Roadschooling Turkey

Roadschooling with Multiple Currencies

A regular part of our travels is sorting through left over coins. Try as we might to spend all the currency before we leave a country either by putting it into the tank, exchanging it at the border or (the kid’s favourite) spending it on special foods.



We always seem to find extra coins in pockets or corners or…. So, a natural part of our homeschooling is to sort through the coins and put in small ziplock backs labeled with the country. Now we put the smaller bags into one larger bag of the continent. Alot of times the kids will count the money in each bag and put a small piece of paper in with the amount.  The bag goes into the safe and comes out when we return or when we meet someone going the opposite direction we make an exchange of currencies. It is always nice to have enough for a loaf of bread, or coffee or a pay toilet when coming into a new country, as we always say.

Hannah is our bookeeper. At first we did an XL document on the computer. Now that she has her own ipod we have put Xpensilite on it. We save receipts in a metal box on the dash. She takes the receipts and enters them into her ipod and converts the currency back to USD. She takes photos of any that are over USD 50 in value. She seems to really love doing this and she does it well.

We have changed to an ipod app for pocket money as well, called “allowabank”. Abi keeps her home currency in USD but the others keep their home currency in NZD. Every purchase must be converted to their home currency.

The world is quite small for our kids. They grew up understanding multiple currencies. They also understand different economies. Just crossing a border bread can go up to 10 times the cost of the previous country. We were poor in Germany, we are rich in Bulgaria. However we have the same amount of money. It is one thing to know this in your head. It is another thing entirely to know how it feels.


Learning on the Road.

We slowly make our way out of the car to find Andrew standing on the front porch with another tall and skinny man. This one with steel gray eyes. It is as if he emerged from the black and white photo of Andrew’s grandfather. Neither man was moving. Both were just staring with a slight smile mixed in with a look of shock. The family resemblance was undeniable. Cousins who don’t remember their last meeting.

Kit was eagerly downloading his recent trip to Zambia. “I don’t think they need handouts. It has warped the culture. They need professionals to come in and form partnerships. Change their thinking. We shouldn’t be so lazy. We need to do our homework before we give.” All the girls are sitting on the sofa, listening. All but TJ. She is laying on my lap asleep. No wonder, she was up at 4:30, milking cows with an Allan. Allan wanted to be a dairy farmer since he was her age.

Celia looked over at the girls on the sofa. “Your girls are getting an amazing education in your travels”. I hear that a lot.

After spending some time with the family. Keith said, “your kids are so smart”.

We have some workbooks that we go through to make sure they can go back into a “normal school” someday. Make sure there are no gaps. The hour a day it takes to go through the workbooks. We changed our math to “Life of Fred” because my kids hated math. Now they love it. Workbooks are great, but think the best learning happens outside of the workbooks.

One day I was feeling like our kids weren’t getting “educated” enough. Not enough time hitting the books.  I decided to write down what they were learning that particular day. That only lasted one day. Too much to write down. Our lives are full and rich.

I think the unseen and immeasurable education is the most valuable.

This post is part of the FOTR blog carnival.



Roadschooling USA

Montgomery, Alabama

We picked dad up in Atlanta, GA and got on the road for Texas via Montgomery, Al. Check out my handsome man in front of his sweet ride.

We were encouraged to come to Montgomery by our old friend, Alan Cross, to come for some “good ‘ol southern hospitality”.

Of course we started out with some great food.

We went to a southern food buffet with a healthy sized line of hungry patrons at “Fried Tomato Buffet”. Very rich, beautiful, southern food which put Andrew into a deep “digestive sleep” and prevented any further driving that day.

We had to find other diversions while Andrew slept.

TJ saw the Spanish Moss hanging from the tree. She heard about how people use it for mattresses and pillows. She responded appropriately and gathered herself a pillow.

