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Old 25-01-2014, 21:00   #1
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School Transition

Our children are 2 and 4 and we are planning to go cruising as a family for a year, starting around five years from now. We would be interested in hearing the experience of people who have been away for a long trip and then re-enrolled their children in public school? In our specific situation, both our kids have August birthdays so they will be the youngest in their class. We do plan to home-school them on the boat, but if we left when our older child finished 5th grade, we could just have him start 6th grade when we return (one year and a summer later). He would then be the oldest in his class and would have effectively "academically red-shirted."
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Old 25-01-2014, 21:03   #2
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re: School Transition

I've not boat schooled but instead homeschooled and then my kids went to high school for 9th grade. They did great. I wouldn't worry one little tiny bit about the kids. Trust me - they will be fine!
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Old 26-01-2014, 21:16   #3
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re: School Transition

I can't speak about long term, but for Grades K-8 my parents would take me out of School for 2 months a year. We traveled the all over the United States. I was home schooled by them during that time using the same curriculum and books as my class mates. Every year I would return to school ahead of my class and would have to wait for them to catch up. I have no regrets about it and in fact I am thankful for the opportunity.
I might also add that my birthday is in August and I was the youngest in my class. I think I would have been embarrassed to be held back a grade. It would have seemed like a failure in some way.
My advice would be to continue your son's education while cruising. If he does well, let him continue with his class. If he struggles with it, then he should probably start the year over when he returns to land. I think that you should have some sort of "School work" to do either way. It helps to reinforce what they already know.

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Old 27-01-2014, 01:45   #4
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Re: School Transition

Feckless Dolphin,

I think morganministry was correct. We've met lots of home schooled kids from boats over the years, and only once heard of adjustment problems on return to the US. The lad was a senior, who had learned to navigate, stand watch, and was up to date with his home schooling. He felt he did not fit in because he was disinterested in most of what preoccupied his age cohorts. How much of a problem this would have been as the years passed is not something I want to second guess.

The cruiser kids I've met (with the exception of two) have been able to deal positively with adults, and learned their curricula. But the parents had to be disciplined to do it. The ones with the regular schedules seemed to have an easier go at it.

This is by way of observation of about 25 yrs.

Ann
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Old 30-01-2014, 19:02   #5
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Re: School Transition

I've been teaching high school for 15 years. I had one amazing mature girl raised on a boat until jr high. 7 th or 8th grade. Not a problem for her at all. Our two neighbors were boat kids. Entered "prison" at 5 th and 7th grades. Both star students, water polo players etc. both got scholarships playing polo at USC. I wouldn't worry about it. If they can read and write well and do age appropriate math, and most importantly love learning they will be fine.
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Old 30-01-2014, 19:10   #6
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Re: School Transition

These are the grades you should be most able to school them. Many parents would struggle with one or more high school courses. Teaching early reading skills and math skills can also be challenging. Now, seeing that they get the same quantity of education while cruising will require discipline. But if they do they will benefit from the experience as well.
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Old 05-04-2014, 16:26   #7
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Re: School Transition

I grew up k-12 in a crusing liveaboard family with 2 sisters and a brother. I was the 3rd youngest. My brother was a opps baby so he was older than all of us by several years and me and my 2 sisters were within 5 years.

Our parents managed our schooling like a military family. We would usually do 1 - 2 years public or private school where ever we were. My parents did homeschool us when at sea but my mother was a trained teacher and had a masters degree where her focus was on early childhood education with a decent curriculum focus (not saying you need this) but she would order materials where ever they planned to land next and would teach us whatever she could having made some sense over xyz syllabus so we had no trouble integrating into equiv grades in foreign countries. We all spoke learned Spanish and French very young so Spanish speaking countries were not a problem. We did do 2 years in Holland as well and were in a English speaking private school. (my parents were not rich either) they saved up for this one. I had my worst teenage years in Holland. from 12 - 13. I thought my parents were out to ruin my non existent sex life.

We all completed our senior years in US public schools all of us got a solid year in 12th grade in GA, NC or VA. The only one of us that had trouble getting into college was me. My oldest brother got early admission to Harvard, one sister went to Duke and the other went to UGA. I wanted to go to the USNA. I did okay on my SAT (although very dyslexic) and my high school transcripts were messy because I was an A/Pass/ ect... student. I did Part of the equiv of HS in Scotland another in France and then a partial year in Argentina. I enlisted in the Navy and 2 years later I was able to get a letter from my home state congressman and also got a senator recommendation and it took another two years to get an appointment to become a midshipman.

I give you all this info because I don't have kids but I know this was a concern for my parents. I also know it's important to know the requirements of the countries schools you plan to put your kids in. My parents both worked where ever we were so the only home schooling we got was underway. Also another note. We all learned French and Spanish as kids. I'll tell you now I could have not survived school in Jamaica and several other places if I did not speak French with some teachers.

