It’s “back to school” time for the last time for a while.

Next September my kids won’t be posed outside my front door as they have been every year since the oldest headed off to pre-school.

September Rituals

The last "first day of school" picture for awhile

There won’t be new pencils and backpacks or the excitement and anxiety about who their teacher will be.  Next year will be different.

We’ll be miles away from home and I’m guessing that we’ll be feeling pangs of nostalgia for the simplicity of a September morning routine.

But while there won’t be a new classroom to visit, my kids will be learning.

It’s one of the aspects of our trip that seems to concern parents the most.   “What about their education? How will they keep up?”

It’s the least of our concerns.

The one thing we’ve known from the moment we started dreaming of this extended family trip was that their education wouldn’t suffer.

It’s true that my sons won’t have a scheduled day of 8-3 that includes, math, science, geography or french. (More on the specifics of our education plan in a later post) But, in my opinion, what they will have is just as good or better.

Instead of dictation they’ll be learning to pronounce the names of cities we’ll visit

Instead of math there will be currencies to convert.

Instead of English or French, an array of languages to dabble in.

Instead of recess they’ll have to navigate their way into new social groups in playgrounds and neighbourhoods a world away; coming to grips with cultural differences and finding ways to have fun in the moments when travel gets boring or tiresome or just too adult.

I have a heavy respect for teachers. I’ve had some phenomenal ones for my kids already and they’ve helped to shape them into the little road warriors that will be taking this trip with us next year. I’m not trying or hoping to replace them in my children’s lives. I’m just hoping the world will offer them other teachers, in other places with other ways of seeing things.

Eli Gerson refers to it as World Schooling. The idea that the planet has plenty to teach us and some of it just can’t be taught in school. I like the idea and if my kids come back as world scholars, I’ll be happy.

And for what its worth Ish and I are expecting to get an education as well.