Thanks for joining me! As I am sure most of you already know a great deal of planning goes into packing up your whole life and living in a caravan, camper or RV. Choosing how you are going to educate your children throughout your travels is not an easy decision. My eldest is currently completely year two curriculum at seven years of age. He attended a primary school for the first year of his formal education and then we made the decision to switch to distance education. We loved the distance education program we were enrolled in. It was easy to understand and deliver and kept our son interested. I did decide that this option was not the way we wanted to go for our trip. It would have required a great deal of access to internet, the need for a printer and scanner to upload assessments constantly and I would be struggling to deliver each of the subjects as per their requirements. For me it was an easy decision, I was confident in writing my own programs to deliver to our seven year old and I was confident in tracking his progress and assessing him as per the requirements. So what are your choices as a parent for schooling whilst travelling?
You can apply for a distance education program by where you are essentially a tutor who is delivering a set program to your child. You won’t need to design or report on your child, just deliver the program, keep in contact with the distance education unit and meet their assessment requirements. Do your research as there are quite a few around including distance education programs through a number of private schools. From the many people I have spoken to along our travels I have discovered that distance education is rather varied from one school to another. Much like normal schooling, shop around to find a program that will support your needs on the road as well offer a program that is flexible enough.
You can register for homeschool. Like all methods of schooling the requirements may differ from state to state so you need to contact the homeschool unit appropriate for the state that you live in. For me, it involved downloading an application form and completing it. Yes it was in depth and there were many questions about how I would structure the program and cater for the needs of the individual child. I have no doubt that to many people it may seem daunting, however if you have a clear idea of your philosophy on education and how you wish to educate your child then it is well worth the effort of an application. The beauty of homeschool is that as the educator I can link to many of the things in that we see and do to our curriculum. Our writing can be directly linked to our environment and what we are doing instead of doing something for the sake of an assessment.
You can remain at your school and get an exemption from attending. In some instances you can approach the principal of your school and ask for an exemption from attending for a period of time and be bound only by the requirements set by your classroom teacher and principal. This option is generally only suitable for a shorter period of travel but well worth chatting with your principal to find out if it is an option.
You can visit the Home Education Association website for further information on how to apply for homeschool. This site is a great first stop as it will provide guidelines for each state and it also has information on some government distance education programs (just remember that there are private ones too but you will have to do your research). If you check out the ‘Home Ed Styles’ tab you can read about the different approaches to teaching your child which also includes some information about natural learning (Unschooling).