Well, we finished! June 24th marked our last day and we officially closed the book on our 2015-2016 school year. We arrived back in Newport in early May in time to catch all of the Baseball and Softball Little League season as well as Spring Travel Soccer. Wrapping up school at home was perfect.
Being on the road from September through April is a long haul. Finishing at home gives weight to the end of school and wraps all our passions (travel/home, water-sports/land-sports, old friends/new friends) into one seasoned finale. That, and it is nice to have a little more space, see friends and play outdoors a LOT.
I found the last day of school was an emotional one for me, as I gathered together my notes from the year and prepared our final “morning meeting”. I felt a swell of pride and accomplishment for ALL of us. I outlined our travels for the year and we talked about our personal achievements and growth. This was an emotional and powerful discussion. I could not hold back the tears most of the day.
I am fiercely proud of this family.
We did a BIG thing and we have done it for two years now. Once again, we went places we never dreamed we would go. We studied the life and death of certain cities and cultures in Europe and Asia and then… we WENT THERE to see the monuments, castles, churches and mosques. We swam in the Eastern Atlantic (Portugal), Western Atlantic (Abacos), Bay of Biscayne (FL), Caribbean (Bahamas), Mediterranean (Spain) and Aegean Seas (Turkey).
We crossed the Gulf Stream in our boat traversing 3,000 ft deep water to a country we had never before been. We made new friends, learned to snorkel and how to spot injured sea turtles.
We wrote more original poetry this year than any of us had written in our lives. The kids completed not one, but two math programs apiece for their respective grade levels. We read Cervantes’ Don Quixote while traveling in southern Spain and Grahame’s beautifully written Wind in the Willows while cruising the teal blue waters of the Abacos.
Our school day on May 4th was centered on a Star Wars theme…. “May the 4th be with you!”
I love our travel-school. I love how much we are each learning and growing as we try new things, go new places. Our discoveries this year were important in the areas of culture, environment, religion, history, and humanities. We studied World History – a course which spanned from 6000 BC to 2000 AD. Our individual growth and understanding of the world has been deeply personal and profound as we can now apply 8,000 years of history to our view of current affairs. It seems more important than ever, that kids grow up with a solid understanding of our world’s history – as an imperative.
Our national educational system seems in a transitional phase these days and I am glad for that. I think learning should always be in motion, as the world is continuously changing. Our travel school focus is low on technology and high on math, geography, history, ethics, poetry, writing, and reading classic literature. Along with high-level sports and community service, we are riding our own “wave of the future”.
Field trip! Picking strawberries at local Sweet Berry Farm is always a treat.
Oliver, taking a math test wearing his lucky new catcher’s mask…
Every parent wants the best opportunities for their children and it is easy to hop on the wobbly-wheeled worry-wagon. Are we doing enough math? Is her writing at grade-level? Perspective is challenging, when in the middle of experiencing something – especially something of high value, change-in-motion and that alters one’s sense of self. However, when I look back on our school-year, I have no doubts about our young citizens-of-the-world.
At the end of the day, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ― (Abraham Lincoln). It’s really all just a matter of perspective.
Whoo-hoo! Summer, here we come!
Soccer, Baseball and Softball are our team sports of choice in Newport. This year, marks Oliver’s 3rd season on the Newport Little League baseball All-Stars team. He also played on the Middletown Youth Spring Travel Soccer team, which finished the season with 8 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie. They also won the U10 State Tournament in June. This was the 3rd year for Sophia playing softball for Newport and the first year that Sophia made the All-Star team – a huge accomplishment for her!