Are we being selfish ?

Submitted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 16:21
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I am writing this blogs to get thoughts to ease my mind and go ahead and make plans. I ask this because we were having a conversation amongst some people the other day and told these people we want to pack up and hit the road with our 2 kids ages 3 and 7 and were informed that we were being selfish by taking them out of school and routine and should wait until they leave home are they right are we being selfish or is it jealousy.
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Reply By: bluefella - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 16:48

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 16:48
No I don't think you are, school teaches academic skills parents teach life skills and a capable of teaching the academic side as well. Just my opinion.
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Reply By: IronMan - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 16:51

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 16:51
Would it be better to go and see this great land while you are definitely fit and able and when your 7 year old will miss some time at school, time which you can make up with impromptu lessons on the road and can make up tenfold with great life experiences?

I have a book called Australia On $50 A Day, written in the 1980's when touring on such funds was possible. One chapter deals with kids and schooling. A story the author tells has a retired teacher in a group saying that when she was at school she could recite the names of all the major rivers in the Kimberley, and proceeds to do so, but she had no idea what they looked like. Further along the trip, the group was being told about an Aboriginal bushranger (name escapes me, sorry). The retired teacher said "We were never taught about (name) when I was teaching.". A much younger teacher in the group replied "We still don't.". You can teach your kids FAR more OUT THERE than in a sanitised, pasteurised room.

Sounds like your people are themselves being selfish and jealous. Pack up and go and enjoy.
AnswerID: 510893

Reply By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 16:53

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 16:53
How long are you going for?

I suppose that it effects different kids in different ways depending on there personality.

My children will be finishing school this year and in hindsight I would do it for 12 months at your kids age. It is easy to get caught up in academic skills and local teams sport etc but there is just as much to learning life skills in a traveling environment. There is plenty of time for schooling, it will still be there in a years time.
We did a trip once with a number of families including one family of 4 kids that were on the road for a year and their kids were a standout amoungst the group as the best rounded personalities, well behaved and you could see them working as a family team with the day to day activities.

Don't listen to others, you know your family and if it is the right thing for you as it is not going to be the right thing for everybody

Good luck
AnswerID: 510894

Reply By: Idler Chris - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 16:54

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 16:54
This question has come many times before. Your "friends" are ill informed or jealous. Any informed teacher, and ALL other parents who have done such a trip will tell you its the best thing you can do for your kids. Search this site and you will find a list of benefits as long as your arm. Talk to the seven year olds teacher so you do some learning and maybe put together (with Mum's help) a project of your travels. GO Go Go.
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AnswerID: 510895

Reply By: Member - willawa - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:03

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:03
Hi Katz78

If your concerned about your 7 year old's education you can allways use a correspondence school.
Just google 'correspondence schools australia'

AnswerID: 510896

Reply By: Joel_B - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:12

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:12
You are definatly not being selfish.

My wife and I are planning to do this very same thing this year with our boys, aged 5 and 7. We have been encouraged by our eldest boys teacker, who has provided us with a range of different material and options for on the road "schooling".

I suggest that you engage with your school as you will have to apply for either home schooling ( 5 hrs a day! ) or an exemption from compulsory schooling. Which way you go will depend on your travell plans and duration. This is arranged through your childs school, well at least here in QLD anyway. The worst thing that can happen is your child may have to repeat a year. But is that so bad?

My advice is to get out there and enjoy yourself, enjoy your family and most of all enjoy this beautifull country.

AnswerID: 510898

Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:12

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:12
More people trying to tell others how they should lead their life and that of their kids..... there is never a right or wrong time or way of doing something.

One thing you have to remember with kids is what you do now will have a strong influence on them for the rest of their life and strong memories.

I think it is a fantastic thing to do but my view on it is I would wait for another 3-5 years so the youngest one will be old enough to take it all in and the oldest is still young enough to enjoy it.

But when is the right time?

If I was you I would live your dream and don't become a "gunna" do this and "gunna "do that.

AnswerID: 510899

Reply By: outback epicurean - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:13

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:13

We took our children (now 38, 36, 31) out of school several times. To QLD for 2 mts when they were 4, 9, 11, to Scotland for 6 mts when they were 6, 11, 13, and the youngest away for 3 mts travelling in the O/B when she was in year 9. The teachers provided some work but they learnt the most from the book of life. They are now working in Hong Kong (stockbroker), Netherlands (Mergers and Acquisitions) and teacher (Australia) having all gained tertiary quals. They all say that the trips away are the things they remember and really gave them a wide understanding of the world. Its the best thing you will ever do for your children and they will grow into very tolerant and understanding adults who appreciate the diversity of the country and the world we live in. Do it and enjoy travelling with your children and seeing the country.

