With the big hairy northern one being made redundant, we’ve been talking about taking a year out as a family gap year; maybe 6 months in the states, home for my brothers wedding and 5 months in Australia and New Zealand.
Curly headed boy is 6yrs old, and having been to a private school is a bit ahead of our local state schools, so if we home school as we go, it will definitely not affect his education and he’ll be fine to return to a state school. Plus I think he could do with some time out. Little Dimples is nearly 2, so she would come back to a years pre-school before reception.
What I don’t want to do though is run away thinking that we can get something from the year away that we can’t get from staying and ignore the potential downsides.
So the question is what do I think I’ll get from it?
- Adventure and magic
- Self discovery for me and the big hairy one
- Time for the family to come back together and strengthen
- Time for us to think through what the big hairy one would like to do career wise in future
- Time out for Curly Headed Boy from 2yrs at a hard core school to rejuvenate
- Teach the kids how exciting and fun it can be to learn
- Expand the kids horizons, show them what else there is in the world
- Reduce the kids reliance on stuff and show them how lucky we are and what a ‘rich’ life really is
- Create stronger and more consistent rules and boundaries for the family
- See things I’ve never seen before
At the end of the day I’ve realised I want my children to have a ‘rich’ life, so if this will help them start on the road towards that, then great.
Realistically written down like that, there is no reason why we can’t do those things in ‘normal’ life. But it will take a lot more focus, because it won’t be happening automatically from our environment.
The potential downsides are that we could nearly kill each other in the process of ‘self-discovery’, Little Dimples might not get important socialisation time, we could get sick or have an accident, if mis-managed it could end up costing us too much money and it could make it even more difficult for the hairy one to get a job on his return.
If we don’t go, the downsides are that we might not stay focussed on the changes that are needed, although there will definitely be a change, because we are going to change Curly Headed Boy’s school. There’s no real way to replace experience though, because you just can’t be sure of what you would get, so it’s difficult to try and replace it.
But if we can managed to stay, plus achieve all of that list, that would be a really amazing achievement though.
It’s a bit of a conundrum and at the moment there are a lot of opportunities out there, I think that we need to do more research and follow a few of the options along to see if they give us a clue. After all, if someone offered the big hairy one a fantastic job tomorrow, that might be a big hint to stay and just plan a great adventure for a holiday.