Looking on his Instagram account, it appears Michael Adamo, his wife, and five kids have been living the dream for the past year. World schooling their way around the globe, stopping off at 13 countries along the way, their collection of photos feature enough diverse and beautiful locations they’d send Sir David Attenborough into a jealous rage.
Looking at the globe-trotting family and their seven impeccable smiles, it’s easy to romanticise Michael’s choice to sell their possessions and ditch his career for the opportunity to turn their children into citizens of the world, but what’s the reality like? Is travel the greatest way to educate your kids? Or is travelling with five rug rats the best way to ruin a once-in-a-lifetime holiday? We spoke to Michael in Australia to find out.
A lot of people wouldn’t be brave enough to travel with their children for a year, let alone homeschool them along the way. Did you have any reservations?
We’ve always travelled with our kids, so I didn’t have any fears about that. I actually find travel more fulfilling with children, because you get to experience places through their eyes. I didn’t have fears about homeschooling either, but my confidence in that area was due to naivety. As it transpired, we had four really bumpy weeks, where the kids adjusted to dad as their teacher, and I learned how much preparation and patience it takes to really engage and educate children. Thankfully, we worked it out and we all felt pretty fulfilled by the experience.
Was getting to expose your children to the wider world and educate them by seeing different cultures a big motivating factor in planning your trip?
That was huge. We really wanted to open our kids’ minds and give them a sense of their place in the world. We hoped they would come away with a thirst for more knowledge and a confidence around travel, meeting new people and being outside your comfort zone. We also felt their childhoods were racing by and we wanted to spend a year together as a family.
Topics could be found anywhere – in markets, on beaches or in museums. For example, during our time in Uruguay we found a giant Rhea egg, while horseback riding.
Describe a good day of homeschooling.
The best homeschooling days were the ones inspired by our travels. Topics could be found anywhere – in markets, on beaches or in museums. For example, during our time in Uruguay we found a giant Rhea egg, while horseback riding. That discovery inspired a couple days of lessons, where we learned about the habits and life cycle of these giant flightless birds, native to South America.
What were the challenges of world schooling your kids?
Aside from patience and preparation, our most challenging days were when our environment wasn’t conducive to schooling. For example, our apartment in Tokyo was so small there really wasn’t anywhere we could open books and comfortably sit together to study. There was also some schlepping. We had to bring an extra suitcase with 20kgs of schoolbooks, journals, stationary, pencils, pens and art supplies.
What would you say to parents thinking of doing the same thing, even if it’s just a short trip away?
Definitely go for it. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of traveling with kids and don’t overcomplicate it. Kids are way more adaptable than adults. But take it slowly. Don’t try to see and do everything a city or country has to offer.