Planning our trip and need tips and advice!

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 at 17:39
ThreadID: 103488 Views:1859 Replies:6 FollowUps:0
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We have just started planning our around Australia trip leaving Feb 1 2014. We are very excited!
Firstly, we are travelling with 3 kids (8, 6 & 4) and I would really like some tips and advice on home schooling. From what I've read, home schooling rather than distance ed. is the way to go. We do not have our own home so I am thinking I will have to use my parents address to do this? Any helpful info on this would be GREATLY appreciated as this bit has me the most anxious!
Our home will be a Coromal Pioneer Silhouette and we are debating on whether or not to put on a reverse cycle air con, either a Sparrow/Ibis or a Dometic B19005. Any insight into this wouldn't go astray either. Also, any other ideas for add ons that are handy would be good.
Generally I am after helpful tips, ideas and advice to help with our planning!
Thanks guys :)
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Reply By: Member - Coldee - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 at 19:37

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 at 19:37
I would suggest you contact your state's education department and enrol the kids into one of the Distance Education schools. In NSW the address is

Once you contact them they will be able to help you further.

Home schooling / Distance Ed? Distance Ed means they will organise and send you the work and you tutor the kids to ensure the work is done. Home schooling means you set your own work and tutor the kids to ensure the work is done. For that reason I would definitely investigate home schooling, especially if you are not a trained teacher. Both fall under the guidance and approval of the Department of Education.

Which ever way you go I would suggest you look into getting a mobile broadband plan as this will help with the studies. Last time I had anything to do with Distance Education it was all mail with regular teacher visits and community days (Walgett district of NSW). I would imagine that a lot of it is now online but a lot will also involve postage. If you are doing your own lessons there are a lot of good Australian interactive sites. One of the best is An excellent site but there is an annual fee of about $99. There are some free, but not all are good. Some are ... not as good.

When you work out a rough timetable for your travels if you take the distance Ed option you could organise to send work to and from local post offices on your route. Work can be arranged to be posted to a destination in advance and the Post Office will hold it for you until you arrive. The education department will fill you in on all the details and answer any questions.

Anyway, most of my information regarding distance Ed is out of date, so I will go back to my original advice and suggest you get in touch with the department. Inform your local public school and they will point you in the right direction. I would definitely recommend going the distance education option.

My only other suggestion, regardless of option, is to make sure you have a comfortable place to work so an air conditioner may be good. More importantly is a good table and chair for written work. A designated work area with everything kept at hand so you can sit them down and start without having to go look for things. Set a daily routine and work your day around it for lessons. Morning is best although it may suit you better to do it a couple of hours before dinner. That is up to you and what suits you best. Setting a regular school routine will ensure the lessons are not overlooked. It will also make it easier to settle the kids to the task.

I do not have any experience travelling with kids but I have had a few decades of classroom experience, so I will declare a bias for Distance Education. You have work set for you and access to some good resources online. Others with "travel with kids" experience may disagree with my advice.

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 515673

Reply By: Robyn R4 - Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 at 21:20

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 at 21:20
Sound advice from someone in the trade.
I am too.
With regards to great sites...if their school uses mathletics and reading eggs then they are available at no cost to the students for home access. That means, if your kids have access to these sorts of sites, you'd be able to keep using them! They'd already have their passwords and be ready to roll!
Check in with your principal or teacher. What they don't know they will be able put you into the right direction.
How long are you travelling for?
Don't panic about their education. Do your research etc, yes, but also know that they will come away with the most amazing general knowledge re geography and animals, they'll have empathy for people from all walks of life (indigenous, isolated communities etc) and they will appreciate the little things so much.
Good on you!
AnswerID: 515679

Reply By: allein m - Thursday, Aug 01, 2013 at 12:34

Thursday, Aug 01, 2013 at 12:34
one great advantage is you will have a digital camera so take lots lots of images so the kids can look back at this in 10 or 20 years time I have a few photos of my child hood travelles and only some faint memories of them

the kids will thank you in yearsto come for that
AnswerID: 515704

Reply By: tribe-of-5 - Thursday, Aug 01, 2013 at 13:38

Thursday, Aug 01, 2013 at 13:38
Thanks for the responses.
Regarding distance ed (QLD), I like this idea because the curriculum is all sent to you and you just have to help the kids along says that in order to register you must provide a comprehensive itinerary of travel plans - we are not going to have an itinerary at all! We are just going where the wind takes us, we don't even have a set time that we are travelling. It could be 2 years or it could be 5, we just don't know. Also you have to have internet access - this could be a big problem as we plan to go remote and often. I am starting to think that distance ed is out of the question for us. True or are there ways around this?
Doing homeschooling, I would be very nervous about creating my own curriculum for my kids! I am probably over thinking this but I would like to hear from families that have or are doing homeschooling on the road.
AnswerID: 515712

Reply By: Member - Chris_K - Thursday, Aug 01, 2013 at 18:56

Thursday, Aug 01, 2013 at 18:56
Hi 'Tribe-of-5'

Great advice from everyone. I work in Dist Ed in QLD. Depending on when your child turned 4, they also deliver a kindergarten program that is based on the Queensland Kindy curriculum. The Prep-onwards program is based on the new Australian Curriculum. The teachers K-12 are all qualified and have professional development to help ensure they deliver quality programs.

The children do 'web sessions' using a platform called 'Elluminate'. They can see and hear their classmates (webcam), share documents, complete interactive activities using 'whiteboard' screens (images, text, drawings etc can be added by children and teachers), even work in different 'virtual rooms' online in 'groups' on tasks. (Younger ones do more 'active learning' with materials and music. movement etc). Classes also have an online 'blackboard classroom' where they can access materials and complete tasks together anytime, anywhere! Some reading lessons and other support is provided via teleconference/phone support.

The schools can provide IT help/support if there are any problems and will mail out 'library books'/resources etc if you have 'Mailing' addresses en route.

The Unit materials can be provided on a USB (which saves storing lots of bulky paper documents - which is hard when travelling). As well as the web sessions, children complete the unit activities from the guide/workbooks and send in their work. This allows the teachers to assess learning and adjust unit work etc. They also provide help to you/the tutor. Access to email at least once a week would be really useful.

The Learning/teaching Guides are written to support parents to deliver the K-3 program. From Yr 4, the guides are written more for the child and gradually the child can take over and manage most of the work independently if they have a good routine and work ethic.

The travel itinerary helps with communication and planning. You can update/change plans.

Communication between families and teachers makes an enormous difference to the quality of learning and child's success.

Being available for web sessions at scheduled times is something you would have to consider, especially with 3 children, having lessons at various times. This might be something to discuss, if you contact a school of Dist ed. You may be able to organise 'travel days' and 'school days' so you can be available for online lessons when you have an internet connection.

These are the links to the Brisbane school. There are other Dist ed schools - in Cairns, Capricornia Rocky and Emerald), Charleville, Charters Towers, Longreach Mt Isa. They all use the same curriculum materials for K-12.

There are fees for some categories of enrolment
There is lots of info re: any other chargers, special needs support, enrichment etc

Info on the kindy program is on a different tab. There are no fees for travellers doing eKindy.

Hope that helps
AnswerID: 515726

Reply By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Thursday, Aug 01, 2013 at 20:07

Thursday, Aug 01, 2013 at 20:07
I,m not much help re the schooling but 1 suggestion I have is to have each child responsible for a certain job each time you pull up to set up camp.
That way they are active after a day in the car.
Have a good trip,
Always planning the next trip. VKS-737 mobile 1619

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