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Old 17-03-2015, 12:21   #16
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Re: Cruising with the family

This is fantastic that you are planning to do this and that you wife is at least half on board! Her questions are excellent and luckily, the answer is that the kids will love it and will be way ahead by the time they re-enter school.


We are also on a 5 year plan, though our kids will be much younger when we leave (oldest is 9 months right now and we haven't started making the youngest).


Here are some of my favourite sources right now:
Living simply and becoming financially independent: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/

A fantastic podcast series about doing great long term adventures with your kids with lots of emphasis on finances and schooling concerns: http://www.familyadventurepodcast.com/ (the podcaster did exactly what you are proposing to do with 6 kids and no sailing experience. they bought in turkey and had learned enough that they crossed the atlantic by the time they were done.)

Liza Copeland's books Just Cruising and Still Cruising are about sailing around the world with their two boys.

Totem is amazing (and exactly your current ages).

Windtraveler is also good, but about cruising with babies.

Papillon has two girls the same age as yours and started without a huge amount of experience. She is an honest and very funny writer.

Here's an amazing article about a family who is doing this in much more challenging surroundings in Patagonia.

You should also check out the Kids4Sail Facebook group.

If there is absolutely anything that I can do, drop me a PM or ask in this thread.

Chris
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Old 17-03-2015, 12:37   #17
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Re: Cruising with the family

Use
themonkeysfist.blogspot.com
for a list of about 160 sailing blogs, there are many listings for families.
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Old 17-03-2015, 15:28   #18
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Re: Cruising with the family

Hi Matt,

Recently my family - two girls aged 7 and 11 - husband and a few friends that met us at various points along the way sailed around Spain and Portugal starting from Lorient in North France, across the Bay of Biscay to Cannes, in four months, home again and then back to the med for another few months and sailed to Greece from Barcelona, stopping as much as we could on the way in small ports and bays.

The schooling side of things was a bit tricky, we didn't have a full year like you so didn't get into much of a routine, so any time doing schoolwork was pretty haphazard, but when the girls got back to school they had miraculously somehow not got behind at all and even improved in some areas. A lot of cruising parents set out the morning as school work time, we found that with limited time we prioritised the culture/travel aspect more. Even so, I think that the experiences and the other types of intelligence learned really do help in a school setting even if you've been a bit lax like I was. Encouraging reading and some maths books were about the extent of it, but the built in history, language, social studies, and weather lessons are invaluable!

Europe is fascinating and beautiful, the old towns are gorgeous. We all love it and can't wait to get back there, and one day be full time aboard. Regarding the busyness of it, we didn't really find it a problem. Around Spain it was very easy to get into marinas, it was only when heading to Corsica and Italy we decided we didn't want to pay their astromonical mooring fees but with a little planning ahead it was no problem to find a good spot to anchor.

Dealing with tired boredom on long passages is a consideration, the boat movement seems to lull the kids and I into a strange sort of apathy where the thought of achieving anything other than reading or watching movies was challenging. We do get seasick though, so if your kids don't have that problem then it should be much more pleasant.

Good luck, it sounds like a great plan, such a fantastic experience for everyone.
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Old 17-03-2015, 15:43   #19
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Re: Cruising with the family

These guys (Sailing with Kids) are half way through their 1 year sabbatical and Mom writes as much as Dad.
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Old 17-03-2015, 15:51   #20
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Re: Cruising with the family

Oh, and by the way, Voyaging with Kids author is Behan Gifford of Sailing Totem...

And there is a blog called threeatsea.com which has been around for along time. Their daughter basically spent her teens aboard their 43 Nordhavn. I think she's moved on to UNiversoty now. Pretty neat the way she got raised...
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Old 17-03-2015, 16:53   #21
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Re: Cruising with the family

My wife bought a book "It's your boat too". I think she enjoys it. It's more boating know how but written from a woman's perspective. We're on a plan too. We were actually full time live board's when the little guy was born. Moved ashore when he was 2 months for my wife's sanity, but plan on headingbout for a year or so in 2017.

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Old 17-03-2015, 17:29   #22
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Cruising with the family

It seems to me that there are two different issues for your wife to consider:
1). Her interest in sailing and the skills she should have.
2). Children.

When I get home from work I'll dig out titles relating to both.

While it is not exactly the same I spent 3yr as a kid overseas while my parents were missionaries. Both my closest brother and I came back much more aware of the world and I think we did better in school for it. My other siblings were too young to garner much from it other than misc. memories and visual images.

