A topic rarely covered in the digital nomad sphere is kids. While many assume traveling stops when you have children, families are breaking the mold raising third culture kids by using a form of alternative education based on experiential learning, called worldschooling. Much like their single counterparts, these nomadic families can find their people in some of the most remote areas of the world by engaging in world schooling communities. This article will give you all the information and resources you need to get started on your own worldschool journey.
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What is Worldschooling?
Worldschooling is a form of holistic education that takes homeschooling on the road. Traveling families rely on experiences and dynamic interaction as the basis of learning. Worldschoolers see the world as their classroom, leveraging unique and abstract methods, often influenced by the cultures in which they are immersed.
Homeschooling is the broad concept that diverges from traditional schooling by moving the educational experience out of your typical schools. Worldschooling is a subset of this concept, incorporating self directed education.
How to Decide Whether Worldschooling is Right for You
Worldschooling is a unique flavor of homeschooling that may or may not be right for all homeschooled kids. Perhaps you prefer even less structure, in which case you might find similarities with unschooling families who rely on creativity, play, and curiosity. Here are a few ways to determine which route is best for you.
- Trial and error – Many people think worldschooling requires you to sell everything, go all in, and leave everything you know. Instead, you can take some short trial trips, and see how it works for you. You can make them progressively longer until you are ready to take the next step.
- Flexibility – What kind of parent are you? Worldschooling is inherently flexible as it is externally driven. You might have an online school or a private tutor. Toss out the curriculum for a week and see how you do as reactive learners.
- Learning style – Every homeschooling parent is a teacher. Teaching methods tend to mirror the teacher’s learning style. Therefore, you should be cognizant of how you learn best, then see if that fits your lifestyle.
- Local laws – Depending where you call home, homeschooling (in any form) may or may not be possible. Local laws and regulations vary from country to country and even between states.
- Child age – Many worldschooling kids start in their earlier years, often before age 10. While there are many older kids who worldschool, sometimes the transition is more difficult.
The Worldschooling Curriculum
Finding a curriculum that works for your child’s education is a big step in the homeschooling journey. When it comes to homeschooling while traveling the world, minimalism and lightweight is the name of the game. World schooling curriculum can run the gamut from formal to informal, book-based to online resources. Many find that education through travel is best facilitated by syncing lessons with destinations to leverage what the culture has to offer and inspire curiosity.
Best Worldschooling Communities (Online)
A worldschooling community is a place for worldschoolers to come together online through organized events and virtual hangouts with like minded families. Many will also facilitate personal meetups with a map for worldschoolers to find each other. Check out this list of great online communities. We’ll touch on location-based temporary learning communities later in the article.
Aptly named, Worldschoolers is one of the largest Facebook groups catering to the worldschooling community. With over 57K members, there is truly a global reach, with an immense amount of experience within this community. Various recurring threads are especially useful for advice, meet-ups, and even networking and promoting whatever you do to sustain your worldschooling lifestyle.
We Are Worldschoolers
We Are Worldschoolers is an online community that provides an exclusive supportive community plus tons of resources, courses, and content to help you on your worldschooling journey. Their vibrant Facebook community has over 13K members of active worldschooling families.
If you’re looking for great advice on how to use the school of the world, look no further than Worldschooling Central. This Facebook community of nearly 10K passionate worldschoolers is extremely active with new meet-ups happening every day.
Worldschooling Hub provides a secure interactive map that connects the worldschooling community all over the world. It is a great way for communities to develop organically, as worldschooling families can read each other’s profiles, and connect with like-minded people.
Worldschooling Junction: Family Travel, Worldschooling, and Service
Worldschooling Junction is a small community of worldschoolers and nomads who are passionate about making a difference in the world. This is a place where ideas, good citizenship, and curiosity meet. If you’re interested in traveling with purpose, this is the community for you.
Worldschooling Courses and Resources
Many people choose worldschooling because it provides a high degree of educational freedom. Children and parents alike, are empowered to adopt a more holistic perspective of the world, and learning is integrated into everyday life. If you’re new to the game, it can be hard to figure out how to get started or sift through the flood of available information online. That’s why I created this list of online schools, worldschooling courses, and supplemental resources and experiences to get you started.
Worldschool Academy is a coaching, mentorship, and accountability membership platform that supports worldschooling parents and students. With online classes, home education coaching, and daily meet-ups, worldschoolers enjoy the mutual support of what can be likened to co-working sessions. This is a good resource for new worldschoolers, or those in need of routine.
Extraordinary Family Life
Extraordinary Family Life is where the founders of Worldschool Academy live (online, that is), providing a wide array of online courses and classes to help you confidently take charge of your home education. This worldschooling family also gives you the benefit of their experience with an informative podcast and the opportunity to join them on exclusive trips.
The Dennings – fully nomadic since 2007, with seven kids! – know their stuff. I’ve featured them on my site before, here:
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Odyssey is a self-directed learning community for unschoolers and worldschoolers who desire an unstructured, free-choice education. The educational philosophy at Odyssey combines that of many different worldschooling organizations, giving you a wide breadth of resources. From transition assistance and peer-learning to curriculum recommendations and character building activities, Odyssey is a vault of information.
Worldschooling Central is a great place to learn how to get started worldschooling. They provide a wealth of information to help you better understand what worldschooling is, how to handle the transition into the lifestyle, and actionable tips on how to make it work. Check out the video content which spotlights various worldschooling families within their community, providing you an in-depth, first-hand look at worldschooling in action. Worldschooling Central also offers multiple immersive trips throughout the year which bring together like-minded families for an enriching experience.
