A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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Far Away From Home, Schooling


Every day that we possibly can, we open our big blue suitcase on wheels and pull out the textbooks.

Caroline has a big, green, shiny English 9 book and an accompanying dense black writing handbook.  A 10-pound U.S. History text, a geometry book, and all the tools to go with it (calculator, protractor, compass, etc) rounds out her list.

Conor’s stack includes a fat, red math book and two huge spiral-bound math manuals, a social studies book covering lands of the eastern hemisphere and its matching workbook, and a language arts book.  (We’re dissecting sentences and learning parts of speech.)


None of this really blends in with world travels: sight-seeing, trekking, photographing, eating strange foods, and moving over and over again to yet another new spot.

But schoolwork has become a necessary framework and, at times, a welcome one.  Even though, like at home, it causes a certain stress, it is a constant thread through our crazy changeable year.

My kids really like school and getting to miss a year of traditional school was not one of the appeals of this trip for them.  And yet, I have found it most amazing that no one complains about tackling daily lessons.


As we head into April, it is a race to the finish.  Caroline’s goal is to complete English 9 and add it to her list of previously awarded HS credits (from 7th and 8th grade) to be considered a sophomore next year.

We had trouble in New Zealand finding fast affordable internet connections and spent so much time in the car on our road trip there that we got behind on coursework.  We’ve been racing to catch up ever since.

But Caroline’s literary analysis of Romeo and Juliet just came back from her on-line teacher with the usual high marks and she’s preparing for another exam. And Conor is absorbing his subjects and doing well on his tests (also taken on-line).

We patch together days with space to think and write as best we can.  And with guidance from their delightful home teachers, Mr. and Mrs. James, these dedicated students are actually nearing the end of their courses.

We cannot wait to ditch that big blue bag!


1 Doug Spiro { 04.01.09 at 7:43 am }

It is great that Caroline and Conor are excited about school and doing well in their round the world studies.

Here is to ditching the big blue bag!

Sadly I still have not been able to ditch mine 🙂

2 Jennifer Kiefer { 04.02.09 at 1:10 am }

We are beginning a year around the world and looking for home school curriculums. Can you tell me which you used? Our biggest problem is not being able to prove attendance. Thanks

3 Craig { 04.02.09 at 6:27 am }

@Jennifer: We have used Griggs University (see: http://www.griggs.edu/) they are the only online program accredited by our county public school system (in Maryland). We’ve been pleased with the courses and instruction they offer.

4 Simon { 04.04.09 at 2:21 am }

Hi Guys,

For our kids missing a year of the UK system, we had no enforced standards that we had to maintain. their school just advised that we concentrated on English & Maths and the rest will fall into place.

when we returned the kids slotted back into school life with very little problem at all. in fact several of their teachers have commented on their mature outlook.

There is a certain acknowledgment from your last comment “It causes a certain stress” I remember how some of our difficult times on the trip generally revolved around school work.

Take care.

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