Our summer of leisurely staying in one place is coming to an end. Very soon the time will be coming to start heading south. Not soon enough for my tastes, but a few commitments are holding us in the north a little while longer. Seeing the vibrant fall colors are making the delayed departure worth it. We have enjoyed being near family and friends this summer. We will miss them when we go but excited for the adventures to come.
Our summer has been quiet and laid back, hence the lack of blog posts but that is alright. We have been enjoying the slower pace of life and the Northwoods of Wisconsin. We did embark on one big exciting adventure this summer that bears mentioning. We took our first family trip across the Pacific Ocean, to Australia. We traveled in August during Australia’s winter. A few days were spent in Sydney taking in the sights along the harbor. It was warm during the day and cool at night. It felt like spring except the trees were without leaves. We then traveled to the warmth on the northern coast to a city called Cairns. It was much warmer and more tropical in the north. Seems odd, since it is opposite of what we are used to, but that is how it works in the southern hemisphere. While in Cairns, we took a once in a lifetime opportunity to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. Australia was an amazing experience. It felt like another world with the beautiful blue water, koalas, parrots instead of seagulls, giant fruit bats, exotic looking fish and trees along with a few deserted beaches. Thankfully, it was not stinger season (jellyfish). We also avoided the salt water crocodiles, meter long worms, poisonous snakes, spiders, stingrays and the many other creatures that can kill you in Australia.
During the previous school year homeschooling went very well. We did feel there were things that we could change or do better. Before starting this new school year, I researched many different types of curriculum. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with what we were using last year. The main problem was the large volume of books required. It was not conducive to living in a camper. Within a homeschool Facebook group that I am a member of, I found an online program called Acellus. After reviewing it, I was quite excited since this was exactly what I was looking for, but then I saw the price. Acellus is an accredited academy that’s designed for charter schools to use. This accredited program is very robust and all inclusive. Thankfully, the school has developed an unaccredited version, Power Homeschool. This condensed version has the same quality of content at a much more manageable price point. We have been using the program for a month now and are very happy with it. The Power Homeschool program has video lessons taught by actual teachers. This program uses quizzes and tests to check the student’s comprehension. It will then adjust their lessons topics as needed. One of my favorite parts of the program is that I can track their progress on my phone or laptop computer. Through the parent portal I can see what they are working on and their scores. I can see there are a few areas that we need to supplement with additional materials. We are loving the program and it suits our lifestyle very well. Most importantly, Red and Fred enjoy their lessons. It is fun to have them share their new facts and knowledge with us.
Being in northern Wisconsin means that it gets cold early and it seems like it is cold extra early this year. Perhaps, I am extra sensitive because I am eager to stay ahead of the frost. We will begin our travels on October 19th and start working our way south. As of right now we have our route planned through the end of October. It is difficult to book our campsites any further out due to my husband’s work schedule. We will know what our next month’s schedule will hold for us around the 15th of the current month. This leads us to have a general plan for the upcoming month, and a finalized plan after the 15th. For October, we will make our way through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and part of Ohio. After Ohio, our plan is to work our way east to the Atlantic Ocean. We will then travel the coast through South Carolina, Georgia, parts of Florida and along the Gulf. The only campground we have reserved beyond October is in Texas for the month of February. My in-laws from Wisconsin will also be down there during that time. As you can see we have flexibility in our plans. It will be an adventure to see where we end up and what we will discover along the way.