AnswerID: 510900

Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:17

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:17
No Katz78 not selfish just a step ahead of the rest.
We are in our seventies and up till our kids were five and before they came along I worked three jobs almost around the clock.
When the eldest was five I retrained myself into a job that gave us six and sometimes seven weeks holiday every year.
We were packed and ready to go with three kids the morning my shift finished and returned the day before work recommenced.
Yes, friends said we were mad or selfish.
Our children breezed through schooling and on to uni.
Today they all have excellent occupations and are in their thirties and forties.
The eldest now takes her kids out of school and with some liaison with their teachers for a little schoolwork whilst they are away.
The eldest two of the grandchildren are at the top of their year and have a firm grip on where they stand and what they absorbed while tripping around.
My advice is try taking your kids out of school for a holiday and see how things turn out

Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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AnswerID: 510901

Reply By: allein m - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:49

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 17:49
I am sure there will be many kids out there who would love to be able to spend time with there parents sadly today many parents are too busy with work and there own life to sit down and spend quality time with there kids make sure you get lots and lots of pictures of the time and I am sure in years to come you will sit back down with your kids and you bring out the pictures from that great trip you had when they were much younger and that I am very sure will bring back some fantastic memories ok that time

AnswerID: 510905

Reply By: Meridith D - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 18:04

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 18:04
I am in my late forties and some of my greatest memories are from our family travels. We went overseas for 4 mths when I was 11 and my sisters were 13 and 15. I didn't miss out on anything from school.
Because of travel etc, I actually attended 5 Primary schools and 5 high schools (including correspondence school and an American school for 12 mths). I can spell, add up, been to uni and got a degree .......and still have the wanderlust to travel. I have been to small schools in rural WA to one of the best private schools in Sydney.

Best thing you can give your children is a broad mind and all the life experiences and independence travel can give.
AnswerID: 510906

Reply By: Member - Coldee - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 20:01

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 20:01
My advice is go. Talk to the teachers at school to organise work or, if it is a long trip, enrol in a distance education class. Check your states department of education website.

Keeping a scrapbook diary of the trip, write about the trip (either let the kids write or scribe as they dictate) and a decent maths textbook will cover the basics. The kids will learn some great life lessons.

AnswerID: 510914

Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 20:15

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 20:15
We took our three out of school when they were young , one year in Walkerston Qld, four years in Fiji, all are well adjusted grown ups , two through uni , the other is an operations manager where he works . Away from a suburban routine did more good than harm.

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Reply By: Member - Michael K (WA) - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 20:36

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 20:36
As we know, the learning process does not stop when you leave school, therefore it won't stop once your children are on your planned trip. They'll have a constant demand to gather knowledge as they go, develop new learning techniques and cope with changes to their lives while they're away. They'll enjoy their learning more on the road as there'll be so many different things to learn and different ways they'll be learning these new things. Don't ever feel uncomfortable or inadequate about the decision you'll make on your children's behalf...they'll thank you for it...we learnt that back in 1995 when we too took our 3 children out of school for along-term adventure we still chat and laugh about and it's led them to success at work and they've become life-long learners.
AnswerID: 510923

Reply By: Member - Terry W4 - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 20:38

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 20:38
They will be educated and more balanced than most of the kids that stay in the same place and go to school each day.

Think it is a wonderful education for them.
AnswerID: 510925

Reply By: Keith B2 - Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 22:51

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 22:51

I'm 18 and have done my share of travelling internationally, never for times longer than a month but I've seen a lot more than a lot of my mates at the same age as me - and because of this am often told that I have a much more realistic view/opinion (whatever you want to call it) on people from all parts of life! In other words it's been nothing but beneficial for my development!

I had a mate (probably 12 at the time) who spent a year travelling around australia with his older sister (16 at the time) and his mum and dad in their caravan - they are the most genuine, down to earth and kind hearted family I know! And this seems to be a common theme amongst families who travel with their kids!

My year 12 biology teacher just got back from a round the world trip with his wife and two little lords who are both still in primary school - they're both back into it full swing. No worries!

Only reason I can see for you not to go is to wait until your 3 year old is a little bit older and thus more capable of retaining the experiences and learning from it! Otherwise, just make sure you take him again in a couple of years!

Oh and I should mention that everyone at my age has the travel bug now because they never had the chance earlier, so they end up wasting time with unplanned gap years trying to save money to go, end up borrowing from their parents or spend the whole year working......and never make it.

Do it while you can! I could go on for a lot longer about why you should go! But i'll shut up and let someone else have an opinion.... haha

AnswerID: 510933

Follow Up By: bluefella - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 06:17

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 06:17
Young fella' you just nailed it.
What a great informed reply.
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Reply By: stu sharp - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 07:15

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 07:15
go go just do it
AnswerID: 510938

Reply By: Member - evaredy - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 07:31

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 07:31
Don't listen to anyone else, they are your children, do what you consider is the right thing.
Spending time exploring this great country as a family will have benefits that far outweigh anything else.
AnswerID: 510939

Reply By: LeeJ - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 08:43

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 08:43
No, I don't think selfish at all. Quite the opposite actually, providing you put the effort into their education yourself while on the road. I don't neccessarily think people are jealous (they may be but not as a general rule)- it's just not everyone's cup of tea. Some are scared of the unknown, some are plain old not interested.
Good friends of mine were quite vocal and honest about their thoughts on my initial plans to travel Australia. They wouldn't do it, it's not their cup of tea. They'd much prefer to travel via plane to a certain place and stay in an apartment with all the home comforts. That's ok- different strokes for different folks.

