Travel for Unschoolers? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-23-2011, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Where and how do you like to travel with your unschoolers? My girls (5 and 7) and I are getting the itch again to *go* and *do*. We've talked about spending a few weeks in Asia, to making a few hours' car ride to Chicago. Both are still up for consideration, but we'd love to hear from other unschoolers who've traveled, what you liked, what you didn't, what was well suited and what wasn't.


Thanks in advance!

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#2 of 13 Old 05-24-2011, 06:09 AM
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Well, DS gets extremely car-sick, so that's really cut down on the amount of traveling we've done.  So far, we only travel by car (less expensive than flying and renting a car), so maybe once a year we end up driving hours and hours, usually to witness weddings of family members and friends.  However, we have managed to squeeze in a few vacations, too.  We tend to hit up at least one museum (of science or natural history) or aquarium or botanical garden wherever we go b/c we all enjoy it.


DH loves going to the beach in the summer, so two years we've gone to Myrtle Beach, SC.  DS likes to throw sand in the water (he's 6).  One year we went to Williamsburg, VA (well, we actually paid admission to Jamestown, but the hotel we stayed at was in Williamsburg).


We tend to travel during the school year when most kids are still in school (the advantage of heading south in May--it's actually warm at the beach), which helps cut down on the crowds (which we really hate to deal with).  It's nice having the freedom to get up and go whenever we want to (since DS and I aren't tied down to a schedule), but we do have to allow for DH's work schedule--if he's mid-project, we night have to wait a while.

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#3 of 13 Old 05-25-2011, 12:05 PM
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We unschool our boys and are preparing for travel on a very big scale.  We are selling our house and going to slow travel through Asia for about two years.  Our goal is to "worldschool" them.  Really immersing ourselves in the culture and settling down in the places we love for a few months at a time.  If you are interested you can check out my blog.  It is a mix of travel and unschooling.

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#4 of 13 Old 05-27-2011, 06:57 AM
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We are museum hounds.  We'll go anywhere for a museum.  We just did the Smithsonian (4.5 hours by car.)  We do want to do the travel-the-world thing in 5 years, but are currently only in the "get-money-in-order" phase.  Since we own our own business, we have to get it more self-sustaining.

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#5 of 13 Old 05-27-2011, 02:15 PM
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I'd love to travel a lot but since traditional travel is expensive we've started with visiting friends and family and camping. We're lucky to have people from Maine to Seattle to visit in the US. In the next few years we hope to get out and visit friends in Brazil, Australia and England. Even if we're not staying with them they usually know someone who has a place to borrow or rent.



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#6 of 13 Old 05-27-2011, 03:54 PM
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I have mixed feelings about travel. In one way I'd love to live a nomadic life with my family, seeing all sorts of interesting people and places, experiencing more of the richness that the world has to offer, letting the winds of inspiration and serendipity blow us where they will.


On the other hand, my kids have really benefitted from being (and wanted to be) firmly rooted to their home and their community. They have strong ongoing relationships with teachers and mentors here, with cohorts of people engaged in co-operative pursuits like orchestral music, choral singing, community projects and activism, with the land, our gardens, the animals we raise, the long-term projects we've been able to engage in. 


Travel is great at instilling a big-picture view of things ... but so is long-term involvement in community. 


Our compromise has been small stints of family travel within North America when the kids are young, and more intensive travel experiences as teens. Ds14 will be spending time in Cuba next year, eldest dd went to rural SE Asia for a couple of months when she was 14/15.



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#7 of 13 Old 06-20-2011, 07:23 PM
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I think the most important thing is to figure out how your kids like to interact with the world and what you would all enjoy. I can't recall a vacation anywhere that was a flop, but I always research a lot ahead of time. We live just outside Memphis, TN, so I can tell you what is cool here and what's not. The zoo here is awesome, lots of animals in healthy enviornments grouped according to geographic region. The river boat tour of Memphis was kind of depressing,(the history of Memphis isn't exactly happy, the Blues were invented here for a reason) but dd thought it was cool to ride the boat anyway. Graceland was not really fun for kids. The pink palace is a pretty good museum, and our children's museum is great for the younger set (under 8). The local food is pork barbaque, which is pretty kid friendly. the botanical gardens here Have a great children's garden.

