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Anyone else done a RTW with two little kids

go girl

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  • Added on: March 28th, 2006
Allen have you ever seen that thing that goes around every now and then on email about what you had to know by the end of 8th grade in Kansas in 1895? I have a college degree, and that's alot more than I know now.

My answer to this:
quote:
It is just funny out of all the professions that, for example, a parent with no educational training (other than having once been a student) can teach three children, all in different class levels, while traveling the world while it takes a teacher having to go to school for several years and 5-7 hours a day in the classroom environment

A. We all had to learn that stuff in school, so we either know it or can relearn it. B. We know our kids better than anyone else does, and we can discern their learning style and work with that--something that is no doubt taught in your classes, but you have to learn to work with 50 different kinds of kids, while I only have to learn to work with 2. And teaching is much like parenting, in the sense that all the training in the world will not help you if you don't have a real feel for working with the kids.
C. We are not caught up doing mundane teacher things like taking attendance, saying "quiet" for the 50th time, or trying to figure out whether Billy really is pinching Suzie, or whether she's just making trouble. My older daughter was completely shocked by how much time is wasted in school. D. After doing some subbing, I have newfound respect for the teachers. How do you keep them in control? Homeschool teaching is much easier! I only had to worry about 2, and while I had to review algebra, it was good for me.

That said, I must admit there were things we didn't do enough of, like writing term papers, but the girls were right with their class anyway. I can't explain that. I also can't explain why my girls were able to answer all the questions on a friend's worksheet, on material which we had never covered. But we do read a lot.

The social thing is of very great concern to many people, and frankly, it's the reason they wanted to go back to school. Now they want to come home again, but they must finish out the school year. We did lots of stuff like Girl Scouts, karate, and violin lessons. The biggest problem is that they are more mature than many of the kids, and are not caught up in the boy-girl dating thing. I view that as a positive. While they are more mature, they are not overly into makeup and movie stars. Also good. Most of the kids at school hate to read, and actively try to hold each other back. We never had that negative social pressure, so reading has always been done for pleasure around here.

They did get lonely sometimes last year, and I was actually glad to let them go back to school. It has always been their choice, but whatever decision they made had to stick for the whole school year.

I really am glad that they went back too. I will not say that homeschool is superior to school. They are different, and it would depend on the home and on the school. There have been plenty of failures around here too, but the common denominator with those is that they took their kids out of school because they were mad about something. ("I'll show them!") We were never mad at the school and I was careful to never speak negatively about them.

Okay, the travel part. We love to travel--mainly off season, and schools don't like it when they're out of school for a couple of weeks or more at a time, so that's why we homeschooled. They quickly became really good travelers, and sometimes we took worksheets and stuff. Not much of it got done. But a 2 week trip is a lot more intense in many ways than a longer trip because it's out of the routine. The subjects the kids would cover on a rtw would be completely different from what they study at home. So they learn French and art history rather than science and social studies. Why not? We discovered the "Horrible Histories" collection in Ireland last year and learned a lot from that. They retain more of that history than they ever did from a textbook. The social skills they will learn will be different also, because they will learn to meet new people, connect, and move on.

Really the main thing is, for me and my family--this is what we all want. No one is hog tying these kids. We all really want to go.

Anyway, sorry if I've hogged the board, but I feel strongly about this, and I know it can work. You have to make it work if you're going to do the rtw with school age kids, but it is so worth it.

Also, Allen I've mainly directed my arguments towards you, so hope you don't feel picked on, but there are several other families here thinking about the same things, and hopefully this is of help to the rest of you. (I can just hear dejags going, "But my kids are only 5 and 2!" Yeah, now they are. It seems like yesterday that mine were too, and we were dragging them off to Europe, and wondering if it was worth it to spend the money on something they'd never remember. We don't regret a penny of it.)
"Those who dance are considered insane
by those who can't hear the music."
George Carlin

Allen Ambrosino

Holds PhD in Packing
 
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  • Added on: March 28th, 2006
Not a problem. I asked to be "picked on" because I did present an opposing view. And I do agree with some of your points, like trying to keep control of a class of 40 children with their own ideas about what to do at any given moment. I guess I do feel like I have received my Master's Degree, have continued to upgrade my educational background and have worked at being a teacher and when most parents -- not speaking to you, but many others I have encountered -- feel like they could do the same job as well, if not better, than I could, either that is an indictment of our educational training system or of the "I can do it better" attitude of parents when it comes to their children or, probably, a bit of both ...

