When someone says that they do Disney homeschooling, it is easy to assume that they mean that they hold actual classes at the Parks (though some do… and kudos to y’all heroes!). More than likely the blanket phase means that they supplement their in place educational plans with something Disney themed or park adjacent while in the Parks to simulate, motivate, and activate their child’s interest in the subject at hand. Walt Disney World Resort has always been a way to provide magic in every aspect of a child (or child at heart’s) world… why should their homeschooling journey be any different? I wanted to put together some resources to help other parents engage in Disney homeschooling in a way that is accessible and hopefully helpful.
Homeschooling at Disney World in Orlando offers a rich and immersive learning environment. Whether you live here year round, are visiting, and even if you are at home, hopefully you will find that Walt Disney World is a place where there are endless resources for learners of all ages.
What is Disney homeschooling?
Disney homeschooling, is where families integrate visits to the Disney World theme parks in Orlando with traditional homeschooling. This experiential learning method offers numerous benefits, including hands-on education, immersion in themed environments, multidisciplinary learning opportunities, and enhanced social development. Students (and parents!) can explore various subjects, enjoy family bonding experiences, and find motivation through the park’s excitement. However, it’s important to balance educational activities with leisure time and also adhere to homeschooling regulations in your respective home location.
Planning and Preparation
When embarking on a homeschooling adventure at Walt Disney World Resort, careful planning is crucial for a successful and enjoyable experience. Remember: there is no crying in Disney homeschooling! Start by selecting the right time of year to visit, consider different factors like weather, crowd levels, and special events. Booking accommodations in advance is essential, as staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel can provide added conveniences and access to Extra Magic Hours. Next, organize a flexible curriculum that aligns with the park’s attractions, shows, and exhibits, that ensures an educational but still fun and entertaining journey. Utilize Disney’s official website and resources to create a schedule that balances educational activities with leisure time. Being well-prepared ensures that families can optimize their learning opportunities, make the most of their time at Disney World, and create cherished memories to last a lifetime. Click here for more information about planning and preparation!
Educational Opportunities at Disney World
Disney World offers a wealth of educational experiences that go beyond entertainment. Visitors can engage in interactive exhibits, workshops, and behind-the-scenes tours, providing enriching learning opportunities for all ages. From Epcot’s World Showcase, where guests can explore different countries’ cultures and histories, to Animal Kingdom’s conservation efforts and wildlife experiences, the park offers diverse subjects to discover. Attractions like Spaceship Earth delve into the evolution of communication and technology, while workshops in animation or Imagineering provide insights into creative processes. These experiences encourage curiosity, critical thinking, and cultural awareness, making Disney World a valuable destination for combining fun and education. Click here to learn about how to get started with Homeschooling at Disney!
Incorporating Core Subjects
Disney homeschooling offers a fantastic opportunity to seamlessly integrate core subjects into the educational experience. Some examples? For math, children can practice measurement and calculations while exploring attraction wait times and ride statistics. Science comes to life with hands-on experiments at Epcot’s Science Labs or studying ecosystems and animal behaviors at Animal Kingdom. History enthusiasts can delve into American history at Liberty Square or explore ancient cultures in Epcot’s World Showcase. Language arts activities include storytelling workshops, descriptive writing based on sensory experiences, and engaging with literature-inspired attractions. Disney offers supplementary educational resources like park maps with educational notes, online activity sheets, and informative shows, allowing parents to tailor lessons to their children’s interests and abilities, creating a well-rounded and captivating learning adventure. Click here to learn more about incorporating core subjects into your time at Disney!
Disney World as a Living Classroom
Along with the immersive and educational opportunities Disney offers, they serves as a living classroom that nurtures learning through observation, exploration, and interaction. Children have the opportunity to develop essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity as they engage with the park’s attractions, shows, and exhibits. By observing various themed environments, they learn about different cultures, historical periods, and scientific concepts. Exploring the park encourages them to ask questions, make connections, and seek answers, fostering critical thinking abilities. Problem-solving arises as they navigate through challenges presented by attractions and interactive experiences. In our family, the biggest reason to homeschool at Disney is the park’s emphasis on storytelling, arts, and technology that inspires creativity in children, encouraging them to express themselves in innovative ways. Disney World’s living classroom approach enriches children’s learning experience, making education exciting, meaningful, and memorable.
