Travelling with kids can be a challenging experience, but it can also be an amazing learning opportunity for the whole family. Our first worldschooling adventure took us to Russia visiting our family and friends. It proved to be an unforgettable experience. From exploring Moscow’s Red Square to immersing ourselves in the rich culture of St. Petersburg, we saw and learned so much during our time in Russia. In this post, we’ll let the pictures we took tell the story.
Worldschooling is a relatively new term for the practice of educating children while traveling the world. It is a way for families to break free from the traditional school system and explore new cultures, languages, and experiences. This style of education is on the rise as more parents seek alternative methods of educating their children.
The worldschooling movement is based on the idea that children learn best through experience. By exposing them to different cultures, languages and ways of life, they gain a rich and diverse education unlike any other. This approach to education is centered around the principle of self-directed learning, where children have the freedom to learn about what interests them and set their own pace.
Worldschooling families often travel full-time or for extended periods, immersing themselves in different countries and lifestyles. They stay in local communities, learn from locals, and participate in cultural activities. This hands-on approach to education helps children develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world around them.
One of the biggest advantages of worldschooling is the flexibility it provides. Families have the freedom to travel when and where they please, creating a personalized curriculum that suits their child’s interests and needs. This level of customization allows children to learn in a way that suits their individual needs, rather than fitting into a one-size-fits-all system.
Another benefit of worldschooling is the opportunity for children to learn new languages. Being immersed in a foreign language is an effective way to learn it, as children are forced to adapt and communicate in a new language every day. This kind of exposure to different languages is invaluable for children’s personal development and future career opportunities.
Worldschooling is an exciting and innovative way to educate children. It provides endless opportunities for adventure, personal growth, and cross-cultural understanding. While it is certainly not for everyone, the many benefits of this style of education make it an appealing option for families seeking a unique and enriching learning experience.
how worldschooling aligns with the Montessori philosophy
As mentioned before, worldschooling is a philosophy of education where children learn through travel and interaction with the world around them. It is a concept that aligns with the Montessori philosophy of learning, which focuses on child-centered education that emphasizes independence, self-directed learning, and practical life skills.
Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori method, believed that children learn best when they are given freedom to explore their environment and are encouraged to learn through hands-on experiences. Worldschooling takes this concept a step further by incorporating travel and cultural immersion into the learning process.
One of the key aspects of Montessori education is the use of “materials” that are specifically designed to help children learn. These materials are hands-on and sequential, allowing for a natural progression of learning and development. Similarly, worldschooling also emphasizes hands-on experiences and practical life skills.
In a worldschooling environment, children are constantly exposed to new languages, customs, and cultural practices, which helps to build their social and emotional intelligence. This aligns with the Montessori emphasis on community building and developing respect for the diversity of the world.
Another Montessori principle is the importance of creating a peaceful and respectful environment where children can thrive. Worldschooling families often prioritize travel to places where social justice and equality are valued, which reinforces these same principles.
Worldschooling also encourages self-directed learning, another cornerstone of Montessori education. By allowing children to choose their own learning path and follow their interests, they are more engaged in the learning process and are more likely to retain the information they learn.
Worldschooling and Montessori education share many common principles, such as hands-on learning, practical life skills, community building, respect for diversity, and self-directed learning. By aligning these two philosophies, children are able to experience an education that is holistic, culturally rich, and grounded in the natural world around them.
Learning opportunities for children we discovered in Russia
Our main destination was St. Petersburg. Being practically a local in this phenomenal city was the main reason we got to experience immersion into the cultural atmosphere of museums, theaters, ballet, and musical conservatoriums, but also spend time and visit friends and family for children to learn the Russian way of living from within.
The key factor that made our trip an exceptional learning experience for children was the extensive planning. We extensively considered the local weather, seasons, and school holidays for local children. From the beginning, we were following social media accounts of the local event organizers that informed us about upcoming family events and celebrations which were mostly free of charge.
Instead of bringing our usual textbooks, we focused on discovering Russian culture, history, traditions, and customs. The children immersed themselves in learning the Russian language, practicing both speaking and reading. Our attention was not on dragging heavy curriculum books but on immersing ourselves in a new cultural experience.
Now I will let the photos tell the story – Learning Experiencing While Travelling
My History Park is a museum in St. Petersburg, Russia dedicated to the history and cultural heritage of Russia. It provides visitors with access to a wealth of information about the city’s past, including articles and multimedia content about architecture, art, literature, music, and more. The site also offers a variety of guided tours and interactive exhibits that allow visitors to engage with the city’s history in a fun and informative way.
The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg is the largest museum of Russian art in the world. Its collection includes over 400,000 exhibits, ranging from ancient icons to contemporary art. The museum is housed in the magnificent Mikhailovsky Palace, built in the 19th century, and its collection spans several centuries and art movements. Visitors can admire works by famous Russian artists such as Ilya Repin, Ivan Shishkin, and Kazimir Malevich. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, concerts, and educational programs.
