Category Archives for "Bring The Kids"

susan-michael whitehead family sabbatical mexico

Want To Live In Mexico? Find Out how An Adventurous Family Of 7 Did It.(Series #7)

Susan and Michael WhiteHead family sabbatical in Mexico

Have you ever dreamed of leaving it all behind to live in Mexico or Costa Rica?  Think you have to be rich or save a bunch of money to support that new life?  Think you need to spend years planning it? Think Again. The WhiteHeads are an ex military family of 7 who decided to take action on their dream of travel. Kids and all. Find out how they did it.

Lured by the warm weather and beautiful beaches, every year thousands of people from around the world travel to Costa Rico and Mexico for a vacation.

Many of those same people dream about what it would be like to trade in their lives for a new life in Mexico.

Very few actually take action because of all those pesky hurdles you have to jump over to make it happen. Things like how would you support yourself? How would you keep up with the kids education? Where would you live? Not to mention the fact that you would have to learn a whole new language (Spanish).m

I found a couple who jumped  over all the hurdles and through a few hoops. And they did it with 5 kids between the ages of 3 and 14.  They aren’t rich. They didn’t sell off a bunch of Google stocks to make it happen and they didn’t plan the move over several years either.  They hustled and were persistent.

Snap Shot

The WhiteHeads of www.familytravelbucketlist.com

  • Number Of Kids: 5 kids  (14, 11, 9, 6, 3)
  • Educating Kids: Homeschool and Spanish language tutor
  • Type Of Travel: Long Term, Slow Travel, International
  • Length Of Travel: Since 2011, 1 Year +
  • Where Travelled: Costa Rica, Mexico:—> Atenas, San Jose,  Chapala, Mexico.
  • Challenges: Initially adjusting  to a new location and learning to cook without all the convenience foods found in the US
  • Finances: internet marketing clients, sale of previous business, digital products, kindle books, new travel magazine, teaching English online.
  • Where To Find Them Online: Facebook: www.facebook.com/familytravelbucketlist, Online Travel Mag: www.realfamilytravel.com

 

FamilyTravel Bucketlist

Since 2011, Susan and Michael Whitehead and their 5 kids have been slow travelling in and around Mexico and Central America. So far they have lived in Costa Rica, Atenas, San Jose and now Chapala, Mexico.  

Their goal is to travel indefinitely and knock as many things off of their family bucket list as possible before the kids leave to conquer the world on their own.

Living in 4 places might seem like a lot in such a short amount of time, ~12 Month Period. But thanks to the U.S. military, the WhiteHeads are no strangers to moving around. This adventurous family of 7 has had the pleasure of living all over the U.S. starting in Wichita Kansas, then to Milton Florida, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia and then back to Texas again.

A Chance To Settle Down

It wasn’t until they broke ties with the military that they decided to plant some roots in one place.

That place was Eastern North Carolina. There they set up their version of “THE DREAM LIFE” which included a 9.56 acre rural farm, chicken coops, plenty of land for the kids to play on, fresh blueberries, apples, pears  and more. You get the picture right? Susan and Michael also home-schooled their kids. Life was pretty good.

You would think that they would welcome the routine and comfort of one permanent place after bouncing around to so many different locations.  So what happened? How did they end up living in Mexico?

The Travel Bug

Wanderlust happened.

It’s true, once the infectious travel bug bites, the uncontrollable urge to see and explore more of the world takes over. No matter how much you try to fight it, no matter how much you try to push it aside, it is always there. If you deny this urge, horrible things can happen like regret and wondering “what if… ”

At least that has been my experience and that is apparently how the Whiteheads feel too because  after 3 years of living their idea rural life, they felt that inevitable pull of their wanderlust spirit too.  They longed for somewhere new to explore AGAIN!

Time To Make A Dream Come True

At the time, the economy and the country seemed to be taking a turn and they no longer viewed the U.S. as the BEST place to raise their children. That is when they started to take action on a new dream which was actually an old dream that they had put off for a long time. Susan and Michael always dreamed of travelling and showing their children the world.

