I walked downstairs to see my son engrossed in his computer but he wasn’t playing games, he was doing his school work. Every morning he gets up, eager to start the day. After “good mornings”, a cup of water and gratitude sharing he goes downstairs to do his school work…not as a result of any prompting from me.
My poor child used to dread school. Every day it was a serious task to get him up and it never failed that before we got in the car he’d complain about a stomach ache. What a far cry from the boy he is today!
We do a regular check-in to make sure this way of schooling is working for him and regularly ask him if he wants to go back to school. “NO!”, is always his response. I ask him if he misses his friends. “NO! I have friends and I see them everyday and talk to the ones I don’t see every day”, was his last response.
We, as a society, are so trained to think that schooling happens in a certain building, within a certain structure. However, before I ever went to school I was learning. I learned how to walk and talk and to define what was mine. I learned my alphabet and numbers without ever sitting at a desk and having someone formally teach me.
As an adult I learned to build websites, write resumes, content and blog writing that people paid for, create graphic designs and more. I learned about HTML and CSS. In my career I learned completely new (to me) systems with no formal instruction or help in learning it. I completely switched my career from an Office Manager to a Business Systems Analyst with no formal learning. Determined, I found a mentor, soaked up the information, tried, failed and tried again. There was no classroom and I didn’t have a teacher. I wanted to learn these things so I went out and found ways to learn them.
This is how my son learns. Yes, he does formally do curriculum programs online but honestly, he goes towards what pulls him. Right now he’s working on an Internet Safety course. I require math but it’s still based on what pulls him, within my given parameters. Add to the fact that we are traveling in Mexico so he’s learning Spanish, currency conversion, geography, culture, history, literature and so many other things I haven’t figured out how to quantify yet. Opportunities to travel to Mexico City and Playa del Carmen have added so much to his life in so many ways.
People feel they can’t travel or move abroad because of their child’s schooling; that it has to be done in a school setting with trained teachers. Yes, you can do that OR you can even have that same set up online OR you can do something completely different. I’ve found that traveling and moving my son abroad has enhanced his education in ways that may have never been addressed if left in a formal setting and I love that! It makes me so excited to see the man he will become.
Schooling isn’t a reason not to move abroad. In fact, it may be a reason to do it. Your child’s schooling doesn’t have to look like my child’s. There are soooooo many options out here. The truth is, you’re fed up with the school situation anyway, aren’t you? It’s been stressful and trying and just a drain. There are other options; it just requires a bit of thinking outside of the box. It takes daring to do things another way. Learning to trust that the best for your child may not look like what society deems as best.
Traveling has been such an amazing addition to my son’s education. So much so that I believe, if I never decided to take my son to travel he would be a different person in two, five or ten years. If you travel how have you seen it contribute to your child’s development?
P.S. If you have an ounce of desire to move abroad but are scared and wonder how you can ever make it happen as a single mom check out my course The Single Mom’s Path to Freedom: How International Living Can Change the Game.