This weeks Worldschooler of the Week is Brandon Pearce from Pearce on Earth. He has traveled the globe with his wife and 3 daughters for 7 years now and is currently creating a new conference called the Family Adventure Summit. Brandon has been featured on Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week, The $100 Startup, and the Fully Lived Project. His location independent lifestyle is made possible by Music Teachers Helper, a software Brandon created to help music teachers manage their business, but this week Brandon is our Worldschooler of the Week.
How long have you been traveling?
About 7 years. We took our first international trip in January 2009 to Panama to test the waters of living abroad. We had such a bonding and eye-opening experience, that after we came back, we sold our house and everything and set out more permanently in January 2010.
What kind of schooling do you do?
We support our kids in learning the things they’re interested in, whether online or locally. We don’t follow any particular curriculum, but offer learning opportunities and put them in charge of their own education. This year, we’ve chosen to spend 6 months in Victoria, BC, which has a thriving homeschooling community.
Between our 3 kids (all girls, ages 13, 11, and 5), they’ve chosen – and are thoroughly enjoying – the following classes or lessons: singing/songwriting, violin, choir, ice skating, gymnastics, Japanese history and culture, and technology/tinkering. They’re also going to a democratic school one day a week.
In their free time, they can usually be found drawing, animating, creating websites in html/css, practicing math for fun, playing computer games, chatting with friends via Skype, or playing with little toys (especially our youngest).
As a family, we also like reading together in the evenings, watching an occasional documentary, and of course exploring the world together in our travels.
What do your kids love most about travel?
When I asked them right now, they said:
“To see new countries and beauty.”
“To meet friends.”
“To have new and different experiences.”
What is one travel hack you would pass on to fellow travelers?
I’ll share a couple tips in the form of a mistake I’ve made too many times. The worst time was in Dubai after a long red-eye flight. We were tired and just wanted to get to our hotel, so against my better judgement, I accepted a taxi driver from one of the first people approaching us as I exited the airport. In developing countries, those are typically unofficial taxi drivers who often charge unreasonable rates, and I recommend walking past them to the official taxi stands. But we were tired, so I gave in and negotiated a rate, even though I didn’t do any research before hand into how much it should cost to get to our hotel. And when we arrived at the destination, he demanded an even higher rate than what we agreed on. I only paid what we agreed, and he acted very disheartened. When I got wifi access, I learned that even though I negotiated down, I had paid over $100 for what should have been a $20 ride, and he had been taking advantage of my ignorance.
So… yeah, two tips: do your research on transportation cost and exchange rate before you arrive, and always walk to the official taxi stands before accepting a ride at airports.
What does the term worldschooling mean to you?
I like to say that in worldschooling, we’re trying to give our kids a “world class” education by making the world their classroom. It’s recognizing the learning opportunities that are available in every moment, and staying open to being changed through them. It’s not just book learning, but life learning.
What words do you live by?
Enjoy life now. I believe that happiness is a choice we make in each moment, regardless of our circumstances. So I do my best to choose to enjoy and appreciate whatever live presents, rather than always looking to the future for my happiness. (Not easy for me, but it’s gotten easier with practice.)
Do you consider yourselves rebels?
More like pioneers. I’m not a rebel for rebellion’s sake, but I love living an empowered life, and inspiring other people by showing them new ways to live and be.
Where can people find you? Website, social media, podcast, etc.
Family blog: http://PearceOnEarth.com
Also, if you’re haven’t heard of the Family Adventure Summit, it’s a live event we’re holding next fall for families interested in extended travel. We’ll have speakers, workshops, and discussions on topics like travel, entrepreneurship, worldschooling, community, life fulfillment, and more. And fun games and activities for kids and adults. The USA location is still to be announced, but you can stay up to date by joining our mailing list at http://familyadventuresummit.com.
Thanks for the opportunity to share a little about our family.
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