Do your research, hope for the best but be prepared for the worse and be comfortable and confident in your decisions you make for your family.
AnswerID: 510944

Reply By: R Send - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 09:59

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 09:59
When we are travelling we continually meet families with young children who are on the road for extended periods. The parents home school the children using help from their schools and the internet.
AnswerID: 510948

Reply By: Member - Matt M - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 11:49

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 11:49
Not surprisingly, you won't get much push back on this forum and I think most have covered the topic well. Ours were a similar age and as a family we have some lifetime memories of our trip which we can (and do) share often with each other. FWIW our kids rolled back into school as if we had never been away; in fact they were (I think)) better equipped when we got home.

Keep them reading on your trip, do maths quizzes, etc in the car and they will be fine. I would even go as far as to say don't let too much structured schooling on the road detract from your ability to see, understand, talk about and explore as much as you can. That is the real value. I am no professional educator, but it seems to me that 90% of the battle in educating children is to awaken a desire to learn, the ability to question and an understanding of how to make sense of complex issues. Your trip away will help to develop all that and more in your kids.

In our experience, I think our children were actually better off when they got home, not worse.

Go for it.


AnswerID: 510956

Reply By: The Landy - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 14:47

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 14:47
Ultimately you need to make a decision that you are comfortable with and be confident in that decision by moving forward with it once taken. Many will be polarised on this topic, and not surprisingly you’ll get many for and against arguments.

Education is an important part of a child’s development and one of the best gifts that a parent can give their children is a good education. And education takes many forms, and isn’t limited to the formal classroom.

But perhaps something you should ask yourself is whether you are doing it for your own reasons (the parents), or the children’s. And remember it isn't just about education, it is also about social interaction with their friends. This forms an important part of their development...

Good luck with your deliberation and whatever you decide upon.
AnswerID: 510972

Reply By: Rebecca H - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 19:57

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 19:57
We are doing it at the moment with our 5 and 2 year olds. It's only early days but we copped a variety of opinions from people too. We have gone with the view that we can always come home if things don't work out as we plan. Our 5 year old would be doing more work than he would at school and is absorbing so much information. Kids learn through doing. They are much better off seeing our country with their own eyes than reading about it in text books. Our 5 year old talks about his friends a lot and it does still worry us a bit but we keep talking to him about the fact they will all be still there when we do eventually go home and he sent his first email to his class today. Just go for it and in the unlikely event things don't work out for the best you can turn around and go home.
AnswerID: 511007

Reply By: graham B9 - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 21:04

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 21:04
In short YES. You are just like my parents, who when I was 6 dragged me around the world for 8 months. It was the last time that I got to sit next to Susan Davies, my grade 7 heart throb. I exchanged watching her silky brown hair each day for the 9 countries, hundreds of meals of food that I could not even pronounce and an education that was ever so valuable for the remainder of me life.

I saw children begging in India, bulls killed for sport in Spain, the bullet that killed Nelson in London and palm trees in Hawaii. Over time I developed a love of history and geography that has made my life richer by a hundred times, when compared to a hot stuffy classroom and a teacher that really did not want to be there.

You can read about the world in a book (or computer screen these days) or you can allow them to feel the wind, smell the place and touch it's surface. Look into the eyes of people with different coloured skin and learn that we are really all the same deep down. They will not just get taught something, they will learn and get an education.
AnswerID: 511016

Reply By: Lindsaydi - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 22:56

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 22:56
Mate, My three granddaughters were quite feral even though they go to a good Catholic school my son and his wife took them out of school -- with lessons and ideas -- for three months [Perth - Darwin and return ] the girls insist these days that they go to various camping places in the south of WA. Forget the knockers and do the thing to be and enjoy yourselves as a family having an ADVENTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AnswerID: 511021

Reply By: katz78 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 09:01

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 09:01
I want to thank everyone who shared their thoughts with us and we have decided that we are not going to listen to critics and just go ahead with the planning. Even though a good education is important I believe our kids will gain more from being out of the classroom.
AnswerID: 511030

Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 09:57

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 09:57
I don't need to say anything other than this pic, it is my kids at "school" 2 days ago (13/05/13) learning all about weather, history and all sorts of stuff, I will bet they will remember EVERY bit of it, spend a week telling a class full of kids about it and they will forget ..................... we get all sorts of complaints from our "family" mostly, they are jealous, to the point some get very cranky, you will regret it if you don't do it .... if you want to see more check out my pics on "fb" ......

Go, don't wait, you should be on the road, not reading this !!!!!!
AnswerID: 511033

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