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  #21  
Old 02-14-2013
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Re: Home schooling for Cruisers

Hi! I home school my daughter and we are all interested in living aboard and cruising in the future. I would love to make connections with other home school families so my daughter (6) can chat with other kids her age who are living the life. Looking to make mew friends! or just chat once. Skype or face time?
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  #22  
Old 02-14-2013
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Re: Home schooling for Cruisers

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Originally Posted by Skyhawk52633 View Post
Hi! I home school my daughter and we are all interested in living aboard and cruising in the future. I would love to make connections with other home school families so my daughter (6) can chat with other kids her age who are living the life. Looking to make mew friends! or just chat once. Skype or face time?
I will send you a PM. We are in St Pete about two more weeks or so.

Brian
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  #23  
Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Home schooling for Cruisers

Homeschool Update:

Well, we have just hit our first snag in the Florida Virtual Home school. I want to set this out in case any others want to use this program or are following this thread.

The benefit of FVHS is the kids get a diploma and have a set curriculum and teachers. It is basically like being in a brick and mortar school where the parents are the teachers working under specific guidance from a 'head teacher'. However, this also has created a major issue for cruisers: THe FCAT (THe FLorida end of year achievement test which all children enrolled in public schools have to take) is mandatory.

The rules are that the child must go into a brick and mortar school to take their FCAT (2-3 days). THe problem is that the FCAT location is chosen by your listed address. So assuming you stay in one place, no problem. But if you are moving around, you just hit a snag. SO we have to register where the kids will take their FCAT by establishing residency in another location (where we will be in APril) and they have to have that set by the end of March. Be aware, if you use FVHS, you will have the same issue. Proof of residency is a rental agreement, change of address on DL, and/or your name on a utility bill. In general, 30 day rental agreements at a marina do not count.

Other than that, the program has been good, but for those that plan on moving about, be aware of this issue.

Brian
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  #24  
Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Home schooling for Cruisers

Final discussion on Florida Virtual:

The school year has ended so this is a good wrap-up on using Florida Virtual, Connexus, K-12, or other similar online schooling systems.

Positives

First of all, it is free. That does make a difference. Second, you do get a lot of time interacting and teaching your children. For those parents that wanted to home school to be more involved, this is one way. Third, you have the specifics laid out for you. There is no planning as a parent or deciding what "course work" for that day, per se. You do get to run a scheduler to outline out many of their classes (for instance, putting your child in math and only math all week long), but each lesson is pre-planned with what must be learned, tested, and accomplished. Fourth, there are extracurricular activities. Unlike some schooling programs, you do get to go out and meet your classmates in field trips. They really make an effort with these throughout the year and in various, interesting places. Fifth, the teachers really care and are always there to help. It is not unusual to miss them when calling them, but you have a teacher dedicated to your child and able to help them with the course work. I also found the teachers less interested in 'grades' and more interested in making sure the children learned the information. For example, if they did poorly on a project, they would let them re-do it. What mattered to them was mastery of the subject. I really, really liked the teachers. Lastly, you can opt into a International Baccalaureate and college equivalent classes in HS. This is a big deal and really makes it a program to consider.

Negatives:

These negatives are primarily from a cruisers point of view, as you will see. First, we were forced to take the FCAT. This was no simple process because as cruisers, we move. Yet, the test is based upon your registered address. It ended up planting us in Marathon (and at a marina at 21.50/foot) for a month. Yikes! Second, the internet aspect was difficult to maintain. We used the ATT Wifi unit, but always went over our 5 gig/month. It also restricted us to places that had good wifi. This ruled out going to the bahamas or Tortugas for any length of time. Third, the classes are too strict. Many cruisers, for example, may spend a month in one place then travel a week or two, then spend a week/month in the next place. Although you are allowed vacation, it is short (like a regular school) and does not allow you to really work ahead. So the option of letting the kids get ahead for a few weeks then take a few weeks off was not an option. Fourth, the "live lessons" really tied us down. The kids had multiple live lessons with their classes online and during random times of the day. This again tied them to the computer and did not give us much freedom to venture out and dive or snorkel when it was cool or the weather was nice. Fifth, you are technically tied to Florida (or the state of assignment). We stayed in Florida, and so stayed within the rules, but each time we moved, we had to update our address with them and provide proof of residency. They did allow us to use one-month leases from marinas, but as you can imagine, those get expensive. It also keeps you from anchoring out much or spending time away from the dock. Not to mention, should you wish to travel outside of the state, it would become a real issue and technically is not allowed.

