Fiona is now in third grade. There are less than five weeks of school left and four of them we’ll be on the road. I’ve already got her curriculum sorted out. She’s home schooled through a State-funded program and we meet weekly with a local teacher. Obviously that’s not going to happen while we travel. However, we will stay in touch via email, possibly do Skype video chats, and Fiona’s teacher can check some of her work online. Oh, and if Fiona blogs about at her blog, the teacher can see what she’s doing as well.
The photo above was taken when Fiona received her last package from Little Passports. Every month she gets to ‘travel’ to another country. She’s used to having school on the road and we’ve got lots of fun things to do these last few weeks of school.
Our family is living in a small town public library. Not really. However here in Rice Lake Wisconsin Joel’s mom doesn’t have internet access in her apartment. Since we must have internet access in order to work, we just walk across the parking lot to the Rice Lake Public Library.
We’ve met some very friendly and helpful people here. We’ve spent the most of the last couple of days here and so it’s almost like home. Fiona has been able to play with lots of different kids of various ages. The top floor of the library is devoted to the children. At one end there are lots of activities for the children. There are puppets and a stage to put on puppet plays, a wooden doll house, lots of blocks and other activities. At the other end is a section specially set aside for the Teens. They even have a movie night.
The collection of DVDs for the kids to check out is great. Fiona checked out a movie with Piglet in it. Did you know that John Lithgow also writes children’s books? We checked one out today.
Today we met other traveling families. I connected with these families on Twitter and found out they were in the Phoenix Arizona area at the same time as us. So we arranged to meet up at The Riparian Institute in Mesa for lunch today. Let me introduce you.
The Boyink family started traveling the same month as us, September 2010. We’re all getting ready to post our 6-month blog posts. You can read all about their family and travels at their blog. Joel especially enjoyed chatting with Mike about Mike’s book, Building an ExpressionEngine 2 Site.
We’re settling in at our house sitting gig here in Mesa. We both feel at ‘home’ here. It’s helpful that we’re house sitting for close friends and have stayed with them extensively in the past. So we know where everything is, how to use the washer and dryer, when to put out the trash for pickup on garbage day and what they expect when they return home April 1st.
We’re settling in to our day-to-day routine – making fresh bread each day, getting Fiona working on school work again (she had fun painting today), staying on top of client work and marketing our business online.
Not only are we homeschooling Fiona, we’re traveling while doing so. The question of socialization comes up again and again. Who will she play with? How will she learn social skills?
Hopefully by the time a child is ready to start school parents have already taught them social skills. Fiona was taught to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ at two. She had plenty of opportunity before starting school to learn how to behave around other people, younger and older, and to be polite.
As far as playmates, I think she’s probably played more with children since we started traveling than when we were ‘home’ in Roseville. Everywhere we go she meets new friends and hates to leave when it’s time to go. Now that we’re settled here in Quebec for a few weeks with Cristina and family, she has three little kids to play with every day. She’s getting outside more since there’s a nice large, safe yard for her to play in.
So for any of you that were worried about her socialization, don’t worry. She’s fine. And if you’d like to read more about homeschooled children and socialization, check out this article.
Fiona is homeschooled and needed something to do today for P.E. Fortunately, the Wilson’s have a pool. Fiona did a lot of swimming when she was very little since we lived in apartments with pools until she was 2. However she hasn’t done much swimming in the past 4 years. Periodically she has been able to swim at Pam and Phil’s house in Roseville. She always starts out quite timid but before long she gets brave and loves the water.
Enjoy these pictures of Fiona’s day swimming in Arizona. She’d love to hear your comments.