Sunday, March 23, 2014

Enrollment Grows

At this point...
…the schooling is pretty basic.
Living on a traveling boat full-time makes you come up with your own approach to a hundred different important aspects of life.  How-to references can get you started (I quite liked Hal Roth's How to Sail Around the World), but they can only get you so far, simply because everyone does this thing in their own way.

Educating the kids on board illustrates the range of ways that people answer important questions about life afloat.  A number of American sailors lean towards the "no-school" approach, stressing the real-world learning opportunities of a life afloat, and de-emphasizing formal education.  At the other end of the spectrum, some families spend hours each day on home-schooling the kids.

(The variety of approaches exists among nations, too.  As I understand it, school-age German citizens are legally expected to be in school, in Germany.  So we've met a few German boats with pre-school kids aboard who were looking to get back home in time to start school.  France, on the other hand, supports traveling families by providing an intensive home-school curriculum.  Alisa just met a mom who is teaching her under-tens in the morning and afternoon each weekday, and some weekend hours besides, with completed schoolwork sent back to France monthly.)

On Galactic we fall pretty far on the formal education end of the spectrum.  Alisa has been homeschooling Elias since we left Tasmania, and it's an hours-a-day affair (I'm off the hook as a teacher due to the time I spend doing science work.)  Because he's an Australian citizen and did a year in Tassie schools, Elias remains in the Tasmanian system - for the same (nominal to us) school fee that we would pay back in Tas, we're supplied with a curriculum, all the materials, and access to a teacher in Hobart when Alisa needs help.

We decided early on that we would emphasize the importance of school to Elias - other things fit in around the daily schoolwork, not vice versa.

And over the past few weeks Eric has been lobbying to be allowed to do schoolwork too.  He's not meant to begin his preschool until he's four, but that birthday is only a month away, so Alisa has given in and let him start in a small way.

The day is coming, soon, when the work involved in Alisa's biggest job is going to double.

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