First Steps

So Susan and Michael began to actively take steps to reduce their possessions and the anchoring effect of having a lot of stuff has on a family. 

They also started to grow their online businesses that they hoped would eventually help support their lifestyle and life of travel.

Lightening Their Load

They sold most of their things, gave away the rest and stored some of their keepsake items like photos at Susan’s parents home.

They now own 99% less than what they used to own which makes it easier to travel the world as a family unhindered by “THINGS”.   They each have 1 backpack plus they carry an additional 3 suitcases for other miscellaneous items totaling a whopping 10 bags for 7 people. That’s pretty lean.

What About The Kids?

costa rica with kidsThe kids were already being homeschooled so education was not really an issue. Susan and Michael decided to get the kids a language tutor which has worked out pretty well.

Money Money Money

The biggest surprise Susan revealed to me is that when they embarked on their travels, they didn’t have a ton of savings and have had to really hustle to finance their lives.

Now they have more income streams than ever and plan to add more and more as time goes on which include internet marketing clients, sale of a previous business, digital products, kindle books, Travel Magazine and teaching English online.

The cost of living in Mexico is a lot less then the U.S. and they are able to live quite well for under $2,000 per month. That’s for everything; food, rent, medical, clothes, tutors, sight seeing… EVERYTHING.

Not too bad if you ask me.

Want To Live In Mexico Too?

I asked Susan to give me her top tips to families out there who wanted to travel like they are and here is what she said.

  1. Find some way of making money remotely before you go.
  2. sell your stuff and take a leap without letting dream stealers convince you that it can’t be done

So what do you think about the Whiteheads?  Do you think you could do what they are doing with 7 kids in tow to live in Mexico?  Leave your comments below. Ask Susan and Michael questions by leaving comments below as well.


The Whiteheads are one of many families featured on this site. See also other amazing Families & Couples Who Are Making Their Dream of Long Term Travel A Reality. 

Want to get featured on this site like the WhiteHeads? Do you know of someone whom I should feature?  Please fill out this form and I’ll post the story here..

Could You Slow Travel The World For 8 Years As A single parent? Lainie Can:Interview: (Series #6)

Lainie & Miro slow travel the world
Meet Lainie, a beautiful single mom and her son Miro who set out on a mission to slow travel the world letting inspiration be their compass. They started their travels in 2009 when Miro was just 10 years old and they intend to keep on travelling for a total of 8 years.

Lainie and Miro are my 6th family to be featured in an ongoing series showcasing and featuring families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time. Lainie, was nice enough to take time away from her busy travel schedule to answer a few probing questions I had for her.

Snap Shot of Lainie and Miro

You can follow along with their travels on their site www.RaisingMiro.com where they share their adventures from the road of life.

  • Number of kids: 1
  • Educating Kids: Un-schooling and world schooling
  • Type of travel: Slow Travel
  • Where: To date; Central and South America with inspiration as their compass.
  • Length of travel: Travelling since 2009 with the goal of travelling for a total of 8 years until Miro (son is 18 ish).
  • Challenges: letting go of the consumerist lifestyle, money.
  • Finances or how they fund their life: Started out with a couple of years of funds from savings and selling their stuff but now rely on donations and advertising from their site. Lainie also founded Project worldschool– a temporary learning community where you can send your teen to gain the benefits of a group educational experience. It mainly attracts un-schoolers and world schoolers but all children are welcome.

raisingMiro.com: slow travel the world

How long have you been travelling?

We have been slow travelling through Central and South America. To date, we have explored all of Central America and have visited Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Our three year anniversary will be on July 1st, 2012. Want to celebrate with us?

How long do you anticipate travelling for.

Wow, that’s like asking me to plan for the future and that’s something I really don’t like doing. We have said we will travel until Miro turns 18 (and I subsequently will turn 50) but that’s just because the mind wants to have some criteria of gauging things. But in actuality, it’s an open ended trip and we travel as long as we are inspired to do so. Miro may not want to travel with me after 18 or he will and neither of us have no way of predicting the future. But I can say with confidence, this is our lifestyle of choice and it works for us.

