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Advice on older kids education needs

bbtz

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  • Added on: January 31st, 2008
Hi all,
well i've been trolling/lurking on several sites for a few weeks and have spent a good bit of time reading WT's blog (soooo much info to digest) and we have made our decision to take the plunge.....now for the wrinkle. our kids are in 6th and 9th grades this year. our daughter is the freshman and has always been in G&T school classes and is now in the IB program at her high school. Our son (also G&T)is a little easier to make these decisions for since he hasn't started HS. We are trying to decide how best to school them, as I have never homeschooled and don't feel competent to teach (my daughter) her higher math and science classes. We're contemplating virtual online learning through our county or another program. Or we would like to enroll them in one of the international schools through the IB program (they are all private and a little costly but we are willing to bite that bullet if need be) Any of you traveled with older kids who have never been homeschooled and/or expat experiences of sending your kids to international schools? Can you get a visa to say Spain for your kids to go to school, even if the parents are not going to school and parents are not working? Another option I heard might work is that my family is originally from Austria (great-great-great immigrated) and i still have extended blood family there. I heard something about one of them being able to sponsor me in that country.....would that allow my family with me? AND none of us speak German (not that we couldn't learn) just my daughter and i speak spanish. Sooooo, we are trying to decide what is going to make the most sense for their education and stabilty. They are very enthusiastic about the prospect and adapt very well to new environments, i just want to make sure they aren't handicapped as far as getting into the univ. of their choice.
TIA for any and all advice!!!!
www.perrysinwonderland.com

Mamoo

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  • Added on: February 1st, 2008
I have no advice since we only homeschool the early elementary grades at home...though my sons are a few years ahead of their grade level. I look forward to following this thread to get some advice as we will be having the same questions.

Are your travels for a year? I wonder if the answers will be different based on the amount of time traveling and away from your brick and mortar school (non homeschool).

When I hope to go my children will be 15 down to 8 (five of them in there)...I had wondered if we could just read, study History naturally and only worry about a math curriculum while on the road.

Anywho no experience but that has been my hope...
I look forward to hearing replies and hope you will share your time on the road.
Homeschool mom of 5
8-6-4-2-7months

bbtz

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  • Added on: February 1st, 2008
hey mamoo,
yeah hopefully someone can shed a little light for me (us) Smile
i did email a family that has a great blog sixintheworld.com as they have 4 kids (16,12,6 i think, and 4) so hopefully Anne, the mom, will get back to me with any advice and i will be sure to pass it along. We are actually keeping it very open-ended....maybe a year, maybe longer. but if it is longer than we would like to enroll them in one of the IB schools abroad (there are some in most countries) just to have a home base where can keep exploring western europe in greater detail. i just had a conversation today with her HS guid. counselor and we are going to work together to figure out how to best serve her accelerated track. as we get closer to formulating our actual plan, i will keep it posted and we will begin our blog. with 5 kids, your energy must be boundless..... idk how you do it! keep in touch!
b
www.perrysinwonderland.com

CAJ

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  • Added on: February 2nd, 2008
I'm no expert on providing an education program for a high schooler, but my wife and I are trying to figure it out. We're planning to take off on an RTW in July 08, and have a daughter about to be 14 and a son 11.

We have pulled together some information on roadschooling http://thewidewideworld.com/2007/12/04/roadschooling/ here.

There's a lot of great advice and resources out there. As you do your research be sure to share on this board and we'll do the same!

Best of luck

CAJ
www.thewidewideworld.com
CAJ
www.thewidewideworld.com

bbtz

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  • Added on: February 2nd, 2008
wow caj,
amazing parallels.....our daughter is 14 and son is 11! we keep going back and forth on what to do with this, do we roadschool (love that btw), take a gap year (they are a year younger than all their classmates, so if they lost a year they would still be the same age as the other kids) or trying to figure out how to gain a residence permit in say spain.
i love the resources you have put on your site and am already looking more deeply at them. we should definitely keep in touch as maybe we will cross paths on the road and with our kids being the same age....sooo cool! we are looking at a july 08 depart date as well, just trying to finalize our loose ends here so we leave unencumbered.
it's so great to find this forum with so many likeminded souls....definitely lets me know we are catching on to something great.
peace,
b
www.perrysinwonderland.com

WT

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Location: 3 years into an open ended world tour as a family

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  • Added on: February 4th, 2008
Welcome bbtz and thanks for the complements. I think you will find that the experience will be so enriching that you will only help your child's education. I am not yet working with an older child, but some of the things my 7yo are doing are college level ( her piano teacher also just confirmed that in her music theory work). It is one of the beautiful things about home school, you can frame it for the child. Many great Uni's ( like Stanford) actually prefer homeschooled students and I think most would be interested in a child with greater experience through travel.