Writing this, wouldn't it be cool if everyone on here reviewed their home town as a field trip for homeschoolers?
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#8 of 13 Old 06-20-2011, 08:39 PM
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We live in Australia, so we are miles away from anywhere LOL, and DH and I have travelled the world extensively before we had children. It will be our gift to our children to show them as much of the world as we can.

That is our mindset though...

I would be in my bliss living a completely nomadic life forever, whereas as much as DH likes to travel he likes to come home and have a base as well.

Now that DS is turning 2 we are starting again. We have been travelling ALOT domestically since both children were born, but in 2012 we are off again! And then the plan is to go somewhere overseas at least once a year and continue domestic travel at least once a year as well.

We also plan to live abroad, my preference is Europe, for at least 12 months when DS is around 7 or 8 years old.

Every family is different. Travel is in my blood so it would be unnatural for me not to want to jump on plane and show my darlings the world.

Good luck and have fun with it.


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#9 of 13 Old 06-23-2011, 08:30 PM
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We do lots and lots and lots of camping.  Pretty cheap, gets us in nature, gets us away from technology.  We build fairy houses and boulder.  It's simple, but lovely.

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#10 of 13 Old 06-25-2011, 10:52 PM
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We just have an 18 month old, and will be homeschooling, and traveling is definitely on my future agenda.  However, I noticed you mentioned Chicago, we live in the suburbs of Chicago and are also natives of the city, so I thought I would tell you some great places to go for cultural experiences.


There are the popular museums by Sollider Field, which include: Shedd Aquarium, Planetarium, and the Field Museum.


The Museum of Science and Industry is about 15 miles south of downtown Chicago and is great for all ages.


During the Summer Millenium Park does free activities all day long for kids and adults everyday including weekends.


There are also many ethnic museums such as DuSable, Museum of Mexican Art and Polish Museum of America.


The History museum is also a great place as well as our two staple art museums which are Art Institute and Museum of Contemporary Art.


You can do many tours in the city, with just an ipod/ipad/iphone, most of them are free downloads in iTunes.  There are many neighborhood tours as well as architecture tours.  


There is so much to do in Chicago, you have to have an agenda and a budget!  Good luck on your travels!


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#11 of 13 Old 07-01-2011, 03:11 PM
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We have traveled all over in our camper. The kids love it. We visit small local history museums, monuments, national parks and other points of interest. It's been an incredible learning experience. We also have a home base now where they can be involved in their homeschool groups regularly but still RV part time.

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#12 of 13 Old 07-02-2011, 01:07 PM
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When my daughter was 1 we traveled for about 6 months through Florida and up to North Carolina.  We did a lot of camping and we stayed a few months with some friends.  We played music for extra money and were planning on video blogging our journey, but ended up having to take our video camera back.  We actually met a lot of traveling unschoolers, particularly a set of "boat schoolers". 


I consider myself to be an unschooler, and have since my first daughter was born.  We've been teaching her spanish, yoga, sign language, and a lot about nature, music and creativity since she was born, plus we were EC'ing. 


After those 6 months we drove across the county and stayed with the in-laws for about a month or two, then we stayed with DH's Grandma, the goal was to stay there about 6 months, but we stayed there longer than we needed to.  Interestingly enough there were so many places in our travels we wanted to stay longer that we didn't, the place we stayed the longest was also our least favorite place of visiting...ever.


Now we have 2 girls, almost 1 and almost 4.  The goal is to get our business self-sustaining, travel through central america and partially settle in S. America.  We want to sustain ourselves through travel, holding workshops/retreats where we visit, so we want to start doing that in CA first and then try the East Coast a little while before trying to go through Central/South America.  I've been fantasizing about the idea of biking through it.


We have a camper right now that we're prepping to travel with.

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#13 of 13 Old 07-04-2011, 01:06 PM
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I am closing in on the end of a month in Scotland. It's been wonderful. My older daughter spent three weeks in New Zealand before she was one. She is now three and has also traveled around the UK and been to Paris. That's with visiting five states. Yes, I think travel is one of the biggest benefits of unschooling. joy.gif

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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