We had given up on being able to take him, but being around on a weekday at the moment means I was able to book for him to see his hero and inspiration Mark Beaumont next month. We're very excited!
One of the pieces of advice Mark gave to Thomas Ivor was to spend his winter planning his next adventure. Over the past week or so Thomas Ivor has been finding opportunities to prepare his planning skills, too. We have been out on map-reading exercises, learned about ratio in relation to map scales, built a contour map of an island we sailed past on our 2014 trip to the Outer Hebrides, and as his test piece I have left him to use all the resources on my bookshelves to plan hypothetical adventures in this country and abroad, from route choice to finding accommodation.
This work has culminated in us starting to look at how to 'carve up the Elephant' for Thomas Ivor's 2016 challenge. Taking inspiration from Mark Beaumont's trip from Alaska to Argentina, when he also climbed Denali and Aconcagua, Thomas Ivor has challenged himself to climb the 'Three Peaks' - Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, and to cycle between them.
Constraints of budget, time, childcare and our inability to cross the Lakeland fells with the trailer on the back (I think we'll save the Fred Whitton for when the children have grown up!) mean that he can't do it all in one go - indeed, it will be a significant challenge to get it all done this year. We reckon we're looking at 15 days of riding, plus the three climbs, which we will need to do during the better weather.
I often find this part of the process a very therapeutic one, but looking at it from the perspective of a home educator it's amazing just how much you can teach a child through the process - not just humanities subjects, either, but maths, physics and languages, too...