Education-Underwear-Luggage...a Multifaceted Look at the Planning of the World Tour
A Multifaceted Look at Pieces of the World Tour
We are counting weeks now versus months- a significant shift- T-7W.
Here is an update on what we have planned and a bit about the decision making process.
We have our destinations set. Didn't want to have to be so prescribed but had some 2 forces that drove us in this direction: The Round-the-world ticket...and work.
When we were in our dream state we envisioned freedom..making it up as we went along. LOVED that dream. But the cost of individual flights versus a round the world ticket made that one go pouf. We have come around to seeing the value in this forced exercise. It has allowed us to really budget and build in work trips back from ideal stops.
Round the world tickets are provided by 2 main carriers- One World (BA) and Star Alliance (Delta). It is like calculus buying these things. You mainly need to travel in 1 direction but can do some intercontinental back tracking..sometimes. Not all stops available, times limited. After a month we finally went to Trailfinders to help us and it was WELL worth it.
So where are we going?
You will have to wait and see.
We started looking at Rimowas in Berlin looking for a deal then the idea of hardcases because they can't be overstuffed, mostly only clamshell plus we saw numerous zippers (the weak point) broken on them in airport luggage areas. We looked at Travelpro, Antler, Briggs & Riley, Tumi, Brics and discarded any high end luggage because of cost and risk- don't want our rich luggage to make us targets. After alot of deliberation and observation we went with Eagle Creek 4 wheel softcases and their really cool pack system. Got a GREAT deal in the states and the kids can handle the cases with ease. The pack system is like drawers and will come in handy when we unload into a camper van for 2 weeks (no room for suitcases in it!
Thinking a couple pair of jeans, 10 days of undies, a pair of wool socks that wash and dry easy and 5 pairs of sports ones, leggings, dress, flats, sneakers/trainers, 7 shirts, lightweight fleece, shell, 1 set of lightweight safari-ish long pants and shirt presprayed with permethrin and placed in ziplock. The reality is we can buy as we go. This takes alot of pressure off this decision. Even still, we are testing undies, coats, jeans to see if they stay in place and are comfortable and practical enough to make the suitcase.
Other Items in Suitcase
Hard drive, maybe wireless router
Spiky ball...miracle worker
Communication Unlocked smart phones with a local pay as you go chip. We have a SIM card cutter in case the mini SIMS are not readily available.
Tidbits You can receive mail at any of the American Express offices in the world if you are a cardholder You can check your email on a Kindle Fire using the extensive free 3G accessibility
Education I put alot of time in figuring this one out and owe a great deal of thanks to people who have taken similar trips and blogged about them, friends who connected me homeschoolers and teachers/school administrators who weighed in. I built up 60 pages of notes and ideas and resources over the past year from this input and for the last several months have immersed myself and am finalizing pairing it all down. In the end, driving forces for education included: weight of materials, flexibility- and by this I mean both able to be done in multiple locations at multiple times as well as having the built in capability of not being so rigid it forces loss of the gift of experience the kids will be immersed in.
Math(s) In the mix for primary math is Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, Singapore math, and perhaps and existing text book underway in school. All to be firmed by end of November. In addition the kids will manage the travel budget (a log) and purchasing whenever possible.
Our math bibliography:
40 Fabulous Math Mysteries Kids Can't Resist
5-Minute Math Problem of the Day Comic Strip Math
Maths Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Year 6 through Year 9 Maths Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail
Math for Every Kid
Cancelled from the list due to weight and/or being so fun they were already read are
Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream
The I Love Math Series by Timelife
What Your ____ Grader Needs to Know series
Literature/Spelling/Grammar/Social Studies/Humanities/Religion/PeopleSkills As you can see, alot of subjects are being lumped into the very integrated activities of reading, researching, observing and blogging about the environments we visit. Reading to come from the bibliography developed of books set in locations we are going. Research to be focused on the places we are going prior to getting there. Research topics to include things like the capital city, where to go and what to see, history, culture/the people and their ways/customs/government, how things work like jobs/transport/toilets, food, language. Sometimes I will let them pick the focus and sometimes it will be assigned. Reaction papers are for post visits and include what is unique, what you will remember forever/what you are taking from this place and my favorite- what I have named Freaky Friday. This is a plan to make Friday's writing all about switching places with someone you met, saw, or anticipate meeting or seeing and write from their perspective about their life or their experience of you. I cant wait for this.
