It’s true, my life is forever ruined as a result of being homeschooled. Due to the freedom I had to learn from practically any location during my formative years, I now suffer from a pesky wanderlust that keeps me adding more and more countries and experiences to my bucket list each year. My family’s adventures all started before my homeschooling years, truth be told. My brave parents took me on an extended journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad when I was only a few years old, and they tell me I slept on the floor in the train bunk rooms without much complaining. Though I was too young to remember that ride, at least I have fun pictures to look back on like this one where we rented a van after finishing our journey on the Railroad and heading to explore Germany.
Thanks to my parents’ desire to teach English while sharing the Gospel, they moved our family to China when I was 5 years old. My homeschooling life started there, mainly out of necessity due to the lack of English schools in our area. There were a few other American families in our city, so it was nice being able to spend time with their kids to quell the feelings of homesickness that hit from time to time.
I’m so thankful for the opportunity I had to grow up in another country, and because of being homeschooled, the ability to travel and explore so many places throughout Asia. My cultural lessons included things like attending the Peking Opera, and adding some geography knowledge by taking a cruise on the Yangtze River. When not traveling, learning Mandarin was probably my most frequent and effortless “class” as I played with the local children!
In addition to being able to learn in a non-traditional setting, I love the flexibility that homeschooling affords you to set your own schedule. If it’s a nice day outside and you want to take a “field trip” to the park, you can do that and just work more on other subjects the next day. If your family is wanting to take a vacation during the week, you can take your schoolwork with you and not be tied to any physical location or timetable. Life was definitely flexible, but it wasn’t without oversight as I still had to take standardized tests each year. My Mom also had to turn in records of my performance to our state each month, but there was significant freedom to use the curriculum of our own choosing.
When we returned back to the US after living in China, my Mom continued to homeschool me until the 8th grade. I’m glad to have experienced both types of schooling to compare the pros and cons – the main reason I switched in 8th grade was to be able to play sports. I realize that homeschooling is definitely not the right fit for everyone, but if it does end up being what you choose for any period of time, rest assured your life will be forever “ruined” by a relentless pursuit of adventure, flexibility, and freedom to learn in the way that best suits your needs and personality.
About the Author
Hi! I’m Emily Adams, a military brat and missionary kid who decided to combine two of my biggest passions (travel and wellness) to create my blog, The Planking Traveler. Over the years, many of my trips have been ruined by my own sickness because I would throw “healthy” out the window once I left for vacation. Though everyone needs some time to indulge, I realized that being healthy is a lifestyle to embrace and not something to abandon while on the go. The goal of my blog is to share ways to thoroughly enjoy your travels in healthy and fit ways.