One comment I have from that experience is that the culture shock going abroad into the third world is not nearly as bad as the reverse shock coming back to the first world.

My last observation is that you can expect problems with the kids. My reading pretty much universally says that going during high school doesn't work well and even junior high may be iffy.

I just hosted friends that cruised Mexico for 6yr and they thought 11 was the latest age to begin a cruise. On the other hand I think their sample size was small their conclusion is suspect in my mind. I'll ask about it when I next talk to them.

My wife and I are planning to go when the oldest is in 7th grade, spending 18mo on a boat with a teenager that really doesn't want to be there is a recipe for misery for all aboard.


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Old 18-03-2015, 01:55   #23
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Re: Cruising with the family

Funny nobody mentionned any public service of distance education ?
SIDE (School of Isolated and Distance Education) Australia, Home schooling UK, CNED France...etc.
In between Expats, Foreign Office, UN personnels based in countries where there is just no education system or simply kids in hospitals or suffering from a condition preventing them to attend school, a distant education system should exist.
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Old 18-03-2015, 02:42   #24
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Re: Cruising with the family

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnmatt View Post
Is it the same in the Med? Is there generally somewhere you can moor or drop the hook at all times and all placed during the summer? Or is there a good chance you would find yourself doing circles in the Med all night because you came in too late and/or didn't have a reservation in place at a marina?
Croatia, especially the northern part, can be VERY busy indeed, so that you will have a very hard time finding an anchoring slot. I understand that you don't go there, however. But the further south you go, it will be easier, from what I heard.

On the other hand, you may consider some night sailing, then going into marina before noon, when there is a plenty of place. Then you sleep and let the family sight-see.
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Old 19-03-2015, 06:33   #25
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Re: Cruising with the family

All the advice here is good, but there is also a view that you should go as soon as you can. leave it too long and the children will have grown and gone and you'll be looking after aged parents.

I wish you and your family well.
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Old 19-03-2015, 12:09   #26
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Re: Cruising with the family

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All the advice here is good, but there is also a view that you should go as soon as you can. leave it too long and the children will have grown and gone and you'll be looking after aged parents.

I wish you and your family well.
Yes, that is a fear of mine. Ironically, it seems that the more you plan and the longer you wait to do things, the less likely it is to happen. Nevertheless, there are things we just need to get into place before we will be in a position to go. I would love it if everything fell in to place earlier (much earlier), but barring a hot stock pick or lucky lottery ticket, five years from now will likely be our realistic window of opportunity.

Thanks to all that have contributed to this thread. Happily, it has been very constructive and lacks the pessimism that sometimes accompanies this type of thread. We now have more than enough blogs and books to read on the subject - though I am always open to additional suggestions. I am hoping that reading this information will temper some of my wife's concerns and show her that we aren't jeopardizing our kids future if we take them cruising for a year or two. In fact, maybe she'll realize that we are enlightening them and offering them a refreshing view on life.

Thanks again!
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Old 26-03-2015, 01:22   #27
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Re: Cruising with the family

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My last observation is that you can expect problems with the kids. My reading pretty much universally says that going during high school doesn't work well and even junior high may be iffy.
Adelie
Curious what you mean about "expect problems with the kids"?

Don't know what you read of course, but the notion that cruising with kids in high school and/or junior high universally not working well, is bunk. It can go badly, be mixed, or be great - there are many variables involved. How could it possibly only result in a negative outcome?

We've been cruising since 2008. We're now in the northern Maldives (30,000 miles done) and we happen to have the same 3 kids aboard that we started with: now ages 15, 12, 10 and all just about to have birthdays. They are all happy, healthy, and smart. There are 2 more boats anchored near and both have teenage kids aboard that come easily under the same description.

In 6-1/2 years, my children are mostly homeschooled, but did also go to "regular" school in Australia for 6 months. They all did well academically and socially.

My wife Behan is co-author of the "Voyaging With Kids" book (due out later this year) mentioned in the thread. In the book she surveyed a number of teenagers and their parents, with very interesting results.

