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
As a parent, you want your children to have every opportunity to succeed and thrive in life. For some families, success might look like earning all As, acing standardized tests, and making varsity sports teams. There’s nothing wrong with those things—but if you’re reading this post, I imagine you’re looking for something unique for your children.
As the world changes rapidly, more and more families are exploring alternatives to the traditional education system. Whether it’s seeking out private schools that offer alternative education, online schools, homeschooling, unschooling, or new, innovative programs like Prisma that are inspired by all of these options; many families, especially after the pandemic, are realizing that the old way of doing their child’s education wasn’t flexible, modern, or personalized enough to meet the demands of the 21st century.
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. Worldschooling allows your child to learn through hands-on experiences, to immerse themselves in different languages, and to develop a global perspective that will serve them well throughout their lives.
In this post, we'll explore what worldschooling is, the benefits of this type of education, and how to get started as a worldschooling family.
Interested in worldschooling and wondering if Prisma’s engaging online program with project-based curriculum, 1:1 coaching, and supportive peer cohorts might work for your family? Check out this interview with our Head of Learning Innovation, Emily Veno & Prisma worldschooling parent, Caitlin Doemner, to hear how worldschooling with Prisma has enabled their family to travel full-time.
Worldschooling is a type of homeschooling that involves full-time or part-time travel away from the family’s home country. Worldschooling families may be nomads, traveling from place to place, or they may have a home base in one country and travel periodically.
The name “worldschooling” simply means that the world is the setting for the learning. This often implies a focus on experiential learning, or learning through experiences rather than formal instruction, books, or lectures. However, there are as many types of worldschooling curriculum as there are traveling families.
Worldschooling can take many forms, including very flexible approaches like unschooling, child-led learning, and self-directed learning. However, some families choose to keep a more traditional education approach while engaging in world travel, by moving through a standardized homeschool curriculum or enrolling in a public online school. And some choose something more in the middle, like online learning through Prisma, which follows a set curriculum to ensure learners don’t have gaps, but also allows learners to go at their own pace, learn through creative projects, and follow a flexible schedule. Like all homeschooling, the idea is to allow families to tailor their child's education to their own interests and needs.
There are many benefits to worldschooling. One of the most obvious is the opportunity for children to experience different cultures and worldviews. By traveling to new places, children are exposed to different languages, foods, customs, and ways of life. This can broaden their perspective and help them develop empathy and understanding for people from all over the world. You might enjoy this article about how the worldschooling of today resembles the "grand tours" of long ago.
Worldschooling also provides many hands-on learning opportunities that traditional schools may not offer. For example, a child learning about ancient history can visit historical sites and museums to see artifacts up close. A child learning about marine biology can go on a snorkeling excursion to see marine life in its natural habitat.
If your family chooses to use a more self-directed approach, worldschooling can allow children to learn at their own pace and according to their own interests. This can help them develop a love of learning that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Worldschooling is a great fit for families who value experiential learning, adventure, and a non-traditional approach to education. It's a perfect fit for families who want to embrace the freedom and flexibility of homeschooling while still providing their children with a rich and diverse educational experience. Here are some possible types of families who might benefit from worldschooling:
While there are many benefits to worldschooling, there are also some potential cons. Before reading our guide to getting started, here are a few possible challenges you may encounter:
Not too scared off by the cons list? Read on for a guide on getting started with your worldschooling journey.
If you're interested in worldschooling, there are many resources available to help you get started. It can be overwhelming to know where to begin! Here are some steps you can take to begin your worldschooling journey:
Accept your new role: If you’re new to homeschooling, you might not be used to taking a leadership role in your child’s education. But worldschooling is an active process, not just a vacation. Successful worldschooling parents demonstrate intellectual curiosity, taking an interest in researching educationally valuable learning opportunities in each new location, finding online resources, and more. If this is overwhelming, full-service programs like Prisma can help take this load off your plate!
Find a worldschooling community: Worldschooling families often connect with each other to share resources, experiences, and support. Joining a worldschooling community on social media like Trailblazing Families or The Worldschool Pop-Up Hub can help you feel connected and even find other families to travel with. As you plan your adventure, you can ask questions in the group & begin to learn from other’s experiences. Don’t sweat it if the first group isn’t your speed, it may take some digging to find a community that vibes with your family’s approach.
Decide on your approach to travel, and consider experimenting first: You don't have to travel the whole world or travel full-time to worldschool. You can start by choosing a country or region that interests you and plan a trip there, or even practice by first worldschooling from home (try homeschooling, but with a focus on experiential learning through visiting museums, nature preserves, and cultural events). We recommend only taking the plunge to full-time travel after you’ve gotten your feet wet through short-term trips first.
Decide on your worldschooling curriculum approach: Depending whether your children are in elementary school, middle school, or high school, and the type of education you want to provide, you may need to choose a worldschooling curriculum. Or maybe you’re taking a more self-directed, unschooling tack! Consider what has worked well for your kids in the past. Do they thrive in a highly structured environment? Consider an online school or following a strict daily paper curriculum with workbooks. Are they intrinsically motivated and self-directed? Consider letting them drive, and having them fill out a journal or make a video or photo diary of their learnings & reflections while worldschooling.
When selecting a worldschooling destination, families should consider a variety of factors, including:
Here are some popular worldschooling destinations, the best times to visit, and some cool educational benefits you might find in each place:
Depending on the age of your children and where you plan to travel, there may be several factors to consider to ensure a safe and successful trip. If you are planning trips to multiple new countries over several months, you should create a spreadsheet or other organizer to manage travel, accommodations, & learning experiences booked and help you stay on top of requirements. There are even worldschooling consultants, like Lizz Quain of Trailblazing Families, who work with traveling families to help them navigate these logistics.
Also, consider having your children help you with the pre-planning and research of your next worldschooling adventure. This is a great way to make the process more child-led, increase their agency & confidence, and bring your family closer together.
Make sure you consider:
And lastly, remember that the whole world is your classroom when you're worldschooling. Embrace the opportunities for hands-on learning and encourage your child to explore their interests.
By embracing worldschooling, you're not just providing your child with a unique educational experience - you're setting them up for success in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. Your child will emerge from this experience with a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them, and a set of skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. So why not take the leap and give your child the gift of worldschooling?
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