Homeschooling has pretty much become the most important aspect of my life now. I used to binge on amazon tv shows and sew a little but now all of that has taken a back seat to the education of our kids.
Capri is 7 and Cali is 5 so I must say I”m still pretty new to all of this. I started this endeavor on our last boat, Salty.
Back when the girls were 3 and 4 I decided to go with the Pre School package offered by Sonlight, it’s basically a very comprehensive library of books. We are not a religious family and even though Sonlight is Christian based it was still a good fit for us. The girls were happy to sit for hours looking through the books and me reading.
The following year we were planning on doing the Northwest Passage so I needed to have another curriculum in a box. I was use to Sonlight’s setup so I continued with them for another year. This time things had changed, the girls weren’t as happy to sit and listen to book after book. They found the copywork daunting and the math difficult. It was a pretty big leap to go from only books to worksheets and multiple subjects. We gave a lot of the subjects a break and picked the brunt of it back up 2 months later and they were far more receptive. Looking back now I see that our 4 and 5 year old weren’t ready for most of Sonlights subject matter and heavy reading. I would recommend starting Sonlights Kindergarten package when your child is 6, no sooner.
Cali is now 5 and Capri just turned 7, we do history, geography and astronomy jointly and Cali does kindergarten for the remaining subjects and Capri grade 1.
This time around I decided to go out on my own and pull some subject matter from Sonlight and others from Timberdoodle. So far the girls seem to be enjoying the work, not to say we still don’t have our bad days.
I have made many mistakes along the way but I still think homeschooling and bringing our kids up a tad alternatively is the best thing going.
At the moment we do school work from 9am-11am and try and fit in extra reading time throughout the day and they get to use their iPads after lunch for some educational apps. We don’t follow a Monday to Friday school week, we learn when we can because I know there are days that we’re either on passage or just have something more fun to do.
We are currently half way through most of our subjects this year and I haven’t decided what to do next year (Grade 1 and 2). We want to raise readers so I may venture back to Sonlight, we’ll see.
I find homeschooling extremely challenging. We have two girls (and a boy who’s 2) that are complete opposites. We are also dealing with some learning difficulties that I prefer not to go into but this has made our train jump the track more than a few times.
It has been hard to transition back to the boat from Maine, homeschool from land has it’s positives and negatives. I miss our library and reliable fast internet but I don’t miss all the extra curricular activities you find yourself suddenly enrolled in. Boat schooling is simple schooling. We cherish the books we have on board and don’t find ourselves comparing our kids to other homeschool kids like we were in Maine. It’s just less stressful, less congested, more quality.
Below I’ll list all the workbooks and subjects we’re covering.
History:The Story of the Worldwith workbook grouped withFamous Figures of Ancient Timesand Usborne Book of World History– I find this great but wish I started at the beginning and hit the dinosaurs first. I read the chapters instead of opting for the recording, this way I can stop constantly to make sure the kids are listening.
Science: Exploring Creation with Astronomy with workbook. This is Christian based and I do skip over some of the bible quotes but all in all good fun. The year before I went with a Sonlights science option but found we were learning a different subject every other day and the kids weren’t understanding the lessons, we were just brushing on each topic.
Geography:Daily Geography Practice, Grade 1(both kids). Great introduction to geography that both girls enjoy. We also look at charts and map on board.
Math: Math U See, Primer (Cali) Alpha (Capri). The girls were struggling with Math so I opted for a more hands on approach. MUS comes with blocks that work alongside of their workbooks. So far so good.
Language Arts: First Language Lessons I love this book. The lessons are all layed out with no prep work and the girls love it too. Spectrum Reading Workbook, Grade 1Reading workbook (K, Grade 1), Spectrum Laguarge Arts workbook (K, Grade 1), Spectrum Spelling (Grade 1),Favorite Poems Old and NewHelen Ferris. Handwriting without Tears (there still are some tears). Explode the Code (love these books).
Other tid bits:
Childrens Bible – gifted
Assortment of I Can Read books
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary for Children– use this multiple times a day!
Ipad Apps: Reading Eggs (needs wifi), Hooked on Phonics (needs wifi), Math Town, Montessori Crosswords, Wordplay, Mathseeds (K,1), Epic (can save books to read offline), Teach Monster, Wet Dry Try, Endless Reader.
We have a bunch of other games, books and odd pieces on the boat that all aid in their eduction (play dough, early reader books, alphabet bingo, cards etc.)
In a few months time I will be shopping around again for Grade 2 resources. I’m on the fence whether or not to go with a curriculum package or make a program up myself. I still like Sonlight so who knows, I may give them another go. Have no idea how I’ll get all the books to the boat, that’s a problem for another time.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about our boat schooling.
I didn’t get any of these materials at a discount (wish I did) for mentioning them. I use Sonlight and Timberdoodle simply because they are a good fit for our family.