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post #1 of 5 Old 06-18-2003 Thread Starter
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Cruising with family

My wife and I have more or less decided that we want to cruise while were still physically active and capable. It''s still an emotional see-saw as to whether cruising would be the right choice for our whole family. We have 3 boy''s aged 5, 11, and 15. The two younger ones are not the problem, it''s the 15 year old. We all do well together as a family, but the teenage years and his educational needs concern us. We sometimes think it would be best to have him avoid alot of what''s happening in todays public school system, but the reality of post secondary education, subsequent job finding(We hope) worry us. We don''t want to make it tougher on him than life already can be. Anybody preparing too, or having already experienced these issue''s advice would be helpfull. Our present location is Western Canada, but we may start our voyage dependent upon where we can find a suitable boat.
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-19-2003
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Cruising with family

We did a trip from the Pac. NW when my kids were 9 and 6. We have home (boat) schooled them since. Unless your son is highly attached to school or friends, I don''t think it will be a problem leaving. You will meet other families with kids and they will make friends. 15 is an age to encourage responsibility. I can''t tell you how awesome it was to watch my 16 year old daughter take her first night watch alone. Your oldest son can truly be a crewmember if you let him. He will crave the freedom and responsibility even as he complains about the work. What an opportunity! And for you. I spent 3 years 24/7/365 with my wife and kids. I loved it. Whos gets to do that?

Don''t worry about the schooling aspect. He will learn far more cruising than he would in a public school. If you''re not comfortable making your own curriculum (there''s lots of help from HS websites) you can buy the canned stuff like Calvert. I don''t like it because it''s the same stuff public school students get at the same time and is not flexible (shouldn''t you be studying hydraulics, El Camino Real and Panamanian history instead of polynomials, early man, and health when you transit the Panama Canal?). You are a better teacher than you think.

People ask us, "Aren''t you afraid your kids will miss out on peer interaction?" Actually, we welcome it. Neither my son (14) nor daughter know what peer pressure is. They make their own decisions. I believe that most peer interaction in public schools is negative and that it is unnatural to be cooped up with 30 people the exact same age as you. Bet that hasn''t happened to you recently.

My daughter just turned 17 and was accepted to a prestigious college with a scholarship. One of the reasons the school wanted her (besides the fact that she''s a very good student) was that her cruising and homeschooled background give them the diversity they want. Homeschooled kids are independant learners (usually) and don''t need to be coddled as much as their institutionalised counterparts. She''s an interesting person to talk to and has lots of great stories ("once when I was 10, we were boarded in the middle of the night off the coast of Nicaraqua...")

Believe me, I worried about it when we first left to cruise. But both my kids are far better educated than most of their friends, have no trouble making friends (of all ages, not just theirs), and the confidence gained by meeting the challenges of cruising have made them prepared for adulthood. Their perspective is not like mine was in college - get an education to get money. They are truly interested in biology, cultures, and experiences. I believe they will make a living at doing what they love which came from being able to experience what most people only dream about.

This type of trip will change your life and your kids. Even if you return in a year and decide to resume "normalcy" it will be something that will stay with you.

Go for it!
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-20-2003
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Cruising with family

I heartily agree with fourknots! My parents took me (and my younger brothers) to the Med for 15 months when I was 15/16. I did not want to go but it was the best thing that could have happened to me! I learned SO MUCH more than I would have in school at home! Later, my parents took my brothers (one was 16) around South America. Each time we simply took the books and lessons we needed from our regular schools. Sent papers to the teachers, etc. It worked out fine. I agree as well that I think our experiences helped us get into colleges. We plan to take our 7-yr-old for a year or so next spring.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-20-2003 Thread Starter
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Hi Stacey
Went to your site.
Wow! You guy''s certainly took on a project.
It will be a super boat when completed and you''ll know all it''s systems inside out. I''m too far inland for that kind of project, and my time frame wouldn''t allow for it anyway.
Thank''s for the support, this is a major life altering event for our family and the positive feedback helps alot.
Kerry Lees
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-08-2003
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I have to agree with fourknots as well, we are planning to cruise with our sons in the next couple of years ages 2,4,7 and 8 as a home school family it won''t be as much as a transition for us and from what i''ve read and experienced in my life the benifits far out way any negitives.

Stacy thats one major project! you guys are doing a great Job. Good luck to you and safe travels.
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