We got a history geek/teacher tour of Montgomery, Alabama. We got the full scoop on Rosa Parks and the Freedom Riders and Martin Luther King Jr. Here we are hanging out in the church where the “Bus Boycott” was organized. Such interesting stuff. The kids were kinda tired tho. I think it is all kind of hard for them to understand racism. Even though we see it and the evidence of it they don’t understand how a normal person can hate someone, or think they aren’t as good as us, simply based on the colour of their skin. They don’t seem to understand the weight of racism. They get these confused looks on their faces as if to say, “are these people on stupid pills?” It is interesting how racism simply doesn’t fit with the innocence of childhood. Unfortunately, some kids have their innocence taken away way too young by first hand experience of such terrors.

This photo is taken right outside the church. Check out how close it is to where the seat of government was for the south.

Next we heard about the “Freedom Riders”. They were an integrated group of white and black bus riders and the violence that met them in Montgomery.

I asked about what happened to the Klan. Victory over the clan was tied in with Montgomery, Alabama too. What a place. Apparently, right around the corner from Martin Luther King Jr.s place,  a lawyer who was appalled with the Klans gang activities started suing them every time they would do something. He bankrupted them. I like that. The lawyer saw injustice. He looked at what he had in his hands. Who he was. What tools he had. He used what he had as a weapon to fight injustice.

Alan explained his passion about the whole situation. He said that the whites really thought they were being good people. All the violent acts towards blacks. They thought they were doing the right thing? In the current light you would think “How could that be?” This is what Alan is trying to figure out. How can people do such horrible things while believing they are doing something good? He believes there has been no sufficient resolution. Almost like someone saying “oops, I guess I won’t do that again” but not “I am really sorry, I was wrong, I never should have done that. It was bad.” You know, something like that.

You know, a lot of kids grow up with “Say you’re sorry!” I really don’t do that with my kids. Thought it sort of numbs the conscience and encourages them detach their words from their hearts. Instead we do something that takes a bit longer.

“Did you want to step on your sister’s foot?”


“Well, you did and she thinks you did it on purpose unless you say something to cause her to believe differently.”

Am I being too simplistic to think that we need to say sorry in our words and in our hearts?

I am so sorry about what the whites have done to the blacks in the name of God. I am sorry for the things that were not done. I am sorry for the pain and the broken relationships that resulted. I am sorry for the wrong that is still being done as a reaction and justification for the original pain.

Wow, there is so much to say sorry for. My head is spinning with the injustices. I don’t know where to go next. Is that why people don’t like to say sorry. It opens up your heart to a whole world of wrong. A world that lives inside our hearts and influences the world around us. I want my heart to be honest so I know when I am allowing junk in that will cause me to make poor decisions and wrong those in my world.

It seriously needs to be more personal too. I am sorry for what I HAVE DONE. I am sorry when the poison in my heart takes over and causes me to see what I want to see rather than what is real. I am sorry when I judge based on first impressions. DANG! I am sorry when I judge, PERIOD! Judging is so dangerous! I am sorry when my selfishness and laziness and fear get in the way of my own acts of justice and mercy. I am sorry! I don’t want to do that anymore! I want to love without agenda or prejudice or self-preservation. I am sorry for the part of my heart that I allow to follow the same path of those who threw Rosa off the bus, that circled that church and threw stones at the people inside. That was seriously wrong and should NEVER happen again. But it has and does over and over again. Are we on stupid pills or something?

We left Montgomery 23 hours after we arrived. Our stomachs, gas tank, heads and hearts full. Thank you friends in Montgomery.

Portugal Roadschooling

Roadschooling for TJ

Just thinking about our many faces of roadschooling.

We just made a shift this week.


TJ has decided that she likes schedules so we discussed what she wanted to be learning and came up with the following categories. Math, Reading, Writing, Music, Art, Portuguese, Animals, Gymnastics, New gym stuff, recess and golden time. With her new gym stuff she wants to learn to juggle, swim like a dolphin and be able to climb up someones back unassisted. At her suggestion we made a schedule and a series of small square papers with a different subject on each paper. The appropriate cards go up on the door at the beginning of each day and get taken down as they are completed.