Motorhoming around Europe with 2 kids...any advice?

Discussion in 'Home Education' started by to6y, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. to6y

    to6y

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    Hi Guys & Girls

    We are in the planning stages of our "crazy" idea...the idea is to leave around July of this year (however we may delay until March 2016) and go travelling for between 1 and 5 years around Europe in a motorhome.

    We do have a post here (http://forums.The Dark Side/37-cont...27898-van-advice-does-size-really-matter.html) about the more practical elements but thought I would post a question here as you guys have a home educating sub forum.

    The kids are 7 & 5. 7 year old has been in school successfully for the last 2.5 years, but the 5 year old has not been getting on at school - hence the reason to home educate.

    If we are home educating, we cannot see a better way that for the kids to experience things rather than read about them in books...Vikings in books or Vikings in Scandinavia, Romans in books or Romans around the Med, learning the countries/cities/rivers/mountains of Europe from a book or visiting them etc

    Anyway, we do not have a good plan at the moment just a list of ideas (and not be particular good/long list either!), namely:
    • structured work following English and Maths national curriculum...downloadable worksheets, course books from amazon etc
    • online learning...mathletics etc
    • researching where we are going on the trip, deciding route, writing reports, keeping diary, scrapbook, blog, postcards etc
    • computer/ipad educational "games"
    • minecraft (know nothing about this but read it is good for brain development!)
    • kitchen table science experiments, loads of stuff on youtube to research and copy
    • educational board games
    • watching BBC and other documentaries
    • craft & art...clay, painting etc
    • Geo-caching
    • Cooking
    • Gardening - not sure how to do this particularly well in a motorhome!
    • Music...piano (already learning at home...may look at continuing via skype or something) and start guitar (self taught)
    • Start having "hobbies"...linked to craft above but things like knitting, mosaics etc
    • Sport - swimming, bike, football, activities on campsites
    • perhaps link with current school via skype or something

    Obviously visiting loads of places and plenty of play as well.

    I'd add that one of our biggest concerns is interaction with other children, learning how to build friendships etc...this I assume is hard enough if home educating at home (but at least you have clubs etc)...if travelling around as well we won't have clubs or regular contact with the same people...any suggestions here?

    Any and all advice greater received

    Many thanks

    Toby
     
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  2. thehutchies

    thehutchies Funster

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    There are quite a few of us on here who home educate or have done previously.
    We have four kids from 14 years old down to 6, home ed and fulltimers.

    The first piece of advice I could give is throw the list away! :)
    They will learn what they need or want to learn without having to tie knowledge down into school subjects.

    Kids make friends quickly and won't be short of play mates.
    You will, however, have a chance to build an extraordinarily close family relationship, something which is sadly missing in many children's lives.

    Just wing it and I bet that in a year's time the last thing you will be thinking of is list-making (y)
     
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  3. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I have to ask about funding, if you can afford to stay in campsites during the summer your kids will meet lots of others. If you are going to be staying in aires or wild camping they will generally meet crusty old facts. Nice facts but a bit out of their age range.

    I see the predictive text changes fact to facts. No matter, I am sure you get the gist!
     
  4. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    I was a teacher ( schools, college etc..) for over 20 years and I'm all in favour of home schooling. I wish my daughter would take her son out of school and home school him.

    Had a mum and daughter stay in France ( my house was holiday retreat for widowed people) she and her late husband had home schooled both kids. Son didn't pick up a pen to write until he was 11. He passed GCSEs, A levels, got a First in biomedicine and a PhD by the time he was 25. Daughter had already taken maths GCSE at 14. She was the only child who stayed who had the confidence to try talking in French in the market, shops etc....

    Chuck all the lists away. Build camp fires, cook on them, swim in seas and lakes, climb mountains.
    Take pens,crayons , pens, books, binoculars and a camera.
    Shop in local markets, play in local playgrounds ( with the kds--bit weird without!) children make friends and play without a common language. Believe me, they just find their way.
    Your kids have the most brilliant opportunity --- freedom where they'll learn through life,or in a school, tied up with petty rules and where 90% of the adults suffer from stress ? No contest.

    You will NEVER regret it!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
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  5. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    remember to take handcuffs or cable ties and earplugs to cope on those rainy days when you are all inside.:mask:
     
  6. thehutchies

    thehutchies Funster

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    Or just sit quietly together, take turns reading a book aloud, play a board game.
    Or just take a walk in the rain; you won't feckin dissolve! :D
     
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  7. to6y

    to6y

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    Thank you so much for replying.

    It is a relief to hear there are others home educating and travelling...that can offer advice, thanks :)

    I am sure there will be a great deal of flexibility in whatever home education plan we come up with, however, currently I am pretty convince it is going to be a mix of everything...I think our kids would enjoy working on "topic" for example such as vikings and researching, drawing pictures, writing stories, making shields, sending postcards, visiting museums etc etc all subtly linked to vikings slowly building up a scrapbook on the topic...if we do it well, we hope it wont feel like learning, rather a fun thing to do while travelling around as a family.

    I also think a "list" will help us fill the days...having no plan i think would scare us. When I say a plan, I don't mean a timetabled daily/weekly/monthly 100% structured plan...just a slightly more developed longer list.

