However you decide to say it, it’s something that’s inevitable when traveling with school aged children. This to be honest was a HUGE thought of ours when we started thinking about taking the trip. There were so many things we didn’t know and had no clue where to start with all of it.
So because we have 3 very different aged children this was even more daunting of a task to research.
So the first thing we did was ask our teenager (currently in grade 10) if she felt comfortable doing school online. This would mean a lot of self-motivation, being accountable and being self-disciplined with her time. She was happy to give it a go. Then we spoke to family and a few friends and found out that there are multiple online avenues for high school aged kids. We didn’t have to use our school districts site but opted for an online school that caters to more rural households in our province. We started discussing with our daughter about getting a head start with her grade 11 classes now so that while away she would have less academics to do and could enjoy more of the adventures. She was all in! Through online schooling, we signed her up for Social Studies and Foods and Nutrition. This was last fall. She is trucking along nicely. Socials is a pain to be honest, but she is having a great time in the kitchen making new dishes for us….and she wasn’t done there. Right after the Christmas break she was able to get a spot in a night class which runs 2 nights a week. She is on track to complete Calculus 11 in June!
If all goes according to plan, next year she will have 3 academic classes online to complete in the year. This will have her on track to graduating the following year with all her friends. Woo Hoo!
Now, for the little kids it wasn’t as easy as finding something online for them. We soon discovered that there was not much online available for Grades 3 and 7. We went to the Ministry of Education for our province website and found a small bit of info there. The options were homeschooling, which pretty much leaves you on your own to follow the provided curriculum (if you choose, not mandatory. Say what???) or to do a guided schooling experience where you have a mentor to help you through.
We spoke to our little ones teachers and asked for their advice. We were urged to make sure our daughter is ready for high school by keeping up with her math….that’s about it. So homeschooling it was.
It was time to get cracking and think of some ideas to make sure these kids got what they needed academically. We have some ideas such as journaling, digital diaries, drawing and internet searches on cool things we’ve seen. Math is coming with us in the form of an online text book. Yay for technology and not having to carry around a huge textbook!!!!
So that’s what we are going with. Not sure we really are prepared to be “teachers” but we don’t really have a choice.
Yes, we will be homeschooling the kids, but in reality they will be world schooling. Because at the end of the day the things they will learn on the road in new countries is far more valuable than doing a weekly spelling test or watching a science video in class.
So it’s a Hail Mary at this point. I’m thinking it will be all good, but I do believe this is going to be a Part 1 of a 2 part post. Perhaps 8 months from now when we are in the thick of things I’ll be wishing we had bribed a teacher to come along with us 🙂