Is there really a wrong time to go?
Are they the right age to appreciate it, will they remember the Bungle Bungles or should we wait until they are both "old enough"? All reasonable questions, but when you've been to the other side, there's only one answer!
NOW is the right time to take your Kids out of School, travelling is the greatest adventure of all and the most engaging learning experience you could ever provide.
At 8 years old, I spent a year Caravaning and 4WDing around OZ with Mum, Dad and Sister. Do I remember parts of the adventure, absolutely. Great Termite mounds up Cape York, carrying Dad's Snapper over my shoulders on the long walk back along the Streaky Bay Jetty - the sound of Rams horns crashing into each other on Elderslie - a beautiful Sheep/Cherry farm near Young in NSW.
Kids will always filter out the boring and substitute with the exciting. Your Kids will be no different.
Correspondence schooling on the road in '78 was primitive compared to todays online opportunities. There's no doubt my poor Mum tried (practically every day) to set a routine, but the fishing rods and rifle had a stronger calling for me.
I'm sure I did some work that year, but whatever happened, there's no doubt that meeting so many people from all walks of life gave me valuable insight into being social, I can read a book (even if it is a Surf Magazine as my wife often points out),count and hold a conversation - those key learnings no doubt were aided greatly by my year on the road.
I think one of the key learnings that your Kids get when on the road is learning how to interact with others, as it's a whole new group at every Caravan Park and swing set.
There's no comfort zone, it's all new, everyday, so adaptability, learning how to strike up conversations quickly and making friends - life skills that will be never be obsolete. There's a real sense of community when you're on the road, we have even dedicated within our Outdoor Lifestyle Clothing range, a design series called the "Brotherhood of Van" which is perfect for Camping. The Brotherhood range reflects the fact that we are all "in this together" and willing to lend a hand.
On the road as a Child, you learnt how to be polite, chores included winding up the Power lead and helping Dad back in the Van. Spatial awareness, organisation, routine, none of these skills will ever be a burden to carry.
Mum used to need help in the Kitchen with Dinner, we all had our time peeling potatoes and washing the dishes - I'm still doing these things now...nothing like learning early.
The student becomes the Teacher
Fast forward 30 years...my wife and I took our 3 Kids (1, 3 & 8) on the road and never looked back. It was then my turn to educate and thankfully, distance education had come a long way!
The internet, mobile phones, sat phones, opportunities for online workshops - wow, someone made it easy to educate on the road. What a gift. You get to spend quality time with your kids everyday, help them learn, watch them become better human beings and spend time with your wife in the most relaxed of settings - there simply isn't a better time in your life.
The classroom isn't for everyone at every stage of their schooling life - an impromptu Snake Show in the side streets of Mt. Surprise (with the local Ranger in his driveway with half a dozen local kids) is far more engaging and real than reading about them in a text book.
You can't plan for what happens on the road everyday, but you can be assured, it will be far from mundane, always engaging and offering up new life experiences that your Kids will immerse themselves in. Long drives taught patience and that pinching your sister had consequences...
We were incredibly lucky to have our year on the road, but I thinks it's even easier now than back then. A connected world, real time responses and tailored syllabuses that even meld to your geographical location (nothing better than studying a unit on Uluru and being there at the same time!!!).
Thats an education.
Make a plan, get prepared to really teach your kids life's essential skills and hit the road. No time is ever perfect, but now is better than never. Regret is one of life's most sour tastes.
Perspective. One year out of 80 - write it off to "experience" - the world will be there when you get back and you will be far better prepared as will your kids to deal with whatever life throws at them.
If you are heading off on what can only be described as an "adventure of a lifetime", make sure you get into some of our awesome Clothing. Our full range of casual Camping Clothes, 4WD Clothing and retro shirts are all themed for getting out there in your Caravan or 4WD and having a blast.
Free 24 7 - It's a way of life!