“We are finding that the school work we are doing is altering the way our children learn. They are genuinely interested in what is happening around them on many levels, so the ‘want-to-know’ factor is prevalent. The result is that they are engaged in their own learning and are seeing the immediate value of their knowledge. They are keen to learn and are therefore taking ownership in their education”. – LR
(from “School, Fish and Racing Sailboats” blog post January 2016)
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. We are learning as we go!
We have realized 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”. In my 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 originally chose the Calvert School model as a base, which worked very well for us in the beginning. However, we didn’t follow it to a “T” as we found 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 modified the curriculum to fit our travels. We studied European political, geographical and religious history when in Europe. We read Cervantes in Spain and Huckleberry Finn, Music of the Dolphins and Moby Dick and while living aboard our boat in south Florida and the Bahamas.
Now we have a more eclectic approach to our curriculums. I combine Calvert Math with IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing), Howard Zinn’s US History, Science Fusion and IXL for social studies, geography and science. I have also included units on art, poetry, ethics, critical thinking, spelling, “money & investing” and cursive writing. And literature! In addition to the kids’ free-choice reading, we also choose several classics that we read together each year and discuss as a class.
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”. We read A LOT of books. I developed a poetry curriculum which spans the two grades and involves creating our own personal anthologies. We study Spanish using Rosetta Stone. We use IXL online for additional Language Arts and also as a secondary Math course for each grade.
We have discovered an unusual model for educating our children, which has blossomed above and beyond anything we could have expected. This plan of ours is hard work – but it also works very well for us all. We love what we are doing and our children are thriving!
In this digital format Tony and I chronicle, the best we can, our family adventures – exploring and learning as we go. Please subscribe to receive updates on our journey, and send us notes – we love feedback and questions are welcome!
Thank you for reading – xx Lynne Rey
published July 2, 2015
“Leave the Dock and Good Things Happen.” Tony often says this – which applies to boats on every level – but also to life in general. Sometimes you just have to let loose the docklines and… go!
We started a life of adventure for real when Tony and I were married in 2000. Our ten-year old daughter was several years into private school education which was wonderful for her and our family – though we wanted more for her and for us. As a result of Tony’s work – tactician and driver for multiple America’s Cup teams – we took Sydney out of school for her 4th and 6/7th grade school years to live in New Zealand and also traveled to Australia and Bermuda with Tony’s VOLVO OCEAN RACE team. We lived her 11th grade school year (2006-2007) in Valencia, Spain (AC32) which we still call our second “home” today and traveled to the UK, Italy, France, Denmark and Sweden.
Our daughter’s education was a combination of private schools (elementary and high school), alternating with what we called “travel years”. She went on to graduate from Northeastern University in 2013 cum laude, with a dual degree in English Literature and Linguistics. Currently, Sydney lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
While we continued to travel with Sophia and Oliver we decided it was time to step it up. In September 2014, we pulled out of mainstream education and traveled (Adventure-Schooled) toSpain, then France and Italy on Lake Garda. In November 2014, we moved onboard our 1973, 40′ Huckins, CORTADO in Florida and spent the remainder of the school year cruising down the east coast of Florida, down to Miami and the Keys and back to Newport RI. We love traveling and to share a life of experiential learning with our children has been more than fulfilling for the entire family.
And so we have decided to continue this path for now… because we love it.
