Homeschool Ahoy – Who are we?
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like living on a boat and travelling with children, if you’ve ever dreamed of breaking out of the mould but didn’t have the courage, if you ever wondered how to be proactive in your child’s education, then this blog is somewhere you will find some inspiration.
We have lived aboard now for over 5 years and have cruised the east coast of Australia from Lizard Island to Sydney Harbour and back. We are currently planning our next adventure, cruising Tasmania, then back to north Queensland followed by our future venture through Asia and beyond.
I’m a 40 something mother of two who loves her kids to bits, loves cooking, and being organized. Some people call me ‘anal’, I say I’m just prepared with a scattering of obsessive behaviour! Sadly a lack of structure usually unhinges me but I’m surrounded by people who don’t give a lot of credence to that so I usually stop squawking and fix things the way I like them myself. Being a bit OCD probably doesn’t lend itself to this kind of life but somehow it works for me, I’m happiest when I’m with my family on anchor.
My husband – “The Skipper” – is so much more than that. He’s also a qualified engineer. He is one of the most extremely competent and knowledgeable captains I’ve worked along side of with over 25 years experience on the sea including one Pacific and 11 Atlantic sea crossings under his belt (most of those with me.) He’s always reinventing himself with study and is currently brushing up on his celestial navigation skills. First and foremost he’s a loving husband and father, he’s also just a really nice guy. Everyone wants their children to find their dream and follow it. My husband is one of the lucky ones who knew at an early age exactly what he wanted to do in life and he went and did it. He is currently manager/skipper/engineer aboard a private charter yacht out of Sydney Australia.
One thing I love about The Skipper is how supportive he is of the girl’s unschooling education.
We’ve known each other for more than a quarter of a century and been married for nearly 20 years by the time you’ve read this. We travelled together extensively for 12 years before we had kids, working together on super yachts owned by some of the richest people in the world. We were fortunate enough to travel and live in places you wouldn’t normally visit including the Galapagos Is, the Marquesas, the Azores and Bermuda. We cruised up the east coast of America all the way to Maine, all the way south in the Caribbean to Grenada and all the islands in between. We’ve cruised the Mediterranean coast including Corsica and Sardinia, and in New Zealand on Larry Ellison’s private yacht Katana whilst he was in Aukland for the America’s Cup in 2002. We worked together on several refits during this time on super yachts as well as chartering both privately and with paying guests.
It was always a dream of ours to cruise with children especially after we saw other families and the effect cruising had on their children and their family. Homeschooling became necessary as a result.
Our two girls
We have two precious little girls to share this life with and after sending the eldest to school for a year and finding it lacking, we pulled her out and decided to educate her ourselves. When our second daughter was born it just made sense to keep doing what was already working so well.
Our eldest has an interest in marine biology. She loves Horrible Histories and listening to The Story of The World CD’s. She’s a keen fisher-woman, loves Minecraft and is a big fan of unschooling, so much so that she wrote me a report on it and how it could work for our family. She loves our life afloat and can’t wait to go cruising again. She is kind, funny, generous and polite and reads everything and anything she can get her hands on. She loves to bake regularly, tend to our herb garden, and has a desire to one day own acreage where she wants to be self sufficient growing her own food. She supports Sea Shepherd. She’s against the culling of sharks and thinks plastic bags should be banned. She’s our little Bindi Irwin. She looks like me.
Our youngest is cheeky, fast and active. She swings off the boat like the best Cirque de Soleil performers and runs FAST. She loves writing stories, making movies, singing and dancing and keeps a daily journal. She’s a great cook which is handy because she eats more than we do, no one knows where she puts it! She doesn’t really remember living in a house, has never been to school and she learnt to read despite my best efforts to ‘teach’ her how. She has a flair for fashion and interior design. She’s mighty, funny and fierce and this lifestyle is perfect for her. If she went to school I’d be getting letters from her teachers for sure. She’s not a conformer. She looks like her Daddy.
We started this journey because we want to be together as a family, experiencing the world, travelling, living life to the full and immersing ourselves in culture. Family time is very important to us and we guard our time together carefully. The girls have many outside activities during the week but we keep weekends for family. We are currently based in Sydney.
Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss posts. Please comment and feel free to offer advice. I usually jumble all the advice I’m given and come up with my own version of it, don’t you? Alternatively, if you want advice, I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction. I’ve made a few mistakes you might learn from.
Enjoy reading and watching what we are up to
Travelling with kids, living on a boat, educating them outside of school… and so much more. Our boat, Katsumi was named so because it means “victorious beauty” – to us it signifies a victory, because for 20 years we dreamed about this life, and finally got the balls to just jump in and do it.