The World Is Our Classroom
How One Family Used Nature and Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education
by Cindy Ross
Pub Date 11 Sep 2018
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In this age of world connection, it is important to raise broad-minded and empathetic children who are knowledgeable about other cultures. To accomplish this goal, Cindy chose an unorthodox approach: she orchestrated learning opportunities for her children, Sierra and Bryce, in twelve countries. The family traveled the world, moving about on foot and bicycle, living simply and intimately. But just as important, and more accessible for many parents, were the opportunities for learning closer to home.
These adventures brought intangible gifts: values--such as compassion, empathy, resilience, self-reliance, and gratitude, among others--not always fostered in a traditional curriculum but crucially important to raising children.
By sharing her story, along with honest insights from her children about the importance of their unusual education, Cindy aims to empower parents to believe they can be their children's best and most important educators. It is for parents who are seeking inspiration, who love a good story, and who are looking for an unorthodox way to raise the happiest, healthiest, and brightest children they can.
"Cindy Ross is one of today's most eloquent and thoughtful writers on the connection between humans and the natural world." --Richard Louv, New York Times bestselling author
"This is an astonishing book. A life-affirming, positive, uplifting book. Reading it left me feeling overwhelmed. The story of how Cindy Ross and her husband Todd Gladfelter brought up their children is quite amazing, an extraordinary education indeed. And a joyful, multi-faceted, real life education involving travel, people, and, most importantly of all, nature. An education that taught the most important human values: love, empathy, understanding, generosity, open-mindedness, humility. . . . For anyone who loves nature and the outdoors, especially if they have children, this is a book that shows just what is possible, a book that gives hope for the future. “ —Chris Townsend, author of The Backpacker's Handbook and Out There: A Voice From The Wild
"School teachers are largely bound by classroom walls and the internet, parents have no such constraints. As Cindy Ross reveals in The World Is Our Classroom, the unbounded opportunities in nature should inspire every parent to create memories and powerful experiential learning opportunities. Significant emotional encounters can be transformative. When children are allowed to explore and use their curiosity to discover the seemingly magical things in nature, it changes them as no passive learning can." —Larry Schweiger, former president and CEO, National Wildlife Federation
"Cindy Ross has long been a hero of mine. For years, I have admired her adventures and writing. Now, with two young children of my own I also look to Cindy's parenting as a model for experiential education and developmental opportunities outside of a traditional classroom." —Jennifer Pharr Davis. author, speaker, long distance hiker, and 2012 a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year
"How exciting it is to see two parents put the world in front of their kids from such a young age, believing their kids will rise to the occasion. This book, The World is Our Classroom, will explode some disabling myths about how fragile our kids are!" —Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids
"Cindy’s kids grew up with the world as their classroom. Today, she and Todd continue roaming the globe, occasionally reuniting with their offspring in places as far-flung as Nepal and Vietnam. Want to live a big life? The World Is Our Classroom takes you on the journey of how one family did it, and it doesn’t get any bigger, wilder, and better.” —Karen Berger, New York Times bestselling author of America's Great Hiking Trails