I am just not a proponent of home-schooling as an adequate replacement for being in school with other students and learning to interact in that structured, imperfect, never-know-what-is-going-to-happen-next environment.

But I will not go on and on, as I have been warned by the moderators that I should not divert topics on these boards, as I inadvertently did with this one. Mea culpa.

Suffice to say, your children sound wonderful and well-adjusted, and I wish you all the best when it comes to future trips, bonding experiences and the like ... it is refreshing comapred with my 1st parent-teacher conference fifteen years ago when only 3 parents total (not couples, PARENTS) showed up in a class of 37 children ... the fact you are there for your children and have the means to be (I taught in a bad neighborhood where a lot of the parents were busy in their 2nd or 3rd job instead of going to said meeting) will mean a lot (as you know) when they grow into amazing adults ...

Ciao for now ...

AaA
www.backpackernation.com

check out the pics from 67 countries and please give me some of your widsom on my blog:)

kidsnall

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  • Added on: March 28th, 2006
First of all, GG, I can certainly say you've earned your moniker - I kept saying "Go girl!" as I read your latest post. Couldn't have said it better myself. Rock Out

Second, I'm encouraged that others have been successful at keeping their kids current while on the road. I've always believed that it's more important to teach kids how to learn and a love of learning than to force them to learn by rote. What better way than to take them on an extended fieldtrip?

Third (is that good grammar?), as a child of two teachers, I have enormous respect for the profession and would never presume to attempt to take my kids out of school for more than a year at a relatively young age (while I'm still comfortable with the material). I'm in awe of those of you who have managed to homeschool successfully for extended periods of time (Congrats, go girl). In fact, before we leave in September, we've hired a tutor over the summer break to get our kids ahead of the game before we leave.

And finally, Allen, as a health professional, I, too, get frustrated by those who question my education and experience and think they know more than me. I respect your willingness to run the gauntlet of proud parents and have found this discussion very stimulating. Stooges
Carpe diem!

Check out our blog: http://blogs.bootsnall.com/kidsnall

Cheyenne

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  • Added on: March 29th, 2006
Here's a perspective from someone who WAS the kid when my parents travelled all around. I loved it. And so did my baby sister. My parents would take us all around the Caribbean, with a small suitcase that opened up and turned into a baby bed with mosquito netting on it for my sister (that was before they manufactured such things). I think we opened all kinds of doors for my parents, because everyone around the world can relate to loving their kids and wanting to keep them safe. Granted, they got a little freaked out when my sister got TB, but she's 24 now, is just fine, and thinks it makes a great story (Plus, wouldn't you hate to stay home, never do anything and STILL get TB? I sure would, and it's entirely possible).

Kids get their own experience out of it. Just like adults like to meet people from different cultures and see how others live, so do kids. I remember learning French when playing with some French kids in the next campsite during a cross-country trip of the USA/Canada, and I thought it was so cool (I was 9 or so). I also remember playing with kids on St. John USVI (where our parents took us to live for awhile when I was 5) and having them convince me to be scared of jumbies (little spirits that make bad things happen). Those were valuable experiences for me, and as a kid you go into it without feeling like there are barriers between yourself and others--you just meet people from very different backgrounds and accept them for who they are. I think this kind of carries on throughout your life.

I don't think it is selfish to travel with kids because you are not the only one getting something out of it. Kids process the travel in kid-appropriate ways, and get just as much out of it. I was talking to one of my professors about this. She has traveled all over the world to places I hope to go, like sub-Saharan Africa and just about everywhere else, doing amazing public health/development jobs I could only dream of. I told her I want to do the same thing, but wondered aloud "how do you do that with kids?" She looked at me in a puzzled way and said, "well, they're portable. Take them. It's good for them."

