Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-02-2007, 11:58   #1
Registered User
 
Octopus's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Isle of Arran, UK
Boat: Lagoon 420 - Hull 52
Posts: 208
Education Aboard - weight restriction

We will be educating our six children (aged 5 to 11) aboard our new catamaran for a year. My wife is all fired up to educate the children. My attitude is more laissez-faire. I'm a bit concerned about the weight of everything we are planning to take and the impact this will have on the speed of the boat. The schoolbooks alone are pretty heavy. I'm all for taking a few laptops and having it all the material on DVD, but I've been out voted. One item we are considering taking is a colour laser printer. This weighs a heck of a lot. Is the weight justified? We have a 13.5 kW generator on our diesel-electric cat, so the power consumption isn't a consideration.

Any advice on what we should and shouldn't take would be welcome.

Chris
__________________

__________________
Chris, Beth and Clan
Octopus, Lagoon 420 Hybrid
Isle of Arran, Scotland
Octopus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-2007, 12:35   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Whangaparaoa,NZ
Boat: 63 ft John Spencer Schooner
Posts: 956
FWIW we told people we were home schooling our two but in reality did nothing. We had no tv or computer but took lots of books including some really good field guides.
After 5 years they were both way ahead of their peer groups when they re-entered "the system".
If you are only going for a year and they are younger than the last year or so of high school, my pathetic advice would be not to sweat too much. They will benefit greatly from your presence and the travelling you will do, more so than a year at school. (but lose the tv-those things are evil).
__________________

__________________
dana-tenacity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-2007, 12:59   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Starbuck's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 827
Need vs. Want

Chris,

Ask your wife to write down a list of every way the printer would be used. Then look at the list and weigh the benefits against the weight.

Then look at the list again, and ask what would happen if it were an ink-jet printer instead of a laser (gotta be cubic space and weight reduction there). You may find it does nearly every thing at an acceptable level of quality. Or that your itemized list is so short and/or weak, it really isn't reasonable to carry the thing at all.

Of course, if you're going to be printing real-time weather info. and will have a printer anyway, a compromise solution may be in order.
__________________
s/y Elizabeth Catalina 34 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." G. K. Chesterfield
Starbuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-2007, 13:11   #4
Registered User
 
switchcat's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Live aboard
Boat: SWITCH 51 CATAMARAN - ZIA
Posts: 23
education on board

Hi Chris and Beth,

congrats to you for taking the big step and going cruising with kids. we are cruising with two kids and home schooling them - ages now 7 and 9. homeschooling has been both the most challenging and the most rewarding aspect of our adventure. it is amazing how much my wife and i are learning - we each teach one kid. we wonder what the cruisers who dont have kids do with all of their free time. Anyway we use the Calvert system Calvert School: Calvert School and we love it. it is heavy - maybe costs me a twentyith of a knot ;-) but it has everything included and is an approved curriculum.

In January we actually checked our kids into a spanish public school since we are wintering in Barcelona - they love it and are dealing with the language issues with aplomb. No matter what you do, i think that spending a lot of quality time with your family will pay big dividends in the future.

the laser printer sounds like more of an entertainment device - you will end up with lots of color print outs all over the place and the kids will love it but it seems like overkill to me.

all the best,

Joe
SV Zia
zialater.com
__________________
We're all here because we're not all there.....
switchcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-2007, 13:23   #5
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by 420Hull58
Any advice on what we should and shouldn't take would be welcome.
My first inclination as a response was going to be along the lines that if you want thick kids no need to bother with Education. But then I saw your country of origin and reckon if they come back being able to read or write their own name they will probably be in the top 25% of their class (only based on my experiances of output to the work place from Edukaysionaal establishments ).

But IMO as it is "only" a year and given their ages, then they will learn a lot more than any school would / could teach them. Education is not just about learning facts, it is also about learning the need to learn and how to learn themselves and they can get a lot of this from "on the job training" related to your trip / boat.

