Can you legally take your kids out of school to travel?
Yes as long as the child’s needs are being met.
In the UK: “You must make sure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5, but you do not have to follow the national curriculum.”
Local council step in only if there is a welfare concern, once they are deregistered from school (ask your head teacher) how you educate your family is your choice and responsibility. Don’t worry though, there is a huge amount of support, communities and resources available to match your needs.
Should you take your kids out of school?
School is a fantastic resource, but it’s a resource.
It’s a means to an end.
WHY do you send your child to school?
If you are taking them out of school, WHY?
What do you want your child to get from their childhood?
- To give them a good childhood?
- To help them be the best version of themselves?
- To read and write?
- To prepare them for a job?
- To give them space to develop social skills?
There are no right or wrong answers.
You don’t have to know 100% or even get it right the first time.
You have the opportunity, and the right, to explore what’s best for your kids and your family.
The best way to learn is to make mistakes and experiment
Find the right way for you.
Try this exercise:
AIM: what should the outcome of childhood be?
Objectives: What needs to happen in order to achieve that aim?
If you had all the time and money in the world, how would you achieve the above?
Now ask your family the same question family.
Don’t go for the easiest option or be swayed by what the neighbours will say.
Do your kids want to leave school?
Travelling is amazing! It’s also intense and scary.
It’s not something that has to be all or nothing, the best thing about the time financial and geographical freedom we talked about in the last post is that there’s room for everyone’s ideas and passions
If you tell your kids you are leaving everything they know and love behind (including school) and they don’t get a choice, chances are there’s going to be some resistance.
You may even create some long-term resentment.
When leaving school some parents feel they are saving their kids, others feel they are robbing them, and most feel both. That catch-22 is just part of being a parent.
Travelling is just one opportunity, one objective. Travelling can give you a great family experience.
Part of the travel experience is to give all of you the freedom to explore, make mistakes and try new things.
There is no correct way of doing it. Only your way.
Let your kids decide what they want to try, and facilitate it. It’s not like moving house.
It’s not an ultimatum so make sure they know they can come back to school if they want.
When we first went travelling we were worried that coming home felt like failing.
What a load of rubbish, sometimes we want to come back, we’ve always said if the kids say they want to go to school we’ll find a way to facilitate it.
One of the things I’m exploring while we travel is small holding and permaculture. Thta probably what I’ll choose to focus on if we ever need to settle down.
Let them know travelling is going to be about letting them explore and share their interests first-hand.
Education is not something that should stop at 18. You’re there to learn with them
Do other people do it, and how?
There is no right or wrong way to educate, do what’s right for your family and your individual kids.
That said it’s great to get some inspiration and some ideas from others.
We’ll be sharing some of what we do as well as introducing you to other families, resources and institutions
There are four basic approaches, some are loose collective terms others are quite dogmatic.
Homeschooling– structured subject based lessons more or less following the curriculum.
Home education– following a child’s own interests loosely based on Steiner principles.
World education – “make the whole world your school, not school your whole world” Immersing yourself in everything and learning through first-hand experiences.
Is there support?
The school were incredibly supportive when we left, however legally once you deregister they have no jurisdiction or responsibility to your child or you.
We didn’t realise how much of a community there is.
We just did what we thought was best for our family at the time.
There are actually loads of people who’ve been doing this stuff for years.
We’re planning on going to a world school meet-up.
Families congregate at different locations around the world and share resources and give kids a chance to socialise with loads of others.
What’s nice is you can take what works for you and leave what doesn’t.
There’s nothing wrong with mainstream curriculum, Steiner schools, and home ed groups.
But trying to make them work as stand-alone solutions and businesses inevitably means things get institutionalised, and stagnant.
Do it your way.
In case we haven’t made it abundantly clear
There is no right or wrong.
Try different things.
Find your own way.