So overall, I would like to say this is a wonderful program. The teaching methods and system is good. The people running it are top notch. I almost wonder if they are the 'best' of the teachers because they too get to work remote. For those who are interested in primarily living aboard at a marina and being pretty fixed to one spot, I would recommend it. For those who are cruising, it is tough to make it work. Many of the things that make up the positives of this program are actually negatives for cruising families.

There ya go. A years review for those parents who are interested.

Brian

PS It appears we are going to move into a different program this year called SeaScape. I will update on it when we are settled in it.
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  #25  
Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Home schooling for Cruisers

There are several sites which are very helpful, one place that has compiled a great list of these resource is run by the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, called Education Place.

Homeschooling

A resource for printer friendly worksheets is Jane Pimetel Printable Math, it does a lot more than just math, there are grammar and punctuation, math, science and many other worksheets for kids from K-12.

Janepimentel Printable Math

For those who are interested in a Christian education system which has had students accepted into many colleges and universities without problems there is one source that stands out for longevity and meeting a higher standard than unguided systems. A.C.E. Accelerated Christian Education has been in business for more than 40 years. This system uses work books that have a child working at their own pace, to develop a very good education. The course work covers a very broad range and is easily administered by a parent or small group of parents.

Accelerated Christian Education

Here is a partial list of the colleges and universities that have accepted ACE students: http://www.aceministries.com/aboutus...ollegeUniv.pdf

There are a ton of resources out there for parents who wish to home school their kids, one of the most important aspects of home schooling is the same one that is important when your children are going to public or private school on land. You have to be engaged in your child's education no matter where your children go to school. Teachers and administrators are not parents to your children, and good parenting is the key to producing good children.

I would encourage anyone who has school aged children on land or at sea to become more involved, and to take a full interest in the education of your children.
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  #26  
Old 07-04-2013
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Re: Home schooling for Cruisers

Its nice idea bout home schooling. I like it. Kids can get more understanding and knowledge at home from their mom. That I think.
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Re: Home schooling for Cruisers

HI Cruising Dad,

Some things we have done over the last couple years in Boatschool. (age 12)

Finding secular all inclusive courses are more difficult than finding "Fire and Brimstone" courses.

It takes a little forthought but we are eclectic on the courses. We are by no means an "unschool" but we left public school as much to avoid the socialization of continuing the degredation of the American Population that has blossomed since 1977 and "No Child Left Behind". The headline facing out on the local news paper rack the other day said... (paraphrazed) "Teachers not teaching kids at school to make extra money by tutouring."

Math is Teaching Textbooks, My son started on TT5 two years ago and is now starting TTalgebra1. That is two TT courses a year. His old class mates would be starting 7th grade math. His sister still in public school starts algebra 1 as an honors class in 9th grade this year. You can resell the course and break even if you are lucky.

Grammar is Saxon Grammar for his age group at the moment. Don't even bother with trying to save the course for resale. The newsprint is history by the end of the year on a boat. $35 if you buy used from those land based people. $75 new

Science has been Florida textbooks and suplementary stuff I add. Buy on ebay for about $10 a year.

History is mostly field trips, and videos.

Art, music and other electives are friends, family and what ever we can find from other cruisers. A real drawing course here in ST Pete is $170!

Reading is a must have eReader or laptop. Books are heavy, rip and all the other issues on a boat. We have about 20,000 books in the library, mostly scifi and classics. But still keep a watch on Barnes and Nobels teen catagory so he has choices when we are anchored out.

We use Rosetta for Spanish at this level but will have to do a different course to get the credit for college.

We are also doing critical thinking this year and some random other reasoning materials.

If you are going cruising and expect to continue Boatschool you will need.


