We have started to get a bit organised for our trip and here’s what we’ve been up to lately. In strict priority order.
1. ADAPTATIONS TO VAN – We have bought some of that grippy plastic matting that you can cut to size to save wine glasses tipping over en route.
2. SCHOOLING – Katie has chosen some workbooks for French and Maths that follow the curriculum, nice colourful ones. For all three of the kids we are registering for an online programme which again follows the French curriculum. Each of them is keeping a diary in English. They’ll do online research of places en route, in English, mainly so that their mum is better than them because she stands no hope in French. Adam is in charge of our Internet connection – IT. Matt will be keeping us right as regards budget and miles/£ per litre fuel etc – Maths. Katie will be looking after the dog and pining for her stick insects – Biology.
Lots more to follow on schooling, because we are in fact taking it a little bit seriously. Like if they prepare all meals and do dishes en route that will be Home Ec.
I read a blog recently of a family’s travels and the dad told an enquirer “If we can’t teach [our children] more than the school after a year of travelling, then shame on us.” So that is our answer too because it’s far better an answer than we could have come up with on our own.
3. DOG – it is a little sad to admit but our whole itinerary has revolved round a chocolate Labrador with big sad eyes. I am ready to sit in the big black chair and answer any questions on my specialist subject: European Pet Passports for dogs, cats and ferrets.
4. TRIAL RUNS – I have had a few trial shots in the van because its been 20 years since I last drove a minibus. It was very easy and nobody screamed. We have had a couple of sleepover trips to determine pillow and duvet preferences. My only preference is that they are all black. It will be a lot less labour intensive if they start out that way.