I do know of cases were cruising with teenagers didn't work out. I also know of cases were it did and they matured into excellent adults. There is no universal outcome. We are lucky because it does work very well for us.
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Old 26-03-2015, 02:24   #28
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Re: Cruising with the family

Our experience is a few years ago now.
The kids (girls) were 9 and 11 when we started. Firstly we did a season around the Pacific Islands. Neither of them suffered at all from missing regular school, in fact quite the opposite. Both girls initially agreed it was a great idea, but when it was time to go they had a few temper tantrums. After 6 weeks away, that was forgotten forever! Both girls matured beyond their years, and both had zero problems once back in school on our return. If your trip is only 18 months the kids will be great! Better than great. You meet a wide variety of people, and open their eyes to the world. IMO it's the single best thing we ever did for our girls. They both still talk about cruising as one of their best experiences ever (they are now 25 and 23).
My advice is that your kids are the right age now. Most of us are never "ready" to go, and are never in a position where we can "afford it". It does not make economic sense. Just make the decision and go. Go soon. There are few kids over 17 out there cruising in my experience. Education gets more serious, and commitments begin. If your kids are 18 or over they are unlikely to come with you IMO -in five years it will be harder to take the kids than now. They, and you, are likely to miss this opportunity.
Go. Go now.

PS. my wife would be happy to answer any questions you or your wife may have if you send them in a pm with your email.

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Old 26-03-2015, 04:17   #29
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Re: Cruising with the family

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Originally Posted by svTOTEM View Post
Curious what you mean about "expect problems with the kids"?

Don't know what you read of course, but the notion that cruising with kids in high school and/or junior high universally not working well, is bunk. It can go badly, be mixed, or be great - there are many variables involved. How could it possibly only result in a negative outcome?

We've been cruising since 2008. We're now in the northern Maldives (30,000 miles done) and we happen to have the same 3 kids aboard that we started with: now ages 15, 12, 10 and all just about to have birthdays. They are all happy, healthy, and smart. There are 2 more boats anchored near and both have teenage kids aboard that come easily under the same description.

In 6-1/2 years, my children are mostly homeschooled, but did also go to "regular" school in Australia for 6 months. They all did well academically and socially.

My wife Behan is co-author of the "Voyaging With Kids" book (due out later this year) mentioned in the thread. In the book she surveyed a number of teenagers and their parents, with very interesting results.

I do know of cases were cruising with teenagers didn't work out. I also know of cases were it did and they matured into excellent adults. There is no universal outcome. We are lucky because it does work very well for us.
I agree - it is bunk. The ONLY problem we've had cruising with two teens is that too many people believe that line and are afraid to do it.

We've been boat schooling since grades 7 & 10. Both kids have loved the experience - their only complaint is the lack of kids their age.

My oldest heads off to college in September, which we suspect will be more of a shock to his little sister than she thinks it will be, because she will be on her own.

But cruising with teens - they have a MUCH different perspective on it all than younger kids. Their near-adult minds have a much greater appreciation for the cultural experiences and natural wonders and they will take away some wonderful perspectives from this.

YMMV of course, but good kids on land stay good kids on a boat.
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Old 26-03-2015, 10:55   #30
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Cruising with the family

Quote:
Originally Posted by svTOTEM View Post
Curious what you mean about "expect problems with the kids"?

Don't know what you read of course, but the notion that cruising with kids in high school and/or junior high universally not working well, is bunk. It can go badly, be mixed, or be great - there are many variables involved. How could it possibly only result in a negative outcome?

We've been cruising since 2008. We're now in the northern Maldives (30,000 miles done) and we happen to have the same 3 kids aboard that we started with: now ages 15, 12, 10 and all just about to have birthdays. They are all happy, healthy, and smart. There are 2 more boats anchored near and both have teenage kids aboard that come easily under the same description.

In 6-1/2 years, my children are mostly homeschooled, but did also go to "regular" school in Australia for 6 months. They all did well academically and socially.

My wife Behan is co-author of the "Voyaging With Kids" book (due out later this year) mentioned in the thread. In the book she surveyed a number of teenagers and their parents, with very interesting results.

I do know of cases were cruising with teenagers didn't work out. I also know of cases were it did and they matured into excellent adults. There is no universal outcome. We are lucky because it does work very well for us.

I was not clear enough with my previous comment.

Kids that leave for the cruise after starting to establish deep friendships and social networks, ie. those that form in junior high and high school, generally don't do well because of the loss. These friendships are part of their growing sense of an independent self.
This is the OP's case.

Kids that start cruising well before this period in their lives don't have this issue. They start developing an independent self that is not tied to those kind of friendships because they don't ever have them. This would be the case for svTOTEM's kids and also Evenstar's.

I believe that cruising in general would be very good for kids but timing plays a part in this. I am trying to get it together before my kids are too old.


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