How Did Your 8 Year Travel Adventure Begin?

I am a former California business owner who had worked in the advertising, marketing and branding industry for 20 years in total. In 2000, I started my own agency focusing on brand strategy, graphic design and messaging exclusively for green-eco companies, non profits and conscious business.

One of the reasons I started my own agency was to remove myself from the destructive consumerist advertising world and do work for ‘good’.
In 2008, the economy sank in California, so instead of choosing to struggle, I decided to opt for a change for both me and my son. I closed my agency, gave away (or sold in some cases)  all of our possessions and set out to travel the world with my son. That was the opportunity we needed to live the life we were dreaming about, talking about and advocating for others. The real opportunity to make personal change. Today, 3 years in, we continue to choose travelling with no plans, no agenda, and inspiration as our only guide.

Why did you decide to live this way?

We sort of fell into the long term traveller’s lifestyle. Initially, we planned on travelling for one year, but as that year anniversary mark came closer and closer, we both decided to continue our travel lifestyle as long as we were inspired to do so.

Before we set out, our perception of travelling was very different.

Before we set out, we were in a ‘defining’ mind-set and it seemed very important for us to have a plan.

Before we set out, it seemed scary and unknown.

Before we set out we defined our travels ‘doing’, instead of ‘being’.

But being on the road, our perception of life actually shifted and we have learned to live in the moment without the need for plans, that life and traveling were not scary at all, and it was ok to live at a slower pace guided by inspiration and doing the thing that bring us joy.

What were or are your biggest challenges to living the way you do.

I am not sure how to answer this. I suppose the challenges have changed as we’ve changed. In the beginning it was letting go of the consumerist lifestyle we were once accustomed to. We no longer measure our value through what we have, now we are more interested in having experiences together. We are always challenged with money as it relates to freedom, but at the end of the day, we always have enough. Other than that, living a life based on inspiration, no plans, no schedule and no stress does not really allow for many challenges.

How do you deal with your day to day challenges?

As all things, we deal with things as they come. Miro and I have learned to be really open and communicative about our feelings, wants and desires. We are experiencing the world together and we rely on each other. We also make all decisions about what we are doing and where we are going together.

How would you describe the way you travel.. Slow travel, RTW travel, Nomadic or multiple ways?

We do slow travel. Sure, you can call it RTW travel or nomadic as well. I don’t mind. But we like to call our style of traveling as visiting locals. We are visiting, but we are living in local housing versus staying in tourist accommodations. We eat local and play local and have a full immersion experience. We stay as long are we are inspired to stay, and pack up and go, when we are inspired to go.

Single mom lainie and son miro slow travel the world

Can you tell me more about being a ‘global citizen’ (something you talk about a lot on your web site).

I truly believe borders and boundaries are a thing of the past. There is only one citizenship that holds value, and that is “global citizenship”.

I come from a background of activism, which I no longer subscribe to. In the past, I strived to change the world, make a dent is issues that mattered to me, usually surround civil rights, peace and the earth’s health. This activism was a huge part of my education in compassion. However activism strives to change the world from the outside. Through traveling with my son, I have discovered that all change happens from the inside out. In other words ‘being’ the compassion can effect the world just by virtue of being in the world. By being compassion and interacting and through interacting with the adults and children we encounter, we cannot help but to effect our collective future.

Whether someone chooses to extend that further and volunteer, that’s fine. But it’s definitely not necessary. For us, we both have a lot of passion for animals and my passion for nurturing children has rubbed off on Miro through our latest volunteering experience, where we actually spent two months reading to children, getting them excited about stories and imagination and learned that Miro is a very good teacher. All of our experiences have been in one form or another of serving as we try to immerse ourselves within the communities we settle in.

We live like visiting locals but no matter how hard we try we will never be mistaken as a local. So we embrace our differences and live each day with respect and gratitude for the communities we live in.