(Our boat computer, the one we do all the videos, movies etc on is an Asus eeeBox that uses less than 20 watts playing 720p)


Netbook, TT math doesn't use the tablets, It also works for typing skills. Uses 20 watts or less.
eReader, iPad or iPad minis are great with Lifeproof case if it is in the budget. If not, a few free programs to read the different formats of books are available for the netbook. If no netbook get a bluetooth keyboard.
Books for courses, including those that will be needed at anytime before the return. Make sure you have reference books about fish, shells weather, etc.
All paper, pencils, pens, art supplies, extra guitar strings, etc.
Camera their own personal camera. Waterproof a BIG plus.
Harddrive An external SSD would be great but keep any in a sealed bag when not in use including the cables. This is the main back up of all work and grades that are digital.. Including the name and contact address of the school, the yearly review teacher, and pdfs of all paperwork.
Schedule make a schedule of the year, with places where you can get caught up if needed. They need a copy. We have a 5 day schedule that repeats weekly. The weekend does not have to be the weekend in Boatschool.
Jobs Make a chore list and call it a job list. Give them responsibiltiy at anchoring and casting off. Let them pull the daytime watch. etc. It is all a learning experience.

and most important

BE FLEXIBLE Playing with an octopus or watching a shark is much better than the scheduled video for the day.


Other suggestions:
basic first aid
basic swimmer classes


Wes
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  #28  
Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Home schooling for Cruisers

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEMINIDREAMS View Post
HI Cruising Dad,

Some things we have done over the last couple years in Boatschool. (age 12)

Finding secular all inclusive courses are more difficult than finding "Fire and Brimstone" courses.

It takes a little forthought but we are eclectic on the courses. We are by no means an "unschool" but we left public school as much to avoid the socialization of continuing the degredation of the American Population that has blossomed since 1977 and "No Child Left Behind". The headline facing out on the local news paper rack the other day said... (paraphrazed) "Teachers not teaching kids at school to make extra money by tutouring."

Math is Teaching Textbooks, My son started on TT5 two years ago and is now starting TTalgebra1. That is two TT courses a year. His old class mates would be starting 7th grade math. His sister still in public school starts algebra 1 as an honors class in 9th grade this year. You can resell the course and break even if you are lucky.

Grammar is Saxon Grammar for his age group at the moment. Don't even bother with trying to save the course for resale. The newsprint is history by the end of the year on a boat. $35 if you buy used from those land based people. $75 new

Science has been Florida textbooks and suplementary stuff I add. Buy on ebay for about $10 a year.

History is mostly field trips, and videos.

Art, music and other electives are friends, family and what ever we can find from other cruisers. A real drawing course here in ST Pete is $170!

Reading is a must have eReader or laptop. Books are heavy, rip and all the other issues on a boat. We have about 20,000 books in the library, mostly scifi and classics. But still keep a watch on Barnes and Nobels teen catagory so he has choices when we are anchored out.

We use Rosetta for Spanish at this level but will have to do a different course to get the credit for college.

We are also doing critical thinking this year and some random other reasoning materials.

If you are going cruising and expect to continue Boatschool you will need.


(Our boat computer, the one we do all the videos, movies etc on is an Asus eeeBox that uses less than 20 watts playing 720p)


Netbook, TT math doesn't use the tablets, It also works for typing skills. Uses 20 watts or less.
eReader, iPad or iPad minis are great with Lifeproof case if it is in the budget. If not, a few free programs to read the different formats of books are available for the netbook. If no netbook get a bluetooth keyboard.
Books for courses, including those that will be needed at anytime before the return. Make sure you have reference books about fish, shells weather, etc.
All paper, pencils, pens, art supplies, extra guitar strings, etc.
Camera their own personal camera. Waterproof a BIG plus.
Harddrive An external SSD would be great but keep any in a sealed bag when not in use including the cables. This is the main back up of all work and grades that are digital.. Including the name and contact address of the school, the yearly review teacher, and pdfs of all paperwork.
Schedule make a schedule of the year, with places where you can get caught up if needed. They need a copy. We have a 5 day schedule that repeats weekly. The weekend does not have to be the weekend in Boatschool.
Jobs Make a chore list and call it a job list. Give them responsibiltiy at anchoring and casting off. Let them pull the daytime watch. etc. It is all a learning experience.

and most important

BE FLEXIBLE Playing with an octopus or watching a shark is much better than the scheduled video for the day.