I would not do an international school and especially not if you are only going to travel for a year. There are tons of distance learning opportunities including a high school thru Stanford for gifted kids. Many ( like the Colfax family) homeschool their bright kids to Harvard.

Don't be afraid to homeschool, it is easier than you imagine ( especially with an older child), will give you much more freedom and studies show it is a far superior method:

quote:
The largest study so far, authored for the Home School Legal Defense Association by respected University of Maryland statistician Lawrence M. Rudner, examined some 20,000 home-schooled students from 50 states. These students scored higher on standardized tests than public and private school students in every subject and at every grade level. The longer their parents had home schooled them, the better they did.


I hope you can take more than a year because a year goes by sooooo quick. We have really loved the approach of travel for 6 or 7 months and then coming back to one village for 5 months for a deeper cultural and language experience. There are advantages to both kinds of travel.


Here are a few links that might help you:

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/weblinks/giftedDPLs.htm

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/methods/DLPsUniversity.htm

http://www.amazon.com/dp/076450763X/?tag=gomilpit&link_...e=373489&camp=211189

http://www.dirhody.com/discanner/gifthome.html

http://www.amazon.com/Homeschooling-Excellence-David-Colfax/dp/0446389862

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronic...99/01/29/NB66774.DTL

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-294.html

http://www.road-school.com/

http://www.familiesontheroad.com/

http://www.familiesontheroad.com/roadschooling.html

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/weblinks/traveling.htm

http://www.willoway.com/

http://www.aleks.com/?ref=web

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/weblinks/cruising.htm

http://www.calvertschool.org/home-school/

http://www.brightkidsathome.com/

http://www.brightkidsathome.com/upperschool.html#gifted-teens

http://theworldisyourcampus.wordpress.com/

Well, I have tons more on this topic as obviously it is one that interests me, but these should help you in your reading on this topic. You are about to embark on the greatest adventure of your life!!
http://www.soultravelers3.com

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
PABLO PICASSO

bbtz

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  • Added on: February 4th, 2008
wow wt,
thanks for the mountain of info! that should keep me busy for a bit! LOL
i should've stated in my other post that we are looking to do this open-ended and not for just a year.... so if we wintered in spain, we were considering putting them in school there for those months and then resume our travels on breaks and summer. But i'm not sure what we'll work out as far as residency and/or dealing with schengen rules. we are 44 and 39 so we don't qualify for retirement ages. And we aren't going to be working anymore, so work visa is out. Maybe he and i should take a class there and will be able to qualify for student status ourselves?!? It may be that roadschooling will be the best option for us. Our county here does have a distance learning program but i am still gathering info from administrators on whether it can be applied for an IB student. The program is really used for students who are at risk of not graduating bc of physical or home issues....so its really just the basics. And my daughter and son would be bored to tears. The guidance counselor has begun working with us on options, but admits that this situation has NEVER come across her desk in her 20+ years of education work. But she was very receptive and intrigued and seemed willing to help. I will keep things posted as we progress and as soon as we get our site up I will let you guys know.
peace,
b
www.perrysinwonderland.com

WT

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Location: 3 years into an open ended world tour as a family

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WT

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Posts: 706
Joined: February 19th, 2006
Location: 3 years into an open ended world tour as a family

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  • Added on: February 4th, 2008
Hi bbtz,

I had a neighbor that spent 6 months in Spain one winter. What they did is the dad took a class in Spanish at a Univ. and the kids went to local schools and the mom worked by computer to her office in California. So that is one possibility to look into. Make sure you go south though for the winter, because they froze and I have heard that from a few people who tried to winter in Barcelona or Madrid etc.

You can learn a lot from what others have done and I have given you lots of different examples in the links. We pulled different ideas from different people because we were inventing our own style and I think each family has to do that and people really won't be use to dealing with this choice.

The bad news with the international schools is all the kids usually speak English, so they will miss out greatly on one of the great benefits of long stay which is absorbing the culture and language. We continue to homeschool even while in Spain and my child is only in the school for the language, culture and contact with the same friends.So keep that in mind.


Sorry to overwhelm with links, but there is a lot of good stuff there that hopefully will be helpful.

BTW retirement long stay visa is not based on age, but on money as the concern is that you can support yourself.

