We put our website address on our mobile home for a reason: We invite people to inquire about us, our journey and the background of our journey. We want to answer questions. And questions there are! One of the most frequent ones is: Don’t your children have to go to school?
No. For a year or more, Luca and Lou are off school. And they learn a lot in that time: They get to know other countries, other people, other cultures, other ways of life. They expand their horizon.
So what about the school curriculum? Well, we see to it that Luca and Lou regularly write, read and do maths: They write postcards to their friends at home. They read brochures of the places we visit. They calculate how much the coffee we drink at the Croatian beach bar would cost in Switzerland (14 Kuna : 7 = 2 Swiss Francs). This allows them at the same time to learn that other countries have different currencies and different prices. Also, they are allowed to google every question that occurs to them during the trip. Where are we? Why did they fight here during World War One? Why is the sea salty? Is the huge butterfly we saw really a butterfly or a moth? What is the difference between the two?
The only challenge lies in our own reactions that sometimes occur. When we worry, for example, when 21:7 results in 4 or is impossible to calculate for Luca in the first place. These situations only lead to one thing: Us reflecting ourselves, our expectations and our own conditioning. We learn to let go of these.
To learn from experience and be lead by interest: This is our motto. That means that we consciously do not follow the regular school curriculum. The German neurobiologist Gerald Hüther expresses exactly our philosophy when he says:
„You could ask yourself what is more important for your child: To have an education that helps him or her to live a happy life? Or an education that helps him or her to be successful? That is not the same! People who are extremely sucessful are often presented to us as shining examples. But few of them succeed in staying successful for a long period of time. (...)
So parents have to decide: If their child should be successful, they need a good school education. If their child should be happy, they need a good formation. This can not be learnt at school, but in daily family life.“ (You can read the highly informative interview here in German.)
In our view, leading a successful life is leading a happy life. In this sense, we close this blog with another quote by Prof. Hüther: „The most important task parents have today is to save their children from the pressure that is put upon them by society.“
We are doing our best.
PS: The canton of Bern, where we lived, leaves parents the responsibility for their children. It has home schooling friendly regulations. If a family is on the road for more than three months, like in our case, things get even easier: All you do is write a letter to the headmaster and sign out of school. That's what we did. Yes, we were lucky. But honestly: Stricter regulations would not have stopped us. Where there is a will, there is a way.
PPS: In the beginning of this year, I was happy to interview Prof. Gerald Hüther on the power of words and an appreciative communication between parents and their children. You can watch it here (in German).