Part-time (20h) position available starting September 2021
Full-time (40h) as from September 2022
Application Deadline: June 30th 2021
Do you have a background in facilitating the development of young children aged 5-8? Do you feel most alive when working in a high-energy group dynamic? Want to help young children expand their possibilities and encourage them to chase their dreams?
If you love connecting children to their passions and managing learning experiences in a fast-paced environment, then read on. UnsameLife is hiring a Child Coach – Experience Leader to guide our children through their learning experiences on a regional and international level.
WHAT IS UNSAMELIFE?
UnsameLife is on a mission to create a lifestyle for parents and children that embraces new ways of living, working, learning, and traveling. We want to put the world at your fingertips. UnsameLife is for the daredevils who are not afraid to think differently and believe that each person’s life is unique.
We organize travel experiences, adventures and programs for today`s parents and children who seek to take their work, education, life and growth to a whole new level. UnsameLife´s retreats and programs are for those parents who believe that learning happens everywhere, and that a child´s development increases when discovering new environments and situations. UnsameLife seeks to bring together a highly diverse group of people from different places to share experiences, best practices for life, work and education and foremost live a really “unsame” life.
UnsameLife offers 4 types of experiences:
Experience Days (2-4 days)
Workations (1-3 weeks)
Retreats (4-6 weeks)
Lifestyle (+6 weeks and on a more continuous basis)
UnsameLife focusses on 4 main pillars:
Education (virtual and on location)
CHILD COACH – EXPERIENCE LEADER ROLE DESCRIPTION:
Child Coaches – Experience Leaders are the guides, facilitators, and planners for groups of 4 to 10 highly creative and talented children from around the world. They are masters in asking questions, stimulating the curiosity and the need to discover in every child. A Child Coach-Experience Leader`s primary role is to guide our children so they can develop into confident, self-directive and passionate individuals. You will wear many hats, from the planner and executor of the local child event to the coach that has to sheer up its team. At times this role takes the endurance of a sports person, and that should excite you.
For this round of Child Coaches-Experience Leaders, UnsameLife is seeking candidates who bring multiple years of experience guiding and coaching children in an out-of-the school environment with a clear focus on the following 9 soft skills:
WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
PASSION: You are deeply moved by the work of coaching young children so they can get the best out of themselves.
A GIFTED COACH: You have multiple years of experience in guiding small groups of children. You have demonstrated a strong understanding of and ability to lead programming related to child development. You have experience in developing and leading learning projects and outdoor excursions. You are comfortable leading a group of 4-10 young children.
A NATURAL MENTOR: You care deeply about seeing young children succeed and grow. You know how to support and challenge children in the right ways. You can meet them where they are or take them where they want to go. You are connected to the infinite field of possibilities and have a proven toolkit of coaching and mentoring skills.
ENDLESS ENERGY: You get energy from children. Children are drawn to you, your coaching style and how it shows up. It doesn´t matter if you are running a workshop, going on an excursion with the kids, or preparing an event for the next day. You want to be where the action is. You know what it takes to create first-class experiences for our children.
A COMMUNITY CREATOR: You are an experienced community builder. All your life, you have guided children into the unknown. You are a keen observer and are always looking for opportunities to build strong relationships, positive group dynamics, and meaningful conversations.
LEARNING ENVIRONMENT BUILDER: You can build a learning environment for our children, both virtual as on location, with a clear focus on soft skills and understanding through action.
A TALENTED ORGANIZER: You have proven experience in the organization, planning and leading of events for groups of approximate 4-10 children.
We believe the most significant benefit of being a Child Coach-Experience Leader at UnsameLife is found in the work itself. It´s found when you fully show up to these life-defining learning experiences and see the impact your leadership has on a global community. Another benefit is that once you are trained and can show you fully understand our methodology, we leave space for you to take ownership of many parts of the learning experience. That is, as you master the UnsameLife philosophy, you gain some creative freedom to design, create, and implement your style onto this impactful work. Other benefits include:
HOW TO APPLY:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than June 30th with your CV and a cover letter answering the following two questions:
As from Autumn 2022, you will combine your work from our basis in Alicante (Spain) with retreats at different locations.
HOW NOT TO APPLY:
It was a day like any other day. Evelien and I were waking up around 08:00 AM after a good night of sleep, and I heard some voices in the background. Cobe and Casper, our two sons of five and three, probably would be awake already. Since we moved to Alicante and started homeschooling our children, the mornings were much more relaxed, I was thinking. No rushing to get everyone dressed and get out of the house on time. No queues at the school gate or nervous breakdowns to find a parking spot. Our mornings are just relaxing. When you can start the day at your own pace, everything seems so much easier.
