in that role we can understand the rol of the teachers ajjajaajajajjaj it not for everyone.. lucky for both .. o for you have Michel aajjajajajajaj
for sure you do a great team.
i always wonder what you would do then…. again to school o home schooling.?????
love and kisses from argentina..
gaby ( melligaby)
Tank you vers much for sharing your thoughts and Tips! What a great experience you”re having!!! Xx
I have been following your sweet Instagram feed from a distance, and I love babyccino. I am commenting on this post because I homeschool our three boys, and have done so for five years now. There is a resource I thought you might be insterested in that I LOVE! It’s not exclusive to homeschoolers, but teachers in general. The site is http://www.playfullearning.net. Right now I’m taking their online course called “the Art of teaching” that starts today! They also offer many free printables, and very sweet little projects to do with your kiddos. It’s all grounded in a philosophy of teaching the whole child, and making learning enjoyable for everyone. Really good stuff, you should check it out! So much inspiration, and I have personally gained a lot of inspiration from your work, so I thought I’d share this resource to offer my appreciation.
I am tucking this post away for one day in the future when we will take an extended trip with our three children. I can hardly wait until they are big enough to do this! Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey!
Thanks for the wonderful and honest look at your homeschooling/roadschooling journey. Your family is so lucky to be spending this time together. You are all learning so much every single day. I personally think it is so easy to stay on a traditional path and be happy and never question it. But then, once you take a step off the path, once you start a new adventure, the whole world opens up to you and it’s like a wonderful can of worms. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with roadschooling and the kids look so happy and isn’t that what it’s all about? Travel on Adamo. Take the world in. Soak life in. We love following your adventures. Enjoy the beaches!
As a teacher I really loved reading your loooong entry! I teach geography and English in southern Bavaria (Germany).
A lot of parents do home schooling in an unorganized way and underestimate two major difficulties: the time you have to spend preparing lessons for the kids and the struggles you have to get them “working” on school stuff. And you guys seem to be the opposite. The journals look so beautiful and they’ll be wonderful memories once the kids are grown up. What I do once a week is “5 minutes writing”. I give my students a topic guided by questions and ideas what to write. Within 5 minutes they have to write as much as they can. Most kids like the idea of the short time given (seems like less effort) and a clear topic. From my experience, I can tell they produce better texts as there is a certain time pressure. A lot of my students ask multiple times a day about when the “5 minutes writing” will take place this week. I think this might be something you can easily do in a campervan.
I love the openness towards people and cultures your kids are learning. Embrace every moment of this precious journey! Way to go! And if you need a place to stay or guide for southern Germany: don’t hesitate to contact me!
Thanks for sharing your adventure!
Thanks so much for your comment. I love the tip about the “5 Minutes Writing”. I just mentioned this to Michael and we’re going to try this out on the kids to see how they go and if they enjoy it. It seems like a great idea – and easy to implement. Thanks again for the tip. x
I’m a home schooling mama and really love reading about your adventures. Have you heard about I.E.W.? My daughter took a class in third grade. She is currently in 5th and we implement it at home. It’s a writing program that gives children the skills needed to communicate confidently and effectively. Through this process, students learn how to express themselves eloquently and persuasively. Hope this helps. Take care, and safe travels.
Loved reading this, I would love to do it but am not that patient which worries me so my husband would have to be the teacher! I love how much your children are learning …. Just by traveling and enjoying this amazing experience together with you; so lucky!!! Xx
The amount of preparation you and Michael did for this trip just blows me away! What a great resource this post was! My children are younger and some more anxious to learn than others… I have and continue to consider home schooling. A new-to-me resource for great reads of all kinds as well as educational activities is whatwedoallday.com. it’s more information than i can absorb, but I’m always referencing Erica’s site on rainy days or longer holidays.
Amazing!! I hope to utilize all of these great tips one day! xo
That was worth the read, Courtney. I had been wondering how the kids were being schooled on the Adamo family journey. Now, I know. Kudos.
Thank you for sharing! So inspiring xx
This is such an informative post, thanks Courtney! If you do not mind sharing, I am wondering where your children went to school in London? I am moving there soon with my family and am looking for the right school for my 3 children. The process has been a bit daunting and my husband and I are very keen on the whole-child approach.
Safe travels and congrats on number 5! 🙂
Congrats on your move to London! How exciting!
Yes, navigating the school system in London can be so challenging. Even after 12 years in London, we didn’t fully understand it all.
Our children went to a beautiful school in North London called King Alfred School. We loved it and believed whole-heartedly in the way they educate their pupils and their overall approach to childhood. Hope that helps. x
Made it to the end. Brilliant post. I’ve taken notes of all your recommendations. Thankyou so much. X
We are selling up and leaving the UK with our two (1 &3) children to travel Europe, early 2018. Homeschooling them is the thing I’m most nervous about!! This post has defiantly helped thank you for sharing xxx L
Love these ideas. We are embarking on a 3 month sabbatical to NZ, AUS & Bali in few weeks and your posts are incredibly helpful!