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Old 21-01-2015, 07:06   #1
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Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

Or the dog.. We are planning to live liveaboard within the next few months. We are making a lot of progress on all of the things that can get put on a list. No worries. Then there is the kid issue.. They are 3 and 5 and we will be homeschooling them as we make our way through the Caribbean. Does anyone have experience with this scenario? We wonder how long it will take them to adjust and give us some peace? We plan to give them lots of chores to do as members of the crew. Are we crazy or stupid? We've heard that this is the best age to take kids aboard..
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Old 21-01-2015, 11:45   #2
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

Until they fall asleep at night.
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Old 21-01-2015, 12:31   #3
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

The best age to take kids cruising is any age before they become teenagers! We are in a similar situation and are about to embark to the South Pacific with our two little ones, ages 6 & 8.

I wanted to leave earlier but the wife insisted on waiting until the younger one was more independent, ie, able to dress and wash herself. Otherwise, keep a good eye on them (ours are not allowed out of the cockpit unless with an adult) and you are good to go!

We just ordered our Calvert homeschooling boxes for each of them today, btw. They have a 30% discount until the end of this month, if that's of any interest to you.

Cheers.

Dhillen
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Old 22-01-2015, 00:22   #4
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

Kids adjust quickly. Our soon to be 5 twins still go for siesta almost everyday since we left, 20 months ago. Besides, in our country, school starts at 6. No need to brainwash them before, there is always something to learn at sea. Take a few movies if you need time for you. Check ou blog.
... and ... we do throw them overboard from time to time. They learnt swimming now
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Old 22-01-2015, 08:56   #5
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

Thank you for all of the replies. It is always nice to have a lithe reassurance in our crazy decisions! We will look into that homeschooling supplier before we leave and thanks for in the info. Luckily my wife and I are in school to be teachers and we love learning from nature. There will be so many amazing opportunities to learn while island hopping.

What do the little ones do while you are underway? Once in anchor, do they spend a lot of time off of the boat? We are planning for ours to spend their days beach combing, exploring, catching and swimming. They love those activities already and there is no reason for them to be underfoot in our small boat. It is amazing if we can go one minute without tripping over them at this point because they follow us around and act like need to be entertained. I am hoping that being on the boat everyday with help them to figure things out, especially to leave the Captain alone when he is driving the boat! LOL.

Cheers!
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Old 22-01-2015, 11:44   #6
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

We have four children, the eldest being twins - all born aboard. The twins are going to university shortly. We tried several different teaching systems but eventually gave up on them all. We got hold of the curriculums that we wanted and form their education around these plus, plus, plus. They have sat their exams and passed with good results.
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Old 22-01-2015, 12:01   #7
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

Wow! Where have you travelled? I hear older kids talk really highly of living on a boat. Do your's feel the same way?
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Old 22-01-2015, 12:14   #8
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

You may want to check out several websites with good information about children onboard.
Monkeysfist is a website where many cruisers have registered their blogs. Many of them have children onboard.

The Monkey's Fist: Collecting Cruisers' Perspectives

Women in Cruising also has specific information about child cruisers.
The Women and Cruising Blog
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Old 22-01-2015, 12:17   #9
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

We think the twins are ready for a life style change - they have reached that stage where they need to strike out on their own. They need their independence and the opportunities to form external relationships out of sight of their parents (I'm sure you understand what I am alluding to). The twins are a boy and a girl. We shall sorely miss them and their younger siblings shall miss them massively as they are all very close knit. We are currently in the Indian Ocean, probably our favourite location. We have spent the intervening years in the South Atlantic, Caribbean, the Med and the Red Sea. We had intended to undertake a circumnavigation and that is still on the books. Sailing certainly has given our children significant confidence in their selves, they have empathy with others and awareness of global affairs beyond their years. Naturally, their education has been paramount. When the the time came for Egyptian history we travelled down the Nile and visited the actual places we learnt about. We have taught all the children celestial navigation - and which sparked an interest in maths in all of them. Sailing does invoke an interest in a broad education. We have met a reasonable number of cruisers with children of all ages. One thing we gave up on early on was trying to undertake formal classes - for us it did not work out but have met others that swear by a more structured approach.
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Old 22-01-2015, 12:24   #10
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

Off boat... educational scavenger hunts / adventures...

Find an example of a [photosynthesis, invertebrate, learn the words for hello / good bye / my name is etc, find the local flag and draw a picture, get the weather forecast for everyday you expect to be moored etc]

Use mostly the same goals at all locations and then discuss similarities as it relates to the home schooling lessons.

3 and 5 is a bit young but can use destinations as part of the lessons.

Use the activities in math word problems... Subtract from the total number of islands we visited the number of islands where we stayed in a marina.

Take this opportunity to teach logic and reasoning in addition to the Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

-steve
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Old 22-01-2015, 13:49   #11
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

Nice approach ssanzone.

The adults may have more difficulty with the transition than the kids. Kids are flexible, and they will be having their needs met in familiar ways.

Might want to teach the dog to bark if he goes overboard.

Enjoy.

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Old 23-01-2015, 08:09   #12
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

All fantastic advice. Our dog barks from time to time but never when she got thrown overboard.. She swims around and tries to climb the swim ladder. She appreciates her new PFD.
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Old 23-01-2015, 21:42   #13
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

We raised 2 on board and set up our own home school and used the state/county teachers resource center for there books and curriculum and then loaded up on 2+ years worth of material and my wife would return once a year to see family and load up 2+ again. My oldest started high sch. at home and was told she would probably have to go back a grade. After testing she was placed in all honers classes. good luck and keep their imaginations going.
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Old 24-01-2015, 17:08   #14
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

End 2013, we left the Baleares to the Canaries islands, 1 week at sea. After 3-4 days we stoped at Esteponia (South of Spain, but don't go there) to adjust with the tide for the strait of Gibraltar. We seized the opportunity to buy fruits and spent a few ours ashore. Our twins wanted to stay in the boat "until we arrive". They kept playing lego with the those ramaining aboard. They were 3.5 y.o.
Aug. and Sept. 2014, we spent 7 weeks visiting the US in an RV. After two weeks, they kept asking "when do we return on the boat?"
Having lived in large houses before, I guess that the small size of a boat is more appropriate to their needs. It is important for them to feel at home. So it is for the parents.
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Old 25-01-2015, 08:28   #15
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Re: Hope we don't throw the kids overboard..

That is exactly what I hope for and expect from our kids. I know it will take some time for us to get fully acquainted with our new life but it will be better, in the end. My wife has went from cautious about the whole cruising idea to not even sure she will hand to be a land dweller. She made me make the promise that we will stay out if we love it, rather than buying a place after a year of cursing on the hard land. I am open to whatever happens. I have no doubt that the kids will become well educated and happy on our boat. I really appreciate the input!
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