Book Creator as a tool for worldschooling

SuewanCase study, Education

You may have heard of homeschooling—worldschooling is just homeschooling whilst travelling at the same time. For this kind of lifestyle, portable devices and digital tools for learning are ideal.

Two years ago our family made the decision to go travelling full time. We left the UK when our daughter was in year 3 of primary school (2nd grade in the US). Homeschooling had always been something we had wanted to explore but felt we couldn’t afford as both of us needed to work to afford a comfortable lifestyle in the UK.

But, we’ve found that travelling full-time has enabled us to survive with just one parent in work, which has freed me up to homeschool our daughter (now age 10).

Homeschooling whilst on the move = #worldschooling!

Roobs doing worldschooling in a Starbucks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ruby doing her worldschooling in a Starbucks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Finding tools and resources that would work for us

Having never homeschooled before I knew I had to find the tools and resources which would work well for us as a family.

Through lots of trial and error we’ve worked out what apps and websites work well for us. Book Creator for iPad is one of the tools that we have found invaluable for our worldschooling. It is incredibly versatile and we have found that it is a super-useful app to use for projects and activities as we travel.

What we love about the app as her parents (and tutors!) is the ability for our daughter to be creative. She can use text, video, photo, drawings, comics and voice messages.

Early on in our travels we realised that she doesn’t enjoy writing with pencil and paper. She much prefers to type or record a video or audio. So Book Creator helps her to feel in control of her work, which means she’s more motivated. Having the options to use so many different media within the app works really well for her.

It’s also really simple to use. The design is very intuitive and she can navigate all the buttons easily. As a travelling family it’s also just really handy to be able to create projects without physical books/paper to have to carry around!

We have used Book Creator in lots of different projects over the past couple of years, she’s built up a portfolio of work. Here are some examples.

Visiting Nagasaki

When we were in Japan we went on a day trip to Nagasaki to learn more about World War Two and the nuclear bomb. We went to the memorial park and the Atomic Bomb museum. To prepare for the trip we learnt about what happened in Japan in World War Two and we read about a little girl called Sadako Sasaki who was a “hibakusha” (meaning a bomb-affected person). 

Not only was this a memorable and affecting learning experience, but we were able to capture the memory of it and turn it into something personal for Ruby. For this book, she drew illustrations with pencil and paper and used the iPad camera to add them to her book.

New Zealand road trip

We went on a road trip of South Island, New Zealand and for her worldschooling Ruby kept a journal of what we did. She was able to use Book Creator to show photos and videos of places we’d been as well as write about what we were doing. She particularly enjoys recording her voice so it can be played back when reading the book.

Review of SS Great Britain and Being Brunel museum

As a travel blogger, I was lucky enough to be invited to try out the SS Great Britain and new ‘Being Brunel’ museum in Bristol, UK.

We spent an afternoon as a family visiting this great historical artifact and taking lots of photos so we could blog about it. As part of the learning experience, we had Ruby document her experience in Book Creator too. She was particularly motivated knowing that her book would be part of the review on our blog, and that lots of people would get to read it. She did a great job and took her time getting it just as she wanted.

Example from another family

We’re part of a large worldschooling community group on Facebook. When I asked if anyone else was using Book Creator it turns out we’re not the only ones!

The Elliotte Family from Dunedin, New Zealand shared their story with me too:

“We’re actually home schooling the kids whilst we’re on sabbatical. My husband is a teacher back home in New Zealand and I’m a trained teacher, but I’ve never actually taught, so we thought we’d do it ourselves this year.

“In terms of Book Creator, I was just googling for ideas for when we’d be away, I mentioned it to one of the kid’s teachers and they said it was great so I thought I would try it. We’re essentially using this as a way for the kids to tell people back home about the things they do, like or the we live.

“Both my kids have done one each on our house in Hoi An (Vietnam); my daughter (age 5) did a very brief one on an impromptu “dance party” we had at home the other night; and my son (age 7) is currently working on one about his favorite places to eat.

“These were the kids first attempts at using the app. They learned how to upload the photos themselves, how to choose layouts etc – and it was great for reminding my daughter that sentences need capital letters and full stops!”

An example page showing two comic panels with a girl and a speech bubble

An example page from the book they made, using the comic templates in Book Creator

Suewan has been travelling with her digital nomad family since 2016. She is the main writer at RTWfamilies, a blog about out how on earth you can make full time travel work for you and your family! She also recently launched a quiz site for kids.

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