If you want something to "show" after the trip away, no reason why the older ones could not prepare to be a Yachtmaster, even if too young to take the actual exams, not just for the knowledge (which I am sure he has / you will teach anyway) but because it would require some actual formal study. You may also want to get one of the kids to develop an interest in later being a Marine Diesel Mechanic - for your future long term benefit . (Just occured to me that you could get the younger ones to learn / take the YM course - and when bored post the results up on YBW.com )

Also from venturing to foreign shores and dealing with / coping with new and unfamiliar situations will help them develop as people as well as educationally, as long as you do not exclude them from the thinking behind decisions. And of course being foreign gives you a chance to show them as well as tell them about history of the places they visit.

On the more academic front I would say that the greatest gift / asset you could give to a child educationally would be an ability to learn foreign language skills and you will have a great opportunity to do so by immersion as well as onboard via DVD's / CD's etc. To a degree the actual language is immaterial, it is about the learning process as much as the skill acquired at the end. and the younger they are the more easily they learn.

Whether on DVD or in book form I would suggest taking some reference books on board - so that Mum and Dad do not end up looking like complete donuts
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-2007, 17:52   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
Anyway we use the Calvert system Calvert School: Calvert School and we love it. it is heavy - maybe costs me a twentyith of a knot ;-) but it has everything included and is an approved curriculum.
There is no reason you can't do home school well with a system. Once you get into high school you really can't do it well with out one. Friends of mine are home schooling 4 kids from scratch K through 12 and they would tell you you need all the help you can get. Your wife being all fired up is a great start but there is the getting it done part.

As far as what you should take it really is baed on what you need. Packing the boat is a pretty difficult thing. It all has to fit and you need everything you need. With multiple crew members it gets harder yet. The best thing would be to start making lists. And as you pack an invetory by location.

The speed of the boat really isn't going to be effected by any one thing like school supplies. The issue of weight and bulk go across the board and I'm sure other important items weigh more and take more space. You've made the decison to bring your whole family so it carries a speed penalty. Not that bad a trade off if you consider the alternative.

Think about another alternative. What if this whole adventure truns out really great and you want to extend it 6 more months or maybe longer. Having made the investment in the system would suddenly be a far better decision. Sometimes worrying about things going well is overlooked too. Think about what would happen if it all really works! What if the kids both skip a grade and move out of the house one year sooner!
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-2007, 20:30   #7
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
As an almost ex maths teacher...

... I would suggest taking the primary maths text books for the years your kids would be doing.

That is an age of 11 years corresponds to grade 5 so get the grade 5 text and so on. Your system may be different but you should get my drift.

Our standard primary texts in NSW are well laid out with each page being one lesson. I would expect that yours would be very similar. Just ask them to do a lesson as time permits. I would not be surprised if a motivated student could work through each text quite quickly.

You would also need to bring along exercise books, pencils, protractors, rulers, compasses etc. Coloured pencils could be a lot more useful than a laser printer.

Six texts should cover your kids primary education, and the process could be extended to secondary if necessary.

With a little practice thay should be able to do your navigation.

Primary teachers are not noted for their maths ability so the texts need to be good, but have a look and check that thay are well laid out.

As a secondary maths teacher I have noticed that being behind can cause problems. I don't think that the other subjects are as affected, though you might like to get a few junior biology texts (the ones with lots of pictures) as this is an wonderful time to study the natural environment.

If your kids turn out to be interested in biology I would get then a good digital camera and water colour paints.

It should help to keep them amused on rainy days.

