Worldschooling in Athens! Our day in the life as a travelling family of 7

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This post was originally published on my blog at Fearless Homeschool, the best place for homeschooling help and community. The new owner has been kind enough to let me share it here – thank you!

So what does worldschooling, or homeschooling while travelling around the world, actually look like?

On this day in 2019 we’d been travelling Europe for around 7 months, so we had a fairly comfortable routine. We first arrived in Berlin, and a few weeks later went to France and picked up a car. We then spent 6 months driving through France, Italy, Croatia and Montenegro, before heading back through Italy to France to drop off the car.

We saw a LOT of castles. This one is in Croatia.

A month in Athens finished up the European leg, then we spent a few weeks in Malaysia on the way back to Australia.

At this time Gabrielle was 15, Holli and Asha 14, Rex 13, and Forrest 10, so we were firmly in the teen/high school years.

How much does worldschooling cost?

Honestly, it was much cheaper than we thought.

Food and other daily costs were about the same as Australia.

Accommodation (mostly via Airbnb because they’re family-friendly) averaged $71 AUD per night. Don’t forget this includes all bills. The actual cost varied widely depending on the area – a night in a tiny Berlin apartment cost the same as a full week in a 3-bedroom house in Montenegro!

Our car was $5500 AUD for six months. However, it was a brand-new 7 seater with full comprehensive insurance for most European countries.

The car offset a lot of accommodation costs because we weren’t limited to being in the middle of cities. It also made outings very easy – we weren’t limited to places where trains/buses went, or to their timetables. Plus, everyone told me that rail/bus travel in Europe was very cheap, but when we looked it up it wasn’t.

Not for 7 people, anyway.

So I felt it was very affordable, because travelling Europe didn’t cost much more than we’d be paying for rent/bills/car costs in Australia.

We even went back to Malaysia and Greece in 2023, but this time it was just us parents and the two boys, and with the increase in living costs in Australia it was cheaper to travel.

OK, let’s get started on a fairly typical day of worldschooling in Athens!

Our Worldschooling Day in the Life

6:00 – I get up and work – I was writing the first version of this post. I generally worked for a couple of hours early in the day so we had plenty of time to explore and spend together as a family, and it was enough to pay for out travel – sign up here to learn how to create your own online business.

In the meantime, Gabrielle works on the first draft of her novel, while Holli does a MOOC about sheep grazing in Iceland. Asha kneads the sourdough bread mix we made last night (from a sourdough culture Gabrielle caught in France), then does a MOOC about ecology and wildlife conservation.

The boys eventually get up and everyone makes themselves breakfast and gets dressed for the day.

8:30 – Time for some exercise! We head up Lykavittos hill and the husband, Holli, Asha, Forrest and I do the beep test/shuttle run. Gabrielle times us while Rex climbs the rocks. When we’re done the kids all have a turn at rock climbing, and watch the swifts.

Shuttle run on Lykavittos
View from Lykavittos, Athens
Rock climbing on Lykavittos – they’re not scared, but I am

10:15 – We head back home, have a cocoa and homemade pasteli (we love Greek food!). We then all have showers, while the kids play Lego and Holli types her story up from handwritten notes. The kids have earned money for charity and decide to give part of it to Getup and the rest to an anti-malarial charity via Givewell.

We eat again (teens!), our fresh bread with salad, and finish getting ready to go out.

11.45 – We brave the Athenian subway, spending a short time puzzling out which tickets we should buy and being extremely grateful for the English translations.

We head into the city to the Monastiriki markets. It’s fairly quiet as the tourist season hasn’t quite begun, but we’re still subjected to the very enthusiastic and pushy sales techniques of people selling friendship bracelets.

Unfortunately, the musical instruments museum is closed – turns out I didn’t have a close enough look at the opening times. No matter, there’s plenty more to do!

Instead, we visit the Tzistarakis Mosque (built in 1759) and wander past the 17th-century Fethiye Mosque (built 1668 – 1670).

But these seem positively modern when compared with the remains of Hadrian’s Library (132 CE) . Aerides/Tower of the Winds (50 BCE at latest), is considered the world’s first meteorological station

We walk the path below Areopagos and the Acropolis and wander around Filopappos Hill and the Pnyx (the birthplace of democracy). We looked but couldn’t find Socrates’ prison.

The kids found a slippery rock slide far more interesting, anyway.

We walk back toward the metro down Dionysiou Areopagitou and admire the great views, and finally manage to convince a Segway rider that no, we really don’t want to hire some.

15:30 – We reach home, ready for a rest. Gabrielle does some German with Duolingo, then draws. Holli writes for Camp NaNoWriMo, reads aloud to Rex and Forrest, and works on a MOOC about insects. Asha does Spanish with Duolingo, and Forrest works on his NaNoWriMo story then reads.

17:00 – We eat dinner. We nearly always cook for ourselves and in Athens it’s easy – the food markets are full of fresh and affordable food. We’ve been attempting to recreate the ‘pizza boats’ (peinirli) from the local bakery – they’re so good.

17:30 – We clean up, and I read The Belgariad aloud. Then Gabrielle reads The Arc of a Scythe aloud.

After that we split up again – Gabrielle practices her violin then draws while I help Rex write a postcard and Forrest writes some more to get his daily word count target. Holli and Asha do a HIIT circuit workout with Gabrielle helping them.

19:30 – Forrest finally reaches his daily word count goal, but decides to write more! He finishes a postcard to one of his pen pals. Rex reads and then the boys go to bed.

20:00 – Holli and Asha go to bed.

Gabrielle, inspired by the exotic and delicious food everywhere, reads and bookmarks Middle Eastern cookbooks, then finishes off with reading fiction before going to bed.

21:50 – After going for a quick walk and observing the wonderfully relaxed nightlife in our suburb, the husband and I get into bed, and read until we’re ready to sleep.

So there you have it – a fairly typical worldschooling day for us.

We fitted in some sightseeing and learning about Athens, but we balanced it out with our fairly routine activities – exercise, reading, cooking, writing, drawing.

The ‘formal’ academics were fairly minimal, but the learning that happened is quite obvious. I mean, we visited the site of the birthplace of democracy!

(Admittedly, I was far more excited about that than the children, but I know some of it got through to them 😆).

On other days we visited museums, watched the Evzones, and explored the gardens and alleys and parks in the city. There’s always something new to do.

And I got my work done early in the morning, and had the rest of the day to enjoy and explore with my family. Learn how to do the same here!

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