Our five days at the Project World School Family Summit have gone by so fast it feels like it just started yesterday that it just started!
How did we find this Summit?
Lets go back to a year ago, I was surfing the internet looking for inspiration and a bit of help in 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, about worldschooling and unschooling (at the time these concepts weren’t very clear) and so much more!
I started posting some questions as well in reference to our fast approaching new adventure, hoping in 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 it enough! As time went by it became my go to page when I had any doubt 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 ask extra clarification. Yes now Mass will tell me as well to just 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 in 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 next morning I had more than 20 comments! This different approach to schooling was highly felt by many members of the group. They were all willing to help us. Those suggestions changed everything, opened our eyes to what we were doing wrong and how we should change it up. I am so grateful for that post and for all the amazing responses. In a moment where we felt at loss and alone, a whole community of complete strangers were 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 were going to be in Thailand on the same 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 us had decided to live their lives a bit differently to what is considered conventional. If the Facebook page was helpful imagine actually talking to people!!!!
How was the Project World School Family Summit?
Here I am at the end of these amazing 5 days and all I can say is that I’m incredibly grateful to who decided to start this group, this community of worldschoolers. We have never felt so united to perfect strangers as we have in these 5 days. Never have we trusted 150 people for 5 days sharing with them our fears, issues, doubts, successes and joys. Never have we felt so free to be around people we didn’t know because, race, religion, political views were not blocking us.
We all had in common more important things: our kids 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 important and not part of these 5 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 at the fullest, being happy of being 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 Project World Schooling website:
“Worldschooling is the intentional act of viewing the world as one’s classroom. Through exposure to other cultures and worldview, perspectives and experiences, we can better understand the world we live in, and by extension we can understand ourselves.
For Worldschoolers, travel is the curriculum and real-life experiences are the courses.
The term “Worldschooling” was coined over a decade ago by Eli Gerzon, an unschooled young man who saw the world around him as the greatest classroom available. Gerzon started the Worldschoolers ™ Facebook Group as an extension of his unschooling advocacy.”
“There are many worldschooling styles and many ways families address education. Some families often times oscillate from one to several different styles of education, while other families are committed to a particular style for the duration of their children’s school years. There are no right or wrong ways to worldschool, only variations.”
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 worldschoolers and by worldschoolers. The Project World School Family Summit is a conference-style gathering for worldschooling, homeschooling and unschooling families and those who are just curious. The families come together with the purpose of sharing experiences, tips and tricks about worldschooling, creating a community and learning from one another. It si a great support system united by the common experience of traveling and educating our kids.
During these 5 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) as well as experiences (other families worldschooling or unschooling) to help each other grow.
What are we taking away with us from these 5 days?
- What direction we want to give our kids under an educational point of view now. We finally were able to recognize what we are doing right and what we can improve or change.
- We realized that our adventure is evolving day by day. We are ready to experience also new ways for doing it…..
- We realized that we should not be afraid of asking for help. We should not be afraid of telling our story. We are a community and you never know who your experience will touch and maybe help, like many helped us.
- We realized that we are not alone. There are many people who have made the same choice. They are happy with this different lifestyle and are willing to share help with us.
- We don’t care of being judged for our choices. We have created this little family and together we are going to live in this world until they are ready to walk on their own and explore more of it.
- We are happy that we are finally really are learning to know each other. We finally have time to see each other, we are finally a family 100%.
- We witnessed a great respect for the kids, also when they were a bit 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 sometimes toddlers were running around.
- We can happily confirm that experiencing the world is the best way for us and our kids to really understand and live fully in this world.
Once the summit was over it was wonderful to see that we all still wanted to spend some 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: After our amazing time at the summit we made some amazing connections. 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!