Tag Archives: reading

Our World School: An End of Year Report

30 Dec

A living room with chequered tiles set up on the ceiling, at Scienceworks, Melbourne

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For anyone planning longterm travel with kids, anyone who would like to travel and is delaying having kids to do so, or any parents who would love to travel but feel they can’t because of the kids, probably the single biggest concern is what sort of education a child will get on the road.

This is also a major source of anxiety for other family members, particularly grandparents.

Honestly? Education, once you get the hang of it, is one of the easiest things about travelling as a family. I’ve posted before about the wonders of unschooling, a child-led approach to learning. I’ve also posted about the sheer hell of imposing a school-y structure on travelling, AKA death by long division.

Most of Z’s learning is hands-on, supplemented by almost entirely self-directed reading. We spend very little time on more formal learning, though I’ve had to learn a lot myself to keep up with his questions on the places we visit.

Here’s the end of year report card on my now-ten-year-old son’s roadschooling. I’m hoping travelling parents, prospective travelling parents and, for that matter, others considering alternatives to the school system, will find it useful. Continue reading

Age-Appropriate Reading (Again)

17 Mar

Z is scrutinising Lonely Planet South-East Asia with an expression I can only describe as panic.

“Mum,” he says. “I really don’t think it’s a good idea to go to Vang Vieng.”

Vang Vieng, Laos, is a destination I’ve been to-ing and fro-ing over, as it happens. On balance, I reckon that an other-worldly landscape, white water tubing and caves will more than compensate for the prevalence of happy pizza joints, Western teenagers revelling in reefer-fuelled freedom from the parental home, and 21-year-old Israelis obliterating the memory of their military service. Plus someone has recommended a good guesthouse that’s out of town.

Furthermore, nine-year-old boys and 18-30s on mushroom shakes have rather more in common than either side might care to think. On balance, folk of an age to have children, nephews, nieces etc. think Z will love the tubing, as do I. Folk closer in age to Z than me think that witnessing such decadent scenes of canage will be traumatic for the pair of us. Continue reading

Age Appropriate Reading

9 Mar

Z with puppy

The Auteur with a Friend

The creator of the immortal line “The bitches mortared the piss hole and it didn’t blow up! has, this evening, completed his reading of Chickenhawk, which, while still a wonderful introduction to a soldier’s experience of the Vietnam War, becomes even less age-appropriate during the closing twenty pages or so.

He is lying on his bed, looking small, cute and studious, vestiges of the ice cream from his pancake still on his face. “Mum,” he says. “What does ‘semen’ mean?” Continue reading