Australia with the kids

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 10:36
ThreadID: 97974 Views:2246 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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Hi there fellow adventurers, We are wanting to take off from the everyday grind and spend time exploring our gorgeous country and with our kids. Our kids will be going into year 8 and 11 next year at school and we feel if we leave it any longer we just won't do it. We are both teachers so think we can manage the schooling. Any thoughts on whether the daughter going into year 11 is going to miss out on important milestones/education if we take her away now? Secondly, the money! How do we survive financially. My husband can take 20 weeks full pay on long service, but I only have about 5 weeks. How long is a good time to be away to see our beautiful country. We would start in Brisbane and want to go all the way around. We don't have a house to sell, just perhaps one car. We will not have a mortgage to worry about though. Looking at purchasing a Jurgen Stargazer if we can pick one up second hand and have an 11 year old pajero to pull it with. We have a lot of camping, caravanning and 4X4ing experience for short term trips. All thoughts, advice welcome and needed.
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Reply By: SDG - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 12:28

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 12:28
If you listen to the education department, yes the kids will miss out on some things, but hey, they experience other more pratical things. You are able to take school work with you and do it on the road. Apparently, or so i'm told by the department, if you are going to be in one spot for a week or two, they are by law, allowed to attend the local school there. This could come in handy for the social skills, and the prac studies that they miss.

As for money you will probably need to rely mostly on what you have saved. Depending on where you are, you can often pick up a few days work picking. As a teacher you might be able to get a few days as a substitute in the town your in. Other ways I have seen is doing the odd job in the caravan park for a nights stay.

You can spend as much or as little time as you want travelling to see this country. You will never see the whole lot. Even sights you have seen will be different for different seasons.
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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 14:29

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 14:29
Hi Stef

Both my wife and I are teachers and we will be doing the same thing at the end of 2013 / beginning of 2014.

Our kids will be in year 2 (7 years old) and year 7 (12 years old) when we go. We will be enrolling them in the School of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE) in Western Australia. This way we don't have to worry about creating the lesson materials only the delivery. The biggest hassle will be trying to work out where we will be to have the lesson packages and materials sent to us - maybe it will all be electronic.

Having taught for over 20 years - The only thing I can I can see wrong with kids going on trips for this long is the social isolation - but hey! that's what caravan parks are for - our kids have always had plenty of others to play with and have fond memories of the trip friends. May be a bit harder for your guys as they are older - but we do have "Social Media" for them to stay in touch with their 'BESTIES'. We will also be using the Blog and EOTrackme facility of the EO website so everyone knows where we are and what we are up to.

As for the money - Forget the inheritance! You can't take it with ya! and your kids are young enough to earn their own when you come back.

We figure it this way - if your at home you have to eat - so don't eat heaps of takeaway and roadhouse food. No Mortgage - there's your fuel money - just put enough aside for emergencies and breakdowns - we have a credit car solely for this purpose (fortunate enough not to have used it -YET!). Who needs to get in a plane or helicopter to do a tour! - there are plenty of mountains out their to climb and the views are just as spectacular. There are also a lot of FREE things to see and do in each town along the way.

My main point - DON"T WORRY -JUST DO IT! you kids will benefit and become more wonderful people because of the experience and you will benefit by enjoying the experiences with your kids.

Remember - it's not just about the destination - It's all about the adventure.

Sorry about the long reply - i'm just excited about our own trip - all the best and safe travels

VKS 3539
Work - a 40 hour interuption to my weekend!
Too many places - too little time

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Follow Up By: Stef B - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 19:58

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 19:58
Hi Anthony

Thank you for your comments. The thought is certainly exciting.

Can you tell me why you have gone with SIDE in Western Australia?

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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 20:29

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 20:29
Hi Stef

We live in WA and work for the education department - so it makes sense to stay with the same curriculum.

I have included a link so you can have a look:

SIDE - Department of Education WA

"Apparently" you need to be a resident of WA - but I know of others who have got around this.

Curriculum is great - resources are modern, interesting and relevant.

