Learning about different cultures in school is one thing. Experiencing these cultures first-hand is a blessing. Instead of seeing and imagining historical and architectural landmarks found on books, traveling families get an up-close look. Before you know it, your kids will fall in love with foods they can’t pronounce and have an understanding of different cultures that would make an anthropologist envious. While world travel in a private charter jet is an educational experience on its own, young people still need the educational basics. If it pains you to take the kids out of school to travel, consider one of these alternative school options for your jet-set family.
If your children thrive on routine and consistency, hire a private tutor who will develop lesson plans for each of your kids and travel with your family. This tutor can provide lessons during long flights and at hotels, vacation homes or wherever your family stays. By knowing about upcoming trips, a private tutor can educate your children about the area’s history and culture before they arrive.
Local Private Tutors
If a private airplane takes you and your family on international trips that last several weeks to several months, hire a local tutor to provide language lessons. Doing so will wonderfully complement your full-time tutor’s lessons. While your kids may not become fluent during their trip, they will have the advantage of learning about a new culture from an area resident. They’ll also learn enough of a new language to decide if it’s something they’d like to explore in the future.
Local School Enrollment
If you purchase a home in a different country and establish residency, local laws may require you to enroll your children in a public or private school if you’re in the country long-term while school is in session. An example of such a country is Spain, where homeschooling or education via private tutor is not widely accepted.
Most countries have private international schools that teach lessons in English. Young people from all over the world attend these schools, giving your children the opportunity to make friends with those who have diverse backgrounds. Usually, these schools teach the same courses as American schools, but also require students to take a language class that teaches the country’s primary tongue.
Private bilingual schools are also an option in most countries, but may be a difficult adjustment for your child if he or she doesn’t speak the local language.
If you or your partner is keen on teaching and helping with homework, or your kids are naturally self-motivated, an appropriate homeschool program might be a great academic option for your family. Homeschooling regulations vary by state, so you may need to file a notice of intent with the state’s department of education or your local school district. In some states, you may need to enroll your children in a cover school, private or public homeschooling program, a private school that allows for independent study or hire a credentialed private tutor.
One of the greatest advantages of homeschooling is the flexibility that it offers. Children get to learn at their own pace, and parents have structure over the school year. The National Home Education Research Institute reports that homeschooled children have average standardized test scores in the 87th percentile, while those in public schools have average standardized test scores in the 50th percentile. If you’re worried about homeschooling affecting your kids’ chances of getting into college, don’t. Ivy League universities frequently recruit and accept homeschool graduates as much as they do those who attend public or private schools.