I did an extensive review of blogging platforms not totally convinced that blogger was the way to go. I checked out posterous, tumblr, squarespace...and offexploring. Offexploring won because of its simplicity and ease in binding post trip into a keepsake. Bookadventure.com may be a resource I use for them to log their reading and answer comprehension questions. Anything I can do to set up self management gives them the gift of being responsible for their own learning consequently life learners and me the gift of being able to manage 3 kids at once.
Spelling and grammar will largely be incorporated by edits to the blog writing. I am hoping to have a little booklet they can look things up in I have several I am reviewing. There are online grammar quizzes I may use that deal with fragments, run-ons, comma rules, capitalization rules, parts of speech, verb tenses.
Our List of Child Appropriate Research Sites http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/ Our Working Literature Bibliography (This list still in need of work. I have to separate it by ability and see where I am shy and add. Also need to review what is available on kindle)
I is for India-Prodeepta Das INDIA
The Story of Divaali-Jatinder Verma & Nilesh Mistry INDIA
The Conch Bearer0Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni INDIA
Indian Tales-Shenaaz Nanji INDIA
Tak Majal-Elizabeth Mann Going to School in India INDIA
Ramayana: Divine Loophole-Sanjay Patel INDIA
The Road to Mumbai INDIA Elelphant Dance-Heine INDIA
Geetas Day-Das INDIA
A Crazy Day with Cobras-Magic Tree House
Tigers at Twighlight Monsoon-Uma Krishnaswami
Sacred River-Ted Lewin
Venice- Mary Pope Osbourne VENICE
The Pet Dragon-Christoph Niemann ASIA
The Red Scarf-Ji Li Jiangs biography SHANGHAI
True Book Vietnam-Shirley Wimbish Gray VIETNAM
Postcards from Vietnam-Denise Allard VIETNAM
Angel Child, Dragon Child-Maria Surat AS Camille & the Sunflower (Van Gogh)
Shadow of a Bull Leonardo & the Flying Boy Picasso and the Girl with the Ponytail
The Lotus Seed-Sherry Garland ASIA
Journey Home-Lawrence McKay Jr
Rikki Tikki Tembo
Ms Frizzles Adventures: Imperial China-Magic Schoolbus
The Red Pony (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) - John Steinbeck The Old Man and The Sea - Ernest Hemmingway
The Midwife's Apprentice - Karen Cushman
The View from Saturday- E.L. Konigsburg
The Education of Little Tree - Forrest Carter Zoe
Sophia's Scrapbook- Venice
Michelangelo's Surprise- Florence
Earthsearch A Kid's Geography Museum in a Book
Fun Books We Read in Preparation of the Trip (sort of normalizing the choice to go round the world)
The Great World Tour Around the World with Phineas Frog
Babar's World Tour
Science will be heavily incorporated into the writing/blogging as every place we go will have different physical science elements to research as part of their discovery. I am thinking about bringing a few books along though. Additionally, a very close family friend owns a most spectacular kids science education company so we will be her roving reporters...I am sure she will hook us up with curriculum that is relevant to our stops.
Our Science Bibliography
Engineering For Every Kid Geography For Every Kid
Earthsearch: a kids geography museum in a book
Science Explorers! https://scienceexplorers.com
We are bringing a guitar of course! I have an app on my phone that is like flashcards for musical notations. If we could all learn the Treble AND Bass cleff without having to inject EveryGoodBoyDoesFine into our thought process and some basic pentatonic scales I will be SO happy- they can be set up for a life of jamming!
Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth will sustain my 1 language embracing child. The rest of us will get exposure from trying key phrases when in different countries.
The kids' classes, friends and family I hope (please) will interact with us on our blogs. As a family we started having weekly board meetings where we plan, ask for support, share, manage the family calendar- BEST thing we ever started and cant see it ever going away. We are connecting with a school in Siem Reap, Cambodia and doing a work project...we hope to make them part of our community. After ALOT of deliberation on fund raising ideas the kids decided to forego holiday presents in place of donations for this school. I am so impressed.
As a (lets-face-it-beyond) middle aged woman my intense need for maintenance will drive the whole family to be well. That is the plan anyway. This category is my biggest fear for part of me feels like this will be a struggle for no one else in the family has these needs...or shall I say they haven't come to the forefront as they have for me. My hope...no, my conviction is that paying your body first before any other activity happens in the day will become our habit. Yoga/stretching, cardio, strength building. What a gift it will be if the kids learn to design and implement wellness into their lifestyles from nothing....no gym membership, no structured PE class...just the knowledge that this is what my body needs to be well and this is how I can find it in any environment.
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