Suddenly, my highly scientific thoughts were interrupted. Cobe and Casper came into our room with joy and enthusiasm that only little children can have. Their energy was contagious, and I immediately felt awake and ready to start a new day. In a split second, Cobe caught my attention. He looked at me with these big brown eyes, and without saying a word, I knew he had to tell me something important. "Daddy," he screamed enthusiastically, "you have to come with me right now"!
I could make a small guess about what he wanted to show me. Yesterday I had observed him for a while while he was working on his new building project. With only five years old, he considered himself a "constructor." Frequently he would sneak out of the living room and get to the playing place, full of little cars and Lego. Without even paying attention to the building guides that come with the Lego, he would lose himself in his creativity. He would do the construction work on his terms.
Observing his enthusiasm, gesturing wildly with his arms, I could conclude that his latest construction work was a state-of-the-art project. I stepped out of bed and followed him to the playing place. Proudly Cobe showed me his creation. Digging deep in his design capabilities and creativity, he had built one of the most beautiful buildings I had ever seen. A helicopter landing spot on the top roof. A big blue "YouTube-signal-capturing device" (I still do not know what it does exactly, but the way he pronounced it, I assumed it was one of the latest technology innovations available in the market). And a car parking spot on the ground floor, of which most architects can only dream. All of this created by a five-year-old with more self-confidence than a professional golf player doing a hole-in-one.
That made me realize that our children are full of potential and that we - as parents -should avoid standing in their way. We should create the right environment for them, so they can thrive and take a step back. Children believe strongly in themselves; they are born with this indelible flame of enthusiasm, energy, and self-worth. Watch how they learn, fail, and improve, and have faith in them. By now, it was 08:15 AM, and in those fifteen minutes, I already had learned a fundamental lesson. It would be another great day, surrounded by my children.
Summer of 2016.
We had it all. A good job, a spacious house, one child, and a second on his way, lovely friends and family. What could we need more? At first sight, our life seemed perfect, but there was a feeling that something was missing. With the birth of our first child came a lot of questions. How did we see life now we were parents? Would it still be possible to travel the world and discover new cultures? What kind of education would we give to our children? How could we prepare and support them in the best way for their future adult lives? A lot of questions and zero answers.
Doing some research, we discovered the book 'The Extraordinary Mind' of Vishen Lakhiani...that was a real eye-opener for us. We learned it's okay to question and challenge your habits, in many cases imposed by society or culture. We learned how to eliminate practices that hold you back from achieving your dreams and purposes in life, replacing them with new habits that make you stronger. We learned to be the owner of our lives and to build it just the way we want it to be.
So we started to apply these new learnings to our own life. Did we agree with the 9-to-5 work schedule? Did we want to send our children to a traditional school, or did we want something different? In this process, we discovered that as a couple, we frequently had the same opinions, the same view on life. That realization was exciting and made us stronger. Nevertheless, this was not an easy process. We recall the long evenings we had brainstorming and looking for solutions, coming to the hard conclusion that it would not be a quick fix. Transforming and reshaping our life would take longer than we had expected, with many hurdles on its path. We were embarking on a new adventure, and we were thrilled, curious, and scared at the same time. On the way, we had our ups and downs, our little wins and losses. Although we came close, we never gave up.
Step by step, we defined our values and beliefs.
We strongly believe in flexibility at work, being able to work from anywhere in the world, scheduling your work around your family instead of the other way around. We want to discover the world, being a world citizen, and taking our children with us on this journey. We believe in complete freedom, being a master of our destiny.
Little by little, we were doing the puzzle of our life, a mystery of many small pieces.
The biggest struggle came with education. We felt that traditional education was very rigid, with minimal options for improvisation and adaptation to the needs of each child. We believed we could do better. Doing some research, we discovered the education philosophy of Maria Montessori, and we felt an instant match. With new answers came new questions. It felt great knowing that Montessori was the way to go, but sending our children to a school was not going to happen. We saw a life for ourselves with a beautiful mixture of work, play, and education. Our children would be an integrated part of this. Sending our children to school would disrupt this harmony. So, homeschooling came up as a possible solution. Not willing to have a private teacher for our children, nor willing to give up on our own careers and ambitions, we designed a vision of our life, combining elements of Co-living, Co-working, and Education. We saw an active life of traveling the world to multiple destinations, sharing these experiences with many other families, being able to work from any place in the world, and educate our children along the way. That was the birth of UnsameLife. In total, it took us more than two years.
