I'd rather be sailing
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The state of s/v/ Pelican
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Re: Why Children should go cruising
Wow.. just read this thread and I have to say that I very much disagree with Mark's comments. We lived on our boat for two years, a year and a half of which was cruising from Lake Champlain to the southern Bahamas and back. We did this with our two kids who were 11 (son) and 7 (daughter) when we started.
Their social skills became so radically BETTER during and after our cruise than they were before.
Cruising kids are forced to socialize with EVERYONE - whether they are 5 years old or 80 years old. I remember a get together in Georgetown (Exumas) with all of the kids from the anchorages. There were probably 30 there, varying in age from 5 years old to 17 or 18. They were ALL communicating with and engaging each other the entire time. There was no awkwardness. There was no twiddling of thumbs. These kids realized that if they wanted to do anything other than hang out with their parents, they had to make friends with everyone - regardless of whether they were the same age or not. It was amazing watching all of these kids interacting with each other.
When we reached ports, our kids learned to jump off our boat and seek out other kid boats. They met kids all over the world that they still keep in touch with - several years later. By the end of our cruise, we were hanging out with 6 or 7 other kid boats and went from place to place with them. The daily routine would be... wake up, spend a few hours doing schoolwork, and then the VHFs would start lighting up with the calls from boat to boat to figure out who was going swimming, snorkeling, hanging out with, etc. with who.
Today, a few years later, my kids still comment that they found their self confidence because of the cruise. They don't care what others think, and they have no problem meeting people. They both are adamant in the fact that being cruising kids, going through life and death experiences, being forced to meet and befreind people quickly, etc. is what has made them so great today.
By the way - my son becomes a senior in high school next year and my daughter will be going into 8th grade. They are still ABSOLUTELY inseparable and love to do everything together. They rarely argue, and still give each other hugs and a peck every night before they go to bed. My son will bring our daughter to hang out with his friends and is not the least bit embarrassed by it.
So... point being... our kids are amazingly well adjusted and we owe it to the cruise.
Oh... and with regards to school... our first year we used a pre-made home schooling course. We were able to get through the stuff our kids knew quickly, and spend time on the things they didn't. Because we were returning to New York for our son's high school, we had him go home for a few days to take some placement tests. For the home schooled material, he scored at the highest levels within his classes.
s/v "Pelican" Passport 40 #076- Finished Cruising - for the moment -
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Last edited by labatt; 05-13-2013 at 06:46 PM.