Homeschooling: Many Americans have taken their children out of school and are teaching them 'on wheels' while traveling
Hiking is generally associated with young people with few responsibilities. But in the last few years, more and more parents are choosing to take their children on long trips around the world. CNN.
For those who travel with children for an extended period of time, this often means leaving the traditional school and learning from home along the way. However, trying to give your children a high-quality education while living the lifestyle of a tourist, and in some cases working remotely, is certainly not an easy task.
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It was the passion for travel and adventure that brought Emma and Peter Tryon together in 2011.
The UK couple, both teachers, started dating when they were both on separate tourist trips to Cambodia, they spent a lot of time together before getting married and having two sons, Hudson, now five, and Darien, now two.
Although they planned to stay in one place once they became parents, they soon became uneasy, and the temptation to travel the world with their children proved too tempting to resist.
“We were drawn to the idea that there is another way to live,” says Emma Tryon.
After months of saving and planning, they sold their house, officially took their eldest son out of school, and set out on their journey.
"I understand why people think we're crazy," she adds, admitting that at first they wondered if they were doing the right thing.
“When I actually had to sign the paperwork to formally renounce my British education, I was thrilled. I just saw it in black and white. I thought, “This is a big deal,” she said.
Under UK law, there are no specific requirements for the content of homeschooling, only parents must provide their children with a suitable education.
Peter Tryon emphasizes that one of the main factors that influenced their decision was the desire to spend more time together as a family.
“We found that adventure, spontaneity, and the challenges of travel bring us closer together, as well as creating the opportunity for a unique and powerful connection,” he says.
Over the past year, the family has traveled to most of Thailand, as well as Singapore and Malaysia, while homeschooling.
Although they have no regrets, both admit that their new lifestyle comes with challenges. While being teachers has proven to be an advantage in many ways, Emma Tryon believes they may have been "educating too hard" in the beginning, explaining that they have since moved on to a more relaxed approach.
“We are so used to more traditional schooling,” she explains. We have brought many misconceptions to homeschooling.
“But it's amazing how fast, natural and easy learning becomes when it's done through learning on the go,” she says.
In terms of structure, they have “intentional” one-to-one training periods of about 30 minutes with both sons in the morning, and they have found that it sets them up well for the day.
World School Education
According to the couple, Hudson and Darien are developing well and are benefiting tremendously from individual sessions.
“One of the things that I really enjoyed seeing lately is that our oldest son actually wakes up and asks when we are going to study,” says Peter Tryon. "He's excited about it."
Except for morning classes, their training sessions are relatively informal.
Peter Tryon, who describes himself as a "science freak," says he often uses swimming classes to experiment with swimming and diving with children, and recently taught his eldest son how to float while they were in the water.
“There is so much science in everything we do,” he says. “So instead of teaching it as a theoretical subject in the classroom, we have all the experience and resources around us in the world.”
The couple recently started working on a new structure where they spend one month hiking and the next four weeks in the same location.
“It works very well for us as a family,” adds Emma Tryon.
In 2021, the family launched a YouTube channel to share their story and also created The Backpacking Family website.
After leaving Malaysia, the family hopes to travel to Cambodia and then Vietnam before heading to Bhutan, Nepal and Indonesia. They also have plans for educational trips to Egypt, Israel, and Jordan, but for now they are sticking to a flexible schedule. While they hope to keep working for a very long time, Emma and Peter Tryon say they will continue to rethink things based on the needs and desires of their children.
“We have to be attentive to their needs, which change from day to day,” adds Peter Tryon. “But at this stage, they seem to be developing really well.”
They spent a year on the road homeschooling their kids, both say it's completely natural and they have no regrets.
“This is not a break year for us,” adds Emma Tryon. “It’s a real, profound life change.”
Astrid Vigne and Clint Bush often thought about the prospect of packing up and going on an endless journey with their kids.
But it wasn't until the Seattle couple, who have been married since 2009, attended a family travel conference in British Columbia and talked to other self-made parents that they decided to take the plunge.
“This conference was the start of the school year, and by the end of the school year we had a plan,” says Vigne, explaining that both she and her husband felt burnt out and worried that they were not spending enough time with their children.
Their original plan was to spend three years living full-time on the road with their two children, Mira, now 12, and Julian, now nine. Since children in Washington state are not required by law to attend school until they are eight years old, at the time, the couple was only required to state their intention to homeschool their daughter.
Although Bush and Vinier are not trained teachers like the Trions, they actually met when they were both working on an after-school program, and they also have nieces and nephews who are homeschooled, so they had some understanding of what they were up to. subscribe.
The family hit the road in 2018 and continued their journey across America, as well as to Costa Rica, the UK, Spain, France, Italy, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. Bush, now a software engineer at a bank, had been working full-time at the beginning of their trip, so much of the home schooling fell to Vigne.
However, he began to take on a bigger role when Vigne, who runs their family blog The Wandering Daughter, also went online, which was a big shift for all of them.
“I think I felt a little out of touch with what was going on with the kids,” Bush explains. “So it was nice when I felt more involved in what they were doing in terms of training.”
While their schedules varied depending on how much they moved around at the time, Vigne says they typically spent one to three hours a day studying.
“Sometimes we just visit the museum,” Vigne explains. – On other days we have an hour of math, an hour of reading, an hour of writing practice, and then a language class. I really don't think kids need many hours to learn because they learn by just watching the world."
While both she and her husband had some misgivings about exclusion of their children from the traditional school system, they believe that the children have greatly benefited from learning while traveling.
“It often seems to me that there are a lot of subjects that are skipped in a traditional school because they are so focused on following a certain set of standards,” she explains.
Vinier emphasizes that they are trying to tell their children about all the different groups that lived in that particular place where they are in order to get "a more comprehensive perspective."
“In that sense, I feel like the kids are getting a better education,” she says.
While Bush admits he was initially worried that not interacting regularly with children their age might have a negative impact on their social skills, he was thrilled to see that this was not the case at all.
“Now our kids are absolutely incredible in a different environment with other kids,” he says.
After four years of travel - their trip was extended by a year due to the pandemic - they returned to the US this summer and are now adjusting to living in one place.
“If it was up to my husband and me, I think we would just travel endlessly,” says Vigne, before explaining that it was their son and daughter who really wanted to return home.
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Mira and Julian will return to school this September, but Vigne says they may return to home schooling later on depending on their needs. While they'll likely stay in one place for now, Bush and Vigne hope they can go on a similar journey at some point in the future, provided the kids are willing.
“We recognize that this experience is definitely a privilege and not something that anyone can do,” says Vigne, who wrote the Hey Kids Let’s Travel! e-book to help other parents who are considering going to long trip with your children. “But if you are able to do it, I think it is very important.”
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