HOMESCHOOLING CHILDREN ABOARD
excerpt from The Best Tips from Women Aboard, Edited by Maria
Russell, ©2000 ISBN 0-9663520-1-7 To order call 1-877-WMN-ABRD
To submit your own tips and advice, CLICK HERE!
before we had children, we suspected that kids who grew up on boats were
the best children in the world in terms of their behavior,
education, and appreciation of their environment.
It was when we lived aboard the first time, in the Keys back in the
‘70’s, where we encountered several cruising families.
It always seemed that these kids were the first ones on the dock to
help a new boat tie up. They
seemed so self-assured and independent.
They were able to talk to people of all ages, not just those of
their own age group, and usually on a more mature level than one might
Now that we’ve lived aboard for almost seven years with our own kids, we
are convinced. Boating
families are together families.
There is no doubt in my mind that our children are very different
than their peers. They have
grown up in an atmosphere that places a higher value on who a person is
rather than what a person has. Peer pressure doesn’t exist, and they are becoming the kind
of people they want to become.
Raising children aboard is a personal decision, but the point is that
living aboard or going on an extended cruise doesn’t HAVE to wait until
the kids are grown and on their own.
The subject of “where the
kids will go to school” always comes up when considering raising
children aboard. My husband
and I are former teachers and we believe that education in and of
itself is a life-long process, not just something that “happens” for
12 or 16 years. If you are
thinking about raising children on board, you’d best find out what
educational options are available and learn to discuss the matter in a
knowledgeable way. Well-meaning
grandparents (who are going to worry anyway) will be very concerned about their
Growing numbers of families are choosing home-teaching as an alternative
to regular schooling. In some places, the local school is not the best environment
for children, academically, socially, or from the standpoint of basic
safety. Thanks to the media,
and newspapers in particular, much attention is now being paid to
homeschooling. News such as
the 1997 National Spelling Bee champion being homeschooled makes
There are many magazines and books that are recommended for anyone
contemplating this educational adventure.
Without Schooling, 617-864-3100
Education Magazine, 800-236-3278
All the Time,
by John Holt (ISBN 0-201550911)
School: Taking the First Step,
by Borg Hendrickson (ISBN 0-945519-08-7)
by David and Micki Colfax (ISBN:0-446-38986-2)
Art of Education,
by Linda Dobson (ISBN:0-945097-26-3)
CAN Teach Your Child Successfully,
by Ruth Beechick (ISBN:0-940319-04-7)
There are many, many more. (This
is a hot topic!) Check out
your local library or favorite bookstore.
Also surf the Internet. There
are a LOT of homeschooling websites!
Many cruising families use correspondence schools. There
are quite a few to choose from. Some
of them are:
105 Tuscany Rd., Baltimore, MD 21210,
phone: 410-243-6030. To grade 8 only. Great
reputation. Quite structured.
The American School offers a high school program.
The program has an excellent reputation.
The address is 850 East 58th St., Chicago, IL
High school correspondence courses offered by University Extension,
University of California - Berkeley, CA 94720.
University of Nebraska Independent Study High School,
Continuing Education Center, Rm. 269, Lincoln, NE
There are more trustworthy schools. For
many more, including those offering college level courses, see Peterson’s
Independent Study Catalog, available in most libraries.
We support a concept known as “interest-initiated, child-led learning”
or “unschooling”. To
understand what it’s all about, think about how YOU would have filled
your school days if you were free to learn whatever you wanted.
You would, most likely, have followed your natural tendency to find
out as fully as possible about the things that interested you,
whether that be oceanography, photography, art, music,
horticulture, mechanics, art, computers, writing, sailing.
Fortunately, there is a school that supports the concept of unschooling as
well as traditional homeschooling programs: Clonlara School Home-Based
Education Program (1289 Jewett St., Ann Arbor, MI
48104, 313-769-4515). In
addition to their many services, they offer several challenging classes
via the Internet, mentored by teachers all over the world.
Most importantly for families like us, they deal with any legal
issues (and absorb any headaches) encountered because we homeschool.
To find out more about alternative schools, see the annual National
Directory of Alternative Schools.
Many of the alternative schools listed are friendly and helpful to
homeschoolers, and it includes a valuable section on homeschooling with
descriptions of support groups all over the country.
Order from National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools, 58
Schoolhouse Rd., Summertown, TN 38483.
Also, The Teenage Liberation Handbook:
How to quit school and get a real education, by Grace
Llewellyn (ISBN 0-9629591-0-3) is a great sourcebook for older
homeschoolers, as well as being an excellent book on education.
Don’t forget that local boards of education are sometimes sympathic
to families who are are
cruising for periods of one year or less.
Also, some local school systems have their own home-education
programs. Call your local
school to find out what’s available in your area.
An excellent website to refer to for legal ramifications regarding
homeschooling is www.hslda.org.