Now the vision and our “why” was clear, we needed some real action. We needed to turn this dream into reality. We designed a website so we could communicate clearly about our values, believes, and mission, and we started looking for a Montessori coach. We got in touch with many coaches, and one of them was Koreen Thompson. She had read our story on the website and felt identified with our life view. She wanted to discover more about UnsameLife and especially about us as a family. That was the start of a real rollercoaster. We had various Video-calls, and we met each other in Minneapolis to see if both families could be a good match. We felt an immediate connection, and we are still surprised how two families from completely different places in the world, can be so like-minded, and so strongly connected.
Finally, Koreen and her family decided they wanted to join us in this new adventure. They decided to move to Spain! We are still very touched and grateful for the fact that the Thompson family decided to turn their life upside down and to come to Europe. With two families together, we are so much stronger, and we will have a good chance to turn this project into a success.
So, now we are here, together in Jávea, in a new house, a new region with many things to discover. With no experience of sharing a home with another family, we are finding our way. And again, this will be a journey with ups and downs.
This adventure now started more than three years ago, and back than, we could never have imagined how this story would evolve. This is just the first chapter of our new life, our UnsameLife with many episodes to come. Looking back to these first three years, we are just impressed that it is possible to give shape to your life and to create your own rules, and we would like to encourage other families to do the same.
Bart & Evelien
Cobe & Casper
Introducing the Thompson’s Unsame Life Adventure
On Thursday, October 31st, 2019 at 3:30 pm we arrived to our new home in Xavia, Spain nestled along the Mediterrean coastline of Costa Blanca. It was a gorgeous day: warm and sunny; bright blue skies; blooming flowers and green trees; singing birds. The heavens might have been singing for how we were feeling. We had started our journey the previous morning at 9:30 am, traveling from Montevideo Minnesota with our 2 young girls, Francesca age 5 and Esther, just shy of 3. We pulled up to our new home in a private bus with 12 bags and awaited our new friends and partners in this unsame life adventure.
The preparation to start this adventure included freeing our household of excess stuff, tightening up business transactions, and a few trips to Chicago with literally a foot high worth of paperwork for the Spanish consulate. Really, the process of moving overseas is worthy of it’s own blog. I am surprised and grateful at how traveling with a young family and the transition of making a house a home with a different family has been so seamless. I mean my gosh, my husband and I didn’t have one argument in all of the prep to get out the door! For those of you with young kids, doing a lot and never enough time, maybe you understand what I’m saying. This feels very natural. We are completely at peace. Living this life feels like coming home.
Sometimes when I’m outside in the warmth of the sun admiring the blooming bougainvilleas adorning the white walled exterior, I think “Wow! How is it possible that we are living our dream life right now? How did we even get here? When I reflect back on what I desired for our family life, my heart always craved community. I mean deep, real, joyous and hard relational connecting. I want my girls to grow up living in that kind of context; understanding what it looks like to serve and be served; to be loved well by more than just your immediate family. Though we have had beautiful experiences in the communities we have lived, specifically Tacoma WA and Montevideo MN, the depth of relational living I desired was lacking, not for lack of people but for lack of my time to invest in others.
Another strong motivator for us was how we desired to educate our girls. While we were still in the dream phase of having a family, Erle and I would share the kind of life we desired to have with children. It went something like this..”Wouldn’t it be cool to travel around the world educating our kids? We could go to Normandy and learn about WWII; Rome to learn about the Romans; New England to understand the American Revolution” We even thought it would be neat to hire a photographer to follow us around, taking pictures of us just living life.
My husband and I are doers, combine that with doers who are also dreamers and our 10 years together is filled with big aspirations backed by a lot of committed action. I was pursuing good things, some even great like opening a Montessori school in a rural community. Research had led us to Montessori. A graduate degree in Montessori called my heart to open a school in order to share an incredible learning philosophy with our community. Wildwood Montessori exceeded our expectation of an education for our girls. Yet we were not living out the intention we desired for our family. There was a gap between intention and action.
Then, I don’t even think I could define the gap. I just knew how it showed up in our life. It looked like unrest, conflict with my husband, impatience with my girls, really overwhelmed and not enough time for one of my greatest desires: real, authentic relationship.
It was the whirl of all of this that brought me to what felt like a nervous breakdown. I entered about a 2 week period of sheer brokenness. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat. I felt like I couldn’t make any decisions. I felt completely inadequate. All of this led me to my knees in prayer. Something needed to change for the sake of our family life. I didn’t know what or how. The only thing I knew to do was pray.
Scriptures like “do not grow weary in doing good” and “be strong and courageous” would come to mind and I thought “what does that mean?” “What are we supposed to do?” We thought we’d have to choose between Wildwood remaining open or us moving elsewhere. We were specifically looking at my teaching in a Montessori school in Europe or Asia in order to give us the international experience. All the while, in this time that felt like a very black hole of the unknown, we surrendered plans and just kept asking “what is possible?”. Then it happened.
