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Taking the year off between Grade 6 and Year 7

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#1 Liz Lemon

Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:58 PM

Hi there -

I’ve done a quick search but can’t find the exact answer to my query.

Has anyone taken the year between Grade 6 and Year 7 off school to travel? Is it legal to do so? (We’re in Vic).

As it happens, my husband will be overdue for long service leave at around the same time our daughter finishes Grade 6.

It would be perfect if we could effectively just take a gap year to travel and not have to worry too much about formal schooling while we’re away (we hope to spend six months in Europe and six in Central America - so plenty of informal learning to be done).  

We would move house on our return so she wouldn’t be going to high school with any of her primary school friends anyway.  She is a Jan baby so currently one of the youngest in her class.  Skipping a year would make her one of the oldest I guess.

Is this a good idea? Or am I missing something?

#2 creatamum

Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:34 PM

I think it is best to contact the Education Board as legally all children between 6-17 need to be attending school, home schooled or doing distance education. There are exemptions but from their website I do not think traveling fits http://www.education...ion.aspx#link69

#3 seayork2002

Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:35 PM

Would she be ok work wise when she started? Or behind? (On my phone so only quick response for now)

#4 EsmeLennox

Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:36 PM

Won’t be allowed. You’d be required to enrol in distance ed.

#5 Little boys rock

Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:38 PM

Yes you’ll need to contact the education dept.

I think it’s an absolutely amazing opportunity to show your children the world & will teach them so much more than a typical classroom ever could.

If we had the means we would do it without a shadow of a doubt. Have fun planning, it will be an adventure of a lifetime!

#6 seayork2002

Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:38 PM

She may learn about art/culture but what about math, science, comprehension etc.

#7 Franny and Zooey

Posted 14 February 2018 - 10:05 PM

I don’t really see what the government can do about it if your kid isn’t even in the country?  

Although there would be great learning tasks you could do - keeping a journal and writing in it everyday would be great.  Historical research.  

The problem I see with staying back a year is if your daughter socially is on par with her current peer group she may find the kids in the year below a bit young.  My DD was turning six when she started school and while this has worked well for her academically socially she finds other girls in her class young.

#8 .Jerry.

Posted 14 February 2018 - 10:05 PM

If you are out of the country the whole school year, you will likely get away with it.
Legally kids have to be in school.

You could register for homeschooling and "unschool

#9 SeaPrincess

Posted 14 February 2018 - 10:12 PM

I would love to do something like that, but it’s unlikely with 3 children.

View PostFranny and Zooey, on 14 February 2018 - 10:05 PM, said:

Although there would be great learning tasks you could do - keeping a journal and writing in it everyday would be great.  Historical research.
I bought the children and myself a journal when we went away recently, but none of us wrote in them. When we stayed with my cousin, he said he remembers nothing about any of their childhood holidays except being forced to write in a journal every day and how much they all hated it!

#10 GreenEgg

Posted 14 February 2018 - 10:25 PM

When you return would she be going in to year 7 or year 8?
If you are out of the country not sure the Education department could do anything?

#11 creatamum

Posted 14 February 2018 - 10:51 PM

Actually you said you would move house on return, if you are not registered as living in Victoria then I am assuming that your child would not have to attend school here.

#12 lizzzard

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:02 PM

Technically, there are formalities. From experience...no consequences if you just go and put them back in school when you return. From my read of the OP, you're not planning for them to miss a year of the curriculum (more pause the delivery for a year) so even less reason to make a fuss. If you're nervous, give the Education Dep a call and see what they say.

#13 tothebeach

Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:15 AM

Nothing they can do if you are out of the country.   You can also enrol for home schooling which is just a matter of filling out a one page form in Victoria.  We travelled for 12 months with our children homeschooling them.  We unschooled mostly so did no real formal lessons.

#14 Lifesgood

Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:30 AM

That sounds like an amazing idea. Go for it.

#15 Its Percy

Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:32 AM

We left originally for a year and just told the school we were going overseas for a year. If you say you are leaving the country, there is nothing they can do. Not their issue if your child isn't enrolled in a school as you are not living in their jurisdiction.

#16 MrsLexiK

Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:52 AM

I think overseas would be easier paperwork wise then within Australia. I would probably register for home school but not actually school her unless she wanted to do some more science/math etc work. Because of her age you should be able to slot her into Yr 7 on your return no issue.

#17 AggyW72

Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:00 AM

I'd look at registering for home school for the year.
Distance Ed is very structured and delivers the same curriculum as regular school and the work needs to be done and marked etc...We did it for a year in Grade 5.

What an awesome idea, I hope you do it!!

#18 No Drama Please

Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:10 AM

No practical advice, but we did something similar before they started primary and it was so fantastic that we are looking into doing the same as you in a few years again. Have fun planning and all the best!

#19 Liz Lemon

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:14 AM

Thanks very much all!

It's quite a few years away (she's only in Grade 1 now :)) - but we will need all that time to plan (and particularly to save) so I thought I'd see if it was even doable first, or if anyone had done it.

Good idea to check with the Education Board.  I will do that.

To answer a pps query - yep she would just have a year off and then start year 7 a year later than she otherwise would.

How exciting!

#20 withintent

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:26 AM

Sounds like a wonderful plan. I hope it ends up working out for you!
(I spent large chunks of years 3, 5 and 9 traveling, including going to school overseas for a term here and there. It was a fantastic experience and I'm keen to do something similar down the track with my kids..)

#21 hills mum bec

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:35 AM

I have no idea on the logistics of it but I would think very seriously about the social consequences of your DD being a whole year older than the other students in her year level.  If she is quite young compared to other students in her current year level it probably will not be an issue.  My kids are all July babies so have always been towards the older end of their year level, I would not be wanting to hold them back a year level in order to travel for social reasons.

#22 No Drama Please

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:40 AM

I was going to say we are looking international schools as well.  

Lots of expats get contracts for a limited amount of time so international schools have children coming and going all the time, so it's not the same system as trying to enrol in local schools and being expected to commit long term (or not being eligible as not a citizen).  

You have international schools that teach in English, so you don't have the same language barriers you might have if your children aren't bilingual.  Depending where you want to go you might be able to enrol and base yourself in one place and do trips around and in school holidays.

International schools are quite a lot of money in most countries, although depending where you go some independent bilingual ones are more affordable, and it might be worth considering as a potential option if you still have a bit of time to plan and save!

#23 smithsholidayroad

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:20 AM

Sounds like a brilliant plan!

I would just go!

I would notify the Education Dept in Vic stating you are going overseas. No registering for anything else so you are free to educate as you please while exploring.

On return though it may be a matter of seeing if in fact she would start in Yr 7 or Year 8 not depending on her age but her ability after an amazing year of travel.


#24 paddington_

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:24 AM

Go for it!

I think as long as it's a full calendar year, it will be fine.

When you come back,  have her meet with the school and they can determine what year she should go into.

How exciting!

#25 redchick

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:27 AM

Sounds fantastic!

Only thing to flag is that by the time your DD is in year 6 she may not be happy about leaving her friends for a year. I know she won’t be going to high school with any of her friends but girls friendships can get pretty intense at the age. I wouldn’t worry about her being the oldest in her year when she returns, if anything it may make it easier for her to navigate the ups and downs of highschool!

A PP mentioned international schools - I’ve got lots of experience with these and I don’t think it’s a good option. I’ve never come across kids only joining a school for 6 months and there is just too much settling in to do. International schools tend to be an English speaking bubble (which is great when you are OS long term) but doesn’t sound like what you want/need. Would also severely limit your ability to travel and experience things.

Happy planning!


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