Other suggestions:
basic first aid
basic swimmer classes


Wes
Wes,

Thanks for the very informational post! That is great.

We do a lot of those things too - especially taking the time out to enjoy the life we are experiencing. It makes all the difference too.

We are in the keys now. Where you you and your family? Would love to meet up if you are in this neck of the woods. Have 9&12 yo boys.

Brian
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  #29  
Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Home schooling for Cruisers

Really interesting discussion!

So my day job is teaching teachers. There is an important shift right now in schools revolving at exactly what the goals are. Tony Wagner in his book The Global Achievement Gap gives seven "survival" skills that schools need to shift to rather than traditional content coverage
Tony Wagner?s Seven Survival Skills

Critical thinking and problem-solving
Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
Agility and adaptability
Initiative and entrepreneurialism
Effective oral and written communication
Accessing and analyzing information
Curiosity and imagination

Right now one could comfortably argue that schools are not well equipped to address these. Whereas an extended period of time on a boat can make the ideal living classroom to do so.

Think not "home" schooling but "boat" schooling.

I think that a break from regular schools and investing your children in the daily authentic challenges involved in cruising will pay huge dividends for future life AND when they go back to school.

I see the "home schooling" part as minimum skill retention to try and make sure they don't "lose ground."

This is going to be my approach next year when we take a year off with our three kids.
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  #30  
Old 09-04-2013
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Re: Home schooling for Cruisers

We home schooled both of our children. Daughter is 32, son is 28. Daughter has her US teachers certificate and is teaching in Guatemala City and loves it. She aced college, loved it. She still visits with her favorite professor whenever she gets back to the states.

Son didn't want to go to college and is a sailboat rigger in Annapolis. He has always made more money than our daughter, and has no college debt, so go figure.

I had a fun answer to the most common question we would get when someone found out we were home schooling.

The question was" "Aren't you worried about socialization"

My answer was: "Yes it is a big problem I worry about it all the time. They spend so much time with other kids and their parents what with their museum trips, trips to go to work with parents, trips to zoo's, aquariums, farms etc. it never ends. Excess socialization is something I'm concerned about."

I would get a stunned look and a mumble. I wasn't really kidding either.

We were pretty moderate. My wife tried to cover a regular curriculum. It only really takes a couple hours a day. Most of the day in schools if you remember is wasted. Moving between classrooms, discipline and just plain waiting. If you get mono you can keep up with your class with someone that comes to your house for an hour or so a day.

We had some friends that were pretty extreme. They believed in un-schooling. They made it their business to not teach their kids anything. They had lots of material around, would suggest what to do during the day but there were no education goals at all. If the kids asked a question they would answer it. Most of our friends has children that went to public school of course. In the end I was amazed at how little anything mattered. The unschooled, the public schooled and and moderate homeschooling like ourselves. The ones that wanted to go to college went to college and did well. The others found jobs they liked to do.

You would have thought it would have made a bigger difference but it didn't. I'm talking about probably 50 children.
My favorite story was one of our young unschooler friends who couldn't read by the time he was about 14. At that time he could already rebuild an engine and weld because that is what he liked to do and his father was adamant about not forcing anything on him. Eventually he went up to his mother and asked to get help reading. After she fainted and she came to they started and within weeks he was up to grade level. The reason, he wanted to be able to read his motorcycle shop manual.

The fact of the matter is that some children thrive in public school, some in private school and some home schooled.

Based on my experience while I understand it takes a trained expert to teach 20+ children at once in a school setting or a college setting I'm pretty sure any literate parent can handle K-12 for a handful of their own kids with a little help providing they are willing to put in the time and money. We found it was not cheap, not easy and took a lot of time. It is way easier to send them to school.
It is definitely not for everyone.
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