Prisma is the world’s most engaging virtual school that combines a fun, real-world curriculum with powerful mentorship from experienced coaches and a supportive peer community
Housing, employment and school: The things that tether us to a single geographical location are all being reimagined. As companies like AirBNB are simplifying long term housing worldwide and employers are embracing permanent remote setups, more families are seizing the opportunity to take education on the road through an approach known as worldschooling.
An educational philosophy advanced by Eli Gerzon, worldschooling turns the whole world into your classroom, creating infinite possibilities for learning experiences of every kind. The definition of world schooling is open-ended. It can be a full-time lifestyle or a part-time adventure: Some live on the road for a family gap year, while others alternate periods of time at a home base with trips to locations foreign or domestic. (Those who stay state-side are known as ‘roadschoolers’.)
As a form of location-independent education, worldschooling has significant overlap with home education, including from a start-up perspective: You’ll want to find out your state’s regulations around homeschooling. (This resource from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), gives detailed information, from the most regulated states to the most flexible.)
But there are also important shared benefits between homeschooling and worldschooling that make them natural complements to one another.
For people with the travel bug, the major benefit of worldschooling is obvious: total freedom. Like a college student with an unlimited Eurorail pass, you can go wherever, whenever (as long as your family can agree on the destination).
Free from the limitations of the school calendar, vast horizons open up. Instead of cramming into hot spots during peak tourist season, you can avoid the crowds, or time your visit precisely to the moment that suits: Spend carnival in Rio, attend the Umbria Jazz festival, or commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War II in Hiroshima.
World schooling isn’t just about having a great time (although it’s a likely side effect). It’s the ultimate in experiential learning, teaching your family about the world to a degree that neither traditional school nor traditional world travel can.
Here are a few ways worldschooling is an educational game-changer:
Children learn best when they understand what they’re doing and why – in three dimensions. Worldschooling offers you the richest possible library, whatever your child’s interests: When you’re free to move about the globe, you can explore the Amazon, visit a temple in Thailand, see where the Beatles got their start, all while learning new languages and meeting new people. Revel in the music scene, get up close and personal with the politics, stand face-to-face with the art and architecture, or live the urban planning - no lesson plan needed.
It’s one thing to read about different cultures, it’s another thing to take a taste of it on vacation. But when you can take part in the life of a new place first-hand – whether it’s through community service, attending events or hanging out at the local cafe – you gain an unparalleled level of understanding. The people you meet on your extended travels become more than extras in your highlight reel – they become your teachers, as this worldschool veteran explains.
For anyone who has ever struggled to learn verb conjugations and memorize endless lists of vocabulary, worldschooling abroad offers the single best way to learn a foreign language: in an immersive, experiential context. Necessity is the mother of invention, and when you need to figure out which stop to get off the bus, you’ll find yourself willing to step outside your comfort zone and grow your communication skills.
Family travel takes significant logistical effort. But that‘s one of the best possible learning opportunities: Get your kids involved in the planning, scheduling and budgeting, as this road schooling family suggests. It’ll teach them hands-on skills and give them a sense of mastery and responsibility. They’ll be much more excited about a hike, a museum visit or a performance when they’re the ones who spearheaded the effort. And they’ll be much less likely to complain about the day’s itinerary when they’ve had a hand in coordinating all the moving parts.
For every parent who has ever wished they could go back into the classroom, worldschooling offers an alternative. When you go on a worldschool adventure, your kids won’t be the only ones pushing themselves to experience new things; once you find your bearing, you’ll be able to pursue your own interests as well. As you guide them through a new place, you’ll necessarily learn and grow in the process. No time machine required.
Because it’s vastly different from conventional views of education and family life, full-time worldschooling can raise eyebrows. Regardless of what the neighbors think, there are a number of big-picture issues to confront, before joining the worldschooling community.
One of the most commonly raised concerns about alternative education is socialization: How do world-schoolers form stable friendships? In their post, “Do Nomads Have a Social Life?” one family debunks that perception. Describing their diverse, global connections, they explain that the extreme freedom that comes with their van lifestyle, allows them to prioritize people not places.
Still, for kids who crave a consistent friend group in addition to the unique cast of characters that a world school experience attracts – they can have their cake and eat it too by enrolling in a program such as Prisma that fosters peer-to-peer learning and friendships among a stable cohort.
If you’re looking for adventure, worldschooling checks all the boxes. But there’s another side to the ledger that poses more of a challenge: finding the consistent daily routine that allows kids to thrive. Even families who are taking a totally unstructured “unschooling approach” will want to think about the rituals and habits that will anchor their child’s day. This could include incorporating check-in questions at family meals, for example using breakfast to share each member’s intention and using dinner to report back on successes, lessons and hopes for tomorrow.
