There are many families that are doing what we are doing, or have done a similar version. We do not feel alone, nor that we are setting any records in raising/educating our kids in an alternative way.
There are many types of “homeschoolers” and home-schooling families. We don’t seem to fit into most categories we have found though. We are homeschooling, but mostly not at home. We are not running from a failed system, we are not overtly religious. We just want to travel, learn more about the world and educate our own curious children along the way. Which is why we call it “Adventure School” (also, boatschool, marinaschool, hotelschool) . In my homeschool research, I have also heard the terms: Hackschool, Boat-School, Un-Schooling and Classical Education. All the names fit, depending on the family and their individual approaches to life and learning.
We have chosen the Calvert School model, which works very well for us. We don’t follow it to a “T” in that a lot of the topics of learning are not congruent with the places we are traveling (for instance, why study US history in Europe?). So I modify the curriculum to fit our travels. We studied European political, geographical and religious history when in Europe. We read Huckleberry Finn while cruising the Inter-Coastal Waterway in Florida, as an example. Most of the time we do not have access to high speed (or any speed at all) internet, so we are careful not to base our school time reliant on computer connections. Our “Adventure School” is a bit “Old School”. However, we do all the math (Singapore Math), phonics, spelling, grammar from the Calvert curriculums. We read the Calvert literature AND the reading lists from our local, private school AND I add in a few classics … in addition the kids have a pile of books for “free reading” on their own. I developed a poetry curriculum which (we have loved, and) spans not only the two grades, but also involves creating our own personal anthologies.
Yesterday, I ordered curriculums for the 4th and 6th grades, and have already compiled some of the supplemental materials that I will need. I ordered Critical Thinking books on Amazon, and summer study workbooks for down-time learning. For this fall, I have chosen Don Quixote (abridged), Tom Sawyer and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to read in class. I can’t wait.
So, I am light years ahead of where I was this time last summer… the boxes from Calvert were sitting in our living room last year from May until August, unopened. I was terrified to look! What had I signed up for? But as in life, knowledge is power, and once I cracked open the boxes and could really imagine our journey of learning through travel, I knew we were on to something good.
Tony has two friends from college who are making similar journeys with their kids. They are great writers, adventurers and I have loved reading their respective websites! Though their journeys are unique, it helped me a great deal last year to read Behan’s inspiring posts on how to provision a boat, and most of all how to organize a family in a small space. I absorbed through written words, her positive energy, courage and creativity that was the basis on which we planned our trip last fall. Truth be told, these families are sailing – we are power-boating – perhaps to compare our journey with theirs is not quite the same, but the core family values, educational objectives and hutz-pah to do it deserves a fist-bump at least!
Behan and a couple friends have recently written a book on the subject and I am looking forward to reading “Voyaging with Kids” when it is published this fall –
Behan’s site is: sailingtotem.com
The Farrar’s site is: svstrider.org
Calvert School: (calverteducation.com)
Adventure School: This time it feels so different. It is July 2nd, and I am ready to go. We are all excited to get started again.