Travel days are not ideal for homeschooling. The kids are excited and distracted, the WiFi is typically spotty, and their teacher’s preflight Bloody Mary can easily lead to a second round (if inflight cocktails are complementary, the kids might even get a snow-day). But we often spend multiple days getting to our destination, so en route schooling is necessary. We must adapt during these times.
Typical homeschooling days Jen takes the kids to a public library. But yesterday began a three day journey to Hanoi. So after a short flight from Charlotte, the kids settled into their classroom, JFK’s terminal 5. With good solid WiFi, we were able to log them into their normal online curriculum, Time4Learning. This is the second curriculum we’ve used, and it allows us to schedule their modules to fit our travel calendar. On a travel day with good internet, math and language arts are the focus. As we get farther off the grid, analog backups in the form of Brain Quest workbooks make sure when the wifi quits school work doesn’t. And of course everything their social studies modules get a big supplement in learning about the local countries/cultures we are visiting. In fact this year Jen assigned each kid a country from our current trip to research. Heads up friends and family, expect some PowerPoint presentations this holiday season.
The 12 hour flight to Qatar was a school free zone. A free-for-all of movies and sleep, while our favorite carrier (Qatar Airways) transported us to our favorite airport, Hamad International in Doha. Just 5 years old, spacious, clean, modern, and with big brass sculpture/playgrounds throughout, I do not know an airport in North America that rivals Doha. The concourse is reminiscent of Gattaca, sleek minimalism and high wooden ceilings cut through with thin rectangular sky lights. A ten hour layover might sound horrible, but at HIA it is a respite. It gives us a chance to stretch out, run around a bit and get a little more schooling in before our final push to Hanoi.