I came upon a little write up describing an “Unsame Life”. I read it and said “Oh my gosh this is us!” This is US! I immediately emailed Bart. He wrote back and we scheduled a zoom call. We connected like old time friends and talked for an hour. It was easy to see how our experiences led us to that very moment in time. We then scheduled a zoom with us as couples. Soon after, Bart and Evelien boldly flew their family from Belgium to stay with us for 4 days in a Minneapolis AirBnB. All of us connected, to include the children who are nearly the same age. We brimmed with excitement about what we could create together and for others.
Our decision was made. We were going to Spain to start a co-living, co-working, co-educating model with our new friends from Belgium. Wildwood Montessori would affiliate with a larger Montessori network called Wildflower Montessori Schools and its impact in the community would live on. The possibility of Wildwood remaining to serve the community and our family embarking on an adventure creating a new concept never occurred to me as an option. It is the result of taking action while continually being open to possibility; not holding any plan too tightly.
The period of time up to those two solutions unfolding felt like a crazy rollercoaster; yet we received the circumstances that occurred with an openness and an acceptance and always with the question “What is possible?” As these two options became clear the lid of any limited beliefs was blown off; completely disintegrated in the miraculous spin of circumstances that allowed for two huge wins. I gained so much confidence that anything is really possible. I learned the beauty of surrendering plans. I mean really surrendering; really being okay with whatever happens, knowing we gave our best. Gosh is that a more peaceful way to handle difficulty! This experience was a huge faith booster for me. I gained even greater confidence that God does indeed care and act in the affairs of humanity.
Here we are, a week into our “Unsame Life” adventure. Yet it doesn’t feel unsame. It feels like what we have been moving toward for twelve years. Right now feels like this perfect combination of preparedness meeting intention. It is the result of all the little decisions we made over time with a faithful heart and an intentional mindset. Intentional and believing in possibility are probably the best ways to describe my husband and I. The experiences that led us to this moment, though some very challenging, do not feel like costs. Our past is a tapestry of experiences woven together to prepare us for this present moment. We can see any sacrifice, any challenge, any victory as serving to equip us for right here and now. Right now feels like all the things that make me feel peaceful and cozy and like we are doing the right thing for how we desire to live our life. In this story, our story, I saw a seed of our most epic adventure thus far planted from one of my darkest moments. The unfolding of it all is an illuminating reminder of God’s faithfulness, His goodness; the value of surrendered plans and trusting in a good and gracious God who does indeed care about the desires of our heart.
I invite you to follow our story. You’ll likely learn as we learn what it looks like to live, work, play and educate with other families. Will you recognize yourself in this story? Our whole intention is that others get to enjoy living an “Unsame Life” too! We get to practice real human connection within a mesh of cultures. We get to explore the wondering questions, “what does it look like to live authentically? To act with loving intention in the care of families and a shared home? To respect differences without judgement? To practice in real time peaceful conflict resolution and truthful, yet loving communication? What will this mean for our children? How will this equip them as servant leaders in the world? As compassionate friends? How will they grow in standing up for themselves while also seeking to understand others? We get to embrace and share in an education model that equips children as problem solvers, creative thinkers, compassionate and empathetic servant leaders preparing them in the greatest way possible for 21st Century living (check out Montessori and Acton Academy). Oh and a tiny extra bonus, we get to be locals in incredible places around the world!
Traveling is one of the greatest pleasures of life, and one of the things we never regret. Traveling opens your eyes to new cultures and makes you discover that we are tiny in front of the immensity that the planet earth has to offer us.
However, we have not been equitable in thanking nature for all the benefits and benefits it gives us. Among them, the beautiful landscapes with which we delight in our travels. Although pollution is a real problem more vital than you think, it can be solved.
If you are a frequent traveler, you should know that there are many ways to travel with awareness. You only must modify small aspects of our journeys for ones that are healthier for the environment. Small changes that, among all, become significant advances.
If you are a digital nomad with a lifestyle that includes:
These are some tips that you can put into practice in any corner of the world as a contribution to combat environmental pollution.
1. Recycle, recycle, RECYCLE
Although it sounds repetitive, recycling is the simplest and most useful way to save our fauna. In 2019, the high amount of plastic in the ocean puts several species of marine life in danger of extinction:
Plastic in the sea is projected to triple between 2015 and 2025. Plastic does not decompose, instead of breaking down into ever smaller pieces. The full effects are not understood, but there is growing evidence of plastic harming creatures and restricting their movement, ten as well as polluting beaches. (p.11, Foresight Future of the Sea. A Report from the Government Chief Scientific Adviser)
It is a worrying fact, and we know that the best way to stop it is not to throw garbage on the beach. However, there are several attractive and fun challenges, such as the #Trashtag or campaigns as Trash Hero, that accelerate the cleanliness of the beaches.
