The first question that strangers and friends have asked is, “What are you doing about school?” It is a legitimate question and one that we have put a lot of thought into over many months. The question is second only to, “What are you doing about work?” Lee Anne has already touched on school, but perhaps I can bring my perspective.
First, a few thoughts on our “learning” philosophy.
Travel is our greatest teacher. It helps us understand who we are and confirms or challenges our value systems. It also shows us, up close, who others are and what their values are. My experience is that most of the time in humanity, we all line up pretty closely. Wherever I’ve been in the world, at least so far, I’ve witnessed similar human values that cut through race, religion, socioeconomic standing and tribe. Three stand out; the importance of faith (or the choice not to believe), the priority of family and the fundamental need for satisfying work to make people feel valued.
As we move around, I’m interested to test my equally strong belief that we are all products of the home from which we were raised and the communities that shaped us. We unconsciously adopt bias and assimilate cultural norms from where we live. We learn as we were taught, by our parents first and then by the educational norms in each of our local communities. It is different for all families and communities. As we travel, our boys can experience the values and norms of many people and communities, if only in a bite-sized amount.
We also feel an obligation to teach the fundamentals and grade-appropriate materials that would be covered in our community back home. We’ve been working to do both.
Fiesole is the affluent hillside town above Florence. The Duomo is in the background on the left. The earliest Roman settlements were in this town.
Gladiators were often slaves or people who fell out of favor with the Romans. Gladiators were able to choose from any number of weapons and nearly everything they dressed in could be used as a weapon.
Jackson and Walker have really surprised us with how easily they’ve picked up on the history and significance of the places we’ve visited. We see it influencing their schoolwork, too.