Travel, Unschooling and Freedom.

Travel, Unschooling and Freedom.

If you are a fan of this blog than you know we are choosing to live our lives differently than the typical American Dream. We have talked a lot in the past about our unconventional patchwork income approach. There are many reasons why we have chosen to live the way we do and why we choose to forgo many of the modern comforts so many others think are essential but when it comes down to it, we want freedom;  no debt, no “job,” nobody else dictating our schedule. While we aren’t completely there yet, we do have a great deal of flexibility in our life.

A few months ago Clark and I were having a conversation about our life and goals and mostly about our kids education. We realized that while we did have a lot of freedom, we weren’t really taking advantage of it. From this conversation a trip was born. We decided to take the off-season in Tahoe, the fall, and take a 6 week trip to  Central America.

After All…What good is it to have freedom and not use it. 

  • If we could work from anywhere, why stay at home?
  • If we had the freedom to teach our kids in any manner we thought best, why copy a school model we think is outdated.
  • Why not teach our kids Spanish by spending time amongst Spanish speakers?
  • If we wanted to learn to surf, why wait until summer and brave the cold Pacific California coast?  Why not go to warm waters and great waves?
  • If our kids were interested in volcanos, tropical animals, and ocean creatures, why read books and go to zoos when we could go see them in person?

So we are going to seize the opportunity… And I am thrilled.

I want to make the most of this trip and so am starting to think about how to make this a great learning adventure for our kids.  This trip has come with sacrifices along the way, and for months we have been telling them that we can’t do this or that because we needed to save money for our trip to the rainforest. When they are sad because one of us has to work, we remind them that we are making money so we can go see the rainforest.

Here are some things we’re already working on with the kids.  What do you think?  How do you prepare your kids and get them excited about your upcoming travels?

    • Create Travel Journals I am going to do some research about the places we will be visiting and the landmarks we will see. I want to print out pictures of them and put them in a journal for each of the kids with space for us to write around them. This way when we arrive in this strange place and they see something they know they will be excited and feel like they are in control too.
    • Chameleon Craft Foam CollageField Journals Our kids are big fans of the show Go Diego Go.   Diego lives in the rainforest in Central America and we are going to create field journals just like his. We’re already doing reasearch on the animals we expect to see and we’ll now be putting pictures and facts about the animals in their field journals.  When the kids see the actual animals while we’re traveling they’ll be able to take photos with their own cameras to later place in their field journals.

  • Packing Planning-We are doing this trip with minimal stuff. We are only taking a backpack each, so planning what we will bring is a big deal. We bought the kids new backpacks and they are so excited about them. We ended up going with CamelBak packs for them. They love drinking water out of them, and this should help when we don’t want them to drink tap water in Central America. The packs fit them both great — although Emery’s still may be a little on the big side for her. We have started letting them pack their backpacks for day outings and we always make them carry their own pack. This next week we will start buying a few clothes to take and I want to involve them as much as possible.

So here’s to making the most of the freedom we have!

What freedom do you have? Do you make the most of it?

Do you have any suggestions about ways to get kids excited and involved in travel? We would love to hear them!

We’re on a quest to live epicly.  Sometimes we crash hard.  But it’s always interesting.  Check out our About Us page or find us on Facebook orTwitter.  You can also subscribe to this blog via RSS.

  • I couldn’t agree more! True education for our kids has come in the form of travel, and pointing out why something works the way it does. People have been asking us, “How is homeschooling going?” Well…so far, it’s been a cinch. My kids have been learning about salt mines, the alps, geology, a little about WWII, the middle ages, castles, etc! Would that have had the same impact–reading it in a book? I think not!

    I think your travel journal/project ideas are great! I’ve recently “assigned” my kids to make a travel journal that documents what they’ve done. It is cute to see the photos they come up with, and the details they choose to represent. I hope to post them on the blog to show their perspective of each experience we have! 🙂

    • We started the journals last night. Jackson drew a map to the rainforest and had me draw some animals he thought we might see. They were so cute playing with them. They carry them around and say “don’t forget your field journal”!

      I think we need to be continually reminding ourselves about what are kids are learning. Just like your list above. We are so programed to think about learning as reading and worksheets that sometimes I forget my kids are learning new things each day by living!

      Can’t wait to see your kids project pics!

  • Travel is an experience, and one that I strogly believe educates us all in a more effective way than text books or classrooms ever could. We always try and visit the place or museum that correlates to what mom, dad, or son are learning. Great article!

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