Geographical freedom doesn’t have to mean a free for all. Some worldschool kids enroll in local schools for a more traditional immersive experience in a foreign education system, some use a formal homeschooling curriculum to meet their core requirements just as they would have from their home country, while others choose a full-service option like Prisma to give them flexibility within a well-designed educational framework.
Circling the globe sounds expensive, but worldschooling is not code for jet setting. Between remote work options and affordable long-term accommodations, travel-based learning won’t necessarily drain your bank account. There are also plenty of ways to save, as this worldschool family writes: The cost of living varies widely from city to city, which leaves plenty of options for budget-conscious families, and families who plan to worldschool extensively might use income from renting out (or selling) their home to pay for their living expenses abroad.
As this worldschool family writes, it’s all a question of values. If you think you might want to pack up your books and hit the road, start with a family conversation about what you hope to achieve, as we explain in this guide to starting homeschooling.
For families with the curiosity and drive to embark on a global adventure, worldschooling can feel like drinking from a firehose. Between orienting to new places and the drumbeat of decisions, learning can end up taking a back seat. A full-service online learning option like Prisma saves parents the bandwidth they would’ve spent on being their child’s principal, curriculum designer and teacher, so they can use it to lead the field trip of their family’s life.
Want to learn more about how Prisma can empower your child to thrive?Talk with us
With adolescent mental health in crisis, here’s how to support your high school student’s well-being.
At its core, creativity is the expression of our most essential human qualities: our curiosity, our inventiveness, and our desire to explore the unknown.
The concept of critical thinking can seem vast and abstract. But one of the most meaningful ways you can start to tackle it is by rethinking the role of the teacher.
Imagine your child exploring new countries, meeting people from different cultures, and gaining a deep understanding of the world in a way that simply isn't possible in traditional education.
Unstick your child’s creativity, stretch their thinking, and improve their writing skills with topics that tap into their passions.
I never expected to find a family within my child’s school, but the leadership, teachers, parents and kids have become friends for life
Homeschooling can be overwhelming for parents. Here's how to recognize the signs of burnout & concrete solutions.
What’s behind your child’s complaint — and what to do about it.
If building social skills has been a bumpy road for your kid, here’s how to help them form healthy friendships.
The homeschool day can be quite efficient, compared to a typical public school day. Then, their school work completed, kids have plenty of time for extracurriculars, hobbies, unstructured play and generally... fun.
Possibly. But here’s what to do first.
To instill life-long healthy eating habits, take a hands-on approach
Distance learning doesn’t have to be a drag. Here’s how Prisma creates a community-centered online learning environment.
Distance learning is gaining popularity. Here’s what you need to know about online learning for high school students.
A bridge into high school, middle school is the time to prepare for independent learning. Here’s how to set the stage.
ADHD is only one reason for a short attention span. Find the cause, then try these tips for helping your child focus.
There’s no roadmap to develop a true passion — but here are ways to make the journey more fruitful.
Kristen Shroff is an experienced educational leader who has been with Prisma from the very beginning, first as a Founding Curriculum Designer & then as Head of School. Now, as CEO, she will lead Prisma into its next stage of growth.
Meet Claire Cummings, our Head of Middle School. Claire started out as a beloved Learning Coach in our middle school program before transitioning to the Head of School role in January 2023! She is based in Detroit, Michigan.
From making a meal to balancing a budget, here’s how to help teens learn to thrive in the real world.
In our Meet the Team blog series, you’ll get to read more about the innovative thinkers behind Prisma. Next up is Emily Veno, one of Prisma's Founding Curriculum Designers. After two years focused on building Prisma's middle school curriculum, in her new role as Head of Learning Innovation she works across both the middle & high school programs.
In our Meet the Team blog series, you’ll get to read more about the innovative thinkers behind Prisma. Next up is Leena Williams, the Lead Coach & Curriculum Designer in our new high school program.
Get to the bottom of your child’s apathy and help them find their ‘why.’
At Prisma, we believe the families and learners who like to call themselves Prismarians—are our ‘secret sauce’! Here we highlight one of our favorite stories from the Prisma community
From national parks to beach vacations, design an in-the-field learning experience the whole family will enjoy
Online learning takes many forms. Decide why you want to go remote — and the rest will fall into place.
Here’s how parents of ADHD children can set themselves up for successful learning at home.
Online learning doesn’t have to be distracting. These tips can prime your child to thrive at home.
From early childhood through high school, homeschooling provides the ideal setting to facilitate a gifted child’s learning. Here’s how.
And how can you support them in the classroom?
From fostering a love of learning to developing problem-solving skills, child-initiated learning is a pillar of a successful homeschooling journey. Here’s how to get started.
Focus on number sense and you’ll help your child add math skills to their toolkit.
Combine fun with a pinch of self-discipline, and you’ll be well on your way to a wellness routine your child wants to follow.
Kids need to develop their own world as they mature. But the stereotype of the zip-lipped pre-teen doesn’t have to be your reality.
It’s not easy to juggle full-time work and homeschooling — but it is possible. Here’s what we’ve learned about how to thrive.
