There is a common statement we hear from people about the children. How do we know they are getting the education they need?
This is very simply answered. How many of you remember what you were taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school? Most people can just remember the basics or the things they use regularly. The foundations were given and some interesting tid-bits stick around, but the more practical information we soak up as we specialize our interests, the generalized information gets tossed. So much of what is delivered in American standardized education just goes to waste in a way. I don’t agree with the conformist factory that is what our schools have become and the end goal accomplished is the Children’s ability to regurgitate information for the tests required and sit down and do what you’re told. But how much do those children retain? Most of them? Very little. They pass through the system like sheep. This is nothing against amazing teachers. I find what you do to be heroic and amazing, I just wish you had the resources to teach how I know you were called to do.
Schools across this country are always talked about like this: “Oh that is a good school district.” “That school district isn’t good.” “That’s a terrible school district.” But no one is saying “Oh are those poor kids in the terrible school district getting the education they need?” Not likely. Do these people go to the parents and offer to help educate the children in the these poor school districts? Not likely
Having listened to children of the same age ranges I know that these children are getting a better education. They have diverse vocabulary and a vast understanding of social nuances, human behavior and cultural diversity for their young ages. It’s actually amazing the diversity and grasp they already have on things. A lot of the time they surprise me.
So what kind of education do we give them? Well it’s combination of things. We have workbooks and worksheets. This way we can establish a good foundation. Lessons off of youtube are amazing and a nice break to tedious lessons. Google and all of it’s amazing resources. But we also use a lot of unschooling and worldschooling practices. Math is reinforced with cooking skills and grocery shopping. English and reading is strengthened in the world around us. Museums helps to expand their science, social studies, history, and so much more. Outdoor hikes and urban exploration has broadened their horizons tremendously. There are also all the lessons that are learned just being around different people and developing ways to be a contributing part of a household. We don’t use the TV nearly as often as most households, but occasionally having them play at games on the ps4 can be used as school lessons.
Take a moment to think of yourself. Don’t you continuously learn new things all the time? We have the means to teach ourselves if only we know the methods that work best. Teach your children HOW to learn and they will never stop.
The problem is so many adults don’t want to take the time to turn the world into a class room or sit with a child eye to eye and discuss endless questions. Make someone else responsible for it. Make someone else accountable. I truly believe a child that feels like a valuable part of the family and listened to when speaking without a parent waiting for them to finish to continue scrolling on FB, regardless of schooling style, will flourish in life. I am the first to tell you to carve your own path and if public school is what works for your family, by all means I support you as a parent doing the best you can, but for us, we needed and wanted to be the ones accountable.
As nomads we don’t have the luxury to finger point at schools and teachers. The burden falls strictly on our shoulders. The responsibility is all on us. It’s a daunting task but is also not as difficult as you could imagine and we have learned a thing or two on the journey.
How do we know that the kids are getting the education they need? Because we see how they retain and apply their information. We have discussions everyday about various things including religious diversity and current events. We have decided to include the histories of the different places we go as part of their core studies. When they come up with random curiosities or questions (which is A LOT) we always take the time to look them up, learn more about them and find ways they can experience them in the world if we can.
Not only does our fashion of school so far allow for better ability to retain the information we give them. We are also able to make sure their information is accurate. But we are also able to instill greater independence and give them skills to better navigate their lives as adults.