The plastic you use once campaign https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/shocking-campaign-tortured-animals-fight-ocean-plastic-pollution
These movements challenge those who frequent the beaches on their leisure or business trips to collect the garbage they find in the sea — sharing their photos on social networks to spread the word and everyone to join this great cause.
In addition to everyday tasks that coordinate excursions to clean beaches, there is a more straightforward method that you can include in your daily life — allowing you to collaborate with the environment while enjoying your vacation.
The challenge is to collect at least three plastic bottles or any waste that contaminates the beaches. Simple and effective, teamwork that will improve marine life.
Trash Hero Initiative https://www.adeevee.com/2019/05/trash-hero-gone-print/
Make your garbage valuable, reuse, recycle, save.
2. Choose the contact with nature
The world has natural wonders; any destination you choose offers a natural tourist attraction ranging from:
If you are daring and your adventurous family, going camping or renting a caravan is an exciting way to experience nature firsthand. Enjoy advantages such as seeing night stars, feeling the current of natural rivers, fishing, watching the sunset and, one of the things that we consider most important, teach your children to respect and value nature.
These spaces are clearly the best ones to develop World Schooling and the Montessori method in your family. Not only your children will enjoy the gifts of the planet, but you will also educate responsible adults dedicated to taking care of our world.
If you ever decide to take your backpack and go on an adventure or hike, try the Co-living with another family, share your lifestyle, and make friends for life. Remember, during your stay to avoid lighting fires, throwing waste, or disturbing the environment.
3. Choose ecological hotels
Nowadays, and due to increasing contamination, many hotels have decided to opt for a more sustainable and ecological system in their buildings. They have modified aspects such as water recycling systems for toilets, include in their menu breakfasts and vegan meals, avoid plastic, and use biodegradable paper and save energy with solar panels.
4. Eco-friendly products in your suitcase
When it comes to packing your belongings and embarking on your trip, try to select eco-friendly and natural products. Aerosols, single-use plastic containers, plastic bags, among many others.
However, there are already sustainable products that you can adopt in your life:
The Bemandboo https://thebamandboo.com/
How to know if the products you consume, especially cosmetics, are natural? There are several ecological seals of environmental certification such as Ecocert, Nature, and BDIH. These organisms are responsible for certifying which products are made with materials that respect the environment or free from animal abuse.
Before buying something, verify that it carries the guarantee of any of these stamps.
5. Practice Co-living and Co-working
What better way to save natural resources than by sharing them? Living with other families is an experience that everyone should enjoy.
Co-living with other families permits you and your kids to free from the routines. Sharing transport or hiking not only helps to improve the environment but also guarantees fun. Otherwise, it allows you to educate your children about saving energy, building toys with recycled materials using the Montessori Method. At the same time, generates children's awareness about nature.
Do you see how easy it is to practice these eco-friendly tips on your trips?
And remember: no effort is minimal for the significant impact and improvement that. Together, we can create to enjoy a healthier and cleaner planet.
A study of PEW Research Center revealed an exciting evolution of how families spend their time now, compared to fifty years ago. Very positive to see that fathers take care of a more significant part of the housework and that mothers can pursue a professional career.
Nevertheless, we still see a big gap between mothers and fathers, and it seems that we always expect from mothers to be more at home to take care of the housework and the children. Unless this is a conscious choice made by the mother, we think that’s not something we want to see in the XXI Century. It should not be like that because it always has been like that.
We believe mothers and fathers should be able to spend equal time on professional activities, dividing the work at home or with the children in a more balanced way between both of them.
Analyzing these data, it seemed an excellent exercise for us to start from scratch and to make our graph. How would a balanced life look for us, taking into account that we want to pursue a professional career, that we want to spend more time with our children and have a healthy and meaningful life?
The result you can see in the 3rd graph, right side.
This graph visualizes the lifestyle we have in mind for ourselves. The main thing is that we believe this lifestyle should be possible for both fathers and mothers, depending on their own choices.
Both genders should have the possibility to work on their projects in the same way, without difference between male or female. It’s not the total time that counts; it’s the efficiency that counts. With 30 hours per week, it should be more than enough to reach your goals in life. Avoid “time thieves.” Only attend meetings that make the needle move.
Housework should be divided equally between fathers and mothers unless one of them decides consciously to take a more significant part of it.