Another way we immerse our selves is through learning as much as we can about the history and culture and local rituals, sometimes in the form of cooking, or learning about the local crafts and other times through volunteering. Most of the time though, the best strategy for immersion has been to participate within a given community by being present and connecting through smiles.

How are you educating your son while you travel?

As we started our trip, I had no idea such a thing called Unschooling existed. However I noticed Miro was talking about geography, sociology, history, economics, mythology, language and second language, literature, math, science. I sat back one night and realized how brilliant the idea of having the world teach my son was! Engage in life and children (and adults) learn!

Soon thereafter, I discovered the formal name for what we were doing as ‘unschooling’. In some circles it’s called ‘Radically Unschooling’, ‘World schooling’ and Road schooling. There are similar principals to each of those ‘disciplines’ which is based on child-led learning. This is a radical departure form homeschooling circles that teach a formal curriculum only in the home environment.

The philosophy behind unschooling is that children will learn what they need to know when they are ready and want to learn it and this flows through every other aspect of life. The whole essence of unschooling is that children, when empowered, will learn based on their individual interests.

I’ve seen games spark Miro’s interest in mythology, quantum physics, history and culture. We’ve had an open platform to discuss humanity, violence, and choices because of video games. I’ve also seen Miro’s research skills improve as the internet and Google are second nature to him. I didn’t like going to the library to research when I was his age because it was so overwhelming for me. To have the library at your fingertips is a drastic change for this generation.

I have discovered first hand that by virtue of being in this world, we can’t help but to learn. Children learn naturally and retain so much more when they are engaged and leading the process themselves. I realized this just by observing an empowered Miro blossom daily. As a result of my unschooling education, I am growing as Miro teaches me how to be a better and more effective parent in the process.

I have written about unschooling extensively on our site, and I invite you and your readers to read more here.


Lainie and Miro are my 6th family to be featured in an ongoing series showcasing and featuring families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time.

An ongoing series showcasing and featuring families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time. Some travel just for a year while others have been travelling for more than 5. These are not lottery winners or rich people. They are just ordinary people like you and me who made travel their goal and decided to work at that goal to make it happen. I hope it inspires you to do the same no matter what your goals are.

What do you think of Lainie and Miro’s story?  Leave your comments below.

five amazing couples who travel the world

5 Inspirational Families Who travel long term with their kids: Series #1

Meet five amazing couples and families who travel full time (in this ongoing series).

Not only are they making their dream of extended and long term travel a reality. they are doing it despite having kids, despite not being rich and despite all their obstacles and challenges.

1- The Dennings of Discover Share Inspire

  • Number of kids:  5 kids ( Under 10 years old)
  • Type of travel: Road Trip In a Veggie powered truck and slow travel.
  • Where: Alaska to Argentina
  • Challenges: Internet connectivity. Balancing work time, education time etc..
  • Finances: Currently use their savings but their long term plan is to grow their online business.

image 
The Dennings are homeless on purpose. They are living in a veggie powered truck and are travelling from Alaska to Argentina with 5 kids in tow. That’s right, FIVE KIDS, Five. 

I think you are going to be in total awe with this amazing family and what they have done so far. The Dennings don’t just want to live abroad, they want to explore the world. Since 2007, they have been determined to create a location independent lifestyle so that they can live the way they want to. Who doesn’t right but they have gone to great lengths to make this happen and in a very interesting way i might add.

They’ve simplified their lives to the bare essentials. No mortgage, no utilities, nothing except their truck and what they can put in the truck. To fund their lifestyle originally, they were living off of an income but they lost that in 2008. Now they live off of their savings and have all they need to continue to live simply – which they are more than pleased with. However their long term strategy is to grown their online business which is already generating some money. They even have a few products teaching other people how to design their own lifestyle like they have.

The Dennings are a special case and it looks like there is no end in site for their adventure. Their latest adventure is taking them across North and South American. They ‘live’ in their truck when they are traveling in between places but whenever they get a chance, they stop and rent a place so they can stay longer. The last time i spoke to them they were renting a house in Panajachel, Guatemala and were there for almost two months. Before that they spent 7 weeks in Bacalar, Mexico. Go read about them at Discover Share Inspire and you’ll never say “i can’t again”.

