Friday the 5th of April was a milestone in preparing to leave for our 6 month trip around Australia. It was the last day of Term 1, and Nicole reluctantly submitted the form to exit Jonathan and Daniel from their current school at the end of term 2. It was a little scary for her – what comes next?
My rather casual attitude was for the boys to spend 6 months being schooled by the ‘School of Australia’, if you know what I mean. However, concerns over the legal requirement for kids to be schooled, and desire to ensure a smooth re-entry to school in 2015 put an end to that idea. So just this week, the boys were finally enrolled into a locally based distance ed school. We deliberately picked a school that would be fairly relaxed about education during our six months trip, with only minimal subjects required to be completed.
There will no doubt be heaps of ‘natural’ lessons on so many subjects throughout our travels. Learning Australian history, for example, is guaranteed. The Qantas Founders Museum at Longreach will be the first of many history lessons!
Geography? What better way to learn Australian geography than to travel around it! Map reading skills are sure to improve. For social studies they will be exposed to a far wider range of communities and kids than they ever would be at home, and I’m sure this will be a beneficial eye opener for them. English – that’s what this blog is for! Though with the luck I’ve had getting Nicole to write anything, it’s going to be interesting to see how many posts we get out of the boys!
Science and physics? Well Jonathan took great delight in conducting his first science/physics experiment in the motorhomes first ever trip; to the Bunya Mountains. Yep, in the large open space of our brand new motorhome he was very curious to know where he would land if he jumped high when we were driving along at 100km/hr! (he was puzzled by landing ‘in the same spot’ 🙂 ) As we are rattling along corrugated dirt roads in the outback, we can discuss what causes the corrugations (not to mention lamenting our lack of 4wd. Sob….).
Then there is the question of why we have to be the one to pull off the narrow road, instead of that road train! Yes, that definitely is a physics question rather than a social one!!! I mean, what is the kinetic energy of that truck, compared to that of our motorhome when travelling at 100km/hr? If our motorhome and the road train collide and become ‘joined’ at that speed, what is the net resultant speed of both vehicles together? Alternatively, if the motorhomes kinetic energy is all expended into exploding on impact, how many kg of TNT is that energy equivalent to? Then watch a youtube video of similar amount of TNT exploding…. Should be a good way to teach them to never distract Mum or Dad when they are driving…. haha. Perhaps a lesson on Christian Ed/religious studies might be needed after that one!
Maths will require some ‘typical’ schooling type work, but both boys are good at it so this should not cause any issues. The 4 seats behind the cab are situated around one of the motorhomes 2 tables, so school work can be done whilst driving if they want to. I think the real world applications they will face during this trip, in relation to all of these subjects, is the type of situation/learning environment that really accelerates understanding and personal growth.
We’ve been told we won’t want to go back to normal schooling after the six months home schooling is up, and who knows, but I’m skeptical! I think we’ll be ready to send them off to daycare, sorry I mean school, again! Now that I’ve just offended all teachers reading this (ie. most of Nicoles friends!) I’d better make it up by saying that I think (as parents) we’ll be more appreciative of their teachers efforts by the end of this trip! 🙂