Planning a gap year?


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But feeling a little daunted?

Not sure which way to turn?

Wondering where you'll end up

And what might happen along the way?

Fear not!!

We have loads of tips and advice to share with you

From our own amazing Family Gap Year!

Writing a gap year journal

"When I was very young I could remember anything, whether it happened or not but now I am older I can only remember the latter" - Mark Twain


Keeping the journal was hard work. We had a laptop and each child took turns to write. It could be difficult to make them sit down and write about their day when, to their minds, the day was still going on and a swimming pool or beach or nature park was calling.

Equally while one child was writing on the computer the other would be at a loose end so would enjoy trying to annoy the other child.
Then when it got to her chance to write any enthusiasm and inspiration was well and truly gone.

When they had finished the journals we talked through what they had written.
It was hard not to interfere and 'edit' what they had put down because I didn't want to change the essence of what the journals were about, equally I wanted the children to learn so we had to discuss the grammatical errors and use of vocabulary but not actually change what had been written.

The daily journals were added together and as soon as we had internet connection we emailed them to friends and family back home. The children were rewarded with replies which helped encourage them to write and of course the journal was backed up in this manner.
(There was no no no way that I could possibly face redoing a day’s journal!)

It was difficult to do but so worthwhile. I found it fascinating to see how the stilted, immature lines at the beginning evolved into more articulate, structured sentences as the weeks went past.

Week one found half an hour at the computer produced four or five very basic lines; by the end of the trip half an hour produced an excellent four or five paragraphs with considerably improved grammar, vocabulary and structure.

What is the point? Is it really worth the effort?

The children's journals are wonderful mementoes and both of them still look at them fairly regularly. The journal is filled with their own words, their thoughts, their impressions, their ideas about things which make wonderful reading.

We also stuffed the journal with dozens of mementoes like ticket stubs, sweet wrappers, small shells, leaves, lift passes, menus, boarding cards and dozens and dozes of photos. Photos are stuck in to match the days activities.

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