It is the old 'School of the Air' (which was HF radio based) and the Distance Education Distance Education Centre and they have now modernised and gone all technological, making access easier


VKS 3539
Work - a 40 hour interuption to my weekend!
Too many places - too little time

My Profile  My Position  Send Message

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Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 22:44

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 22:44
we have done it for the last 12 years, our kids are now 12 (B), 10 (G), 5 (B) and they have gone to all the schools in the communitys and in my opinion the schooling is far BETTER as the tend to have more time to be one on one with kids ............. an the experiance is pricless for the kids, we have lived in North of Broome, in Kakadu at Coonida resort, in Arnhem Land, on and little island in the gulf of carpentira, in the desert out from Alice Springs and now in very remote North QLD .................If you are teachers you are SET for life work wise, remote places will prefer couples and you can even pick locations .....
We also DONT own a house and not looking back on that one after seeing some of our freinds struggle to meet repayments yet always say they wish they could do what we do ????
Keep in mind almost ALL remote jobs provide housing, forget the van as it is a hard life living and working out of a van, yes we tried it and never will do it again if we can avoid it .......
If ya want to do it then just do it, you may have some regrets at some stages but the regrets you WILL have later in life if you dont do it will be worse .....
Joe n Mel n kids
if you are a "facebooker" type person check us out (Joe Grace) and look at the photos ... lots of em .... and you will be packing tomorrow, by the way they will probally be looking for teachers in Doomadgee hahaha
AnswerID: 494784

Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Thursday, Sep 13, 2012 at 08:43

Thursday, Sep 13, 2012 at 08:43
As an ex high school teacher I would have no concerns about Year 8 schooling on the road. Year 11 is more tricky. Some subjects wouds be very difficult but that depends on your child's choices. The main difficulty is that Years 11 and 12 are generally sequential. You may have to prepare your Year 11 student for repeating Year 11 if you return to the current school. If you intend to travel indefinitely Distance Ed would enable you to cover Years 11 and 12 in a sufficiently recognised way but I would not underestimate the effort involved.
At that age you might need to prepare yourself for finding that, although this trip is your dream, teenagers can be very self absorbed and much prefer their friends and familiar activities to travelling with their parents and looking at scenery and history! You know your own kids best but I have known of some Families travelling (in Australia or overseas) who just dragged around miserable and moaning teenagers. You need to discuss these issues as a family and be sure your kids understand the longer term social and educational implications for them after the initial excitement wears off. Lynne
AnswerID: 494788

Follow Up By: Member - Joel and Michelle (WA - Thursday, Sep 13, 2012 at 14:56

Thursday, Sep 13, 2012 at 14:56
Have to agree with Lynne here. We completed the full lap in Dec 2011, with 2 boys now 11 and 14. My wife organized home schooling, as distance ed was too restrictive. Have to be at this place at this time. you probably Know more about it than me, it just didn't suit us. We took sat internet, and books. and halfway round we purchased a mobile router. The kids used mathletics and spelladrome a lot. Schoolwork was about 6 to 8 hrs a week and when we got back both of them felt they were well ahead of their fellow students. Here I should make my point before you get bored, The 14 yr old has turned into a full fledged teenager, he requires his space, his friends and a lot more patience. You definately need to sit them down and discuss what is required of them so there are no surprises. It's a great trip and would not talk you out of it. all kids are different but even the best behaved might struggle with a change to there world (Centre of the universe.)
With all this I hope you get out there and enjoy. Check out our Blog
FollowupID: 770479

Reply By: janice b1 - Thursday, Sep 13, 2012 at 10:30

Thursday, Sep 13, 2012 at 10:30
How exciting, if we did not have a mortgage we to would be doing the same thing. There is so much to see and do. You will never regret it.
AnswerID: 494792

Reply By: Stef B - Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 09:27

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 09:27
So hubby has approved leave and off to Blackbutt, just south of Sydney, to purchase our Jurgens Stargazer. This has been our dream van that we have had stuck on our fridge for about 3 or 4 years now. Found the perfect one on Trading Post. Looks like it is happening. 15 year old happy to go, although thinks she will only survive 3 months and the 12 year old could live this way for ever I think. Planning of route to begin now. Thinking south from Brisbane all the way round the southern coast, all the way to WA. Once at Darwin we will make our way down the middle to Alice and round to Lake Eyre, the Birdsville Track to Birdsville then make our way home across the middle of Qld. Had to make a deal with the 15 year old daughter that we would check out universities in capital cities for her musical theatre pathway, so a good compromise I think. She is excited and her friend told her she wished she was doing it, so that was the perfect response from her. Now to sort out finances, schooling, set up of vehicle and sell off a few possessions we don't need. Thanks for all the advise.
AnswerID: 495290

Follow Up By: Stef B - Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 09:29

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 at 09:29
Forgot to ask if this route in our timeframe sounds reasonable and possible?
FollowupID: 770954

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