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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