(Lynne, counting mountains in the Dolomites, Lake Garda, Italy. September 2014)
Locations of Study 2016-2017
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
Locations of Study 2015-2016
Centro Cultural de Cascais: Sam Shaw, Photography Exhibit. Cascais, Portugal
Art Collection of the Condes de Castro Guimarães. Cascais, Portugal
Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum. Cascais, Portugal
The Palacio Nacional da Pena, Sintra, Portugal
Castelo de Sao Jorge, Lisbon, Portugal
Alfarma District, Lisbon, Portugal
Capela dos Ossos (Bones Chapel) Evora, Portugal
Se Catedral de Evora, Portugal
Templo de Diana (Roman Temple) Evora, Portugal
Santa Maria de la Sede Cathedral, including the Minaret Tower, Seville Spain
Iglesia de San Marcos, Seville Spain
Parque Maria Luisa and Plaza de Espana, Seville Spain
Flamenco Shows, Seville Spain
Alcazar Palace, Seville Spain
Alhambra Palace of Granada, Spain
Albaycin of Granada, Spain
Volvo Ocean Race Headquarters, Alicante, Spain
L’Hemisfèric, Valencia, Spain
L’Umbracle — Walkway / Garden; Valencia, Spain
El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe — Science museum Valencia, Spain
Oceanografic, Valencia, Spain
Mercado Colon and Serano Towers, Valencia, Spain
Aya Sofya (Haghia Sophia) Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (built in 537 AD)
Blue Mosque (Called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish), Istanbul, Turkey
Yerebatan Sarayi (Cistern Basilica), Istanbul, Turkey
Hippodrome of Constantinople or Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul, Turkey
Boat Tour of the Bosphorus River, Turkey
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul Modern (Museum of Modern Art) Istanbul, Turkey
Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Triada Greek Orthodox Church, Istanbul
15th Century Kapalicarsi (Grand Bazaar) Istanbul
The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, Bodrum, Turkey
Bodrum Castle, Bodrum, Turkey
4-day cruise aboard OBELIX on the Aegean Sea, Bodrum/South Turkey
Asia: Walking tour and dinners, Asia (Istanbul/Asian side)
In the US: Newport, RI, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, FLORIDA
Miami, FL: Art Basel: Modern Art, Installation and Mural Show, Miami Mini-Makers Faire
Key Largo, FL: Ocean Reef Club, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Islamorada, FL: Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park
Marathon, FL: Turtle Hospital Tour: Hidden Harbor Marine Environment Project, Sombrero Reef Sanctuary Preservation (snorkeled on reef)
Key West, FL: The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center and Natural History Museum, Florida Keys/NOAA National Marine Sanctuary, Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum, The Harry S. Truman Little White House, Key West CityView History Tour
Ft. Myers, FL: Jet Blue Park/Fenway South
Abacos, Bahamas: Great Sale Cay, Spanish Cay, Guana Cay, Great Turtle Cay, Sandy Cay, Little Harbour, Tilloo Cay, Sugarloaves, Marsh Harbor, Elbow Cay, Hopetown, Man-O-War Cay, Mermaid Reef, Matt Lowe Cay.
2014-2015 School Year
We were a little loose on where exactly we would go with the kids this past year. Europe was fairly well-planned, but boat-living was (and HAD to be) organic, flexible. It had to FLOW. Tony and I were committed to taking guided tours whenever. wherever we could and made a point to find those parental “learning opportunities” as they arose. So often in mainstream educational life, these opportunities are quite limited if only because our children are scheduled to the max in school, activites, sports and camps – all good things, but when does a parent have their time?
Our school books were contained to one small “roll-y” luggage that could fit on airplanes easily and wheel from boat to a marina if needed. We took our travel-school to hotels, villas, marinas and studied in restaurants, balconies, and boat cockpits. Flexibility, organization and curiosity to learn, are vital to making it all work.
Locations of Study 2014-2015
Spain: Ibiza, Valencia, Barcelona
France: Avignon, Montpellier
Italy: Torino, Torbole, Arco, Trento (Lake Garda)
FL on boat: Jacksonville, St. Augustine, New Smyrna, Cocoa Beach, Ft. Pierce, Del Ray,
Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Key West, Marathon, Key Largo, Islamorada, Ft. Myers, Boca Chita.
Points of Interest
Santa Maria de Montserrat, Northern Spain
Picasso Museum, Barcelona
Sagrada Famalia, Barcelona
Parc Guëll de Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain
Fallas Museum, Valencia, Spain
Gulliver Park, Valencia, Spain
Palace of the Popes, Avignon, France
Flamenco Dancing, Barcelona, Spain
Catedral de Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, Ibiza, Spain
Rock climbing on the Via Ferreta, Arco, Italy
Catedral de Valencia and Torre de San Miguel, Valencia Spain
Oceanogràfic – Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia Spain
Mercado Central de València y Mercado Colon, Valencia Spain
La Lonja de la Seda Valencia, Spain
Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona, Spain
Castle Béseno, Trento, Italy
Castle D’Arco, Arco, Italy
National Museum of American Illustration, Newport RI
Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Miami, FL
Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, FL
Ernest Hemingway House, Key West
Harry S. Truman White House, Key West
Aquarium and Science Center, Key West
Jet Blue Park/Roger Dean Stadium, Ft. Myers
Thomas Edison/Henry Ford Museum, Ft. Myers