Mini Moke

Simon went off early on the bus this morning and came back with an orange Mini Moke called Speedy Gonzales. We sit and have our breakfast and talk to a German couple who are travelling for a year with their 15 year old daughter. They tell us they have found the whole experience very easy and she hasn’t missed her friends or family at all. On the other hand, they haven’t been teaching her and said they have left it to her to decide whether she does any schoolwork or not.

Although we haven’t met many other people travelling with kids, amongst those we have met the consensus seems to be that the trip in itself is education enough. I really can’t agree with this though. Although the trip is amazing and in lots of ways our kids have had an education they could never learn in a classroom I feel we would be doing them a huge disservice if they returned to their classmates and hadn’t picked up a pen for a year.

We set of in the Moke to see a group of rock wallabies. The Mokes are the preferred method of transportation and the island and its good fun zipping along in the thing. Simon and Ali love it! The rock wallabies are very tame and come running up when we pull up. The kids love it and when they realise we have a few carrots the whole posse appears.

Magnetic Island is fairly small and as there are only 2 roads accessible in the Moke it doesn’t take us long to get about. It’s quite pretty and there are some lovely view points over the bays. We stop for lunch at a cafĂ© and try a Skippy pie, I didn’t really like it though, very gamey tasting. I wouldn’t have it again. Maisie pronounced us disgusting and declared that no kangaroo will ever pass her lips! (I love a girl with principles!) By mid afternoon we have virtually explored the whole island and after stopping off to get some food for tonight’s dinner we make our way back.

Maisie and I sit under the trees and go over some spellings and maths questions. We practice long division and multiplication and I think back to our conversation with the German family this morning. It really isn’t too much of a chore and sitting on the grass, in the sun, under the trees I find teaching Maisie very rewarding. She really enjoys her lessons and is always keen to show off her new skills. I think she would be missing out a lot if we dropped them. Conversely Ali has always found it harder and although he is very bright, teaching him takes a lot of energy as he never wants to do it. The majority of the time he is fine once he gets started but the pre schooling arguments can get a bit wearing. Today though he does more science and it apparently goes swimmingly!

I get some internet time; it’s very expensive here and catch up on a few mails. Simon and Ali cook us a curry for tea and we sit outside eating it and watching the possums that creep around everywhere looking for any scraps. Tomorrow we are leaving and moving onto Airlie Beach, the launch pad for the Whitsunday Islands. Still can’t make up our minds whether to go for the sailing trip or not and have decided to get there and check it out. So early night, its 1030 now, feeling tired and have an early start tomorrow.