So, how do you incorporate overseas travel into your homeschool with a large family (and a budget).
It's not overly complicated but are you ready to know the secret?
Wait for it.
How do you do it?
You don't take them all at once!
Yep, that's right - you take one at a time.
1. Take one child at a time!
In 2015 my eldest son had the opportunity to travel to the Philippines with his dad on a church missions trip. Not only did this provide an opportunity to see poverty and understand the needs of others - it was also valuable father / son bonding time that he will remember for a lifetime.
In 2017 my second-born (pictured) had the same opportunity to travel to Philippines but with me included! I took great joy in watching him be-friend local children and learn some of the language. Having only one child to worry about in a country where hygiene and safety is an issue made for a less stressful trip too!
It was these experiences that made me realise that travelling with 1 (or even 2) children at a time is a) less stressful for the parent b) provides valuable quality time c) is not as expensive and d) You can choose a destination that the child is interested in.
My 13 year old recently showed an interest in Japan so we started to incorporate some online Japanese lessons into our schedule. Personally, I've always been interested in Japan too so a quick google lead me to cheap airfares and I took a leap of faith and booked!
Kids are so much more motivated to learn about a language and culture when they know they are actually going to get to experience it!
It also means that when we are there I can follow my son's interests rather than having to factor in what 6 different people want to do (or that is suitable for everyone).
2. Minimise costs by organising the trip yourself
We decided to organise the trip ourselves instead of going through a travel agent.
One reason we decided to do this was to save money but also to incorporate the planning and budgeting into our homeschooling. This has meant hours of online research and very careful planning.
My son has helped put together the itinerary, create a budget, save his money as well as think through additional things like transport, luggage and even insurance.
It has been so much fun!
3. Encourage kids to contribute financially
I gave my son an amount that I wanted him to contribute and if he didn't want to use his savings account then he needed to get creative and come up with ideas to generate income!
As a result, he has spent the last few months trying different ways to make money including selling things on eBay and gumtree (he made close to $50 selling Coles stickies!), creating an online business (force gaming accessories) and saving up all of his pocket money (we use the barefoot investor kids guide to pocket money).
Obviously, most kids aren't going to be able to contribute significantly but it's good to teach them personal responsibility and reduce any sense of entitlement.
My son will be responsible for all of his personal spending on our next trip (with the exception of main meals) so he will also have to budget his own finances.
I spent years being discouraged that we would never easily afford an overseas holiday as a family of six but we've found a way and you can too!