Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vacation Schooling

My family is currently on a well deserved two month vacation in Thailand. And during this vacation we have committed to "home" schooling the kids. I'd rather call what we are doing as "vacation" schooling. As the environment provided by being in another country, with another language and different culture provides many opportunities to take our children's regular curriculum and adjust it to our surroundings. The benefits and approaches available as we vacation school our children I see as follows;
  1. The benefit of taking the classroom outside
  2. Utilizing the many different K1 workbooks available at a different pace than a classroom with 24 other children
  3. Learning vicariously through the kids (traveling with kids opens doors otherwise not even available)
  4. Applying the lessons in both English and the local language (particularly, counting, math and polite social interactions)
  5. The ability to be more physical (particularly in having two active boys)
Lucas stacking chairs in Chiang Mai in both English and Thai.

related thoughts on global socio-political-economics
Our world is in the midsts of a global power and economic shift. I have no doubt about this and I often ask myself the best way to prepare my children for a world where the original G7 no longer hold the power and the money. And other countries (China, India and southeast Asia) are the future of the global economy. I often wonder how my North American children will compete with a billion strong reasonably well-educated multi-lingual workforce born out of the developing world. Well... if they can speak a language or two and understand the cultures from these regions, they may do fairly well. Time will tell...