Childcare takes a smaller portion out of the total time as with Co-living – sharing the same house with more families at the same time – we believe that child care can be split more equally between families. You can see it as a type of “economies of scale” as more families share the same house. For example, each morning or evening one father or mother (or 1 family) can take care of the children. It even will be more fun having a bigger group of children with mixed ages as the older children definitely will try to help the younger ones.
In our vision, and we insist that everyone is free to choose for themselves, we believe that TV and Social Media should be limited to the minimum and that choosing to spend your time on it should happen in a very conscious way. Of course, it’s fun to spend a night together watching a movie. We love it. But try to do this consciously. Make something special about it, not something for every day. In the graph, you can see how much time you can free up to spend on other things.
Social time for example. In our vision, we increased the time dramatically spend on social contact. As we will share a house with more families, we believe it will be easier to get in touch with other people, friends and to learn from each other. As the concept grows, we will be able to swap houses more frequently from one destination to another and get in contact with people from all over the world. The world will be at our fingertips.
Sports…a tricky one. We all want to spend more time on exercise as we all know that a healthy mind can only thrive in a healthy body. It all has to do with habits. You have to make time for sports and exercise. Swapping some TV-time for sports time will help.
We added “Quality time with our children” as we believe we will have the chance to spend more time with our loved ones as our children will be there all the time. They will have their own space with the coach so they can learn, discover and work on their projects, but as they share the house with us, it will become increasingly easy to spend time together. We are having lunch together, taking a swim during breaks or just having a pleasant conversation.
It all may seem very idealistic, and for many people, it will seem unrealistic, but we believe that once you have a vision in mind, you can make it come true. It will require some changes, and it definitely won’t be a walk in the park, but we firmly believe we can make this vision come true.
We invite all of you to think about this in a very personal way. Our vision is just one and can be completely different from yours. Please, feel free to share your vision with us as well.
Bart & Evelien
I was surprised but at the same moment not that surprised. A study from Vouchercloud.com revealed that the average office worker is only productive for approximately 3 hours per day (in reality, even a little bit less). We have to admit: the human brain was not designed to be focused all day. So, why did society adopt a 9-5 workday and why do we want to concentrate all our work/projects into five days, taking the weekends off? Perhaps we should try something different. Maybe it´s better to work just three hours per day (full focus!).... every day. Imagine what you could do the other thirteen hours you are awake. You could spend more time learning, reading, working on your body, spending time with your children or enjoy the moment. We strongly believe you will get the same work done, enjoying life to the fullest.
Maria Montessori (1870-1952), originally from Italy, spent her life as a doctor and teacher, aspects of her life that helped her to dedicate herself to the creation and construction of this philosophy based on early childhood education and her pedagogy in her work Montessori Method of Education which is still valid today.
But, what is the Montessori method?
The author Coe, Elisabeth Johnston explains the Montessori method in her article Montessori Education and Its Relevance to Educational Reform: “The basis of Montessori education is a student-centered learning environment--one that includes provision for an inquisitive, cooperative, safe, and nurturing atmosphere for learning. Students' psychosocial needs must be addressed before their cognitive needs so that students will enjoy learning and become life-long learners”. (Oct 1991)
The Montessori Method covers the diverse needs and learning abilities of children and seeks to favor their enrichment and natural development, encouraging the innate factors of human functioning such as curiosity, self-direction, exploration, discovery, practice, teamwork, the game, concentration, creativity, imagination and communication as a method of learning. That is, seeks to create an alternative parallel to traditional education methods.
The spontaneity and the analytical capacity of children are valued when choosing what they want to learn, beyond a rigid curriculum. Montessori believes that the independence of children is the key factor for them to have a satisfactory educational growth, which makes this method of childhood education a feasible theoretical model on human development.
Fundamental educational principles
Although the Montessori method has been adapted and improved over time, these are some of the principles of pedagogical education that the author proposes and we love:
1. The educational environment must be prepared
The child's workspace should be oriented to promote their learning. Didactic materials, a spacious, clean and tidy place with objects according to the student's age. This includes spaces with nature such as plants or even pets, with objects that promote creativity and decoration that is aesthetically pleasing. If you follow our philosophy of Worldschooling, the world will be the canvas of your children!
2. Allow children to discover
The constructivist nature of Montessori education explains that people learn faster and better if they live the experience directly. The practice and the discovery itself generates a state of concentration and long-term memory that facilitates teaching and remembering. Or more simply: a child would retain more of the experience of visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris than studying it in books.
3. Classes without interruptions + Worldschooling: learning any time of the year
A characteristic feature Maria Montessori speaks of is to provide at least 3-hour uninterrupted classes in order to create a state of ideal concentration that improves memory. Children get bored less than with traditional classes because they are the ones who direct their teaching. And, as we said, the advantage of joining this method with Worldschooling is that there are no limits on schedules, classrooms or dates, it is a philosophy that you can carry in your suitcase.