2- The second family is the Burns Family of Our Travel Lifestyle

  • Number of kids: 2 (Under 8 years old)
  • Type of travel: Slow travel 6 months travel and six at home base in Malaysia
  • Where: Goal is to travel the world
  • Length of travel: 1+ years
  • Challenges:
  • Finances: They started their own a web programming company which the run completely online.

image


The burns family say that they are a pretty average family of four who decided they weren’t happy with their lives in suburban Australia. They were trying to juggle careers, maintain a house, pay the bills, have a social life on the weekends and most importantly, still finding time for to be with their children. They decided they needed to do something different with their lives.

They considered a bunch of options including career changes, selling the house and moving from the suburbs to a smaller town and even considered  finding work overseas. But none of that seemed like the right answer. in late 2009 the Burns decided to take ACTION and act on a long-term fantasy of long term with their two young children.

The Burns didn’t have a huge savings so they opted to use the skills they had which was web programming and set up their own business online. Exactly two year after they decided to take action and pursue their dream of long term travel, they set up a house in Penang Malaysia to use as a base to travel the world from. They aim is to spend 6 months of the year in Malaysia and 6 months of the year travelling. They also have a great site for other travelling families and couples to meet called Vagabond Family.  I joined it myself and love connecting and reading about other families. It makes me feel less fringe and more normal.

3- 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure is our third family

  • Number of kids: 1 (Under 10 Years old.)
  • Type of travel: Slow travel
  • Where: South America, Asia, and who knows where else
  • Length of time: 1+ years
  • Challenges: Single Dad with a special needs son
  • Finances: Started teaching Scuba Diving, various jobs writing, photography and medical transcription

1 dad 1 kid 1 crazy adventure   Our next family is a father son team.  Talon is  a single dad to an amazing 10 year old boy named  Tigger.  The fact that he is a single dad travelling is simply amazing but what really blew me away was what he told me about his son. You see his son has special  needs. I’ll tell you more about something amazing that happened in a bit.

Let me first tell you how their journey began. Everyone has their reasons for wanting to travel or live abroad and their story is a great one.   In May 2011, after years of working in intensive care, trauma, and with the dying, Talon left his traditional work life to embark on a round-the-world trip. Now you would think that they at least had a ton of money in the bank right? NO!!!  Talon and Tigger began their journey with $900 in the bank. Talon has been very creative in how he manages to support he and his son from doing medical transcription and writing to photography.  He even became a scuba instructor while in Honduras which has helped them bring in some descent money. Talon says their expenses usually average about $1,000 USD a month and says he could even cut it down further if he wanted but doesn’t because they really enjoy eating out.

His son Tigger has done so well that he is now off all his meds. Talon attributes the marked improvement in his sons anxiety and sensory issues to the amount of time he spends with his son and “world schooling”. His sons progression has reaffirmed and eliminated all the doubts he used to have and he is now 100 percent positive that his decision to live abroad, travel and home-school his son was the best decision he could have made for his 2 man family.

4-  International Cravings

  • Number of kids: 2 ( Under 5 years old)
  • Type of travel: Expats living in one place.
  • Where: Guangzhou China
  • Length of time: 1+ years as of 2011
  • Finances: Dad works remotely as a web designer. Mom teaches English. Created a product online, teach and run a web based business.

image Our fourth story is another family and rather than living nomadically and constantly travelling, they chose to stay in one place, China.

Their story is similar to the Burns in terms of why they chose to live abroad. Basically they were a family that was tired of waiting for the right time to travel, the right time to experience things, enough money to do it all, and tired of waiting for the pieces to fall together so they took action to make it happen.

In Feb. 2011 they moved their family of four to Guangzhou China. With two small children (1 & 3 at the time) there were many things that they were unsure of but they knew one thing for sure and that was that they wanted to go on adventures with their children and experience the world as a family. They have made some amazing friends and have had some unforgettable experiences together.

