Culinary World-Schooling: When Kids Travel, Learn and Cook

I have a habit of creating my own things. I tend to make things up, whether it be words (like culinary world-schooling), projects, or ideas, and then leverage them as “words to live by.”

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 world-schooling 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, being my usual self, I felt I had to come up with a “family plan” or “life plan” to justify what we were about to do. A measurable goal of sorts that I could use to make sure what we were about to embark on would have focus and meaning when it eventually ended.

It wasn’t until we were on the road, somewhere in Amsterdam, when I figured it all out.

culinary world-schooling

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

culinary world-schooling

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

culinary world-schooling PIN

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 2 hours, 2 days or sometimes even 2 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.

land of tomatoes

Our tomato display 🙂

First we learned about the history and variety of tomatoes (there’s 100’s), the different styles of tomatoes used for certain cooking, and finally all the different dishes that used tomatoes in their cuisine. The learning just 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!

pumpkin piePerhaps that could mean a guaranteed job as a Chef by the time they graduate…who knows! 

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


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