Cultural and Global Learning
Disney World provides an exceptional platform for cultural immersion and global learning, offering a diverse range of experiences through attractions, shows, and Epcot’s World Showcase. Visitors can explore various countries and regions, gaining insights into different cultures, traditions, and customs. The international pavilions at Epcot offer authentic representations of these cultures, showcasing art, history, and cuisine. Incorporating cultural appreciation into a homeschooling curriculum can involve research projects on specific countries, comparing and contrasting cultural practices, trying out traditional recipes, and even learning basic phrases in foreign languages. Additionally, attending shows and exhibits that celebrate global diversity can instill a sense of cultural awareness and respect for others. Disney World’s cultural and global learning opportunities enrich students’ understanding of the world, fostering open-mindedness and a broader perspective. Bonus tip: A unit our family did on how holidays are celebrated around the world was especially lovely this past year when we incorporated the storytellers at the different pavilion in Epcot!
History and Imagineering
Delving into the history of Disney World and the art of Imagineering offers a captivating educational experience when Disney homeschooling. Students can explore the stories and inspirations behind the park’s iconic attractions, gaining insights into the vision and imagination that brought them to life. Learning about the creative process of Imagineering allows children to understand the synergy between storytelling, technology, and design elements that make Disney World so immersive. Studying the evolution of the park over time and its impact on the entertainment industry can provide valuable lessons in innovation and perseverance. By uncovering the secrets and behind-the-scenes magic, homeschoolers can appreciate the dedication and teamwork that transform ideas into reality at Disney World, inspiring their own creativity and pursuit of knowledge.
STEM Learning at Disney World
Walt Disney World Resort offers a plethora of engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning experiences that captivate visitors of all ages. Through interactive exhibits, shows, and attractions, guests can explore scientific principles, technological advancements, and engineering concepts in a fun and immersive way. Attractions like Spaceship Earth showcase the evolution of communication technology, while Epcot’s Future World exhibits delve into renewable energy and environmental sustainability. Disney’s commitment to cutting-edge technology is evident in attractions like Avatar Flight of Passage, which utilizes state-of-the-art simulators and engineering marvels. By participating in these experiences, visitors gain valuable insights into STEM fields, inspiring a love for learning and potentially sparking future interests and careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
Language Development and Communication
Walt Disney World Resort provides a rich environment for enhancing language skills, offering numerous opportunities for vocabulary expansion, storytelling, public speaking, and effective communication. Interacting with beloved characters allows children to practice conversational skills, express their thoughts, and build confidence in communication. Engaging in shows and performances encourages active listening and story comprehension, enhancing language comprehension and narrative abilities. As children interact with other visitors from diverse backgrounds, they learn to adapt their communication styles and it also fosters cultural sensitivity. From reading park maps and attraction descriptions to engaging in themed activities, every moment can become a chance for language development and meaningful communication, creating lasting memories and fostering a lifelong love for language and storytelling.
Socialization and Collaboration
A common concern when you say that you are homeschooling is the potential lack of socialization opportunities for children. However, Disney World serves as a dynamic environment that fosters socialization and collaboration in numerous ways! Children have the chance to interact with peers from various backgrounds while waiting in lines, exploring attractions, and participating in group activities. Engaging with other visitors during parades and live performances promotes teamwork and cooperation, as they share in the excitement of the experience. Whether bonding with fellow park-goers over shared interests or joining group activities organized by Disney, children develop essential social skills, such as communication, empathy, and adaptability. Disney World’s vibrant atmosphere encourages positive interactions, ensuring that homeschoolers have ample chances to make friends and cultivate meaningful social connections, debunking the notion that homeschooling limits socialization opportunities.
How do you get to Walt Disney World?
Walt Disney World Resort is located in Orlando Florida, USA. Orlando is in the US state of Florida and is in an area sometimes called Central Florida. Nicknamed “The City Beautiful”, the City of Orlando is one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations. There are flights available year round, seven days a week into Orlando International Airport- as well as many other local airports. Car rental, train, and bus travel options are also available. For more detailed information on travel to Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort, check out this article on Disney Parents!