The lot should not weigh more than 5-10 kg.
__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2007, 04:19   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,579
Images: 240
A new website dedicated to families with children aboard. Not a lot of content yet, but worth watching.
Liveaboard Families
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2007, 09:03   #9
Registered User
 
Tnflakbait's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Southern California
Boat: CSK, 33' Aita Pe'ape'a
Posts: 338
Images: 7
My parents home schooled my sisters and I when we cruised the South Pacific for two years. I was 10 and 11. They brought along the books, but at this age you dont' have too many books. I see no need for a laser printer. Why not ink jet? At sea we would rarely do school. In port we did school from about 8 to 11 am. When parents are one on one with kids it's pretty easy to complete the suggested studies. Kids learn the most swimming, hiking, and interacting with new cultures. Good luck saving weight!
__________________
Tnflakbait is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2007, 11:02   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
schoonerdog's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2004
Location: annapolis
Boat: st francis 44 mk II catamaran
Posts: 1,174
Images: 4
Chris,
The lagoon 420 was designed to be able to carry a larger payload with wider hulls, I'd let the kids have what ever books they wish, with the condition though that once they've finished a book you mail it to the grandparents for safe keeping or scan it. Exercises from the workbooks, drawings, etc could all be scanned and retained on DVD. Coudl be a great completed the project ritual. There are some laptops now that have a HD DVD burner. You could potentially get one powerful laptop with a couple hundred gigs of data on mirrored drives and a HD DVD burner (believe it or not, they make them now), and then a few 300 dollar laptops with wireless cards and good keyboards for the kids. Have the main laptop share out a directory and the kids could have a central repository for all of the homework assignments, notes, scanned projects, programs, music, pictures. The kids laptops then would be their scrapbooks, personal stereos, photo albums, email tools, storing all of their respective files though back on the central laptops hard drives. In that way you don't have to fix a program on 3 or 4 different computers, just on the central one, and you only have one machine to worry about backing up - the kids would be disposable.

Good luck!
__________________
schoonerdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 14:14   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Burlington, ON, Canada
Posts: 9

Quote:
Originally Posted by schoonerdog
the kids would be disposable.


Some places frown on that...
__________________
Caspar_s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2007, 12:53   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 11
hi there

we will be setting out later this year with two kids who we plan to 'boat school' (youger than yours - 4 and 2). I have been reading some books about "unschooling" which seems to be letting them tell you what they want to know, and you find out with them. This means that it will be hard to predict what books etc we will need so that the web will be the most useful thing to take with! i am planning to find places on the way round to print anything we need, i am sure that this will not be hard.
do you mind me asking what the laser printer will be so useful for printing? what havent i thought of???

Liz Douglas
__________________
douglas family is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-04-2007, 14:36   #13
Registered User
 
Octopus's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Isle of Arran, UK
Boat: Lagoon 420 - Hull 52
Posts: 208
Why a colour laser printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by douglas family
hi there
do you mind me asking what the laser printer will be so useful for printing? what havent i thought of???

Liz Douglas
Liz

Why a colour laser printer? Well, we've got one. It's economical to print the large colour block pictures the children seem to love churning out. The children can print out copies of their journals or books. We find they love to be able to produce something that looks as good as a 'real' book. It gives them a real pride in their achievement and encourages them to do more and better.

It also has other on-board uses. It can be used for printing copies of sections of the electronic charts for use on deck when approaching an unfamiliar port of call. It can be used for printing tee shirts and even courtesy flags.

An ink jet can do most of these things and is a lot lighter, but it's also a lot more expensive to operate.

Chris
__________________
Chris, Beth and Clan
Octopus, Lagoon 420 Hybrid
Isle of Arran, Scotland
Octopus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-04-2007, 19:27   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
An ink jet can do most of these things and is a lot lighter, but it's also a lot more expensive to operate.
You won't run a laser printer off an inverter. Size and power may be the more important issue.
__________________

__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
420: Lagoon 420 Owners & Fans ess105 Lagoon Catamarans 1173 21-11-2017 14:36
Selecting the Ideal Liveaboard Monohull Sailboat Stede Liveaboard's Forum 50 21-07-2011 12:43
Live Aboard in Florida Boot Key Harbor lowryjim Liveaboard's Forum 15 15-12-2008 07:53
True Cat Weight Limpet Multihull Sailboats 5 22-01-2007 01:02
Introduction of Kevin aboard Raven Raven Meets & Greets 16 21-04-2006 08:29



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:03.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.