This striking conversation with Pheonix Wild is powerful and thought provoking, as we delve into home schooling, travelling with three children, home birthing and more. A divine soul, Pheonix’s honesty and humour is refreshing and uplifting.
You’re currently travelling in Tanzania with your three children and partner. What brought you to this magical destination and how has it been so far?
Yes! So, we were actually pretty grounded on Kauai, Hawaii, and decided to up and travel after the covid situation became too stressful for life on our little island.
We dropped into Mexico first and then traveled to Panama. We kept getting this urge to get to Africa. So December 21, 2020 we landed in Tanzania, mostly due to it being one of the only countries that was open at the time. Nature always attracts us and Arusha, Tanzania is known for her pristine countryside and one-of-a-kind animal wildlife experiences. Definitely feeling like the Wild Thornberrys!
You travel a lot with your kids and home school. Was this something you always planned or did it naturally happen? How do you find homeschooling?
I definitely always wanted to try homeschooling and never imagined I would be schooling my children while traveling. But my kids are still under preschool age, with my oldest being 5, we are just now interested in some structured learning beyond the plethora of unschooling adventures that we have.
I love homeschooling as it gives me flexibility and creativity to cater the learning for each child the best way that I know; since they are my children. I am definitely on the path of opening my own school one day, when we buy land, so that it will give them the opportunity to learn with other children, as I feel that it’s an important balance to have. I homeschooled myself in middle and high school and really didn't like being home all day with just my mum and brother. I began enjoying being homeschooled once we joined a co-op, where I was learning with other homeschoolers twice a week. Definitely, don't isolate and homeschool but in this day and age isolation is a part of our social life anyway. So it's new territory for all of us.
You have your @pheonix.wild Instagram page and also a dedicated page called @bits.ofearth that highlights your ‘world travelling unschooling journey’ can you tell us a bit more about this page and how it came about?
Sure! So I started the homeschool page actually after creating Bits of Earth boxes that contained local toys and fun stuff for preschoolers from Mexico. I planned to do it in each country we visited but we ended up being in Tanzania for a longer journey. I still plan to do the boxes and utilise that page to spread the word about it, but it turned into me sharing what our homeschool journey looks like in between creating tangible products for American kids to experience another culture.
How have you gone navigating the world with Covid-19? A lot of people have been thrown into home schooling because of it? Would your 'Reconnected Parenting Course' help parents at the moment?
I feel like it made us super focused on creating streams of income with our goal to buy land this time next year so we can live TOTALLY sustainably off of the land, not relying on the government or unreliable structures like grocery stores or water sources. Other than that, life hasn't changed much and we are watching the freak show with the rest of the world. The reconnected parenting course is definitely an amazing tool for parents in parenthood. I would say that homeschooling does put more emphasis on a holistic way of parenting since the kids are sharing space more than if they were going to school. So yes. Definitely a great tool to work on parent's connections with their children. It's not necessarily a tool for homeschooling specifically. I work with an online curriculum called Whole Beings that I would recommend as an online homeschool resource. They have weekly activities, crafts from recycled materials and nature, as well as video-guided lesson ideas that centre around child-led play and holistic living.
Your YouTube channel Pheonix Wild has stunning videos of your travel vlog including your spiritual journey and Hawaiian birth vlog. What’s it like sharing this with everyone? What feedback do you get on your videos and what has been your favourite video to date?
I love having a YouTube channel. It's a different experience from Instagram because I am more verbal and people get to see a more intimate view of my family. It is a bit of a harsher world than Instagram, for some reason the more you share the more intense and brutal people can be. I try and find the balance of not sharing too much personal insight and really using it as a platform to educate and not just entertain with my daily life shenanigans. My favourite video has to be the Hawaiian birth vlog because I didn't capture anything with my first and second births, I wasn't even on youtube yet. It was a special moment to share and I'm just glad I remembered to film anything at all while going through labor! haha.
To be continued…
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