In short, humans since birth we seek to self-build in the psychological aspect through interaction with what surrounds us, including the environment, people, animals, etc., giving rise to our development is innate, natural, our own existence. Therefore, why lock up children in rigid programs when we can take advantage of the corners of the world and discover them with them? The best thing about the Montessori method along Worldschooling philosophy is that it can be transported to any country in the world.
Come and join our community of Co-living, Co-working, and worldschooling together with our Montessori qualified teachers!
The advancement of technology has generated tremendous positive changes in various aspects of our lives, such as the way we entertain ourselves (video games, streaming movies and even virtual and augmented reality) as well as the way we acquire information and services. It is interesting how we evolve together with technology, and we seek to adapt and make the most of its benefits.
Therefore, we must take into account that our way of working has also evolved to open new and exciting expectations and, above all, to give us great alternatives to freedom. From here, the term Digital Nomad is born.
But, what is to be a digital nomad?
The author Reichenberger, in her article Digital nomads - a quest for holistic freedom in work and leisure, defines them: "Digital nomads are portrayed as young professionals working only in an online environment while leading to independent and often reliable travel lifestyle where the boundaries between work, leisure and travel appear blurred." (2017, July 18).
Similar to freelancers, these digital nomads have the characteristic that they do not enclose themselves in a single place, but instead, they are citizens of the world. They can pack their business and transport it to any corner of the world that they like (provided there is wifi or internet access) while enjoying the wonders that travel offers.
It seems enthralling to combine this holistic lifestyle characterized by absolute freedom and work as two regarded as equally enjoyable. And, what about the family? Simple, if your lifestyle is adventurous, free and you have adopted the philosophy of digital nomads as your own, your children can enjoy it with you. Worldschooling goes hand in hand with digital nomads in a way that adults and children can grow professionally and educationally while enjoying the nature and culture of the country they visit any time of the year.
If you are interested in exploring the world in a family trip, do not hesitate to contact us. We hope to live this experience together.
I still remember it, as it was yesterday. June 2005. The first taste of freedom, real freedom. I had moved from Belgium to the Canary Islands together with my parents and two sisters only ten months before, and a new adventure was waiting. It was the first "real challenge" that I would take on on myself. All decisions about, how, where and when were mine: I filled my Toyota Corolla as full as it could be with all the necessary stuff I needed and didn´t look back. I left Gran Canaria, took the boat to Cádiz and drove from there to Barcelona, to start a new company. A company that´s still close to my heart today, fourteen years later.
Much has happened since, but the feeling I had that day is still very alive. Thinking back now, it´s a pity that education couldn´t give me that same feeling of discovery and adventure. I always had experienced education as very formal, predictable and with almost no room for freedom. Now, more than a decade later, we are preparing for a new adventure, a new chapter in our lives. We firmly believe that the way we work, live and learn should be different. Although in the beginning, the focus of the project was more on working and living, with the birth of our two children, the education part got more and more our attention. "What kind of education do we want to give to our children?" was a question that was popping up frequently. Now, more than three years later, we have defined it pretty well. A nice mix of Montessori, Acton Academy, and Worldschooling will do the job. Hands-on education, preparing our children for real life, solving real problems, starting real adventures and projects, learning from real artists, entrepreneurs, and other professionals, giving them all the freedom they need to decide what, when and how they want to learn.
I want to provide them with the same feeling I had when I was 23 years old and on my way to Barcelona. The same sense, but 20 years earlier.
Ask this question to different people and you will get a different answer. Exactly as you can see in the graph below.
Some people believe that education is a process that is lead by a teacher (active) and given to the students (passive). Other people will claim that “learning” is something that comes naturally to children and they don´t have to be taught.
We respect all opinions, but we do believe that learning is a natural process and that children don´t need to learn how to learn. They are always learning if you can create the right circumstances for it.
To say it with a quote of Dr. María Montessori:
“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.”
We couldn´t agree more. J
Bart & Evelien
Even with perfect planning, morning routine can be tough.
Studies show that 42 per cent of parents find mornings to be the most hectic and stressful time of day.
But how did we get there?
The reason for all this stress and chaos is simple: because we, as society, have invented this system ourselves. There’s no one else to blame but ourselves. In general, there are two major “systems” ruling our daily lives: the way we work and the way we educate our children. Both systems are very closely interconnected. It’s because we all work from 9 to 5 from Monday to Friday that the education system has built itself around this. Let’s be honest; the main role of schools – besides teaching – is to act as babysitter. As most parents don’t work from home, they need someone else to take care of their children. It’s a vicious circle…
How to break out of it?