    But generally, I agree with you...we'll be chilled! :)
     
  8. to6y

    to6y

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    Thank you so much for replying.

    I will be working for ~20 hours a week, my wife will not.

    My income should allow us to live relatively worry free....as long as we don't go crazy.

    I would expect during busy periods we would use campsites more, specifically so the kids could meet other children and take part in campsite group activities. Outside of busier periods (when campsites don't have activities), we plan on spending roughly 5 days aire/wild 2 days campsite a week.

    I think the campsite vs aire/wild will also depend on the country.

    We plan initially on moving quite frequently, every other day...but we are totally flexible and happy to stay in one location for 2 weeks if we like it that much.
     
  9. to6y

    to6y

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    I get your point, but I recon suitable clothing is more important on rainy days.

    Take my avatar...taken August 2014, it was obviously a wet day but also chilly, windy and sufficiently foggy for the fog horns to be going...still managed an ice cream when we got to lands end though!
     
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  10. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Years ago there was a young girls online blog when she and her family full timed around Europe. She occasionally went to school--I remember photos of a school in Spain, and her being a Brownie somewhere else. Don't know if it's archived online somewhere---I think her name was Daisy.

    Edit. Can't find it but loads here my travels in a motorhome homeschooled
     
  11. Mel

    Mel Funster

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    I canot give any advice from experiance.
    Exept i have met one family who full time and home educate there children.
    If you do half the job thehutchies have done you wont go far wrong. IMO
    The family is fantastic.
    The children are polite and well brought up.

    I also think they will have a wondeful start in life.
    Education is not only in school IMO

    Mel
     
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  12. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    We spent a few years travelling with a motorhome and a converted coach with our two young children---educated with help of 'Education Otherwise'
    Kids will make friends OK-----it is harder to wildcamp with campfires than it was when we did it---not impossible.
    We think Sweden will give you this type of camping more than anywhere,(check on fire risk/restrictions)--A LOT of places have fire pits/BBQs for free---- and now Sweden is NOT expensive.----Arctic Circle/midnight sun, millions of reindeer, space, lakes etc. etc
    Getting into cities/big towns is quite hard to visit sites most of the time---we found using campsites and public transport worked well.
    You will ALL love it
    Nigel & Pamala
     
  13. to6y

    to6y

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    I think I have seen the blog too...American couple and daughter, spent about 2 years in Spain from memory. Don't appear to have saved the blog....perhaps was referenced from this one:
    http://worldschooladventures.com/other-traveling-families/
     
  14. thehutchies

    thehutchies Funster

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    The Draper family did home ed and Daisy is now studying at Tufts university in Massachusetts. Lovely family.



    This would have been the soultravelers3

    http://www.soultravelers3.com/blog-index.html

    A different approach to non-school education but another interesting example of alternatives to the stereotypical lifestyle.
     
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  15. to6y

    to6y

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    Thank you so much for replying.

    Another of our big unanswered questions is whether we:

    - should have a motorhome and a car i.e. we are not "motorhoming", we are simply having a mobile house that we shift around every few days, once a week, once a fortnight, everyday...who knows....and use the car to visit stuff (like we do currently)

    - or just a motorhome and go "motorhoming"


    My concern with "motorhoming" is that it will be much harder to take the kids places and they'll miss stuff.


    Does that make sense, much more about this topic on MHfacts.com
     
  16. billym

    billym Read Only Funster

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    Hi.
    I think you are planning too much. We did what you plan to do for ten years with a blip in the middle at a Spanish school and brownies!.We never had a plan, buying a map of Spain on the ferry on our first trip. Planning would not have worked for us, similarly constant moving on would not. I see you think you may do 20000 miles first year, we did that in 10 years, preferring almost exclusively on campsites and aires and having a car to get around from that base. We also worked on campsites etc.
    We never did any formal education until we met some wonderful home educated kids and their parents when ours were 12 and 14 who saw them through some GCSEs

    Social interaction was also our biggest worry. (Ours were 4 and 6) We worked hard to be in places where there would be other kids at holiday times, ensured we kept in touch with friends at home (satellite internet) but as The Hutchies(Thanks for the kind words...fulltiming eh?) say, young kids will make friends anywhere but I suggest that moving on continuosly and wild camping that would be very unlikely, they are not going to make friends parked in some town centre car park.

    Our kids had a very unconventioal lifestyle, the boy going to college at 16 now sunning himself in Valencia on his year out from studying at universitty of Nottingham.The girl went to school at 14, ( brownies in Spain turned into sitting on the girl guide advocate panel for three years and is now in USA on a full scholarship.
    People thought we were mad. It worked out well. I dont think we would have lasted 6 months without a car or 5 months moving on all the time or 4 months wildcamping a lot of the time or 3 months studying round a table or 2 months planning everything out meticulously or finally 1 month if we weren't "all in it together"
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
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  17. Bill and Shell

    Bill and Shell

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    This is an interesting thread, a little old now, are there any updates??
    We are planning a 12 - 18 month tour of Europe, hopefully starting in the next month, with our 2 year old lad, very much looking forward to this experience as a family and the possibilities that it may bring
     
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