We Took A Homeschool Trip Around The World
We just returned from a 17-day backpack trip through Europe as the final leg of our homeschool road trip. For those of you right now saying, “Wait – what!?!” allow me to explain.
Ya’ll know I’m a little non-conformist. I seem pretty normal/traditional but it doesn’t take long before you realize I’m a little quirky. Like my sport of choice, as a woman, is bodybuilding. Most men don’t even do bodybuilding, so it’s fairly niche to do it as a woman, let alone one who also happens to be 44 years old and a mom. But it works for me.
In keeping with my inner spirit to try oddball things, this year I’ve homeschooled both my kids. The first question people ask me about this choice is if I’ve suddenly become hyper-religious.
Nope. I still believe in mostly secular education, but I don’t shy away from teaching about world religions either. I think it’s good to expose my kids to lots of different ideas and points of view (but secretly hope they will grow up to vote the same way I do.)
I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of homeschooling. As a child I remember hearing on the news that some kids raised on a farm ended up going to college when they were ten and they credited their advanced learning to homeschooling. I told my mom about this alternative educational choice but she said she didn’t want to live on a farm, so I was stuck with public school. Later I went to Catholic high school, but that’s another story.
In my 20s my boyfriend’s brother just had a child and he and his wife had lots of interesting parenting ideas. (They were granola types.) We were at a party and they told me they weren’t going to get their baby vaccinated because it was unnecessary and they were going to homeschool her because they didn’t want their child to be bored doing worksheets all day.
Later, during that same party, someone brought their baby daughter, who just happened to have the measles. My BF’s sister-in-law ran her baby into another room and shouted, “Why would you bring a baby with the measles to a birthday party!?!” to which the mother replied (yelled), “Why wouldn’t you vaccinate your child!?!”
And I was like, “Yeah, worksheets are dull. I should homeschool. And vaccinate my kids.”
So multiple homeschool seeds had been planted in my brain.
The final thing that floated through my rich fantasy world of what parenting would be like was the idea that someday I would have two children and when the oldest was ten and the youngest was eight I’d take a trip around the world and homeschool them. What better form of education than really seeing, breathing and experiencing new and exotic museums, cultures and cuisine in person, right?
I had no idea where I’d find the money to pay for said trip, if I’d be able to take time off work to do this jet-setting, or even if I’d have two kids, but it always seemed to work out perfectly in my mind.
Flash forward to today.
My daughter is ten, my son is eight and we just came back from a trip around the world.
Okay, no we didn’t. But over the course of the year we did visit 3 continents, 6 countries, 10 states and about a dozen cities. Some of the places we visited with my husband, and part of the trip I drove the kids by myself on a ten day trip across the country, because I’m crazy.
All of our travels were nerve-wracking and thrilling and I truly feel like I’ve lived out my dream despite friends and family scratching their heads at me.
I’m going to document our adventures on my blog ShesLosingIt.com (pretty appropriate name for the past year, no?) and YouTube channel about all the cities we visited and what we studied along the way, and I’m also going to turn this into a book because I’m old school like that.
My hope is that some mom or mom-to-be will read it and be encouraged to give the non-conformist homeschool path a try, even if only for a short time. Even if homeschooling is not your thing, I’m also hoping that my tales of travel will spark some interest in you visiting the world, and realizing that it can be done a) with kids and b) on a limited budget. And since I’m also a personal trainer/bikini competitor, I’ll be throwing in occasional fitness tips.
So by buying this book (which I haven’t written yet,) you’re actually getting three books for the price one: “How to Homeschool 101”, “How to Travel Around (Some Of) The World with Kids in a Year” and “Fitness Tips for Tourists”.
Honestly, I don’t see myself homeschooling forever because teaching my kids high school chemistry at our kitchen table seems dangerous, but for now we’re making incredible memories that can’t ever be taken away – no worksheets required. (But do get immunizations for your kids. Seriously.)
Here is the first video about our trip:
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Lisa Traugott is a personal trainer, Mom’s Choice Award writer, original cast member of FOX/John Cena’s “American Grit” and has a monthly fitness column on Bowflex.com. She won Ms. Costa Rica Sports Model 2017 and her transformation story was featured in Muscle & Fitness Hers, Good Day Austin, Great Day Houston and Texas Monthly. She blogs at ShesLosingIt.com and is passionate about her clients.
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