For the Love of Learning Episode #11
Road Schooling – Modern Day Nomads
Monday April 13, 2015 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm EST
Tuesday April 14, 2015 1:00 am – 3:00 am BST
Cristian Florin Ivan
Jennifer Myrick Sparks
This week, we will explore road schooling with 3 panelists representing Europe, Australia and the US. Roadschooling is a growing trend in which families pack up their belongings and hit the road to take a trip of a lifetime. Rather than teaching what is dictated by textbooks or curriculum, many families teach their children based on where the road takes them. Roadschooling follows a more hands-on approach to learning. Families use the landmarks and attractions available as a means for educational exploration. Roadschoolers traditionally travel in some kind of a portable home granting the freedom to travel while always having a base.
Bios of Tonight’s Guests:
Carolyn Sasek was raised in a small town in Northern California (USA) and has found that through those roots has come a sense of community that is an integral part of the fabric of her personality and lifestyle. Drawing from a multitude of life experiences in her approach to home teaching, Carolyn embraces this adventure called “Roadschooling” more as an eclectic unschooler.
Now in their ninth year of living a nomadic lifestyle, Carolyn, along with husband Rich and youngest son Ian, enjoy opportunities to share glimpses of their life experiences of their family adventures around the United States. She and her family will be sharing at the Unschoolers Waterpark Gathering in Sandusky, OH, this May and then embarking on a very special cross-country adventure this summer – – “F.L.A.M.E. Tour: Finding Lost America Memories Everywhere!”
FLAME Tour will include not only visiting well known historical places, but lesser known historical spots too! Carolyn is excited that a special portion of the tour will focus on her son seeking and sharing intergenerational interview opportunities. The Sasek’s will be supporting Alzheimer’s (alz.org) along the way… So much going on!! Stay tuned!!
Carolyn loves being a resource to others, as evidenced by her group NomadicMama (along with several other Nomadic groups) on Facebook. A current focus by Carolyn and her husband are collaborations to evolve the Nomadic groups into “Nomads-R-Us” a global community resource to “Connect. Encourage. Support” those choosing a location independent lifestyle anywhere in the world.
She hopes that you will draw much from her sharing to excite, and incite, your family to truly embrace and enjoy the journey … near or far! For more information about FLAME Tour sign up to receive updates @ nomads-r-us.com/flametour, as the website is still under construction, but will be live very soon!
FLAME Tour Blog: nomads-r-us.com/flametour/blog (main website: nomads-r-us.com) Twitter: @nomadsrus Family blog: nomadicjesters.us
FLAME Tour: https://www.facebook.com/NRU.FLAMETour
Cristian Florin Ivan
Both Cristian his wife used to work full-time in Germany, his wife teaching French and took care of other people’s children, while their own children were in kindergarten being educated by complete strangers. So they thought that they should make a change in the order of things. Traveling seemed like the perfect solution, so they started travelling overland in a camper van from Europe to India while the kids were 1 and 4, followed by a trip through Western Africa.
Now you can find the Ivan’s travelling through the Middle East and do not intend to stop anytime soon. The Ivan Family is in a permanent transition.
The kids were schooled for two weeks ( if that counts as schooling) and then they were homeschooled for 2 years. Now the family has reached a new stage in their development where unschooling is replacing homeschooling. Cristian says, “This was the natural development in our last five years as full-time world travellers as a consequence of studies and books we have read about self-directed learning but above all according to our observations on our kids. During their learning experiences we came to the conclusion that learning only happens when it is based on motivation, passion, interest and never as a result of using external force be it punishment or reward.”
Having 3 different nationalities (French, Romanian, German), all family members are polyglots. In addition to that, the study and learning of other languages became a passion and a hobby for the whole family. They sometimes call themselves languages collectors. Travelling to so many countries facilitates following this hobby quite a lot.
Below is a documentary made about their their latest project, Iran is Great! which chronicles their 5 months of travel through the country. Now they are on route back to Europe with the idea to change the public opinion about this beautiful country their whole family has fallen in love with.
Jennifer Myrick Sparks
Jen is a full-time worldschooling mom who willingly left her 25-year career in the aerospace engineering field for her latest traveling adventure. She and her husband, Witt, have traveled together on 6 continents, but it was a year-long trip from London to Cape Town, South Africa, 11 years ago that really gave them the insight that travel as a lifestyle was truly possible.
Now they travel with their 6-year-old son, Quinn, as they explore the Americas in their camper van. They have discovered that traveling as a family is much different (and more challenging) than traveling was as a couple. Nearly 2 years into this adventure, they are still experimenting with what works and what doesn’t for their family and situation.
While they were working to save up for their trip, their son attended a truly outstanding Montessori school (from ages 2-1/2 to 4-1/2). He made some amazing friends there and it was difficult to pull him away. They currently aspire to the unschooling approach but they have made some exceptions along the way. Like the rest of life, they find learning to be an adventure that is best taken one day at a time.
As part of their travels the Sparks family also volunteers with The Muskoka Foundation and The Foundation For Learning Equality to provide the high-quality educational Khan Academy videos by installing the KA Lite software in communities that do not have access to consistent, reliable and affordable Internet.
Sarah is a mum raising 7 children while living in a bus travelling Australia. Her children range in age from 5 years to 18 years. She has always homeschooled and fully intended to follow a mainstream style. However, her oldest had other ideas! After one term of school at home and her totally turned of any book work, we relaxed and slowly headed into unschooling land!
Her travels have been an extension of schooling with a more practical hands on education. The girls (and now also her son) have been involved in taking a school bus from well, school bus to motorhome – twice!
As a family they are passionate about social justice and helping in a small way where possible even if that is taking a photo with slogans and posting on FB or signing petitions.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wheeleducation
As always, you can find out more about your host, Lainie Liberti at her website RaisingMiro.com and the alternative education & world schooling project she runs with her teenage son at: ProjectWorldSchool.com. You can also connect with her on twitter @ilainie & facebook.
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