Words by: Bridgett Wright
In 2014, I stepped away from my career and began transitioning my oldest child from public school to full-time homeschooling. Later that year, my husband received a job transfer to England. This launched our international worldschooling experience. Since we began homeschooling, we have lived in three countries while visiting various locations. We currently reside just outside of Tokyo, Japan with our four children.
From the beginning, we prioritized real-life experiences, building community, and purposeful travel. We did not want to live as foreigners and leave without embracing new experiences. Oftentimes, worldschooling is considered traveling from country to country, but it’s actually a very broad term. For my family, it involves interacting with people and places around us and from other parts of the world, as well as traveling to new locations. By connecting with so many people, we are naturally exposed to inclusive and diverse communities. This normalizes multiculturalism, cultural pride, and allows us to view things from different perspectives. Worldschooling allows us to engage within Global communities and step away from a single narrative.
Through our connections, we’ve also witnessed different approaches to education. This has empowered us to center learning around our children rather than curriculum or outside standards. Additionally, worldschooling has elevated our homeschool journey. When we are learning something new, we go out to find resources or individuals to learn from. This engages my children further as they are able to fully immerse themselves within the material. This can range from visiting historical locations to taking part in cultural celebrations. In turn, we are able to bring material to life literally making the world their classroom.
This lifestyle also allows us to examine how we view ourselves in the world. We are constantly connecting with others and experiencing complex Black narratives worldwide. Additionally, as we travel, I am intentional that we all seek information about those not represented in conventional stories. We continued this thirst for representation in our daily lives wherever we may be. This has broadened our self-awareness and pride as well as pushed our journey towards personal liberation. Worldwide, there are some similarities when it comes to racism, bias, and other forms of discrimination. In my experience, some countries approach these injustices more humanely, but overall, as humankind, there is work to be done. Through worldschooling and living abroad, we have developed an internal peace. We don’t fear for their lives or ours. We feel safe, seen, and redefining our own freedom. No place is a Utopia, but we are no longer simply maintaining, we are thriving.
Could worldschooling work for your family? In short, yes! Though, worldschooling looks different for each family. It is an amazing journey that is completely up to your family to customize. Whether your approach is full-time or part-time, abroad or closer to home, or any other variation, the experiences and connections made will create an invaluable change within you and your family.
Bridgett Wright is a homeschool mama raising four children with her husband just outside Tokyo, Japan. She loves to hike and all things nature. When she is not exploring a new trail, she is baking, gardening, reading, eating Korean food, and building community. She also enjoys writing about eclectic homeschooling, traveling, adventures in nature, and food journeys on Instagram and her upcoming blog.