Culinary Worldschooling: When Kids Travel, Learn and Cook

We sold everything we owned and pulled our children out of their excellent private schools to “wander” the planet aimlessly in search of adventure.
09/28/2016 01:25 pm ET Updated Oct 05, 2016

When my husband and I decided to sell everything and pack up our lives to travel the world for the next 3 years (and home-school our 2 children), I felt the nagging need to make sense of it all.

What are we doing? What is this called? How will we explain this to my family and friends?

Those were just a few questions that formed in my mind as we began our culinary worldschooling travel planning. Who sells everything they own, pulls their children out of excellent private schools to “wander” the planet aimlessly in search of adventure?

I mean, wasn’t the life we were leading adventurous enough?

So, me being my usual self, I felt the need to come up with a life plan to justify what we were about to do. It wasn’t until we were on the road, somewhere in Amsterdam, when I figured it all out.

You see, up until that point, we were just schooling the kids via their iPads. Downloading apps to help with Math and Reading, and extra curriculum activities being drawing, nature walks, exploring the cities we visited, and journaling their experiences along they way.

Because we lived in an RV part-time we had to shop for groceries almost every other day. We’d make a meal plan for the week and “try” to stick to it.

At first, the kids would help with the shopping and cooking because they had to. But over time, as they got more involved in the shopping process, they eventually wanted to know more about cooking and that’s when I realized that by teaching my kids to cook, I could leverage their eagerness to learn and turn it into something wonderful and educational!

Culinary Worldschooling has become the basis for everything we do when it comes to teaching our children. Culinary literally means “cooking” or “to cook,” and Worldschool can be defined as schooling through world-travel. We take it a bit further by cooking foods from around the world.

A typical school day looks something like this:

  • Decide what’s for lunch or dinner (decision-making skills, consensus, cooperation)
  • Find recipes and write down ingredients (research, hand-writing)
  • Shop for ingredients at the grocery store (budgeting, weighing, measurements, counting)
  • Prep meal and cook (hand/eye coordination, organization, focus, safety, measurement)
  • Serve and clean (acts of service, chores)
  • Journal about experience (memory, creative writing, hand-writing, drawing)

It could last anywhere from two hours, two days or sometimes even two weeks, depending on the topic. When the kids were in Spain they wanted to make Pan Con Tomate, which lead to one of the biggest culinary world-schooling projects we worked on.

First we learned about the history and variety of tomatoes (there are hundreds), the different styles of tomatoes used for certain cooking, and finally all the different dishes that use tomatoes. The learning expanded and went in all kinds of directions just from a simple request for a lunch-time snack.

Though our way of teaching is different from most, my husband and I revel in the fact that both children are learning an important life skill, one they need to learn to survive in the world.

Knowing how to cook!

The fact is they are learning and we are educating, and that’s all that matters.

Originally posted on Pint Size Gourmets, here.

Follow Wendy and her foodie family as they travel the world finding kid-friendly things to see, do and eat! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest.

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