The World School
The World School is a unique “school” built for traveling and worldschooling families. Combing aspects of various homeschooling and unschooling philosophies, The World School offers a 3-month long session rotating among different international locations. This is an immersive session led by facilitators, offering supplemental educational programs that are driven by student-choice, curiosity, and self-directed learning.
Khan Academy is a fantastic curriculum-supporting resource that is multi-faceted, interactive, and engaging. This multi-disciplinary learning platform facilitates personalized learning with trusted content and tools to empower teachers. With standards-aligned practice and lessons, worldschoolers will be able to self-pace their growth and parent-teachers can monitor progress. There is a wide array of offerings including math for K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP, SAT, and much more. The best part is it is completely free to use.
Deliberate Travel Kids
Deliberate Travel Kids takes worldschoolers on a 12-month online journey around the world. Supporting active learners and curious kids, Deliberate Travel Kids offers members monthly workbooks that include educational activities and information about a specific country’s history, culture, people, geography, animals, and food. This resource gives students the opportunity to explore the world from any location. Each month, you’ll receive a postcard that gives you direct access to the workbooks and more.
Progressive Education is a resource center that explores the need for progressive alternatives to conventional education methods. You’ll find a comprehensive directory of education providers, progressive schools, learning communities, online schools, and hybrid learning opportunities. Progressive Education provides various resources that will help you find your way in any of the myriad of alternative education modalities.
Plan Your Travels: Meet Other Worldschooling Families in Person at These Worldschooling Communities Around the World
As you plan your travels, consider adding an in-person meet-up with other world schoolers. Worldschooling pop ups are short-term events that build worldschooling communities. These temporary learning communities provide an engaging learning environment.
World School Pop Up Hub (global)
World School Pop Up Hub is all about creating gatherings for worldschoolers. Attracting worldschoolers as hosts all over the world, you will join a worldschooling hub full of like-minded people. This DIY-style event is centrally-hosted, following a loose itinerary, leveraging free/low cost options, and readily tweaked by the participants. All events are in-person, lasting typically 7-8 days.
My friends at Worldschooling Junction hosted one of these events in Oaxaca, Mexico! Check out their upcoming events here.
Project World School
Project World School is creating temporary learning communities worldwide through multi-day immersive retreats. Thematically-focused to highlight the host country, worldschoolers unite in experiences that emphasize global citizenship, cultural sensitivity, and developing relationships. Each retreat includes some form of service or volunteer work to give back to the host community. Project World School has also hosted an annual worldschooling summit which brings together worldschooling families from all over the world to share ideas.
The Hive (Dominican Republic)
The Hive is a multicultural worldschooling community in the Dominican Republic striving to become a part of the global sustainability solution. This community is built on values of purposeful living and self-directed education. Multiple programs are offered to facilitate learning about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), providing a space for worldschooling families to connect and gain skills to be a more self-determined human, whether it’s through a 1-week session or a full year.
Worldschooling Andalusia (Spain)
WorldSchool Hub Andalusia offers language classes, ongoing workshops, meet-ups, adventure trips, and other activities. Their extensive learning program is a cornerstone of what can be described as a school of the world. Memberships are also flexible, perfect for short-term trips or worldschooling for a year.
Anahata Worldschooling Community (Mexico – Yucatan)
The Anahata Community provides a co-living environment focused on raising resilient, compassionate, and engaged kids. Bringing worldschoolers from around the globe to the Yucatan, Anahata is built on fulfillment, compassion, cultural immersion, and adventure. Families work together to establish a natural rhythm and co-create learning programs depending on what each family wants to offer.
Green School (Bali, Indonesia)
Green School takes a more formal approach to worldschooling in what could be called an academic world school. This educational organization is a long-term option for international schooling and multicultural socialization. While a bit more traditional in terms of educational routine, Green School is inherently about fostering creativity, educational freedom, and community.
Tribodar is a unique community experience created by an unschooling family who lives, learns, and creates in a sustainable way. They provide various immersive and sustainable experiences for worldschoolers of all ages, creating a space for healing, creative and learning experiences. Join in the community conversation on FB here.
Tlayudona (Mexico – Oaxaca)
Tlayudona is a platform that connects worldschoolers and travelers with local hosts who offer authentic Oaxacan experiences. Tlaydona is designed specifically for conscious travelers, life-learners, and people who want to expand their socio-cultural awareness. Through mutual-learning, each experience is helping to build a community and create intercultural bridges. These experiences range from language immersion to full-day excursions, with an entire program dedicated to enhancing your world classroom.
The Source Farm (Jamaica)
The Source Farm is a multi-cultural learning village in St. Thomas. It is an ecovillage and community development institute dedicated to preserving wildlife and facilitating regenerative education.
Cloughjordan Ecovillage (Ireland)
Ireland’s first EcoVillage is an innovative new community bringing together a diverse group of people. This sustainable site promotes biodiversity and social enrichment through communal activity. Cloughjordan offers short-term accommodation, guided tours, and multiple classes in place-based sustainability.
Get Started on Your Worldschooling Journey
Worldschooling is one of many alternative education options for traveling families. It is a great way for nomadic families to integrate learning into their travel lifestyle. Whether you are a full-time traveler, slow-mad, or home-based, there are tons of opportunities to find like-minded worldschoolers through online communities and physical temporary learning communities.