Families traveling with their children usually face challenges when it comes to schooling their kids. While such parents are viewed as selfish for denying their kids a normal school experience, most of these parents have thought and planned their kid’s education on the go. Below are practical educational options for nomadic families:
Homeschooling is a favorite option for digital nomads as it allows flexibility without compromising the kid’s learning curve. Lessons and curriculum are designed around the kid’s interests, needs and family’s location at the moment.
Homeschooling is based on the principle that specific lessons or topics do not have to be studied at a specific time in a kid’s life. Rather than worrying about whether a 3rd grader has studied ancient Egypt, homeschoolers take advantage of resources available at their location. In addition, the kids carry educational materials with them and learn as they change or wait for buses, planes or trains.
Parents who choose to homeschool explore several options depending on what is best for their schedule and the kids. Some embark on a structured path leading to university while others allow the child to lead the process of exploration and learning.
2. Online schooling
Online schooling is a great option for families traveling with kids. The rapid growth of technology and the emergence of online learning means that kids can learn using various online techniques including video conferencing. Online schools have the advantage of teaching kids at their pace while providing a class-like structure including lesson plans and assignments to be completed within specific timelines.
3. Local schools
In some instances, traveling families opt for local schools. This is a great option as it gives structure to kid’s learning. It helps in socialization and exposes them to new experiences. Kids get an opportunity to learn new languages as they settle in at the local schools and interact with kids from diverse backgrounds which pricks their curiosity and accelerates the learning process. However, this option is fraught with many pitfalls and difficulties including kids getting confused due to different practices and instructions as they move from one location to another. There is also the risk of low-quality education depending on the location plus the cost of education can be prohibitive depending on regional, local or national demands.
In spite of the many challenges associated with taking kids to local schools, this option has many benefits as it allows kids to experience education with their peers and interact with the local culture. It teaches kids how to be tolerant and embrace people of every color, race and religion.
4. International schools
Enrolling your kids in an international school is a great option as these are found all over the world. Generally, international schools use universal languages with English at the top of the list as it is the most spoken world language. The schools have a rigorous course load and some can be quite expensive which can lockout nomadic families.
That said, international schools are an ideal option for parents and kids with ambitions for higher learning as it conforms to the conventional trajectory of schooling.
5. Undefined schooling
This option is normally used by families traveling constantly but with the intention of resuming normal life after a specific period of time. These parents know that taking months or a year out of structured learning to allow their kids to explore and see the world is not likely to have a negative impact on the children’s lives. They also rely heavily on immersing themselves into the local culture and meeting local merchants and neighbors to learn about their country, habits, and cultural differences. None of that can be taught in books.
Ultimately, different digital nomads’ families use specific approaches that suit their traveling lifestyle but factor in the welfare of their children. With all the above options, each family has the opportunity of picking the best options and customizing them to their needs.
Yes, you CAN travel the world with your kids!
Check out this useful article on the do’s and don’ts of starting a nomadic lifestyle. A lot of planning is involved – especially when traveling with kids – but it’s not impossible and this could become the trip of a lifetime for everyone in the family.