World Schooling- So Many Options

Sunrise in Varansai

Since embarking on a nomadic lifestyle and trying to determine the best schooling options for my 11 year old daughter I have done a bit of research and learned to appreciate alternative models. There are some families that embrace being the educator for their own; we adamantly did not want this responsibility or relationship with her.

Our daughter loves learning, in-person schooling and will do whatever her teacher says which is different than her relationship with us. So wanting to keep schooling as a third party input allows us to do the enrichment and fun challenges like pub math. If her teacher says she needs to read she will; if we say it is time to read she will through a 30 minute tantrum and eventually buckle down and read. Not pleasant and counter to the notion of bringing joy out of the learning process.

For us we were looking for an online learning platform that works for different time zones and is year round. We wanted to have synchronous sessions lead by a teacher with other kids participating with work assigned between each of the sessions. We wanted the school to push our daughter’s thinking and expand her basic skills in writing, reading and math while making connections to her and her classmates’ experiences. Ideally within the system there would be projects where she has clear end goals and is required to have some kind of finished project. Ultimately it would be amazing if these projects were part of some kind of global competition such as Global Social Leaders, PACT,…

We ended up with Galileo, now Kubrio which for the year worked alright especially with the additional 1:1 tutoring for English and maths. Through observing the 1:1 sessions I have come to have a much greater appreciation for this style of teaching and those that can motivate a student in this kind of setting. Our daughter went from hating writing to feeling more confident and willing to engage when assigned by her tutor.

We are now transitioning and she has expressed a need to have more face to face learning opportunities with other kids. Traveling for months at a time has been challenging when there are no other kids to interact with. Since we as the parents don’t really have clarity over our short term future (both of us have online start ups that haven’t yet turned a profit) we thought we need to pursue a different route for her that is flexible, yet academically more structured and in person. See my previous blog where I describe her first day.

On this journey I did create a matrix of the different online options we considered. What is important to note is that there is no one right way. Please ask yourself the following questions before looking at the matrix:

  1. What kind of schooling do you want for your child? Does your child want?
  2. From the schooling what do you need i.e. childcare, special learning support, connection to a wider community…. (my daughter always takes the credit for us making new friends because typically it is through her school community)
  3. For the future what do you want your child to have i.e. high school graduation certificate, internationally recognized exam results i.e. GCSEs, IBs…
  4. How comfortable are you with embracing the alternative routes and/or do you need transcripts? (For our year with Galileo we worked with West Rivers Academy to accept our annual report so that we have evidence if necessary for future schools to show what she achieved in the year online.)
  5. What is legally required where you ‘live?’ For example when we were in Greece, a couple of locals shared that it is not legal there to homeschool your child and that for longer than a couple of months one would need to get permission from the local authority.
  6. How does your child best learn? What are they interested in learning?

Here is the link to the matrix of options. Note that all the comments are my own personally. Note that kids only go through the educational process once and time is too precious to be unhappy or develop dislikes for learning.

Feel free to reach out if you wish to further discuss the options. Best of luck in your decision making.

Published by marasimmons

A passionate educator turned world traveler embarking on a nomadic lifestyle with my family. Learning to appreciate a life where we have the privilege of choosing our destiny and embracing it.

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