View Full Version : Who is wintering in the Med' this year with kids?
Ok, we haven't decided yet where to winter but price wise Tunisia seems a good bet at the moment.
Are there any live-aboards out there travelling with children and if so where are you going to winter this year?
We wintered in Portimao last year which was great for most things, but a distinct lack of children made it hard for our two children (boy aged 9 girl aged 10). We would like them have some other chilren to play with if possible. They ain't bothered about nationality or language, (kids all overcome this problem with ease, unlike us adults - who for the most time struggle with it!) but where will you/they be is the question?
How do you school your kids if living on a Yacht? I ask 'cos I have a 11 year old son who would be keen to tavel with me.
Sadly no, but wish we were /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif Maybe in a year or two we'll be able to get out there again - ours are 7 and 9 at the moment.
We home-schooled ours. Main tools needed are common sense, the internet and some "formal" school text books to follow for the more structured parts. We bought a set of Key Stage 1 and 2 books from CGP Books click here (http://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/) and also a set of US ones (we had been in the US for a couple of years when we started our liveaboard). The CGP books are excellent and the kids still read them even now (we've been ashore for nearly 2 years now).
The most important thing imho is to realise and exploit the educational value of the sailing experience itself. The kids come into contact with stuff they never see in land-based schooling so the trick is to follow what interests them - this is where the internet is so powerful. We visited every aquarium and museum we could on our trip and then followed up on anything they were taken by (horseshoe crabs was one particular favourite /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif) Weather, radios, radar, towns and cities, lots of history, all fall naturally out of the whole experience and it's real to the kids, not abstract ideas in a book.
We would confine formal "book" learning and exercises to the mornings and do whatever we fancied the rest of the day in general. Follow the weather! A rainy or windy day is perfect for staying in and reading or doing exercises. Sunny or good sailing days should be used for travelling and exploring outside. Note there are no "weekends" as far as schooling is concerned! /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif There is also no "school holiday" as such either - we continued educating ours all through the summer of that year because, well, it was natural to do so.
Another thing you can try is to set up an agreement with your local school so your kids follow their classmates curriculum and perhaps get some remote assistance (via the net or whatever) and in return they provide a blog or website which the class can use. Of course, there are institutions that can do this for you formally (several in the US) but you do have to pay - if your local school sees the educational value of this to the whole class/school they may well just support you.
Our kids were out of the (US) school system for about 9 months in total but when we returned to the UK they dropped straight back in without a problem - in fact their general knowledge and reading skills in particular were (and still are) very advanced.
I must admit we have had some, to us, baffling comments from people about how glad we must be to be back and how important it is that the kids are getting rigid, structured formal schooling but I'm afraid we view this as plain ignorance. We can't wait to get out there and expand the minds of our kids again - most people who have never done it don't get it at all, but most sailors do. Fortunately, our eldest sons teacher is a sailor herself so she does understand it.
And *no* television! We weaned ours off it completely and it was not missed. Even after we came back it was 18 months before we got one and we still don't watch it much (news and movies mostly).
Hope that helps a bit.
It is great to hear of someone else who has homeschooled while cruising. We are having a similar experience with regards to letting the children's interests guide what we study. There aren't many fish that we see while snorkelling now that the kids can't identify, and they LOVE museums and aquaria. We also found CGP and think they are great.
Generally we concentrate on English, maths, science and information technology in a more formal way, leaving the geography, history, art, etc., to be driven by what is around us. We also have no weekends and holidays, but do projects when something interesting comes up or the children need stimulation (i.e. when they start squabbling). The kids don't miss TV -- they do enjoy DVDs (National Geographic stuff is their favourite), and they read voraciously. The internet is a fantastic educational tool, but we don't always have good access to it.
When we left the UK, we did get help with the transition from school to homeschooling from the children's school, but no help whatsoever from the Local Education Authority. People often say that we'll need to put the children back into the UK school system for key stage 3, but at the moment, we are not convinced that we want to -- or that the children would benefit particularly, given the state of flux the whole system appears to be in.
We haven't come across many other liveaboard children, so would love to hear from some if there are any out there!
hi, we liveaboard with our two kids (age 2.5 and 5) we are undecided whether to winter in the med or head west this winter. (we are currently in portugual). Again we have the same problems as you in that we rarely meet other kids living aboard. However, I do know of a family with a 10 year old and 12year old who are heading your way. Pm me and I will send you their contact details as they love to meet others with kids.
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