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fonndler 08-12-2008 01:07 AM

Children's Education While Living Abaord
We are thinking of living abroad for about two years and we have a 7 year old and a 11 year old that we would like to be educated on board while traveling - are there organizations that do this type of home schooling?

MMNETSEA 08-12-2008 07:55 AM


Originally Posted by fonndler (Post 24304)
We are thinking of living abroad for about two years and we have a 7 year old and a 11 year old that we would like to be educated on board while traveling - are there organizations that do this type of home schooling?

Hi There , you don't say where you are, or more importantly where will you and your family will be cruising.

If you were cruising USA waters then have a look at this work on Home schooling :-

Home School - US

In Australian waters this site :- Home school - Aussie

Nowadays with access to email via HF radio at sea has added a tremendous dimension to better access to qualified teachers on shore. Have a read of our WIKI - subject Emails - communication etc.....

Remember, that the parents will have to ensure that they have the ability and will to adopt the role of surrogate teachers.

fonndler 08-12-2008 06:59 PM

We would cruise to the Bahamas, down to port of Spain, Sao Luis and then back up through the canal and hit the Pacific Circuit.

I am really against Home Schooling my children, as I do not think that I would be able to take on a convincing role as a surrogate teacher.

Lighthouse 08-12-2008 07:38 PM


a 7 year old and a 11 year old that we would like to be educated on board while traveling
I am trying to understand your question. Are you enquiring about a teacher that would travel aboard with you?

You would still require the learning material to be sent to you from time to time - from a home-schooling type organisation.

Please elaborate a little.

fonndler 08-13-2008 04:38 PM

Sorry for the confusion. Yes, I am intersted in finding out about a person that would travel with us, similar to a nanny, but in more of a teacher capacity. My wife and I were envisioning someone who is fresh out of school. - Has anyone heard of someone doing something similar?

Lighthouse 08-13-2008 05:01 PM

What you are looking for has come up on the crewfinder from time to time. I suggest you make a post on the "Yachts Looking for Crew" board - I'm sure you'll get a number of replies.

Good luck.

sailronin 09-13-2008 01:21 PM


We spent a year and a half cruising beginning when my kids were 4 and 8 years old. The 8 yr old's school let us have the text books for the coming year to take with us. My wife (now ex but that's another story!) and I read the books and then took them with us but hardly ever used them. I think the US history section was all that we ever had him read.

We started with 3 hours of "school" per day which was when he would practice writing and have spelling words to memorize with a spelling test on Friday. By making scrabble an evening tradition spelling "class" was soon dropped.

We had no TV onboard and my son (the 8 yr old) read for hours a day on passage. I had him help with the navigation with simple "how long will it take us to get there?" problems and plotting on a outdated charts, showing block and tackles and levers and local animals, stars in the night sky and weather about covered science.

By keeping him involved with discussions of the books he was reading, learning about the local plant and animal life for the Sea of Cortez or where ever we were, and blending basic algebra into navigation we stopped worrying about formal school.

After missing the entire 3d grade and half of 4th grade when he returned to school at the end of 4th grade he tested out for reading at 12th grade level, math at 9th grade and geography at 12th grade. Our daughter entered kindergarden mid year and had a bit of difficulty because she was used to addressing all adults by their first names while cruising and didn't understand why the teacher was so formal! Other than that she was a typical "cruiser kid" with great appreciation of nature and a second culture (Mexico).

My son now has a Master's in Education and teaches High School English, my daughter is working her way through college, our informal break from school didn't seem to hurt a thing.

Good luck and cruising with kids is great


osirissailing 09-17-2008 03:37 AM

I don't understand - "against Home Schooling . . ." If you are planning on cruising on a mega-yacht, no problem - they have quite a few paid crew and finding a teacher would be easy. But if you are planning to sail your own sailboat/trawler in the 30ft to 60 ft range, then it is a different world. The main reason for setting sail to to regain control over your own life and your family instead of having bureaucrats doing all your thinking and decision making for you. On your own boat you and your family are the masters of your fate, you all live or die based on your skills, knowledge and quickness of thought. All of that will be transferred to your children as you will be with them 24/7/365 while living aboard. You will the masters of their fates and they will learn to participate and share the responsibilities of "keeping the family alive" - literally.

There are quite a few excellent "home school" organizations all over the USA and in other countries that make all the resource materials available to you to become the "whole parent" and mentor for your children. You do not need any special training, all the materials are clear and excellently presented.

