For us it basically means anything we like. Our education systems comprises of a mixture of the following:
Structured school - my 4 year old son goes to a European style daycare in Cusco, Peru from 9am until 1pm where he learns to read and write – currently in Spanish, my daughter enjoys summer school programs where she can sing and create as well as online art classes;
Homeschool - my 9 year old daughter opts for homeschool learning (usually 1-2 hours a day, 3-4 days a week) and we use websites like Time4Learning and Spelling City as a base for the core curriculum balancing it with YouTube videos and videos from BrainPop, etc;
Unschooling - we learn from situations around us and events which are naturally presented to us – my daughter does creative dance lessons twice a week, we attend a writer’s group giving her the chance to write and share her poetry, they play semi-educational games online that interest them both and we go for hikes with a local group which encourages children to play outdoors; and
Worldschooling – where the world becomes our classroom and we are presented with educational opportunities that our world travels provide us (we visit places like Cusco and Machu Picchu to give them a first-hand glance at how other cultures lived).
We like the mix – we think that our children will be better off because of the variety of opportunities which are presented to them. All kids learn differently and the mixture of “schooling” methods ensure that they are constantly being challenged one way or another. My daughter has always shied away from traditional learning methods yet my son seems to thrive on it – so we try to balance it so their own personal needs are met.
I want my children to be global citizens – to do away with the notion that we are from one place or another or that school is something which happens between the hours of 9.15am – 3.15pm Monday to Friday. And so far we are succeeding. Ask my kids where they are from and they will hesitate – I am not even sure that they know themselves. That’s kind of neat!