We are homeschoolers, we learn at home instead of in a brick and mortar school. I would also classify us as unschoolers, our lifestyle facilitates child led learning and exploration. Those two terms are becoming more mainstream, but there’s a new group of learners taking the world by storm (quite literally!).
Worldschoolers are people that learn from the world around them, and this can be accomplished in many different way. Some families prefer slow travel and spend many months or years in their new home away from home, some do short trips abroad and return to a home base, or some spend a short amount of time in a new area and then move on to the next. Some families have sold their house and belongings and packed up their clothes to hit the road, while other families like ours are still planning out their future world travels but use every opportunity locally to learn more about the world around us.
I love road trips and can’t wait to travel internationally with my family, exploring ancient ruins, famous landmarks and museums, and fully immersing ourselves in local culture. But the reality is we’re still tied to jobs in our home city and until we can break away from that, our travel is limited to weekends away and week or two week long vacations.
Thankfully we live in a city that is a cultural melting pot and where festivals are plentiful (Edmonton isn’t nicknamed the Festival City for nothing!). From the Flying-Canoe Volant (celebrating French Canadian, First Nations and Metis traditions) during the dark winter nights, to the many summer festivals including Taste of Edmonton (a showcase of local cuisine as well as international food), Heritage Festival (a long weekend highlighting over 60 countries along with fabulous ethnic food, dance, and traditional clothing) or Cariwest (celebrating Caribbean culture), there are plenty of opportunities locally to learn about the world’s people and cultures.
Aside from the many wonderful festivals, there are other opportunities to learn about the diversity of our city and people. We have taken in the Chinese New Year celebrations and lion dances offered in Chinatown and throughout the city. Last year we also had the opportunity as homeschoolers to tour various places of worship including a Islamic Mosque, Buddhist Temple and Sikh Temple. All were very welcoming and gave us a free guided tour. Also, local attractions like the John Walter Museum and Fort Edmonton Park offer us a glimpse of the past and what life was like for early settlers in the area, many of whom immigrated from Europe.
One day we will hit the road and not look back, but till them we will squeeze every bit of culture and world learning out of our local city. We crave the knowledge and are awed by the beauty of the world and the smiling faces that want to share it with us.