For the last 17 months we have been living in our caravan and travelling around Australia. Before that we spent over a month in America. Before that we were packing up and moving out of our house. Our homeschool hasn’t looked like homeschool for a very long time. We’re very much off track from where I envisioned we’d be. Where I hoped we’d be. Why?
Because we didn’t take a trip around Australia so the kids could sit inside the van and do schoolwork.
At the beginning of our trip I had my sights set too high. There was no way we could have managed a complete curriculum with all subjects unless we wanted to sit in the van and do schoolwork all day. But what would be the point of that? Why travel around the country just to spend your time doing what you’d do at home? We tried different routines. We tried having ‘explore’ days and ‘school’ days. What we discovered is that we needed time to rest from our ‘explore’ days, so our ‘school’ days became ‘rest’ days. So we tried school in the morning and exploring in the afternoon. Which didn’t work because it wasn’t enough time and we’d be worn out too easily after a morning of schoolwork. What has worked the best for us is half ‘school’ days on our ‘rest’ days. But sometimes our ‘rest’ days were just ‘rest’ days with no schoolwork in sight.
Because we had multiple excursions a week.
Can you imagine if your kids in school were going on field trips/excursions nearly every day? How much desk work would you expect them to get done? Imagine kids in school: the excitement over the field trip, the preparation, the traveling, the event, the return travel. Should they sit down and do their maths before or after? During the pre-excursion excitement or the post-excursion exhaustion? You can see the dilemma we’ve had. We visit museums, national parks, beaches, etc. multiple times a week. We lose whole days when we pack up the caravan and drive to a new town. (No car schooling for us, but that’s another post!)
Because even the basics were hard to manage.
When lessons build on each other, how do you teach them if you can’t do them consistently? When curriculum requires memorising something and you don’t review it often enough. When curriculum refers to the previous lesson like you did it yesterday but you haven’t done a lesson in over a week, and you won’t do the next one for another week. We ended up dropping subjects altogether, and using random workbooks for others. Workbooks that I probably wouldn’t have used before but have been perfect for this trip.
Because we were too busy learning.
We’ve had so many adventures.
Now the big question.
How do we get back on track? After this season of unschooling, how do we go back to formal schoolwork? Or do we? How will our homeschool look different when we stop travelling in a few weeks? I’ll be writing more about all this in the weeks to come. Thanks for reading!