Mom says that  the ability to give her her older child the opportunity to learn Mandarin and experience a culture at such a young age has been both fun and exciting. Now both of their children speak Mandarin and their almost 5 year old is fluent.  Mom told me a funny story; Their 2 yr old son has learned potty training “split pant” style and she just thinks it’s hilarious watching him flip back and forth.

Dad of the family is a web designer and asked his U.S. company if he could work remotely. Something that before they never would have dreamed of asking. Mom of the family completed an online TESOL certificate before moving to China so that she could teach English while living abroad. While living in China they lived on $16 a day per person….much cheaper than their U.S. cost of living.   They have also spent a month in Thailand and hope to experience more of Southeast Asia while we can. Check out their story at www.internationalcravings.com

5- Man vs. Debt, The Bakers

  • Number of kids: 1
  • Type of travel: Expats living in one place.
  • Where: Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Thailand
  • Length of time: 1 + years
  • Challenges: Had over 18,000 us dollars in consumer debt that they paid off.
  • Finance: Sold his crap on eBay and got out of debt. Now makes a living online and can literally work anywhere he wants to when he wants to.

image   Adam Baker from Man vs. Debt  is probably the most famous modern day family i know who decided to leave it behind for a few years to travel. If you haven’t heard of Man vs. Debt than let me fill you in.

In 2008 after the birth of their daughter, Adam Baker and his wife Courtenay spent a year selling all their crap and paid off over 18,000 dollars in consumer debt. Then In June 2009, they left for what was to be a year in Australia, but quickly turned into more mobile travels through Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and finally back to Indiana.

Now Adam and his wife are running several business online, have several products that help other people do the same thing they did and he’s not done yet. That’s it for now. Stay tuned as i add to this growing list of amazing and inspirational families and couples who left it all behind to travel or live abroad.

What Do You WANT?

So…. do you WISH or do you WANT to lead a location independent lifestyle? Are you willing to TAKE ACTION and are you DETERMINED to follow through? The next time you say I wish I could travel but can’t,  I can’t, I hope you think of these five families who despite having kids, despite having debt, despite not being rich or whatever reason you keep telling you that you CAN’T, they did it. Because they did they took action and had determination.

 


Part of an ongoing series showcasing and featuring families and couples who are travelling full time or for extended periods of time. Some travel just for a year while others have been travelling for more than 5. These are not lottery winners or rich people. They are just ordinary people like you and me who made travel their goal and decided to work at that goal to make it happen. I hope it inspires you to do the same no matter what your goals are.

How to educate the kids while living abroad

How To Homeschool While Travelling Or Living Abroad: Beginners Guide

One of the problems when people travel long term or live abroad is how to educate and keep your kids on track with the rest of their schoolmates back in your home country. 

education_travel_abroad

We chose to mainstream our kids in public French school while in France.

But what if you don’t want to be tied to a school schedule and travel to more than one country in any given year?  What if you want to do an around the world trip with your kids? 

Simple, you can always homeschool while travelling.

Today’s article is a guest post written by Susie Brown. Her article is a great introduction into the world of homeschooling while travelling or living abroad with kids.

It’s hard but not as hard as people think. As Susie puts it, “if she can do it, anyone can”.

Take it away Susie.


Why I home-schooled the kids

When my oldest son was having trouble keeping up in school we considered all of our options. And after checking into everything that the school system had to offer us, we weren’t very impressed. It seemed that our son was doomed to fall through the cracks of the education system and there was nothing we could do about it. We decided to try homeschooling, mostly because we figured that it couldn’t be any worse than the other options.

After a few weeks of homeschooling our sons face began to shine again, he was a much happier boy, and we witnessed how his mind was able to develop in ways that it didn’t while he was in school. It turns out that the school atmosphere just wasn’t right for him. Eventually, our other kids wanted to try homeschooling too, and that was the beginning of our homeschooling family adventure.

As it turned out, one of the greatest perks of homeschooling is being on a different schedule as everybody else. When the zoos, museums, and other fun outing destinations are flooded with people on weekends and holidays we avoid going, because we can go on school days in order to avoid the lines and the crowds. And when we moved we didn’t need to look for new schools, nor did we need to worry about our children’s curriculum changing.

