Offical website of the film.
When the Earth is your Apple.
The story of a rare journey of an Alaskan mother and ten year-old son as they give up their material possessions to explore the world for a year.
Notes about homeschooling
- Take a CD or data drive with schooling instead of 100 lbs of books!
- Plan to ship back boxes from the road to lighten your load- combine with souvenirs.
- Don’t count on the internet- it is unreliable if not completely restricted in many countries.
- Choose a curriculum that is relevant to where you’ll be going- for instance we chose a program which had geography and history paralleling our route.
- Many states have an allowance for homeschooling and most entrance fees are eligible expenses.
Documentary Guiding Questions
Created by Cheryl Childers
- At the start of the film, you learn a little bit about Corin. What are some of the similarities you share with him? What do you notice is different? Would you say most 5th graders are more similar, or different from one another? Why?
- Corin hoped to see the Taj Mahal, Pyramid of Giza, and the Great Wall of China. If you were to take a trip around the world, name the top three places you would hope to see and why?
- Corin’s biggest ‘fear’ before the trip was whether or not he’d get to sleep late very much! What do you think your biggest worry might be? Why would that worry you?
Greece Practice Trip
- Corin and his mom traveled to Greece for a ‘practice trip.’ If you weren’t able to take a practice trip, what else might you do to prepare for a world trip?
- What do you think of the plan that Corin and his mom made in the event that they got separated from one another? What might an alternative plan have been?
Planning the biggest field trip ever
- Corin and Mary packed vitamins, medicine, school supplies, electronics, clothing, towels, iTunes gift cards, iPads, maps, passports, shot records and their carry-on backpacks. Is there anything you’d delete from their packing? If yes, what would it be and why? Is there anything you would add? If yes, what would it be and why?
- How do you think color-coding their supplies – one color for Mary and one for Corin – helped them on their trip?
- Corin and Mary sold their house, a car and half of their possessions. What would be the hardest possession you might have to part with to help fund a trip like this? Why would it be hard to part with this possession?
- Create a hypothetical wish list with an adult whom you might travel with. Each of you creates your own list and then find the common wishes from both of your lists. What do you notice about the places where your lists overlap?
- Corin and his mom traveled by many different modes of transportation. Of all of them – the camel, taxi, car, train, hydrofoil, Segway, cruise ship, airplane, bike and rickshaw – which would most interest you and why? Which of these modes of transportation would you most likely not see in your community? Is there a form of transportation they didn’t use that you can think of? Which one, and why? Evaluate each one. Which one do you think is the most economical – the cost to use it and fuel consumption?
- Corin had always wanted to go to Ireland and that’s where they went first. Where would you want to travel to first and why? Are you curious about your roots?
- Corin prepared a slide show with photos and a map of his home. He also brought along objects that represented where he was from. If you were going to prepare a presentation to teach students in other countries about where you came from, what would you share?
- List some of the ways school was different for Corin when he spent an entire day in an Icelandic School.
- Mary thought that the daily community exercise in China was a great idea! If something similar were to happen in your country, or community where you live, what might it look like? What might the daily exercise be? Give reasons to support why you think daily community exercise would, or would not: work in your country or community.
Some of the foods the students in Mauritius brought for lunch were egg noodles, fish cakes and oranges. Corin was willing to try just about any food – except roasted beetles! Can you think of a food you wouldn’t be willing to try?
Just You and Me
In this section called “Just You and Me” we learn a little more about Corin and his mom. What can you tell from his actions about how he’s feeling at this point in the trip? How do you think you would handle spending that much time with one of your parents?
Corin seemed to have a specific idea of the kinds of things he wanted to purchase on his travels. What seemed to appeal to him and why? What are some of the things you might be tempted to buy if you had an opportunity to collect things from other countries?
- Taking the cruise was very appealing to Corin’s mom, Mary. What were some of the reasons she thought the cruise was a great way for a family to travel?
- Corin did not always want to leave the ship when it docked. He stayed on board while his mom went ashore. Would you be comfortable staying on the ship without your own parent? Why or why not?
- Do you agree with Corin’s statement when he tells his mom that he thinks most of the world lives more like the way of the poverty they saw in Laos than the way their own lives were? What makes you think this?
- When in Laos, Corin and his mom saw real poverty. Corin expresses that he thinks he has a really good life. Do you think you’d say the same thing about your own life? Why or why not? Do you think traveling and seeing the kinds of things they saw might change your mind?
Hurdles in the Hemisphere
- When in Senegal, Corin and Mary had a frightening taxi experience. How do you think you would have handled a situation like that? What would you have done?
- Corin began to name some of the things he missed. Root beer, his friends and a particular video game were some of them. After 7 months traveling all over the world, what are three things you can imagine you’d be missing from home?
- Corin counted 27 countries that he visited with his mom! His three favorites were Ireland, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Choose one of those three to research and write about the things that might be worth seeing and experiencing in one of those countries. Include a map of the country you chose and mark where those places would be.
- After traveling in other countries Corin would sometimes make connections with things he’d seen in other places. He would say, “This reminds me of that one place…” Have you ever experienced that? Is there something in your community that reminds you of another place you’ve been? Is there a place you’ve traveled and then seen something that reminded you of home? Pick one such incident and describe it in detail.
- Mary and Corin ended their world trip in China. While there Corin saw the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Soldiers and the Three Gorges Dam. Choose one of those landmarks in China and learn more about it. Include your own drawing of this special place.
- In the end Corin’s mom, Mary, said for her that the ultimate lesson was that “We are all global citizens.” She said that being raised in America is just one perspective. She feels it is important to get other perspectives. How do you think someone who doesn’t get to travel could learn that perspective?
- Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World by Susan Hughes
- A School Like Mine by DK with contributions from Unicef
- Running Shoes by Frederick Lipp
- Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed