Schooling on the road.  Where do we start?

Schooling on the road. It has to be one of the biggest considerations to your trip and most certainly one of the most asked subjects on our Facebook Page, so we asked those that are already TAWKing (that's families Travelling Australia With Kids) for their thoughts.  I have collated their answers and have listed them below.  For basic information on your options, please click here.

The following are answers and thoughts from other TAWKers regarding schooling on the road, (names omitted to protect privacy) to help you.....

Schooling on the Road

  • We are from QLD and teaching one child who is in Prep. We opted for Distance Education as neither of us knew where to start or what to teach other than the basics. We also needed to be held accountable to ensure we actually taught school and didn't slacken off.  We have bad days but we spread it out and it is working for us.
  • We are only travelling for 4 months so our school has given us school books and a general guide as to what would be good to accomplish while we're away. Grade 4 is spelling and times tables daily, maths daily, handwriting, grammar and comprehension (2 pages/week each), travel journal.
    Grade 1 is reading, phonics (3pgs/day) maths (3-4pgs/day) and a travel journal. We get it done in about 1.5 hrs each morning.
  • We travelled around Australia for 12 months. My 2 boys aged 9 & 13 were given an exemption from school (QLD) by their school principal for 3 terms (I rang the school at the end of the third term and extended for another term, we were away for 4 terms all up). We took maths text books with us and they both wrote in a journal everyday. The work we did everyday depended on how we all felt, if the boys were working well we did more (approx 1.5 hours), we also used 'Maths on Line', they give home schoolers a 60% discount. It was a fantastic experience, the best decision we've ever made.
  • We are schooling on the road indefinitely and travelling indefinately, we have one in prep and one in year 2. We left from Victoria last June (2014) and did Distance Education for 6 months, found most days an uphill battle, (and I'm a teacher)! We are doing a working holiday, so decided to put them in school where we are for extended periods, this seems to be working better for us.
  • We are from Victoria with kids aged 7-14, we travel 8 weeks a year and home school full time. Just keep a diary when traveling, sometimes, it's in a book sometimes, emails, I'm considering one of they trying a blog. Kindles for reading as so compact, longer term I'd bring a maths text book. We do read about and study relevant topics to the locations we are going to or traveling through.  Some libraries have better audio book and eBook borrowing than others and traveling you may be able to find a good one you can join.

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  • We did NSW Distance Education with boys aged 6 & 8 at the time we travelled. School in the morning, one son coped fine and one was more challenging.
    The DE work load was insane and I've been a education assistant for special needs so I like to think I'm pretty good at outside the circle learning and time management for kids.
    We also stopped & worked and the kids attended schooling at these times.
    A lot of well known landmarks have kids sheets available. We also used brochures and info on where we were visiting. Even our old Camps 5 became a learning tool. If we went again I'd be upfront and telling DE what we would be covering rather than trying to jam it all in.
  • We're from QLD and doing DE because when I tried to have "home schooling" (and how it all works) explained to me I thought there was no way in the world I could "choose and explain my own curriculum for an entire year for both children"! Which is what the Home Education Unit expected from me to register with them. How on earth could someone who's never home schooled write a curriculum for 2 kids for a whole year??!! That's what I thought THEN. NOW, I know that all that means is I have to pick which books we want to use to cover each subject. I think they try to make it sound as confusing as possible so it puts you off doing it. I find the DE workload unreasonable, especially the amount of English each day. Thankfully our assigned teacher is very understanding of our situation but I do still feel very stressed when I feel like I'm falling behind where we "should" be. I can tell you one thing- next year I'll be doing my own thing!! I'm more than capable of choosing good books to use. My kids are 8 and soon to be 6 and we love schooling on the road.
  • We are with DE at Port Macquarie. We lasted 5 weeks schooling on the road, before I threw a tanty and told the teacher I'd had enough. He was more than happy to comply. Kids did journal, Study ladder (if we had Internet), iPad apps offline and a couple of text books. We had them assessed at the end of the year as we passed back through and they were on par to above average. 
  • I'm in WA. We home school. We do the alternate Steiner curriculum. I find it gentle but effective. We don't stress its a nice bonding experience. Its an hour or two a day 3 times a week, could do much less but we love it.
  • I was home schooling on the road with my girls through the NSW board of studies in our house before we started travelling full time. They are registered through Victoria not DE as I never know where we will be day to day for any mail to be sent to us and we spend 90% of our time with no power so no internet. We do not have to answer to anyone or hand in anything x i love it because my kids excel in what they love to do with the protest of maths x
  • We are in WA and we spoke to our principal and he gave permission to us to take the children out of school for one year.  It ended up being two!  (I had to re-enrol and re get his permission).  I just got books in their core subjects from educational websites.  At first I stuck to their age bracket, but quickly found that they were able to go further and so I adjusted their learning. We also did a lot of 'schooling' in the car, spelling, times tables etc.  We also had about 6 general knowledge quiz books, which led me to design this one: The Quiz book for ALL the family, so that we/you can all play against each other.  I have incorporated all the core subjects (and many more) and in consultation with my children's teachers, working on it for months, come up with this!  Hope you can get something out of it.  It is also available on Kindle and I am working on a 'real book' so you can physically buy it in print!!

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