In a heartwarming and educational journey across America, we meet Daphne Labua-Stenzel, a devoted Greek-American primary school teacher, alongside her husband, Jordan, and their two inquisitive sons, Niles and Kai. This adventurous family has embarked on a remarkable 2-year RV expedition, cherishing togetherness, exploring nature’s wonders, and nurturing their Greek heritage on the go. Thanks to the creative genius of Daphne, the RV serves not just as their home but also transforms into a vibrant Greek school, with kids learning Greek in the most immersive and engaging way possible!
In an interview with us over Zoom, Daphne shared her heartfelt reasons behind instilling a love for Greek in Niles and Kai. “Our journey is about bonding as a family and celebrating our love for travel and nature while ensuring our kids learn Greek,” she explains enthusiastically.
For Daphne, Greece is an embodiment of “family,” “summer,” and “holidays.” Her treasured childhood memories of Greece ignited a deep desire to impart a piece of her heritage to her children. “Being Greek is an integral part of my identity, and I want my kids to experience the same joy and connection through Greek for kids,” she affirms, emphasizing the invaluable gift of learning a second language at a tender age.
However, the path to kids learning Greek hasn’t always been a walk in the park. Daphne encountered challenges along the way and turned to online resources, from Greek series and cartoons to YouTube content, to foster an engaging experience of Greek for kids. During her research on online learning solutions, she discovered Ellinopoula, which she calls “a game-changer.”
After getting started on the platform, Daphne has become a co-learner with her sons, demonstrating that learning is an ongoing journey. “Mommy doesn’t know everything, and that’s okay,” she joyfully shares, relishing the opportunity to learn alongside Niles and Kai. Seeking personalized support, Daphne contacted us for tips to enhance her two sons’ progress. After a productive Zoom call addressing her educational goals, she enrolled Niles and Kai in our Live Online Classes - a decision she “hasn’t regretted for a moment.”
Daphne believes it’s essential for children to forge an independent connection with Greece, transcending their parents’ influence. That’s something she cherishes in Ellinopoula, that we bring together a network of Greek Diaspora kids, forming online friendships and a strong bond with their teachers. Daphne emphasizes, “Having this support as a parent trying to teach your kids Greek is incredibly vital for an enjoyable journey of Greek for kids.”
Amidst their thrilling journey across the US, Niles and Kai revel in exploring diverse locations and savoring the unique experiences of homeschooling on wheels. “They love having the biggest school playground in the world!” Daphne chuckles, cherishing every moment of their unique education and the joys of learning Greek.
As their adventure unfolds, Daphne’s mission is to inspire other families to embrace Greek for their kids, not merely for practical benefits but for the cultural connection it brings. “It’s more than just a language; it’s the invaluable life lessons that Greek imparts to kids,” she states.
Daphne’s incredible story illustrates that Diaspora parents can help their kids learn Greek with the right platform and support. For the Labua-Stenzel family, it has become an exciting voyage of discovery, filled with the warmth of a welcoming community of teachers and parents worldwide and the promise of a lifelong connection to their rich Greek heritage!