Originally Posted by AiniA
I think kids onboard work better when they are younger (subteen). In our travels basically all the kids we have seen have been under 10 (note that is for long distance cruising not living onboard in one or a few locations). Also home schooling is easier for younger ones. By the later stages of home schooling it can be a challenge to have the expertise needed to handle calculus and physics on one hand and English
literature and a second language on the other (I am also a retired high school teacher, they seem to have come out of the woodwork for this topic. I also have a higher opinion of public schools than has been voiced.)
The families we have known who homeschooled through high school networked and pooled their resources. For instance, my husband had a Ph.D. in chemistry and could have easily taught chemistry, physics and advanced math not only to our children
but to other people's children
. I was a music
major and could have provided things iike music
theory that students who wanted to go on with music studies in college would need. Home schooling doesn't always mean your children are only taught by you.
Those courses are also available online, and once again, parents in a network of homeschoolers can supplement and enrich that. I think about both physics and biology, and what could be better than being on a sailboat for those subjects? With Skype you can even have performing groups for plays, bands, orchestras, choruses -- I sing in an online chorus myself (I also sing on one on land since I live in a marina).
The big problem for kids and homeschooling on a boat is that they *need* friends. That makes a good case for combining teaching skills, but they need to be physically together with friends. So while I have no experience homeschooling from a boat, I am thinking that having a home base where other homeschooling, boating
families gather, and taking shorter trips (even buddy-boating on these trips) might be a solution.
I think it's outstanding to homeschool -- as long as you don't deny essential characteristics of children. I think of when my husband died. We were out of town, and it was AWFUL for my daughters, who were 14 and 16. When we finally got back to town, their friends -- and just acquaintances -- swarmed around them, desperate to be with them and help them during that awful time. At his memorial service
out of town there was no one there for them. At the memorial service
where we lived, they were each surrounded by at least 40 kids, all of whom took off from school (with the school's blessing) to be there for them. It still makes me tear up to think about it.
I know those kids can also lead them astray and get them into real trouble -- but they need each other down to their very cores.