The Zoology Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia is one of the largest collections of animal specimens in the world. Founded in 1838, it contains over 30 million exhibits ranging from microscopic organisms to extinct animals. The exhibits include fossils, stuffed animals, bones, and intensive collections of insects, birds, and amphibians. The museum is renowned for its educational programs, research opportunities, and impressive displays, which capture the attention of visitors of all ages. The museum offers visitors a chance to learn about the diversity of animal life on our planet and the evolution of different species over time.
St. Isaac’s Cathedral is located in the heart of St. Petersburg, Russia. The beautiful neo-classical architecture was designed by Auguste Montferrand and construction began in 1818. It took over 40 years to complete due to the intricate decorative elements and size of the building. The cathedral holds religious services for the Russian Orthodox Church and is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can climb the winding staircase to the colonnade for a stunning panoramic view of the city. Inside, there are intricate mosaics and paintings depicting religious scenes and historical events.
The Church of the Savior on Blood is a stunning cathedral in St. Petersburg, famous for its intricate mosaics and rich history. The cathedral was built in the late 19th century to commemorate the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, whose blood was spilled on the spot where the church now stands. The interior of the church is covered in over 7,000 square meters of stunning mosaic art, making it one of the most unique and impressive religious buildings in the world.
Tsarskoe Selo, also known as Pushkin, is a former imperial residence located in St. Petersburg. It was built in the 18th century and served as the summer home of Russian tsars. The palace and park complex covers an area of over 600 hectares and features a multitude of magnificent buildings, including the Catherine Palace, the Alexander Palace, and the Cameron Gallery. The park is home to various sculptures, fountains, and pavilions, including the famous Amber Room in the Catherine Palace. It is a popular tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Hermitage is a world-renowned museum located in St. Petersburg. Its collection includes more than three million works of art and artifacts from around the globe. The museum is housed in six historic buildings including the Winter Palace, which was the former residence of Russian Tsars. The Hermitage attracts millions of visitors each year who come to view its extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. Some of the most famous masterpieces on display include works by Rembrandt, Michelangelo, and Da Vinci. Additionally, the Hermitage boasts a stunning collection of Asian art and an extensive library.
Palace Square in St. Petersburg is a significant historical site. It’s the central square of the city and home to many of its iconic landmarks, including the Winter Palace of the Russian tsars, the Alexander Column, and the General Staff Building. The square is also famous for several important events, such as the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Today, it remains a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike, offering stunning views, cultural events.
One of the memorable experiences happened to us in Hermitage. The museum was presenting a free Christmas concert of Russian classical music for children. We were some of the first people to arrive so he and his cousins ended up being in the front row sitting on the ground. Eventually with beautiful music playing he and his cousin both fell asleep. It was quite a sight. We could not get through the crowd and had to allow them to enjoy the beautiful sounds of a live classical concert in their sleep.
Red Square is a famous landmark located in the heart of Moscow, Russia. It is surrounded by iconic buildings such as St. Basil’s Cathedral, the State History Museum, and the Kazan Cathedral. The square has been a site of many important events throughout history, including military parades. It is also a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors every year. The name “Red Square” actually comes from the Russian word “krasnyi,” which used to mean “beautiful” but later came to mean “red” in modern Russian.
Grand Maket Russia is a unique museum and exhibition in St. Petersburg that showcases a miniature replica of Russia. Covering an area of 800 square meters, the exhibition features models of various cities, landmarks, and landscapes from all across Russia. The models are incredibly detailed and are designed to make visitors feel like giants as they explore the miniature world. In addition to the replicas, there are also interactive elements and multimedia displays that give visitors a deeper insight into the history, culture, and daily life of Russia.
Petropavlovskaya Krepost’, or Peter and Paul Fortress, is a historic site located in St. Petersburg. Built in 1703 on Hare Island, it played a significant role in the early development of the city. The fortress houses several notable attractions, including the Peter and Paul Cathedral, which is the burial site of many Russian emperors. Visitors can also explore the fortress walls, bastions, and museums, which showcase the history of St. Petersburg and Russia.
Peterhof, is a grand palace complex located on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Russia. It was built by Peter the Great as a summer residence and is often referred to as the “Russian Versailles.” The highlight of the complex is the Grand Palace, which features ornate and opulent rooms filled with art and treasures. The expansive gardens are also a must-see, featuring numerous fountains, sculptures, and manicured lawns. Visitors can easily spend a full day exploring both the palace and the gardens while learning about the history and culture of Russia.
The Mariinsky Theatre is a renowned opera and ballet theatre located in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was founded in 1783 and has since become one of the most iconic cultural landmarks in the world. The theatre’s impressive repertoire includes classical masterpieces, contemporary works and world premieres. The Mariinsky Ballet is especially famous for its interpretation of works by legendary choreographer Marius Petipa. The theatre regularly hosts international artists and productions, and in 2013, its stunning new Mariinsky II building opened, making the theatre one of the largest and most technically advanced in the world.
Our other St. Petersburg adventures
Worldschooling in Russia with children allowed us to experience the country’s rich history and culture firsthand. We visited our extended family in Russia and saw my dear friends. Our family had unforgettable adventures. We also appreciated the opportunity for children to cement their second language and explore the food, and customs of Russia. We feel enriched by our time in Russia. This worldschooling adventure has ignited a curiosity for exploring other countries and learning about the world in a hands-on way.