We are so lucky in Australia to have freedom of choice when it comes to schooling and travelling. Your options are Distance Education, Homeschooling or Unschooling. When we first started our adventure back in 2013, I loved travelling and being carefree with the girls every day. Being able to go to the beach all day or just have a pajama day was awesome. As they got a little older and we started to think about “What Education system are we going to choose?” And “How is this going to impact our travels?”
I absolutely love the idea of Homeschooling. It would be a natural learning style for children to grow from. I had visions of each travelling day being an amazing learning experience for the girls. But as I researched the Home schooling registration and setting a curriculum for my children I couldn’t shake this feeling I had. I soon realised that my idea of this amazing natural learning experience soon changed to me being completely stressed. I had this overwhelming sense of fear of my own failings and at the end of the day, I was the one that was going to be doing most of the work. So I sat down and worked out “What is worrying me the most about Home schooling?”
No teaching experience
It might not concern other parents but to me, it really worried me that I have absolutely no teaching experience to be able to nurture my child in her education. I would be so stressed out worrying if I am doing enough and then probably go overboard and stress my child out as well.
Creating lessons seemed like a lot of work
With having no teaching experience I would have to do a lot of work and research to meet the Australian curriculum. As much as people think travelling is one big holiday…..it’s not. How could I possibly organise our trip plan and then structuring the girls learning around this? It seemed like a lot of work for one parent.
Would I get lazy?
In the beginning, I would start out strong doing all these amazing activities and eventually burn out! If I became unmotivated and lazy and this would impact my children. Would I lack discipline to organise something every day.
I knew for me as a parent I would need to have some sort of structured routine with the girls. Having the ability to call a teacher for support and assistance was definitely something I was looking for.
Fear my child would fall behind
And the biggest concern for me as a parent was failing my children. What if all the work and research I did was not enough and my children fell behind. I would be devastated if I taught my child the wrong way and put her behind in her education.
When I stood back and looked at all my fears about Homeschooling I knew that the decision was easy for me and Distance Education was our choice. I know my fears are all about me but as a parent who would be doing all the work and delivering the lessons to my child, I needed to be confident in my choice.
Don’t get me wrong, I had the same fears with my ability with Distance Education, however, I knew I would have a school supporting me and helping me with the curriculum. The biggest complaints from travelling families was the workload from Distance Education was too large and that made me nervous.
So I started to do my research and I learnt that not all schools are the same for travelling families. Through my research, I compiled a “Top 10 questions to ask a Distance Education school before registering”. The advantage we had was we already knew the pressures of travelling. We knew how full our days were when we were in the car travelling or sight seeing as much as we could. I really needed a school that understood what is involved in our day to day travelling routine and work with us.
Has Distance Education worked for us?
Not all days are sunshine and roses when it comes to schooling and travelling 🙂 I would love to say my children love school and jump up to the table each day to complete it…….but that’s not true. Our girls are normal kids and would still choose to play over reading or writing. I found the first two terms at the start of our Distance Education journey extremely overwhelming. Combining a new workload and travelling around Tasmania wasn’t easy.
Because I had the support of a school they helped me organise my school program better, helped me relax and enjoy educating my child. This year has been our second year of Distance Education and I was really worried as I had a Kindy and First Grader, and they both needed a lot of attention. We decided to sit still to give my Kindy aged daughter an opportunity to learn the schooling routine before we started full time travelling.
For our family, Distance Education has been great. It has definitely taught me to be a calmer parent 😉 . It gave me a great hands on experience on how to structure my day and what is involved in educating a child. The school we chose gave us a positive experience with Distance Education and we have enjoyed our time with them. And although I still have fears about my ability I know that we aren’t failing our children. And because of this we have decided to try Homeschooling this year. You can read all about why we are leaving Distance Education here.
Remember not all systems work for all families. This is just my experience and I hope this information has helped some families in their choice. Good luck with your “Schooling on the Road” journey 🙂
Note: This is my personal experience and opinion.