Good luck!
http://www.soultravelers3.com

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
PABLO PICASSO

bbtz

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  • Added on: February 4th, 2008
thank you WT,
i'm pouring through all this info and trying to narrow it down....thanks for the clearup on the retirement visa. i thought i had read on one website that you needed to be 55, but we will have no loss of income with the move as we are selling our manhattan brownstone at a significant profit and will be living solely off the interest without have to touch any of the principal....so we will be able to provide documentation to the govt. about income assurance. Did the process take months? and how harried was all the paperwork...i guess i need to get started asap HeHe
i really appreciate all your links and value all the hard work and time you have obviously put into this. i will keep things posted as we progress and i may have more questions.
be well!
peace,
b
www.perrysinwonderland.com

WT

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  • Added on: February 5th, 2008
The long stay visa for any country can be a royal pain in the butt, to be perfectly honest. That said it will vary greatly depending on where you apply for it as the rules vary from place to place. So getting it in NY will be different than SF or Miami or what ever. Much depends on the "gate" person who is usually overworked.

I have a friend who got it who is from Australia and she found it easy, but we did not. Most that I know that have gotten it for Spain, France,Italy or elsewhere found it very difficult. Luckily we had some experience working with the hardest planning commission in the United States, so had some practice with dealing with impossible red tape and run around.

We were not 55 when we got ours and I think I remember reading that you just have to be 18.

We did a similar thing with our funds, but that was a little confusing to them at first as they are use to dealing with pensions.

You can hire a lawyer to help you, but we did not want to spend the money, so muddled our way thru it with lots of endless things.

The process does take months and there is no guarantee that you will get it. They told us about one case where a guy worked for 3 years to get it. They seem to be overworked and understaffed so just jump thru all the hoops again and again and again. At least you will not have to drive to far to get there ( or so it sounds).

I know someone from Washington who did not get it and it was a real pain for her as the closest embassy was SF. Same for a friend looking to do it for France who lived in the south 3 or 4 hours away from the nearest consulate.

Try to find someone who has done it for Spain out of NYC as that will make it easier for you. We could not find someone like that, so had lots of trial and error. They told us one thing and then we would do it and then it was something else etc etc. They have all the power, so there is nothing to do but keep trying and do NOT get angry ( even though it can be VERY frustrating).

If it does not come before you leave, you have to fly back and all of you have to be in person to pick it up. We met an American man who retired there who had to do that. They also keep your passports for a long time ( or they did for us). You will need to have insurance ( which we found much cheaper than the US).

I hope you are luckier, like my friend from Australia!
http://www.soultravelers3.com

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
PABLO PICASSO

bbtz

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  • Added on: February 5th, 2008
WT,
it's amazing how sending a simple link to a clip gave us a real lightbulb moment!
like CAJ says on their site, our kids were on a well-worn path to success prescribed by the powers that be.
our son, after scoring off the charts on stanford-binet tests, and his other entrance exams, had his pick of every gifted school in nyc. he is happy, well-adjusted and challenged.
our daughter, after going through the same gifted schools, was then admitted to the manhattan private school with the highest ivy-league matriculation and the rcognition of "being harder to get into than harvard"
so we were pretty thrilled that our kids were on their paths to get into any college of their choice.
and then, we make this big life decision......
and then, we begin to question our moves....
how do we keep up this path for them?
how do we not put them at a disadvantage?
and then we watch the clip of Sir Ken Robinson!
of course we can make this work through roadschooling.
what college admission board worth anything wouldn't see this experience as truly irreplaceable?
so WT, THANK YOU!!!!! and yes, i'm yelling at the top of my lungs!! thank you, for the lightbulb moment that showed us, no matter where we are in the world....our kids are unique, creative, curious, loving, intelligent, open-minded, and beautiful creatures!
and we will be just fine!!
peace,
b
www.perrysinwonderland.com

go girl

Holds PhD in Packing
 
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Joined: January 20th, 2006

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  • Added on: February 5th, 2008
I'm coming in here late, and it sounds like you'll be fine, but I just wanted to say that we did the rtw with our kids being the exact same age. We had lots of HS experience, but to be quite honest, I was terrible about keeping up with it, and they did slip behind some, but they were ahead to begin with. The school officials were amazed by their experience.

The main thing we slipped on was math, but in Greece we did a lot with geometry. They read a lot of books, and good ones too. My 13 yo even read Dostoevsky! I had them read up on the history sections of the guidebooks and we quizzed each other on capitals and other geo facts in the car. The car is great for lots of stuff--math facts, spelling words, trivia, etc. I had them plan portions of the trip complete with budget constraints. I could go on, but the point is, every moment of the trip is a learning experience--try to stop them. Oh, and my older daughter kept a journal of the trip. And they made up a fun newspaper and wrote all the articles--on their own.

