The World Is Our Classroom
How One Family Used Nature and Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education
Bronze Medal, Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, Society of American Travel Writers
"Cindy Ross is one of today's most eloquent and thoughtful writers on the connection between humans and the natural world."—Richard Louv, New York Times bestselling author
Cindy's story begins in the Rocky Mountain wilderness on a unique and extraordinary journey: two parents leading their young children 3,100 miles on the backs of llamas. This Canada-Mexico trek illustrated to Cindy and her husband what experiential education can do. Inspired by the experience, they went on to create a new way of supplementing their children’s education, focusing on two arenas for learning: the natural world and travel.
In this age of world connection, it is important to raise broad-minded and empathetic children who are knowledgeable about other cultures. To accomplish this goal, Cindy chose an unorthodox approach: she orchestrated learning opportunities for her children, Sierra and Bryce, in twelve countries. The family traveled the world, moving about on foot and bicycle, living simply and intimately. But just as important, and more accessible for many parents, were the opportunities for learning closer to home.
These adventures brought intangible gifts: values--such as compassion, empathy, resilience, self-reliance, and gratitude, among others--not always fostered in a traditional curriculum but crucially important to raising children.
By sharing her story, along with honest insights from her children about the importance of their unusual education, Cindy aims to empower parents to believe they can be their children's best and most important educators. It is for parents who are seeking inspiration, who love a good story, and who are looking for an unorthodox way to raise the happiest, healthiest, and brightest children they can.