Our five days at the Project World School Family Summit have gone by so fast that it feels like it just started yesterday that it just started!
How did we find this Summit?
Let’s go back to a year ago; I was surfing the internet for inspiration and some help planning our trip around the world. I’m not sure how, but I found the Facebook group Worldschoolers. I started following the many threads. Daily, people were posting about traveling, meeting other world schoolers, worldschooling and unschooling (at the time, these concepts weren’t obvious), and so much more!
I started posting some questions as well in reference to our fast-approaching new adventure, hoping for some suggestions. I realized that some places felt a bit challenging to tackle without any form of direction. How helpful this group has been to us, I cannot say enough! As time passed, it became my go-to page when I had doubts about our adventure. I would just tell Mass, “I’ll ask in the group,” or tell him, “guess what someone asked the same questions!!!”. When someone else asked something that could be of interest to us as well, I would just keep on reading through the responses and, at times, request extra clarification. Yes, now Mass will tell me as well to ask in the group!
June 2018, we were off on our adventure!
As we were moving around, more dilemmas started coming up. Some related to our travels but most of all about homeschooling! We realized that our approach wasn’t fitting well with our new lifestyle. One night I couldn’t sleep; too many ideas were jumping into my head. As usual, I asked for recommendations on how people were home/worldschooling their kids while traveling and some tips on how to do it. The following day I had more than 20 comments! Many members of the group highly felt this different approach to schooling. They were all willing to help us. Those suggestions changed everything and opened our eyes to what we were doing wrong and how we should change it. I am so grateful for that post and all the fantastic responses. In a moment when we felt at a loss and alone, a whole community of strangers was ready to lend a helping hand. This is priceless!
As the months went by, I kept on seeing the post about the Project World School Summit. Incredibly I realized that we would be in Thailand on the exact dates. Mass and I decided that maybe we should try going; this group had been so helpful in the past months. It was time to meet some of the people that had been so helpful.
Off we went to Chiang Mai! We decided to trust our gut and our need to find a community of like-minded people who, just like we had, decided to live their lives differently from what is considered conventional. If the Facebook page was helpful, imagine talking to people!!!!
How was the Project World School Family Summit?
Here I am at the end of these fantastic five days, and all I can say is that I’m incredibly grateful to those who decided to start this group, this community of world-schoolers. We have never felt so united to perfect strangers as we have in these five days. Never have we trusted 150 people for five days sharing with them our fears, issues, doubts, successes, and joys. We never felt so free to be around people we didn’t know because race, religion, or political views were not blocking us.
We all had in common more essential things: our kid’s well-being, sharing the world with them, and a different approach to their education. All those other factors that are usually what block relationships when they come into play, and people are on different sides, never really came into play; they were not essential and not part of these five days; I feel that we adults were inspired by our kiddos on how to be with one another.
The kids never met each other but played like they had been friends for ages! My kids came home the first night talking about their “friends” like they had known them for years! They lived every day to the fullest, happy to be part of this great game. We, as parents, played our game in our adult circle, and at the end of the day, we felt refreshed by new ideas and new approaches and excited to spend the rest of the time together as a family.
What is Worldschooling?
Many might wonder what this term means; here is a short explanation from the Project World Schooling website:
” Worldschooling is the intentional act of viewing the world as one’s classroom. Through exposure to other cultures and worldviews, perspectives, and experiences, we can better understand the world we live in and by extension, understand ourselves.
For world schoolers, travel is the curriculum, and real-life experiences are the courses. The term “Worldschooling” was coined over a decade ago and has been used by thousands of families. Worldschooling has become an educational philosophy that combines each family’s educational style. There is no one single way to world school. All world schoolers have in common the desire to adopt worldly experiences (often in the form of travel) as inspiration to learn and go deeper.”
Worldschooling provides a “world-class education” to all facing the demands of a highly globalized world.
What is Project World School Family Summit?
This is a twice-a-year event in Spring in or around Mexico and in the Fall in or around Asia or Europe for world schoolers and by world schoolers. The Project World School Family Summit is a conference-style gathering for worldschooling, homeschooling, and unschooling families and those just curious. The families come together to share experiences, tips, and tricks about worldschooling, creating a community, and learning from one another. It is a great support system united by the common experience of traveling and educating our kids.
During these five days, we didn’t feel like we were listening to someone telling us what to do and how to do it, but rather a community united in trying to walk through this path together, sustaining each other. We have shared our personal skills (for example, a little SEO session for us bloggers) and experiences (other families worldschooling or unschooling) to help each other grow.
What are we taking away with us from these five days?
- What direction do we want to give our kids from an educational point of view now? We finally recognized what we were doing right and what we could improve or change.
- We realized that our adventure is evolving day by day. We are ready to experience also new ways of doing it…..
- We realized that we should not be afraid to ask for help. We should not be scared of telling our story. We are a community, and you never know who your experience will touch and maybe help as many helped us.
- We realized that we were not alone. Many people have made the same choice. They are happy with this different lifestyle and are willing to share help with us.
- We don’t care about being judged for our choices. We have created this little family; we will live together until they can walk independently and explore more.
- We are happy that we are finally really learning to know each other. We finally have time to see each other; we are finally a family 100%.
- We also witnessed great respect for the kids when they were noisy. We are all parents, and we have all been there! Everyone respected that we were at a conference and people were speaking, but it was also ok if toddlers sometimes ran around.
- We can happily confirm that experiencing the world is the best way for us and our kids to understand and live fully.
Once the summit was over, it was beautiful to see that we all still wanted to spend time together. Events had been planned in advance but others have been improvised in the last couple of days; what we have experienced in these 5 days has carried on! Today we still had a good time being together, for example, at the Bua Tong Waterfall!
We love that we are giving our kids the world as their classroom. Every country we visit is a new color on their palette of the adventurous life they are living.
UPDATE: We made some amazing connections after our fantastic time at the summit. We had a chance to visit Second Hand Ranch and Rescue (click to read about them) in Chiang Mai and do some mindful rock climbing in Krabi with Pierre; check out the post Mindful climbing with Pierre Echaubard. Both are world-schooling families that we met at the summit!
Click here to see more of our posts from Thailand!!!
Check out the lovely hotel we stayed at Feel Nimman Boutique!!