Soooo… this wont be the most detailed home school  post, but I thought I should update regardless. I mean, I honestly didn’t even think to a post an update on our homeschooling because it’s been so whatever lately, but you guys have asked what we’re doing for school! So here we are 🙂 It’s like the vegan nachos…. people ask, then I post haha.

You know, I think it would be rad being one of those super organized teacher-like moms with planners, curriculum notebooks, semester plans, and all that jazz, but I’m not. And neither is Alex (not one of those super organized dads… and yes, obviously not a mom either). And maybe some people will be bothered by the fact that we’re homeschooling without these traits, but we’re not. We’re totally okay with how we home school Marlowe at this time. There are no organized itineraries and planners and no five-day a week meet ups or anything like that. And that’s okay. We’re sort of doing it our own way, in a way that fits our family. That’s not to say that we think the other way is wrong. I think the super organized home-school parents with loads of home-school meet ups are incredibly awesome, but it just doesn’t work well for our lifestyle… or our personalities either.

It wasn’t our intention, but I guess you could say we’re “un-schooling” Marlowe. Maybe it’s not completely traditional, but she’s learning everyday and that’s what is most important to us. And I guess you could even take it a step further and say that we’re “world-schooling” her too. We make sure that Marlowe has the basics down. We understand that she needs to learn the essentials to have a good core education. But we do want the focus of her every day learning to be on the world around her. On the day-to-day we focus on cultures, earth science (especially in regards to sustainability), and her moral attitude about the world around her (you know, being an open-minded, caring, and a good person. aka we don’t want to be a closed off a-hole).

And well, since we haven’t been home in over three months now, we do this while traveling on the road. Which also keeps the homeschooling supplies down to a minimum… with a focus on education based on the everyday world around her.  In our travels we’ve brought: a stack of reading books (and we’re buying new books all the time), a few workbooks, and basic school supplies (pens, pencils, plain paper).
Oh I should probably mention (if you weren’t sure), by her age and the US system, Marlowe is technically in first grade now. If I didn’t already make myself seem like a really on top of my game home school mom, well then let me tell you: I’m really not sure what most first graders are learning now. I can take a guess, but if I’m being totally honest with you guys, (which I obviously always am) I haven’t bothered to look it up. We feel pretty confident, or at least comfortable in what she knows right now and what she will learn this year.

If you guys follow my instagram stories, then you know we’re not worried about her reading at all. She’s pretty ahead of her age level in terms of reading. In the past month or so, she’s completed two Harry Potter books, two Roald Dahl books, and some other quick reads in between. That’s a lot of reading for any age group.

We also brought a few home school workbooks with us. We’ve brought a first grade math, language arts, and phonics book. Lately she’s been preferring the math book, but between you and me: it’s because it’s too easy for her. That’s not to say that she’s ahead in math (I don’t think she is), but the book seems to be focusing more on the basics (how to write numbers) instead of where I think she should be: double-digit addition and multiplication. The workbooks we are using now are: Spectrum and Harcourt Family Learning.

We don’t have a specific curriculum we follow for the workbooks. We just go into Barnes and Nobles every few months and scroll through a few books to see what we’ve learned and what we think we should focus on next. But for the most part we’ve stuck with these two brands. Super complex, I know.

Marlowe used to love the workbooks a lot more than she does now. She doesn’t completely despise them now, but I would say she actually enjoyed them before. Now she would prefer to read or do a more hands on activity. Which is how we teach anyway. Sure she definitely completes the work books, but instead of doing the math workbooks one day we might just play “a store game” where we have dollars and change and pretend to buy different items. She’ll tell me the bowl of food costs 6.95 (or however much) and then I hand her 14.50 and ask for change. And we do this back and forth forever with different objects and prices. No fancy school set up, just learning through (simulated) life activities.
We’re lucky that she’s seven. I don’t have to worry or over think things. I know that if she was older this would be a bit more complicated. That I would then have to worry more about keeping her “on track” for a basic school system. But now, at this age, I’m sure she’s fine. We can hit the basics while learning on the road. Because outside of the basics, Marlowe’s education is coming from her time in the real world. Away from a school desk, outside of a building, being engulfed by a variety of cultures and experiences. In the past year she’s explored so much in over a handful of countries. And now we’re off to explore France, Nepal, India, and more. Being  out in the world, exploring villages, towns, cities, monuments,  jungles, mountains… these are things she could hear about but never fully grasp without experiencing them first hand.

