We have been living abroad for almost four years worldschooling our four children. We moved to Mexico in 2013 from the USA. Our goal was to live a simple life, spend time together as a family, stay healthy, and put our Bible ministry in the forefront of our lives. So far we have been able to meet these goals. It is not always easy and we still have challenges but we are happy and thriving.
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Living abroad as expats is a rewarding lifestyle. One of the rewards is being able to practice worldschooling. What is worldschooling? In my mind, worldschooling does NOT have anything to do with politics. On the contrary, for us worldschooling means displaying love for people of all nationalities, experiencing lands near and far, discovering adventures big and small, and developing an appreciation for the beautiful differences we find in every culture and land.
Here are 10 ways we are worldschooling in Mexico, although I am pretty sure most of these ideas can be attempted anywhere you and your family live :-)
Learn a Foreign Language
This was the first time we rode the bus together as a family in Mexico and our first Spanish Bible assembly in Mexico. I was amazed at how well the kids behaved despite listening to an eight-hour program that was not in their native language. The Mexican friends were very welcoming and even shared their lunch with our family. I guess they thought that our simple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches would not fill our bellies! It was definitely a loving experience. (Note: You can also learn sign language. That counts too!)
Don’t be Afraid to Explore Your Surroundings
Our Bible ministry offers us a variety of adventures. We meet new people and animals, visit homes of all shapes and sizes, and occasionally cross pedestrian bridges over city creeks. We have lived and preached in two cities in Mexico, Morelia and Uruapan. Morelia is large and modern, mixing the old with the new. Uruapan is medium-sized, located in a valley with lush green mountains on all sides. They are both lovely cities in their own way and the local folk are just beautiful.
Experience the Beauty and Power of the Nearest Ocean
Our nearest ocean is the Pacific. We are a three-hour drive from the beach via a curvy road with pretty scenery. These photos are from a trip to the Mayan Rivera in 2014. It was an exhausting 18-hour drive from our home in Michoacan, worth every minute in the truck. Tulum has the most beautiful blue waters I have ever seen! Take your kids to the ocean. Let them play in the sand. It will be an experience they will never forget. And after all, oceans do cover 71% of the Earth’s surface!
Visit the Oldest Part of Town and Admire the Architecture
Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico is one of the most beautiful cities in Southern Mexico. It is the crown jewel of the state of Michoacan. The Cathedral is several hundred years old and the architecture is amazing. There is something to be learned from this. Hundreds of years ago workers did not have all the high-tech power tools and machinery that we have today. They built these grand old places with their hearts and their hands. Now that shows skill and strength of character! – While you are there you can chase the pigeons too. Your kids will love it!
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Find Your Own Natural Wonder of the World
Grutas Tolantongo is out of this world! It should be a natural wonder of the world! This hot spring river begins as a waterfall flowing from a large cave and a sauna-like tunnel. Then it heads downstream through a series of blue, warm pools. It’s located in a hidden valley in Hidalgo, Mexico. Find your own natural wonder, wherever you live. We drove five hours to find this one. What a treasure!
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Take in the Sights on a Family Road Trip
Never underestimate the power of family road trips. Guanajuato is a colorful mining city in the mountains of Mexico. Playing on the steps of an abandoned stone church, (because we got lost), and winding through the maze-like paths of the downtown area, made for fun family memories. Get out and see the world. Family road trips are adventures in every country!
Climb a Hill, a Mountain, or a Volcano
Do you want to show your children how small and big the world is at the same time? Go up! From way up high, people look like ants and you can see land for miles around. It is a grand sight for young eyes. It will teach them humility and open their mind to endless possibilities. This mountain, (Or possibly an ancient volcano. We aren’t for sure…), offers the best view of Uruapan. Hiking this mountain was good exercise for mom and dad too!
Make Friends with Furry Critters and Hairy Giants
This horse ranch was a favorite spot for our family when we lived in Morelia. We always left feeling happy after spending time with these hairy giants. Animals don’t have boundaries of love or affection. They don’t see skin color and they speak every language. I have always loved animals and I want my kids to feel the same. Animals have a lot of lessons that they can teach us. Love is only one of them.
Immerse your Family in an Ancient, Lost City
Palenque is a Maya city complete with pyramids, temples, burial tombs, a palace once fit for a king, and a gorgeous waterfall. It is located near the border of Belize in Southeast Mexico. Perhaps you will never visit a lost city in person but you can explore a few of them at home via the Internet. Lost cities are a humble reminder of man’s imperfections and limitations. What was once a grand and majestic city teeming with human life, is now only a home to wild animals. We are all subject to imperfection and limits, no matter what country we hail from.
Teach Them by Example – Have No Fear
Sometimes being different is good. Set the example. Don’t be afraid to be weird, to have adventures, to travel, to explore, to visit new places, and to discover new things. Don’t be afraid to love people and lands all over the world. Variety adds spice to life. Can you imagine living in a world of black and white? How dull it would be without the colors of the rainbow! Raise a worldschooler. Most importantly, by example. Have no fear, Mom and Dad! Or at least don’t let it control you ;-)
Do you need a refresher? Here are 10 ways you can worldschool too :-) In list form, just to make it easier for you to remember and put into practice ;-)
- Learn a foreign language
- Don’t be afraid to explore your surroundings
- Experience the beauty and power of the nearest ocean
- Visit the oldest part of town and admire the architecture
- Find your own natural wonder of the world
- Take in the sights on a family road trip
- Climb a hill, a mountain, or a volcano
- Make friends with furry critters and hairy giants
- Immerse your family in an ancient lost city
- Teach them by example – Have no fear
Have more ideas for worldschooling? Share with us and drop them in the comments below. Signing off in Mexico, Tina
Originally published August 24, 2017
A ridiculous amount of coffee was consumed in the process of creating this project. Add some fuel if you'd like to keep me going ;-) Gracias!