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Holistic mother uses nature to homeschool her children — while living in a camper van!

Courtney Wilder (aka @thewilderfam) loves the outdoors – so much so that she and her husband have chosen to raise their two children in a camper van to keep their family close to nature. Between homeschooling her children and exploring new places with her family, Courtney spends her days exactly where she wants to be.

“What led us to this lifestyle is we became sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, and we were fed up with trading our hours for money just to make somebody else richer,” Courtney explains. “And we were really losing touch with what mattered the most, which was spending time with each other and doing things that we loved.”

Courtney and her husband Quentin decided in 2015 that they wanted to travel full-time, so they sold their home and almost all of their belongings and quit their jobs. Becoming pregnant almost put the dream on hold, but the couple soon realized that living in a camper was possible as a family.

Now the family of four – which includes Delilah, who is almost 6, and 2½-year-old Dakota – lives in a pop-up camper with two king-size beds, a fully-fitted kitchen and a bathroom. The best part is that they get to choose their backyard. Some of the family’s most beloved stops include Yosemite, San Diego and Durango, Colorado.

Wherever the family goes, Courtney “wildschools” her kids, which includes formal lessons as well as using nature as an opportunity for learning. “My belief with schooling is that life is learning,” Courtney says. So if her children find a tree or an animal fascinating, she helps them research to find out more, whether through libraries or documentaries.

While the nomadic lifestyle might not seem right for everyone, Courtney begs to differ. “You can make it work; anybody can make it work,” she says. “What I would say to people who want to do this lifestyle is that it doesn’t happen overnight, and it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. But it is so worth it in the end, and you can do it.

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