When we go on holidays we accept we are taking on the important role to educate our children. I was at a work training the other day where the speaker said ‘We have to ask ourselves, what is the best way to educate our children?’, eluding to the fact that it is not always in an institutionalised setting like traditional schooling. It reignited my innate belief that we acquire our knowledge and life skills via more than one setting. I feel really fortunate that we are able to give our children the opportunity to learn beyond their usual school desk, while we are travelling.
On our family adventures to date, we have been happy to homeschool our kids. Yes, at first, I was really worried. I thought it was a huge responsibility and I was overwhelmed about how I would do it. Geoff and I talked about who would do what. I was great at being creative and innovative, outside the box. I really missed the boat at school and dont know my times tables. However, Geoff was great at maths and science, logical and structured. So together, we soon discovered it was a really rewarding and beautiful experience to be the leaders in our childrens education for a period of time. I dont know that I would be cut out to fully homeschool our children. I selfishly like the idea that they go off to school and I get to pursue the things that I want in life too. So for the short time that we get to really be immersed in educating our children, we now see this as a really special time.
For this upcoming Canada trip Bailey and Gracie will be Year 3 and Year 5. In terms of primary education, they are both right in the thick of loving school and loving their structured educational setting. I feel like there is a bit more pressure this time (because the children are older) to ensure that during our four months of travel their education is not neglected. Together with the childrens teachers we are already making plans to ensure they are engaged and ready to make the most of learning while travelling. Firstly, this is the first trip we will have an Ipad. So already the kids know they can use schooling apps to learn and stay connected with their class teacher. This is not to replace the fact that I like the kids to keep a manual journal of their daily happenings. This has always been the best tool for recording our kids travelling adventures since we started lengthly travels in 2008.
We are very fortunate that our children can learn through many avenues, not just talking in class and reading in books. When I reflect on what they have seen so far it is pretty awesome… ancient civilisations, fossils, animals across the world, real dinosaurs, famous structures, the best of nature, artworks and other magical things most people only ever hear about. We are all very lucky ducks.
We look forward to the new things we can all discover and learn about in Western America, Canada, Alaska and the ever anticipated active volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Bring on the homeschooling!