This summer, when they get out of school, I will have them set up a powerpoint presentation of the trip. My older daughter plans to type up her journal and make an album of the trip. This can go to admissions of the college she plans to attend in a few years. She wants to be a journalist, so it will be perfect.

Anyway, I'm glad you had that epiphany. You will never be sorry--even if they get totally behind (and they won't)-- So what? They start college a little later? My kids went right back into their grade, and we didn't formally do hardly anything. No worksheets, y'hear? Unless they like that stuff, which would be weird.
"Those who dance are considered insane
by those who can't hear the music."
George Carlin

go girl

Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 275
Joined: January 20th, 2006

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  • Added on: February 5th, 2008
Oh yeah, and if you want to feel any better about all this, read any book by John Holt.
"Those who dance are considered insane
by those who can't hear the music."
George Carlin

WT

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Location: 3 years into an open ended world tour as a family

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  • Added on: February 6th, 2008
quote:
the lightbulb moment that showed us, no matter where we are in the world....our kids are unique, creative, curious, loving, intelligent, open-minded, and beautiful creatures!
and we will be just fine!!


I am sooo glad to hear this!! I love that clip, so it is nice to know that it gave you a light bulb moment.

I really do understand your doubts and concerns, I had some of the same ones. We will be traveling for years, so I also had to deal with the fact that I would be raising a 3rd culture kid .

This experience will change all of you and it is hard to understand how much before you go. It is easy to get spooked by what one fears might be negative, but honestly I do not know anyone who has done it as a family, that has regretted it. Most say the great effects last forever.

I love reading about families that did a world tour long ago and see how it , many years later, still remains as one of their smartest choices. The kids are affected by it, but most say it was the best part of their lives.

Home schooling takes a lot less time than regular school because it is a one on one approach. We mostly go slow, so we have time usually in the morning to do math, music and the basics. ( My child does Singapore math and is years ahead of her age mates).

Sooooo much is learned through the experiences ( and more so as you have them help you with the planning, research and writing about the experiences). You might even allow them to make their own blogs about the experience or do writing assignments regularly on yours ( as sixintheworld had their older kids do).

I thought this would be good for us, but I was astounded by how good it has been and how enriched we are from it. The family bonding alone is worth the experience as there is no greater gift that you can give your child than the time together. We were a very close knit family before going, but are even more so now. I think older kids need this supportive bonding with family and few get it because of the time that school takes up.

I think this is an excellent article ( by an award winning teacher who has worked in the best private schools as well as poor public schools) about the need that children have for self knowledge and the gift of time:

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html

Even as young as my child is, I am amazed at how rich the experience has been and how much it shapes her without her even realizing it. She loves Homer, Greek myths and archeology and has seen more archeology sites before 7 than most people will see in a lifetime ( including Troy, Mycenae and swimming in the same Pamukkale sacred pool with ruins that Cleopatra and Roman emperors have bathed in). We also got to talk to a lot of archeologists working at sites like Ephesus and Aphrodisias.

If your children have interest in this area, these people are fantastic ( and they are flexible with gifted kids ie allowing one as young as mine to participate):

http://www.homeschoolnewslink.com/homeschool/productguide/lukeion.shtml
http://www.lukeion.org/


But there are so many more subtle ways it affects her like the time long after we saw all the Gaudi creations in Barcelona that she made herself a snack of torn up pieces of cheese on a ritz cracker and spontaneously called it " Gaudi on a Ritz" because it reminded her of the tile work or how one of her favorite play games is pretending she is a guide or making her art into an art museum. She even loved wine tasting in Burgundy which surprised me and we see that in her play. All the festivals in our village are now "her" festivals, flamenco is part of her life and expression and her speaking, reading and writing in Spanish is like a native.

Since you have never thought about home school I am sure it is more challenging to come to terms with all of this. Every life choice does have trade offs, but I truly believe you are making the right choice and your children will be so blessed and enriched by your choice...and so will you. Most families want to do more travel after such a trip.

Here are two more links that you might also like. This is a friend of mine who did very eclectic homeschool with his gifted daughter and she went onto an IVY league college ( as many do). His books and articles can be very enlightening:

http://www.skylarksings.com/

I happen to agree with this statement:
quote:
The truth is that a global education is the single most important gift we can give our children–and the world.


http://theworldisyourcampus.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/ba...ng-a-global-citizen/


This is one more youtube to make us think:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHWTLA8WecI&feature=related

Go for it...carpe diem!!
http://www.soultravelers3.com

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
PABLO PICASSO


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