When we told our friends and family we had decided to travel the first question they asked was often “what are you doing with your children?” It hadn’t even occurred to us that we would travel without our children but what I realised was that beneath this question what the recently enhanced and enforced rules in British schools that impose fines on parents who take their children out of school for personal reasons such as family holidays.
In reality we didn’t encounter the possibility of a fine with either school because of the education route we decided to take.
From the outset of our planning the education of our children was probably the most important question we needed to have answers for before making any firm decisions.
After researching our options we understood that registering our children for homeschooling was as simple as sending a letter to their current school. So in March (five months before our first flight) we sent letters to both schools notifying them of our travel plans and that we would be educating our children ourselves for the duration of our travels.
Travelling is proving to be a lot more tiring than we anticipated so neither we nor our children have the energy or motivation to sit down with books for extended periods of time. Formal learning is happening but we are also relishing and valuing all the informal and social stuff that they are learning as we travel. Informal learning includes use of money and currency conversion, the value of food and other items, negotiation and assertiveness with taxi drivers, logistics and real world problem solving (what we do when I leave my iPad on a bus, how to get a full refund from a hotel that we can’t stay the night in or how to use a squat toilet when there is no toilet paper) etc.
The opportunities for formal learning are not as plentiful as we had hoped and we are having to get creative with making the learning that we present to our children fun and appealing.
We have the freedom to chose our own curriculum/topics/focus so we are working on all our passions and with the location/history/geography that surrounds us. So Computer programming and researching about Ghandi (we are currently in India) sit alongside, book reading, Maths and Grammer/spellings etc. For some reason the boys were not keen on visiting the International Toilet museum with me in Delhi (one of my passions) but they did spend the day exploring the science museum instead.
Generally we are seeing this adventure as one big field trip and there is lots of learning evidence from the reviews our boys are writing on Trip Advisor, blog or vlogs about a day, decision making around if the fizzy drink they want is a good price in a particular restaurant or even just chatting to us about their observations of something they have noticed that interests them.