For anyone who is considering relocating for a limited time, homeschooling might be a great option. But if you plan to send your kids back to the same school system, you will obviously need to keep them up to speed. Thankfully, many homeschooling families find that their children are able to learn the material a lot faster than their in-school peers.

Staying on track with the curriculum back at home

The first step towards staying on track with the school is by asking the school. Go to the school where your child would otherwise be attending and explain to them your travel plans and your plans to return. That is show them that you consider them too as important educators in the life of your child, which is a very engaging and gratifying feeling for teachers. After explaining your travel plans, ask them for a general idea of the curriculum.

The teachers should be able to give you a general answer. Although, teachers do improvise and readjust their lesson plans throughout the course of the school year, they are required to cover certain material. Once you find out what that required material is, you can make your own lesson plan of how to learn it.

By the way, planning your own curriculum might seem like a daunting undertaking, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. I have no formal training in being an educator, and if I could do it, so can you.

Another benefit of being in contact with your child’s school is that the school might be able to give you their own suggestions for what and how to study with your children.

I know of a mother who when she told her child’s school of their plans to relocate to Argentina, the school was smart enough to take advantage of the situation. Her child’s grade learned about Argentina’s history and culture, and the mother and school coordinated their curriculums together. When the school learned about the native Argentinean tribes they would go visit the ruins video camera in hand. The school benefited by showing the videos to students, and the family benefited by remaining in sync with the school’s curriculum.

3 Simple Ways To Teach While Travelling or Living Abroad

How parents go about assuring that their kids are getting the best education possible during the homeschooling process is a matter or trial and error since so much of learning is child specific.

1- Online learning aids are fun and give immediate feedback

I am a big fan of using online learning sites in order to teach important concepts. Online learning sites are often designed in the same way as video games. Similar to the way a child needs to figure out certain things in order to win a video game she will likewise need to figure out how to “win” the online learning games. In the course of playing and winning those games they learn fundamental concepts.

Whereas if a student doesn’t understand a concept when they take a test or do homework, which is bad news for their grade and their self-image, with online learning sites they can just try again. Most kids love trying again, just like they like playing video games over again.

To get an idea of what I am talking about go to www.ixl.com, a math learning website, where you can try out their features for free. Ideally I don’t recommend using online learning sites as the main component for teaching, but rather as an assistant to your regular learning schedule.

2- One-on-one learning

My favorite thing about homeschooling is the fact that my kids are completely engaged in their learning. Since there is someone constantly there to help them in their learning (usually that’s me), they never slip into passivity.

Take advantage of learning opportunities

The learning that can be accomplished through being exposed to a new culture is immeasurable. Here are a few ideas for how to do that

  • Learn about the history of your host culture and then go and visit the sites which you learned about.
  • Go to museums more than once
  • Learn the language
  • Learn skills that are culture specific like learning Chinese calligraphy in China, or learning how to cook French cuisine in France.

3- Join a local community of homeschoolers

Homeschooling exists in most places in the world, and homeschooling families usually make plans to meet up together on a regular basis. Inquire about these homeschool community activities and you may find a community that is happy to accept you with open arms. Homeschoolers, as a general rule, are some of the nicest and most accepting people that you will ever meet. These mini-communities are a great way to make friends and they can be a valuable source of information and networking.

WARNING:  What to be Careful About

When we first started researching the possibility of homeschooling we decided to go right to the experts- the products of homeschooled education. I spoke to a few young adults who had graduated from homeschool high school, and whom I consider to be very successful. I asked them if they had any advice about homeschooling. Their unified response. “Don’t let homeschooling become no-schooling.” Although homeschooling does allow you to be much more flexible in your activities, it is still important to pursue goals and stick to some type of schedule.


 

SusieBrownAuthor Bio: Susie Brown is a FastUpFront Blog contributor and business author. Fastupfront offers working capital to businesses in need of a loan.

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