A Different Family Life & Education in Costa Rica

I once was an educator, whose educational focus was bringing learning outside the four walls of a classroom and into the world. Now I get to see this philosophy play out in the most beautiful way.

My perspective on family life and education began to drastically change when I began meeting families who have broken the traditional mould and have chosen a different life for their families.

Families who have moved here with young children possess a sense of “togetherness” that I didn’t observe in Canada – people were always too distracted, and working 40+ hours a week between the shuffle of activities made family time a luxury.

Here, families wake up together, eat all their meals together, and find adventures together instead of finding them in books. Instead of reading about nature, they go deep into the jungle to see the critters and animals first hand. Why read about the sea when you can go snorkel in a tide pool and see puffer fish and lobster for yourself? Why not learn a language through meeting new friends of other languages rather than repeating verb conjugations in a classroom?

Work? There’s work. We all work. Just not the type of work that we were used to before. Work comes after family, after adventure, and after you feel satisfied with how you’ve used your day.

I don’t see kids with their faces in iPods or Pokemon games, or whatever gaming consoles anymore. I see imagination, the type that doesn’t need anything electronic, be ignited again by curiosity and the freedom to explore. The type of imagination I remember.

Kids make toys out of regular objects and have as much fun with them as they would from the hottest Toys R Us catalogue item. I saw a young boy kicking a bottle the other day and having the time of his life.

This life isn’t for everyone. I get it. Totally.

But, for anyone, even families with young kids considering this type of life, it’s possible. Anything is possible. I see it every day.

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