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Non-Traditional Things the Kids Learned During the Year Abroad

I formally homeschooled the kids during our year abroad.  We knew we were putting them back into public school in the US so we wanted to make sure they kept up with their peers.

Aside from the formal homeschooling, we were able to educate the kids in lots of other things.  Many of these got worked into lessons both formally and informally.  While the traditional schoolwork was very important, the experiences below made the year incredibly rich and educational and I’m extremely proud we were able to introduce the kids to so many places, ideas and things!

Historical Sites Visited

  1. Parthenon, Greece
  2. Versailles, France
  3. Great Wall of China
  4. Forbidden City, China
  5. Topkapi Palace, Turkey
  6. Viking Ship Museum, Norway
  7. Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, Greece
  8. Alhambra, Spain
  9. Alcazar, Spain
  10. Gettysburg battlefield, US
  11. U.S. Capitol
  12. Chiang Mai which is a 700 year old walled city complete with a moat, Thailand
  13. Bangkok Grand Palace, Thailand
  14. San Miguel Castle in Almuñécar, Spain
  15. Italica (Roman ruins), Spain

Museums Visited

  1. Louvre, France
  2. Picasso Museum, Spain
  3. Park Guell & Gaudi Buildings, Spain
  4. Smithsonian Natural History Museum, US
  5. National Archives, US
  6. Siam Insect Zoo, Thailand
  7. 3D Art Museum, Thailand

Religious Buildings & Experiences

  1. Seville Cathedral, Spain
  2. Blue Mosque, Turkey
  3. Hagia Sophia, Turkey
  4. La Sagrada Familia, Spain
  5. Notre Dame, France
  6. White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand
  7. Chatting with Monks, Thailand
  8. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Thailand
  9. Yee Peng Festival, Thailand
  10. Loi Krathong Festival, Thailand

Learning How

  1. silk is made at the Thai Silk Village
  2. umbrellas are hand made at the Umbrella Factory in Thailand
  3. wood carvings are hand made in Marrakesh
  4. to cook Thai food
  5. to do various “adult jobs” at Kidzania
  6. to take care of an elephant for the day in Thailand

Working with Different Currencies and Exchange Rates

  1. Thai Baht
  2. Chinese Yuan
  3. Moroccan Dirham
  4. Euro
  5. British Pound
  6. Albanian Lek
  7. Croatian Kuna
  8. Turkish Lira


  1. 4 Continents (Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America)
  2. 15 Countries (Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, China, Norway, Spain, UK/Gibraltar, France, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Germany)
  3. Mekong River
  4. Mediterranean Sea
  5. Gulf of Thailand
  6. Strait of Gilbratar
  7. Sierra Nevada (Spain)
  8. Adriatic Sea
  9. Aegean Sea
  10. Bosphorus Strait
  11. Golden Horn

Cultural Experiences

  1. Traditional Khantoke Dinner, Thailand
  2. Flamenco at Dia de Andalucia, Spain
  3. Carnaval, Spain
  4. Loi Krathong, Thailand
  5. Standing for Thai Royal Anthem before movies

Trying New Cuisines

  1. Gozleme, Turkey
  2. Gyros, Greece
  3. Doner, Turkey
  4. Pad Thai, Thailand
  5. Mango & Sticky Rice, Thailand
  6. Crepes, France
  7. Pide, Turkey
  8. Baguette, everywhere!
  9. Mint Tea, Morocco
  10. Beef or Chicken Tagine, Morocco
  11. Turkish Tea & Coffee, Turkey
  12. “Fun Mushrooms”, Thailand
  13. Sushi
  14. Tom Kha Soup, Thailand
  15. Bubble Tea, Thailand
  16. Banana & Nutella Pancakes, Thailand
  17. Food-Go-Round food, Thailand
  18. Turkish ice cream, Turkey
  19. Turkish Clay Pot, Turkey