I think that's great advice.

go girl

Holds PhD in Packing
 
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  • Added on: March 29th, 2006
quote:
Kids process the travel in kid-appropriate ways, and get just as much out of it.
Ha, that reminds me of some funny little stories. 1. Mexico City, girls ages 6 and 9. The highlight of the trip was the shoeshine products in the hotel room. They loved the shoeshine girl game and couldn't wait to get back to the hotel room every afternoon so they could play it again.
2. Florence, girls 4 and 7. We went to see the statue of David, and while I marveled at the physical size of the statue (I always imagined him lifesize), the girls were marveling at something else. You couldn't take a picture in there, but I wanted to take a picture of them with their google eyes.
3. Venice, same trip, we were out walking and passed a shop that catered to transvestite men. There was a mannekin outside with a sequin dinner jacket and high heels and nothing else. I have a picture of the girls posing with him, and the looks on their faces say, "Hey wait a minute, there is something wrong here, I just can't quite put my finger on it!".

Allen, I just wanted to say one more thing that I left out. I have enormous respect for teachers and the demands of your profession. I now now just how tough it really can be. Some teachers were insulted when I took the girls from school, but softened when they realized that I didn't have an attitude of "I can do it better." I never did believe that I could, but all the teacher training in the world cannot fix society's problems, and I had a desire to shelter them from some of that while they were still so little. Which sounds funny, coming from someone who's planning to drag them on a rtw, but we're living in the heart of the meth capital of the world. These kids around here do not stand a chance, and I can't fix it for them; I would that I could. But we're not hiding either--I work with kids everytime I get a chance, and lead a scout troop.

Thanks for your encouragement kidsnall. How old are your kids, and where are you planning to start your trip? We'll be going to Australia first, in November.
"Those who dance are considered insane
by those who can't hear the music."
George Carlin

kidsnall

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  • Added on: March 29th, 2006
We have two kids, a girl (7) and a boy (almost 6) and will be leaving in September for a RTW trip. This is our latest itinerary (dates are estimates):

Ontario-Vancouver (overland) - Aug 21-Sept14 (dress rehearsal)
Hawaii - Sept 15-30
Fiji - Oct 1-7
Cook Is - Oct 8-21
New Zealand - Oct 22-Nov 21
Australia - Nov 21-Jan 31
Singapore/Bali/Thailand (overland) - Feb 1-28
India/Nepal - Mar 1-31
Egypt - Apr 1 - 14
Europe (overland) - April 15 - May 31
Tanzania/Botswana - June 1 - July 1

Sounds like we'll be in Oz around the same time - maybe we can connect while we're there (although I think your kids are older than mine - do they babysit?). I'd love to share any insights on family-friendly accomodation, activities, etc. Send me a PM if you want.
Carpe diem!

Check out our blog: http://blogs.bootsnall.com/kidsnall

go girl

Holds PhD in Packing
 
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  • Added on: March 30th, 2006
It sounds like about half of our itinerary--and headed about the same way.

Actually, this is embarrassing to admit, but I can't figure out how to PM on this thing, so would you mind PMing me first kidsnall? And yes, my kids do love to babysit, or just entertain. We'll be camping alot, as we plan to buy a used car when we get to Oz.
"Those who dance are considered insane
by those who can't hear the music."
George Carlin

go girl

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  • Added on: March 30th, 2006
So Cheyenne, you going to go and take them? It sounds like you had a great childhood.
"Those who dance are considered insane
by those who can't hear the music."
George Carlin

Cheyenne

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  • Added on: March 31st, 2006
I don't have kids yet, but when I do I'll take them along. Have a great time on your trip (both of you!).

KaimiK

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  • Added on: April 1st, 2006
I'm so glad I stumbled across this discussion. Lots of terrific food for thought. I just found out a friend passed away while living in Thailand, and I'd like to get over there to see her family and help with their elephant refuge if I can. BUT, I'm pregnant and my doctor has advised against traveling so far away (some complications I'm having.) I'm already trying to figure out how long I should wait before traveling with a young child. Anyone traveled in SEA with an infant or toddler? This is our first child so I am completely clueless...

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: April 1st, 2006
I've been friends with a family that homeschooled their 9 year old child while living out of a van in Mexico, and met another single mother travelling with her 8 year old. I learned many things from this.

First of all, with a disciplined schedule, one CAN homeschool a motivated child wherever you are, if you're willing to carry the materials.

