I didn’t take the decision to send Athena to school lightly. She’s only five years old but she’s traveled the world with me and learned so much along the way. She is outspoken, friendly, compassionate, and she doesn’t see the color of your skin as anything but beautiful. She’s been parasailing, panning for gold, roller coaster riding, hiking, sledding, horseback riding, paddleboarding, and surfing in California, snorkeling in the Caribbean and Thailand, skiing in Austria, California, and Canada, drum dancing in Greenland, sailing in Thailand and California, rock climbing in Canada, and ziplining in Canada and Costa Rica. She practices different languages in each new country and she sees the world with wonder and joy. She may not remember it all but it has already shaped her into part of the person she will hold on to for the rest of her life. This year marked D-Day (decision day) for us. Would she go to public school and travel less? Or would we continue to travel the world and homeschool? I decided to send her to school after years of careful consideration. Here’s why.
Athena is a very social child. I’m proud that everyone on our street knows her well. She takes the time to talk to people and get to know them. She asks about their children and their pets as if they are family. When I asked her if she wanted to go to school, she was bursting with excitement. She wanted the chance to make stronger connections with other children and learn from them.
I was never overly concerned with the education aspect. At five, Athena is already reading and writing, she knows geography better than most adults, she’s counting, adding and subtracting, and she analyzes problems, she demonstrates a strong understanding of culture and world view, and she explores movement and active living.
I was concerned that she never had continuous interaction with other children. She’s an only child and most of her time was spend with adults. That has enhanced her language skills and obviously didn’t affect her social skills but now is the time that she should be learning from her peers and school gives her a consistent schedule that I couldn’t offer her on the road.
Maybe next year or the year after or even the year after I will see it differently and we can continue our life of travel but this morning when I walked her to the school bus and she played with the other kids, I knew I made the right choice for now. We still plan to explore the world and visit new countries. We went to Greenland and Iceland late month. It will just be on a more scheduled basis.