“Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
We are often asked what model we use in our Travel School. There are un-schoolers, classic education home-schools, and many other hybrids. Our homeschool provides a college-prep education using a travel and literature-based approach to mastery learning. We call ourselves Adventure School or Travel School, because that is the basis of what we are doing. We homeschool, but rarely at home. During our school year, we follow a curriculum of both required and requested subjects and we have a steady routine of five school days per week (not always Mon-Fri) regardless of our location. We keep attendance and take summers off like any normal school.
Writing, Spelling, Grammar, History, Geography, Spanish, Math, Humanities, Art and Art History are covered in depth and we always make time for meaningful Community Service.
Travel-Schooling affords us opportunities to combine real life experience with our studies. With little notice, we can create a lesson plan out of something that comes into light by way of a museum, book, current event, or a place we’ve been. We also have lessons on other topics, like Ethics, Cursive-writing, and Correspondence. This is the creative component that is such a reward for, I would guess, all home-schoolers. Sometimes the flow of learning is organic and leads somewhere we were not planning. But in this flow is an opportunity to study something that we are all invested in and therefore we all learn the subject in a deep and meaningful way.
I have a passion for Poetry, so we study, read, write and therefore enjoy an enormous amount of poetry. “Poetry can break open locked chambers of possibility, restore numbed zones to feeling, recharge desire,” writes Adrienne Rich.
We read a lot. Each year, I choose a specific collection of books that we read together as a class. I buy three copies of each book so that we can all follow along as we trade off reading paragraphs outloud. This has been triumphant in understanding nuances in language, promoting class discussions and eliminating a fear of public speaking. In addition to our in-class reading, we each devour books of our own choosing (see “Reading Lists” on the the home page menu).
Our Science program changes each year but is currently based on Calvert, IXL.com science and applied sciences (real-life experience from living on our boat half the year). We also study astronomy, tides, and lunar cycles in nature and are NASA space program fanatics.
What about grades? Traditional elementary-level grading does not apply in mastery-based education. Meaning, we complete the grade-year curriculum without leaving parts un-learned. If I give a math test, and the result is 80% correct, we then sit down and scrutinize the remaining 20%. So yes, a “B” was earned initially on that test, but then we go on to master the remaining concepts until a 100% of the material is learned. “Grades” do not make sense in one-on-one learning.
Travel is a huge component to our understanding of the world. Through travel, we see, touch, feel and understand what we are learning about in books. Every school subject benefits from deeper comprehension and applied context when we go out into the world.
*This is my favorite post of the year – where we list the places we went this year. It is a formidable list and we are grateful for the opportunities that allow us to travel and learn in each location!
During our 2016-2017 school year, we journeyed to the:
San Francisco Maritime Museum and National Historical Park
Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA
Angel Island State Park and Immigration Center, San Francisco
Cable Car Museum, San Francisco, CA
DeYoung Fine Art Museum, San Francisco, CA
SF MOMA (San Francisco Modern art Museum)
San Francisco ZOO, California
Alamo Square Park and Lombard Street + Gardens, San Francisco, CA
Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Presidio, Chrissy Field)
The Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco
AT&T Park (LA Dodgers vs SF Giants) South Beach, San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Bridge (walked across), San Francisco
Exploratorium: The Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception, San Francisco, CA
Sierra Nevada Mountains, California/Nevada
Truckee, CA – Lake Tahoe, NV – Reno, NV – Fernley, NV
Tahoe Science Center, UC Davis/Environmental Research Center, NV
North Sails SuperYacht Finishing Facility & Sail Loft, Minden, NV
Yosemite National Park
Food Film Festival, New York City, NY
High Line (walked the length of) New York City, NY
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Ft. Lauderdale | Stuart | West Palm Beach Florida
NASA Launch viewing and Museum Tour: Kennedy Space Center-Cape Canaveral, Fl
Vero Beach | Melbourne | Daytona | St. Augustine | Jacksonville, Florida
North Palm Beach | Miami Florida
Wynwood Walls – Urban Graffiti Art Exhbition, Miami
Perez Art Museum Miami – PAMM
National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, Ft. Pierce, FL
Elliott Key | Boca Chita Key | Marine Stadium, FL
JetBlue Park at Fenway South, Fort Myers, Florida (Red Sox vs Yankees, Spring Training)
Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, Florida (NY Mets vs Miami Marlins, Spring Training)
Mystic Seaport and Maritime Museum, Mystic, CT
Muhammad Ali Center and Museum, Louisville, KY
Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville, KY
Tony and I are humbled by the amount of quality time we are able to spend with our amazing children. We are grateful that we live in a place that allows us to both teach and learn from them. Our curriculum is academically challenging while also character-building, as prescribed by the wise MLK Jr, among others…
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela
There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning. – Jiddu Krishnamurti
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. – John Dewey
Some quotes (Krishnamurti, Dewey) found on: http://www.brainyquote.com
Mandela Quote: https://twitter.com/NelsonMandela
* Full Martin Luther King Jr. quote: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
More information on MLK jr: https://www.biography.com/people/martin-luther-king-jr-9365086