Second of all, different children have different responses to travel. Some of them respond well to travel, and revel in different environments. the 8 year old girl I met learned fluent social Spanish without really trying. The 9 year old girl was also near-fluent in Spanish, and since she was home-schooled by an educated father, she scored better than she would have done at school. Most schools cater to the lowest common denominator, unlike private tutors. At one point in history, schools were the kind of places you sent the POOR people. Funny how that changed.

Some children, I imagine, thrive on habit and stability, and for them, a set schedule is even more important. They need something stable in their life, so if it isn't the place or the friends, it has to be the family life and a certain routine.

I've seen less positive responses from children 4 or younger, if only because they need even more stability in their life, and more attention from parents. If the attention is given, thats great. Disease and health is an issue with them, since they like to pop all kinds of soil and things into their mouth, some of which might carry parasites. Water can contain cholera and dysentery. Care must be taken.

When the child gets to 11 or older, care must be taken again concerning the SOCIAL aspects of their life. They're out and about, and who can they meet? Drug taking teenagers that seem cool, who can introduce bad habits to an impressionable child. I've seen 12 year old girls asking friends of mine about acid in Lago Atitlan. She was incredibly bright, yet perched on the edge of an abyss(I shudder to think what acid would do to a 12 year old in the wrong circumstances) One must take care of the social environment one brings ones child to, just as one chooses the neighborhood one moves to.

In a sense, when one travels, one moves ones body and soul to that place and exposes oneself. As adults, were mostly set and formed, so the exposure educates us without molding us unduly. This is not true with children.

Its a liberating thing to travel. I wish you the best of luck on your adventures. If you do it right, your kids will be sane travellers too.
Open your heart, and your dreams will follow

MarkhomAlert

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  • Added on: April 1st, 2006
It is wonderful you care enough about your children to take the time to spend with them around the world. They will definitely thank you for the experiences when they get older.

erin palmisano

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  • Added on: April 2nd, 2006
I dont have any advice, I just want to say that what you are doing is amazing. Have fun! Smile
"I would rather die of thirst than drink from the cup of mediocrity."

kidsnall

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  • Added on: April 3rd, 2006
Thanks for the support, everyone, we're feeling a lot more confident about this huge undertaking! Big Grin
Carpe diem!

Check out our blog: http://blogs.bootsnall.com/kidsnall

WT

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Location: 7 years into an open ended world tour as a family

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  • Added on: April 12th, 2006
Tuning in late to this discussion.We are passionate unschoolers and into attachment parenting and think our very slow trip around the world will be the best thing in the world for our 5yo! ( We also leave Sept 1 ...& will spend the first 2 1/2 years in Europe with short dips into Egypt and Africa before heading to another continent ).

Obviously after much thought and planning and sacrifice ,we believe that the very best thing for my child is this trip and lifestyle.We are much older parents who have put a lot of thought and research into it before choosing this path ( to retire early to do this).

The stats show that homeschooled kids actually do better than most kids in public schools.Every family I know or have read about who have traveled together or lived on the road together for extensive times have raved about the experience and how much closer it brought them together.How lucky a child is who gets to have the world as their classroom as we all learn the most thru experience!

I grew up moving around and traveling a lot and feel it was the very best thing for me and impacted my life in countless positive ways.Time goes by so quickly with children and its wonderful to have the joy of time together.Homeschooling is easy because of the one on one attention and can be done in so much less time than school.Most homeschool families spend much less time and are far ahead of school kids.

One can even do online schools as one goes if one wants school in a more traditional way.My child is advanced at violin and piano and we will be bringing keyboard & violin along and doing lessons by skype.The world is so much smaller these days and so many opportunites out there.

I know lots of families on the road in the states ( many have been doing it for years and now the children are grown).There is a great blog from a little girl who is 9 who has been on the road in Europe since she was 3 and having a wonderful life.I just talked to a family from Denmark who has been on the road in the US,Mexico & canada and going with a group in RV's thu Mex & central America.They work from thier laptops as they go.

The possibilities are really limitless.I say go for it and enjoy every moment! Life is short.Do it now Wink

( kidsnall....I will PM ,soon as I figure out how and catch a moment as I would like to compare notesWink
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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