No school for a year!?

School of the world.

One of the big considerations in our plan for a year on the road were the age of our children. Scott is 5 and have just finished reception and Ingrid is 8 and have just finished year 3.

After reading other travellers accounts we both agreed that at this stage missing a year of formal school is not a big deal. Ingrid will have time too catch up in time to apply for good secondary schools Scott will keep up with his peers by keeping reading and practising key sounds, words and numbers. The “school of the world” on the other hand will help us teach them asa many other things that they would not get a chance to in school.

IMG_2826A couple of months before end of term we arranged a meeting with Scott & Ingrids  headteacher and she was actually very supportive of us taking reasonability for the kids education while travelling.

Enlisting some help

In addition to getting a couple of basic exercise books for the curriculum they will be missing in English and Maths we have also privately hired a primary school teacher to support our efforts of home schooling while away.

We are asking Linda, who is a year 5 teacher in Glasgow, to help us ensure both of them are prepared for school in Glasgow when we return to the UK, as ur current though is that we will settle there afterwards.

At the moment we plan to have weekly sessions on Skype with Linda 45 min with Ingrid and 15 min with Scott where the work from  previous week is reviewed and the plans and focus for the following week discussed. Linda will give them both weekly assignments aligned with the Scottish curriculum for their respective year groups.

Once we start this program in September, we will see how it goes and review or change it as is needed.

For me, having a teacher backing up our homeschooling is such a weight off my shoulders. Not only can she help make sure the kids are working on the right things and do not fall behind academically, but I also hope she will be of help to us in enforcing the daily work we will ask the kids to do.

Many people have asked me about the requirements and regulations for home schooling, and many are as surprised as I was to learn that there is none. I don’t know if this will make the actual process of doing it easier or harder…time will tell.

You have got to start somewhere

In the months leading up to the end of summer term, we have talked extensively to both Ingrid and Scott about mum, dad and Linda being their teacher during our long travel to help them mentally prepare for such a big change. We will see how this works out in reality.

Home schooling principles Paul and I have agreed on so far:

  • Homeschooling term time only
  • Do more schooling in weeks of little travel
  • Use dead time to talk about countries/culture/climate etc and to read together
  • As part of her schoolwork Ingrid should keep a diary
  • Scott will read phonics books as part of his bedtime routine

Here are the books and other tools we have brought to helps us:

  • Manths & English work books
  • A word a day, a sound a day practice books
  • Top 250 words flash cards with word games
  • Top trumps & Uno
  • Scrabble
  • Reward book and stickers
  • Small wipe clean board & pen
  • Writing book, Maths book & Drawing book

Stick and carrot

Ingrids and Scotts school is really good at rewording positive learning behaviour and the they both really like it so this is something I am keen to keep but in a simplified way. The reward system we plan to use is a combination of stickers and treats. The kids have to collect 20 stickers together for a reward e.g. toy, ice cream, game, film and pop corn or a special activity depending on where we are.

The following will earn them stickers

Ingrid:

  • Schoolwork set by us or Linda
  • Diary entry
  • Book review
  • Letters & postcard writing

Scott:

  • Schoolwork set by us or Linda
  • Phonics reading entry
  • Word and number games
  • Letters & postcard writing

This plan is of course likely to change as we try it out, but right now I feel positive about the plan and thats a good place to start.

 

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