Also Note I'm 40 years old now. So obviously I'm sure things have changed some but I can't imagine it's that much different.
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Old 05-04-2014, 16:55   #8
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Re: School Transition

While cruising Mexico for 4 years we home schooled our two kids and they re-entered the public school system as an 8th grader and high school freshman. We were terrified that the transition would go well...man did we worry about nothing!

They were ahead of other kids their age.
They didn't really care about wearing the right clothes or fitting in.
And they don't really seem to care much about peer pressure.

Going cruising and home schooling them during their middle school years was one of the best things we could have done...despite almost everyone we knew telling us things like:
a) they won't have any social skills
b) they won't know how to interact with other kids their age
c) they won't get in a good school...
d) you are ruining their lives...we heard it all!
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Old 05-04-2014, 17:29   #9
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Re: School Transition

Heck, I can remember when we were ready to leave for our cruise, with our kid's, and good intentioned folks were trying to get the Coasties to stop us from leaveing !! Of course they had inspected our vessel, and were not about to stop us ! but ya just can't believe how much trouble well meaning folks can be !! LOL Many folks just think that living any other way but their way is wrong! As my old daddy said, Do what ya want in life, but be ready to get some flack!!
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Old 05-04-2014, 17:38   #10
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Re: School Transition

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post

Going cruising and home schooling them during their middle school years was one of the best things we could have done...despite almost everyone we knew telling us things like:
a) they won't have any social skills
b) they won't know how to interact with other kids their age
c) they won't get in a good school...
d) you are ruining their lives...we heard it all!
A and B) Refer back to my post above your post before taking offence to what I'm about to say. Myself and my 3 siblings all had social issues with the kids we ended up integrating into formal schooling with. We could not relate, had different interest and humour. We did not have issues when home schooled because our social interaction were with kids living in similar situations to us.

Even as an adult when I joined the Navy I struggled to relate to my peers. Talking to my sisters and brother now (all coming into our early to late 40's) all of us now admit having issues adjusting in college and post college. After Navy C school and Dive School I had finally made a group of friends and then went off to the USNA were I had to start over again. Most people would think it should be easy for me to adjust because I had start over a lot as a kid. (it's not) But it's also harder when you keep a guard up around people. All of my siblings including me are extremely independent because of our upbringing. I did not have a long-term group of friends until my early 30's. My sisters are those women immature men refer to as feminist or B***hes. This is because of our upbringing although I like their husbands.

My brother married and became a professor inland and I'm the only one of us the chose to liveaboard as an adult. Although all my siblings except my oldest sister take their family holidays sailing with me.

C) We all got into our Schools of Choice

D) We all thought mom and pops were ruining our lives when we moved. But all as adults now are happy they raised us the way they did.
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Old 05-04-2014, 18:07   #11
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Re: School Transition

Quote:
Originally Posted by satdiver View Post
Refer back to my post above your post before taking offence to what I'm about to say..
No Problem Amigo...
I lot of this is individual so it's very hard to generalize because kids and family dynamics are so different from kid to kids and family to family. We also taylored our cruising plan and style to keep us around other kid boats with kids their own ages and were lucky enough to cruise with a core group of 4-5 kid boats for almost the entire 4 years.

We chose a very small school and community (Morro Bay, CA) to come back to and continue to live aboard. Would things have turned out different in a more typical larger community or if we moved back ashore? Who knows, all I'm really an expert on is our experience. At this point in their lives my kids both say they loved the experience and are thankfull for it...but when they turn 18 maybe they will go crazy and admit to me they are Democrats
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Old 05-04-2014, 19:24   #12
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Re: School Transition

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
No Problem Amigo...
I lot of this is individual so it's very hard to generalize because kids and family dynamics are so different from kid to kids and family to family. We also taylored our cruising plan and style to keep us around other kid boats with kids their own ages and were lucky enough to cruise with a core group of 4-5 kid boats for almost the entire 4 years.

We chose a very small school and community (Morro Bay, CA) to come back to and continue to live aboard. Would things have turned out different in a more typical larger community or if we moved back ashore? Who knows, all I'm really an expert on is our experience. At this point in their lives my kids both say they loved the experience and are thankfull for it...but when they turn 18 maybe they will go crazy and admit to me they are Democrats
Really interesting to hear your experience as the parent. I don't think our parents were really big on introducing us to other kids like us. It was kinda like they had an agenda and we just kinda followed along, I met the love of my life at 12 years old in Holland and tried to hide on fair weather peoples boats to avoid having to leave her behind. It was the little things like this our parents thought was funny that drove us crazy. My 2nd lost love was a girl I met in GA at 14 or 15 but remarkably I ran into her again in my late 20's in NYC.

If it helps relive your worries somewhat my siblings and I all turned into libertarians as adults even my professor brother.
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