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Published: December 4th 2009
Well, it's been almost 3 months that we are on the way, so I think it is a good time to write a general entry about our family adventure without reporting on a specific site.
Many of you have asked us before, and many are keep asking us on the way as we go - isn't it hard to travel with 3 kids? how is it? etc....
So this would be the first general topic.
Well, it is not hard, or maybe it is hard to travel with kids.
Confusing? - well, like everything in life, things are not that simple. I think that having kids, educating them, "growing" them and running a good family life is not an easy task, no matter where you are or what life style you have! In that respect, travelling with 3 kids is not different - that is the hard part. On the other hand, I do not think that travelling with kids is any harder than "normal life".
There are specific times or situations where it is specifically harder
with the kids:
• waking up in strange times (like realy early, when it is actually still night)
Hoping for a ride
When plans are going wrong, and we end up in the middle of the road 4km away from the town we were going to...
long rides (let´s say longer than 6 hours)
• When something does not go as per our plans
What do we do in order to overcome these difficulties - these are our tips
: Waking up -
We try to prepare the kids well in advance that wake up call is going to be really early and explain what is the reason for this need.
We make sure they go to sleep early the night before (unless what is expecting is a long bus ride, then it is better if they are tired and fall asleep in the bus...)
We prepare all cloths beforehand, and sometimes even put them to bed with as much things that they will continue the day with
We wake up before them, and prepare everything we could without waking them up (packing etc.) Very long rides -
The best solution is night rides, then the kids just fall asleep - and they sleep - unlike us - realy tight. The disadvantage, is that our sleep is not that good... However, night rides are not always possible.
Thus, for day times, we prepare interesting things to do - i.e., books to
read, Nintendo (yes - this is the only TV like accesory that we took)
On top, in many busses in South America, they are showing movies (yes - again, the ultimate modern babysitter - the TV).
Time is also spent by playing different games like - identifying songs; solving all kind of trivia questions; telling stories; writing diaries, EreztIr, etc... Plans that get wrong-
What can go wrong?... - well, many things.
For example, we arrived in the middle of the night to a city called Oruru in Bolivia, hoping to catch a 4am bus to Chile, based on information we got in our travel guide, just to discover that on Sundays - the day we are there, there is NO bus to Chile. 0400 in the morning, no hotel available, we are hungry, and no buses to our destination - imagine that....
We try to involve the kids as much as possible with making the travel plans, and help us choose from options. But, we always explain that every plan is a base plan only and it might change, under the forthcoming circumstances.
We keep our most optimistic attitude when things go wrong, and urge our kids
to be optimistic as well.
We also try to quickly identify alternative interesting activities or solutions. Schooling-
We are trying to maintain some formal learning (mathematics & language). Making home schooling on the way brought two difficulties:
1 - none of us is a real teacher, but this is the general problem most home schooling parents face.
2- it is imposible to set a clear learning routine (for example every day from 9 to 10 math lesson).
Trying to overcome this, we had lots of conversations with the kids both before and during the trip about the importance of having time to sit and learn math or language. They are very mature kids and we believe this has helped them a lot.
We try to make clear agreements as per when would we have learning times and for how long, and wrap it with a lot of fun time.
We try to utilize 'dead' times for schooling (waiting in terminals for the bus, arrands days - waiting for laundry, investigations for next steps, etc.)
There are so many other topics or answers to questions that I could tell you about regarding our trip, but I will keep this for other opportunities.
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