There are literally thousands of boats out here with families with children of all ages from newborn to teenagers. After a year cruising you will find "real families" where all the people love and respect and participate fully in a family experience that simply is not available on land. As others above have written and as I have personally experienced - the children of cruising families are extraordinarily intelligent, competent, polite, imaginative, and accomplished. They learn responsibility and develop a love for this earth and environment and other cultures that is unknown in the mainstream American culture on land.

If you do not want to be "bothered" with the responsibility and privilege of making/guiding your offspring into adulthood then don't take them with you, leave them with a relative or boarding school. If you want to "take control" of your own lives and the lives of your offspring and give to them the love and benefits of your abilities and dreams - - then take them to sea with you. You and they will return totally different people and as a totally "linked" family.

redbopeep 09-17-2008 04:11 AM


Originally Posted by osirissailing (Post 25593)
I don't understand - "against Home Schooling . . ."

It is commendable that fonndler is doing an honest assessment of his/her/their own abilities to take on the role of teacher. If fonndler really knows what they want for their child--a trained teacher--then its great to see them here looking for resources. For those parents who want to exclude others from helping educate their children, its great that home schooling resources are so good and there are many cruisers to provide experienced, moral support.

We don't know why fonndler is undertaking a voyage. But we can support them here. Some of us want to do everything ourselves--being master of our fate--yep, that fits lots of us. Other folks may have very good experiences shore-based that they don't want to "give up" while cruising and that doesn't mean they don't have the same goals we have--it just means they're deciding what "to take" and what "to give up". Not everyone has had bad experiences with teaching professionals. Having a great teacher for one's children is a reasonable desire--and wouldn't it be great if fonndler finds an elementary ed teacher who wants to experience the cruising life with fonndler's family. That would be wonderful for all involved.

fonndler 09-18-2008 05:53 PM

Thanks for everyone's input. This is great information and gives me more to contemplate. I was really questioning my ability to be a successful home school teacher for my children (ages 15, 11 and 7), but after reading Lighthouse's view and experiences, self teaching may be the best and most practical solution.

islandseeker 09-18-2008 06:33 PM

I would like to add that a sailboat IS a school if you choose to look at it in that way. Your children are at the perfect age to be cruising and learning while afloat in my opinion. Teaching them how to navigate-Math, Geometry, Time, Computers (nav aids), Goegraphy, Astronomy (celestial nav). The Ocean provides a perfect science class- bring a cheap microscope, a tablespoon of sea water provides thousands of critters to inspect and identify with a book (marine biology). You can go further and bring a scalpel pick some bigger critters from the tide pools, freeze and disect, itentifying the different parts and organs and thier function. The ports you visit provide all the world history projects you could ask for, have them identify the place on a map, look it up in a history book, have the children speak with the childern and elders of the places you visit for a great "field trip". Have them do small reports of the things they have seen and learned on thier adventures.etc.

I personally don't have any children but have spoke often with a friend of mine with 2 young boys about this. The more we spoke about the education of his boys while cruising the more we realized what a great way to be brought up! I wish I would have been schooled on a cruising boat. It may have prevented me from dropping out of high school 1 year before graduation due to nothing but shear Boredome!

If you look at the incredible oppourtunities that the crusing life provides for your kids, the options are almost endless. I have also read about some cruisers bringing thier children to a local school during thier visit to speak with the native kids about thier adventures and introduce them to possible lifelong friends and "pen-pals", an interpreter may be necessary, but I believe children have the ability to communicate better with each other without language because they are less likely to be umbarassed and no egos to deal with.

Be creative and don't be scared. Education for your children is the goal right? A school and a teacher are only 1 of many ways to get an education. Life experience is better than most schools in my opinion.

Your children will most likely be more well rounded, openminded, and better educated than most of thier friends upon your return to life on land. I bet as they become adults, they will thank you for taking them with and giving them the oppourtunity to see places as few have the chance to. Good luck, I'm sure you will find a way, remember, living is an education in itself...

Best Regards, Steve

islandseeker 09-18-2008 09:15 PM


Originally Posted by islandseeker (Post 25697)
I would like to add that a sailboat IS a school if you choose to look at it in that way.

P.S.- First Aid, CPR a good idea>/cool.gif

osirissailing 10-09-2008 10:22 PM

Look at this site for cruisers with 3 little girls onboard and the absolute incredible experiences and education they are getting.

Taking your children with you is an experience you will cherish and forever have a wide smile on your face remembering the experiences.

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