If time allows, I’m hoping to use this travel time away to merge more writing activities. She’s okay with writing, but I think she would enjoy it more if we could do pen-pal letters through the world. We’ll see how that goes.

One thing we’ve finally decided to do is download some home school apps. I can’t tell you how those are working out, because we literally just cleared out our iPad and downloaded them last night. But Marlowe did start doing a reading app today– I told her to get on and download her favorite books… and so far so good. She downloaded a bunch for the plane, and read a few and then got really excited when she learned she could take a test at the end of each book, haha. She took a test on Egyptian mummies today, so that’s cool.

I don’t know, we’ll see how it goes. Right now I really enjoy the fact that she always has a real book in her hand and is basically never on an iPad, but this seems like a nice add in for all the flights we will be on this year.

So yeah, that’s our home school deal at the moment. It’s really not fancy. She’s learning the basics (writing, math, reading, spelling, science, history, etc), but on the road. She’s always with a book in hand as she travels through the world. We might enroll her back in school next year, we might not. We have no idea. But now we are all enjoying education (and life) outside and through experience 🙂

Ps. if you’re a mom or an educator I would highly recommend reading this book 🙂 Great insight into the school system, both positive and negative 🙂 k bye!


  1. Madeline

    Hi Drea! I love reading about your travels around the world with Marlowe. I don’t have my own kids (yet), but I aspire to be an adventurous and brave parents if/when it does happen, and also hoping to travel a lot. I was curious if you could write about Marlowe’s friendships at some point? I work with elementary school kids and I feel like a big part of school is learning to socialize, as well as having other adults besides parents to listen to/look up to/etc. not just the actual material. You are such a thoughtful person, I’d love to hear what you have to say about this, and how you’re thinking about it with your own kid:) Cheers!

  2. Hey Drea, I LOVE this post! We homeschool out in Saskatchewan, Canada and my daughter is a week younger than Marlowe! For us here that puts her in second grade (cut off birthdate is December 31st if that makes sense). This is our second year homeschooling and I love it, it is totally the lifestyle I want to have and I dream of worldschooling (we are actually in Mexico right now). If you are still looking for penpals for Marlowe I think my daughter would enjoy that! She is also an avid reader and reads about a dozen chapter books a month. Love following all your adventures here on the blog and on Instagram (I’m @chantelklassen and @intentionalhomeschooling there).

  3. Would love for my daughter (9) and Marlowe to be pen-pals! We are from Argentina, they could even learn and practise each others languages! Hehe.
    Have fun on your trip!

  4. Hi! My daughter (Harlow) & I homeschool, too! It’s awesome! Mind if I ask the name of that reading app? I’m learning new stuff all the time being her “teacher”. 💕💕💕

  5. I’m a first grade teacher this year, and it sounds like you are doing a great job! Most important things that 1st graders need to learn is how to read and decode longer words (we focus on a lot of sight words and phonics patterns), understanding what they are reading and being able to explain it, and adding and subtracting. We also start to really focus on students being able to organize their thoughts in their writing.

  6. Looking at those workbooks gave me such a sense of nostalgia. I was home schooled from 1st-8th grade (really crappy public school in my town) and by the time I went to my private high school I was ahead in almost every class as well as much less stressed then all my fellow students since I didn’t have 8 prior years of extra homework:) my mom did a mix of different curriculum brands with a main focus on lots and lot of reading and real life scenarios like you guys so I’m sure Marlowe will keep excelling 🙂

  7. Just curious. What are the rules and regulations in Florida with respect to home schooling? Do you have to provide any information to the state? Is it monitored at all? I’ve heard of other home school parents having to provide lesson plans, test results, etc.

    • Andrea

      Florida is super superrrrr lax. we literally just had to sign our name on a paper, no lesson plans, no updates, nada.

  8. Getting really excited about taking a test on her reading? What a little nerd. I love it 😉 I was totally like her at that age too, always reading!