We’ve seen all of the Instagram posts of families traveling the world, kids in tow, and still managing to maintain their businesses. Maybe you’re already homeschooling or unschooling your kids and you’ve been wanting to travel, but you can’t seem to figure out how to fit your business into your plan. Maybe you’re already working remotely or freelancing, but the time you would need to dedicate to your business and making sure your kids are succeeding in their studies seems overwhelming.
One of the main benefits of choosing unschooling for your children over traditional homeschooling or virtual school is the ability to use real life as credit towards their education. This means your kids can get credit for visiting local science or history museums and landmarks. A trip to the grocery store can turn into an opportunity to teach a math lesson or to learn about health and nutrition. You intentionally use daily, real-life experiences as learning opportunities.
Ultimately, you will need to figure out what works best for you and your family through trial and error, but walking through a sample schedule can help give you a place to start. Using this sample, you can get a feel for what might work for you, what changes you would need to make, and a basic framework to build a schedule that creates balance in your life between running your business, educating your children, and traveling the world with your family.
Wake Up Earlier Than Your Children
One of the best ways to make sure you have plenty of uninterrupted time to focus on high-level tasks and projects in your business is to wake up earlier than your children. Waking up at least 2 hours before your children will be key to getting work done and setting a balanced foundation for the rest of the day between work, school, and exploring.
For example, if your kids are usually up (or you want them up) around 7:00 am, you will need to wake up around 5:00 am. This gives you a solid two hours of quiet work time to focus on projects that need your full attention.
If your children are old enough, it is important to create a morning routine with them to complete so you can spend the next two hours working while they eat breakfast and start working on independent study time. This could be as simple as having them warm up breakfast, update their portfolio, and spend 30 minutes reading. Work together with your kids to set up an automated routine that they can take ownership of while you work.
A great way to do this is making a checklist that is easily visible and accessible. Work together as a family to build a routine that is simple and takes into account each individual’s needs as well as the goals of the family as a whole. You will want to keep everyone’s energy levels down so you are able to continue working for the next couple of hours with minimal distractions. Think of simple tasks that will not only keep your kids occupied, but will also set them up for a successful day and create good habits.
The joy of this system is that after about four hours of focused work, you are able to transition your time and energy to your family. Once your work is completed for the day, you can help with anything your children might be struggling with or need more help and coaching with their schoolwork. Set aside the next chunk of time to really focusing on your children’s studies and working through anything they are stuck on.
As lunchtime rolls around, everyone will have completed the higher-level tasks and projects that needed their attention for the day. Now you can all share a meal as a family without feeling like you need to get back to work or that your kids didn’t get enough school work today. Your meals might look different depending on how you are traveling and whether you have a kitchen space. You could all cook a meal and eat together or take turns picking new restaurants to try out.
The second half of the day can be dedicated to exploring the areas you are visiting. A great way to do this is to pick one adventure each day. Maybe you go to a national park, visit a museum, or check out a local landmark. With unschooling, all of these adventures can also be turned into learning opportunities that your children can actually get credit for towards their education. This is an awesome way to really learn about the places you travel to as a family.
Although educational adventures are awesome, it is important to remember and value fun. Plan less structured activities that really just serve the purpose of entertainment and bonding. Go to an arcade or a theme park. Go to the beach and learn how to surf. Go see a movie together. By intentionally scheduling unstructured fun and play as a family, you create space and opportunities to connect with each other and keep yourself and your family from feeling burnt out.
Traveling while running a business and raising kids might sound crazy or impossible at first if you try to do everything all of the time. Taking time to intentionally sit down as a family and build a schedule (daily and weekly) that works for everyone will make it possible to not only do everything but to create balance in your family and business. Each of you can thrive while learning about different cultures and being exposed to new places and people. Figure out how many hours of dedicated work your business needs each day and schedule that time early in the morning before the rest of the family wakes up. Then, you can focus on spending time with your family and exploring the world around you.