Start from scratch, take a blank sheet of paper and invent your own system.
How would you organize your time if you had all the freedom to decide everything yourself?
We did this exercise. We decided that the way we organize our time should cover the following needs and beliefs:
Taking these premises into account, we decided that home schooling would be the way to go, but not just traditional home schooling where one of the parents dedicates a big chunk of their time to education. As we believe that parents also need time to work on their own projects, we decided to hire a private coach following the methodology of Montessori. To make it realistic and affordable for everyone, we opted for Co-living. It’s perfectly possible to bring two or three families together, all living in the same house, working from home and sharing a lot of time together with their children. Feeling the need for a break at 11 am? Treat your children to a swim, have lunch together with them and take them for a walk…
Does all of this just seem impossible?
It’s not. We start on it in October this year. Feel free to join us.
Bart & Evelien
We can’t agree more with following quote from María Montessori:
“There is no description, no image in any book capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all the life to be found around them in a real forest”.
Children are natural learners and they will learn spontaneously when they have the chance to freely choose what to learn and when to learn. Traditional education tries very hard to offer children as many learning opportunities as possible but they fail in the most important thing: a natural and authentic environment. As traditional education becomes more and more obsessed by standardization and uniformity, it is becoming increasingly disconnected with the basics of what education should be: providing children limitless possibilities to learn real things at their own pace and by their own choice.
That’s the moment when “world schooling” steps in. We want to offer our children (and many other children) an authentic environment so they can discover the real world, solve real problems and interact with real people. Textbooks can be an additional tool to complete the experience but they should never be the only tool.
With Unsame we have opted for a mix between homeschooling and world schooling. At our semi-permanent home in Jávea, Alicante (Spain), we will offer a Montessori-education coordinated by a permanent coach. That same coach will join us during our several trips to other countries, such as Italy, New Zealand and South-Africa. We are able to guarantee a kind of stability to our children with homeschooling, adding a healthy amount of adventure and limitless discovery with world schooling.
What’s your opinion? Please let us know.
Thanks a lot.
Bart & Evelien
Like part of the title says… If you are able to work from anywhere in the world, then you are truly location-independent. We see a lot of concepts popping up offering retreats to get out of your daily life and work from a different place, joining like-minded people, but… we couldn’t find a single concept where the children can join the parents.
That’s surprising, right?
Admittedly, we struggled with this issue a lot as well. How can you travel the world, work from different places and still be together with your children so they too can enjoy these experiences? The single most important blocking point is… education. Yes, education. Not particularly education in itself, but the way it’s organized.
For one reason or another, society decided to put all our children together in the same place (society calls it school), carefully divided by age, assuming they will all learn the same subjects at the same pace... They have to be at school every day from Monday to Friday, take the weekend off, and start the same thing all over again the following week.
How can a child discover the world if it has to be at school all year starting from the age of 6 until the age of 18? If we look at education in this way, of course it’s impossible for the children to join their parents on a trip to another country for 30 days or more, several times a year.
We decided for ourselves that we won’t be playing that game.
With Unsame, we offer you the possibility to travel the world, keep on working on your projects, be with your children and offer them the best education you can imagine: life and the world itself.
A permanent coach will guide your children and provide them with plenty of learning opportunities. We strongly believe children are natural learners and you don’t have to force them to learn. Just provide them with the right environment and the right tools and they will learn themselves. Life should be fun, education should be fun too…
Think about it and join us.
Bart & Evelien
The typical 9 am - 5 pm workday. We all know it. Although technology has made us much more flexible, we still stick to the typical routine of 5 working days and the weekend off. At the beginning of the 20th century, the 40-hour workweek worked well, but do we really need it today?
We believe we don’t.
First of all, “work” and “leisure” should not be separated from each other. In the end, it’s all “living”. You should enjoy what you do for “work” so it doesn’t feel like “work” anymore. It sounds very clichéd but it’s true.
We tried to come up with a new and personal vision for ourselves and started from the following premises:
With these premises in mind, we decided to leave the 8-hour workday and 5-day workweek behind. We want to be active and creative (sounds better than “work”, isn´t it?) whenever we want and wherever we want. We want to be free.
We see ourselves as working on new projects when we are 80 or 90 and we believe that just that will keep us fit.
This mindset is exactly what’s behind the Unsame-concept. Enjoy your life, be together with like-minded people, join your children in their learning process and keep on being active and creative. Keep on “working” on your projects until your 90s. For us, that’s the perfect recipe.
What kind of vision would you design if you could start from scratch? Think about it. The world is yours… Life is yours.
Thanks for reading.
Bart & Evelien
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