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RTW Schooling. This seems to be everyone’s concern when I talk about our upcoming gap year. Most people assume we’ll be home schooling. However, I’m not taking a year off work to dedicate 2-3 hrs/day to a set curriculum and miss out on learning about all the amazing things that are around us. At first it might sound a bit selfish, but I don’t think it actually is.
This year is about doing something different; going against the grain. It’s about stepping away from society’s expectations to focus on our family. I guess, in a way, the whole year is a bit selfish. Schooling doesn’t need to be the exception!
One of the biggest benefits of going on this trip now, is the girls are still pretty little. They’re old enough to carry their own bags, walk for a reasonable amount of time, have a say in what we’re going to do and remember what we’ve seen. But, they’re missing Kindergarten and Grade 2, so I don’t have to be too concerned about specific academics. At this point, school is mostly about learning to learn. I want to focus on exploring our current environment, and learning about the culture and lifestyle of the country or community we’re in at any given time. We’ll throw in a few math games, some reading and journaling, and we should be set!
Worldschooling is the current term for what we’re planning on doing for the year. I’m sure you’re wondering, “what the heck is worldschooling?” Worldschool Academy refers to it as homeschooling elevated to a global level. I love this definition! For me, it combines a bit of parent-led deliberate learning, with child-led passive learning. We’ll decide what to learn based on the girl’s interests and the location we’re in.
I’ve downloaded the Alberta Grade 2 curriculum to help me guide Calais and cover the key learning objectives appropriate for her age. Although Kacela will only be in kindergarten, she’ll probably just keep up with her sister!
This is what (I think) our RTW Schooling will look like:
English Language Arts
Reading, Journaling and the occasional blog post. The girls will also pen-pal with their respective class, and write postcards home to themselves from each (or most!) locations we visit.
Health & Life Skills
From navigating an airport or train station, to packing and moving every few days, and figuring out how to buy groceries in a different language, the entire year will be full of life skill learning experiences! We’ll also spend some time volunteering in a few different countries, in addition to visiting our Plan Canada sponsor child in Vietnam.
Grade 2 is all about everything up to 100. My mom has given the girls some fancy dice and a whole bunch of games we can play to work on numeracy. We’ll also go a bit beyond this and learn about time zones and currency conversion.
The 3 big concepts are objects that float, magnets and creepy crawlies. We’re going to cruise the nile on a felucca, where we can learn about how objects float. There’s a fantastic little “museum” near Quito, right on the equator, where we’ll spend the day exploring magnetism and the effects of the equator. And creepy crawlies can be found everywhere!! The girls can pick a few favourites. They’ll learn about what they eat, where they live, and who eats them, plus anything else they want to know. We’ll also extend this beyond creepy crawlies to other animals we encounter on our travels, such as Pandas in China and Giraffes in Kenya.
The actual curriculum looks at 4 different communities in Canada. Instead, we’ll pick a few of the communities we visit. We’ll learn about their culture, economics, food and religion. Also, we’ll discover the history and why the people ended up in that location. I think this is important to do anyways when we travel as it enriches our experience. So, I’m using the curriculum as a way to enhance our travels and learn more about the cultures we’re visiting in a somewhat deliberate way.
We’re not following a set curriculum, or taking time out each day for a pre-determined amount of school. However, we still plan on taking time to ensure we’re all learning as we go.
My hope is that the year will be comprised of a bit of focused, and a lot of unfocused, learning.
If you’re wondering where we’re going, you can check out our The Route for our RTW.
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