Learning languages opens doors, offers connections and inspires new ways of thinking. Here’s some advice about which one(s) to pick.
Critical thinking matters for academics, work and relationships. Here’s how to lay the foundations at home.
Read about the hands-on learning opportunities one Prisma high schooler tackled in the Secrets of the Biosphere theme
Creative thinking is the key to problem-solving. Here’s how to foster creativity at home.
Traditional four-year college is only one option. Here’s how to inform your decision.
The Montessori approach focuses on early childhood. Here’s how the popular pedagogical method can lend itself to home-based learning for all ages.
Here’s what parents need to know about the popular social media network.
Here’s what every parent should know about facilitating a routine that works for the whole family.
Hands-on learning benefits all students. Here’s how to incorporate it into your homeschooling.
There’s no evidence to confirm the validity of these popular labels. But here’s how auditory learning strategies can benefit everyone.
Although no studies link these popular labels to academic achievement, here’s how visual learning helps everyone.
Here’s what parents need to know about the free, popular chat app.
Incorporate these reading tips into your routine, and you’ll be on your way to fostering a love of reading in your child.
Ready to Deck the Halls? Here are projects to engage kids of all ages—and tackle your seasonal shopping with DIY keepsakes.
More than just asking questions in the classroom, the Socratic Method helps learners test their own ideas in a real-life context.
Here are some guidelines to help sift through the infinite options.
When students set the conditions of their learning experience, they show more creativity, passion and sticktuitiveness.
With built-in lesson plans, educational tools, and endless problem-solving opportunities, Minecraft: Education Edition can help motivate kids in coding, science, language arts, and more.
Get into the spirit of gratitude with these easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids.
Teach children gratitude and they’ll experience better mental health, well being and social connection.
8 tips to ensure learning disabilities don’t get in the way of building reading skills.
Why does your child dread Mondays? Once you know, take these steps to help them (re)discover their spark.
To stop bullying behavior, educate yourselves and your children.
Bullying is about a power dynamic between peers. To interrupt it, first understand why it happens.
Children’s Mental Health is in Crisis. Here’s How to Help Develop Your Child’s Self-Esteem.
To reach their high potential, twice-exceptional children benefit from a flexible learning environment.
The holiday season is the time to get your hands dirty with these Halloween craft ideas - candy corn optional.
Dyslexic kids often lose their love of learning. Here’s how parents can help them rediscover it.
The challenges of adolescence can be magnified for LGBTQ kids. Here’s how to help them thrive.
From bullying to finding a safe bathroom, LGBTQ students navigate a tough landscape at school.
What we know about the relationship between ‘hard fun’ and learning. (Hint: It’s not about playing games in between worksheets.)
Here’s what we mean by ‘success’ at Prisma - and how we use it to help kids thrive.
What parents need to know about socialization in—and out of—the classroom to help your homeschooler thrive.
Child entrepreneurship is trending. Here are three steps to developing an innovative business that stands out from the crowd.
A hands-on approach to develop real-world skills, resiliency and a love of learning — here’s how we practice it at Prisma.
A Shared Name and Diverse Strengths Led Two Bens to Build an AI Writing Business.
When traditional public school isn’t the best option, consider these alternatives.
Five ways parents can help their kids see themselves as a work in progress.
Gifted kids face unique challenges when it comes to burnout. Here’s how parents can help.
To create a customized education for your child takes more than a checklist. This three-stage framework can help you get started.
If you’re homeschool-curious, here’s what 100 families have to say about the biggest advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling.
With homeschooling, the sky’s the limit – and there’s a lot on your plate. Learn about how to make this growing trend work for your family.
Learning how to use the internet safely, smartly, and creatively is one of the most essential skills for success in our hyper-connected world. Prisma learners just wrapped up their Cyber Citizens learning
A live learning platform purpose-built for kids. It's a new, fun and engaging way for kids to learn and collaborate together virtually.
Technology has completely revolutionized how we shop, communicate, entertain ourselves, and even how we work, but no such revolution has happened in education.
We’ve officially wrapped up our first ever fall session at Prisma and are excited to share our learnings and observations with you.
Starting today, families can apply to join Prisma from anywhere in the USA. Here’s how it will work. You can still apply to any of our five founding cohort hubs (Chicago, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, or Tampa) if you live nearby.
Over the past week, as millions of parents have realized that traditional in-person schooling may not be safe or available come September, a new twist on an old phenomenon has emerged.
We're excited to announce the rollout of Prisma cohorts in 5 US cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Salt Lake City.
We’re Prisma, and today we’re announcing the world’s first Connected Learning Network, a whole new category in education. We’re not a school in the conventional sense; we’re a locally-rooted, globally connected at-home learning network that gives kids the tools to live their optimal life, starting today.
First-time Poet Wins “Games for Change Student Challenge” with “Poem of PvZ”.