Family Trek

Our Quest to Work Less, Live More and Travel the World with our Family.


As a parent every decision you make somehow effects your kids. Big or small they impact the world your kids grow up in.

Clark and I have made two big decisions that will dramatically affect our kids lives in the future, but are even shaping their world now; not taking a regular 9-5 jobs but having a patchwork income approach and unschooling our kids.

Here is our 15 observations we made about the world our kids live in.

How do you think these things impact their lives?

  1. They aren’t rushed around from thing to thing but have time for play, boredom and friends.
  2. They are allowed to do things in their own time, which is usually really slow, as we patiently watch and help.
  3. In a society driven by time we have no clocks in the house.
  4. They have as much time and access to their dad as their mom; and they have as much time and access to their mom as their dad.
  5. They wake up when they are ready.
  6. They go everywhere with us and are exposed to new situations and people all the time.
  7. There is no distinction in the days of the week, Tuesday is the same as Saturday.
  8. They can and do wear PJs all day, or change into several PJs throughout the day.
  9. Don’t have routine, but each day is a new adventure.
  10. Rarely do we ask our kids things like, “what’d you do today?” because usually we did it with them.
  11. Our kids move as seamlessly from “school” to play as seamlessly as we move from work to play.
  12. Every day is take your son/daughter to work day.
  13. When our kids see a depiction of school in a movie or a book we have to explain that some kids learn while sitting at a desk.
  14. Our kids are already developing a practical understanding of money. Sometimes when they ask us to do something we have to tell them we don’t have the money for it. When we tell them later that we can’t play at the moment because we need to work so we can make money, a connection is made.
  15. We don’t worry about changing behavior that would get them made fun of in school. Being timid, dressing up, running funny. It is all about learning and growing in their own time.

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Monica Vandeventer On April - 2 - 2012

10 Responses so far.

  1. Justin says:

    I strongly agree with most of these. It’s great to see parents like you guys so invested in their kids. A great reminder for us all.

    As far as the desk thing goes, that is really not the case. In the movies it is, but in the movies a lot of stuff happens. I haven’t seen a desk in a school in years, especially in lower grades.

    I’ve worked in all around public special education for many years. I realize its flaws. Let’s note there are many unschooled children out there who are recieiving horrible educations as well. In both systems, it is about the parental investment and conscious effort of the educator. For my money, the biggest flaw in public ed. is not the educators or the schools or the school system. It is having a system that parents become reliant upon to educate their children on every level. And when the child struggles, the parent has no idea what to do because they have gone so long without doing anything. So for that reason alone, I see what you’re doing here as a great thing. You’re teaching yourself how to teach your children. Out of the thousands of families I have worked with, this is a key struggle. The parents need the education as much as the children. Without mindful parenting, it is a tough road for both the poor and rich families.

    It’s kind of like a job. You rely on it forever and when it’s gone you have no idea what to do. That is public education. We rely on it so much, we forget how teach our own kids.

    I will note. Many schools I have worked in have excellent education systems, happy kids, and very consious, well-trained teachers. My daughter’s public school in Boston does great work. Not perfect, but she is learning a lot and is happy.

    You should see China?? Ughhhhh . . .

    Great post guys!

    • Justin,
      I think you are right about the transfer of responsibility from away from parents for education. It is a huge problem.
      I also agree that the teachers aren’t the problem either, but I do think we have a bad system. I think the way education is set up doesn’t address most of the changes that our world is going through. We need a complete overhaul of the system. It is just an outdated model.
      I have also been trying to get people’s opinion about education but most people won’t take me up on it…maybe you will.
      What do you think the end goal of education should be? What makes a successful student? A successful school?

  2. Justin says:

    You should see China wasn’t a ????. I guess I’m question things so much I am adding questionable punctuation to everything I say!

  3. Hooray for number 15!!! Our Jono dances to the beat of a different drum. And that drum often starts its thumping in the middle of a shopping centre when his favourite song comes on!! He is, shall we say, quite effeminate. Other kids pick on him for it and I’m always so proud when he stands up and tells them where to go! He wore a fairy dress over his clothes for 6 months when he was 3!! Some wish I would reign him in. I just want him to BE himself, whatever that entails!! I refuse to make him conform to our view of “normal”.

    • Tracey….this is so much like our son. He is 4 and still loves fancy dresses, high heels and nail polish. I let him do it. He also likes to pretend to be a lizard and a train. How is it different?
      BUT…if he were going to kindergarden next year I would have be having a very different discussion with him about it.
      Love freedom…for us and our kids.

  4. Jen says:

    I like #11. it is what I strive for and hope we can do this with our kids when we start to homeschool later in the year.

  5. like the tips and agree with the sentiment but..... says:

    home schooling may be a problem if you don’t know the difference between Afect and Effect

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