Education Afloat by Mark

Over the year we will be gone, we have been homeschooling our boys on the boat.  The experience has been great so far in that we have had the opportunity to show our kids practical applications to many of the lessons we have been teaching.  For example, a discussion about latitude and longitude is concluded by plotting our position on the chart. We talk about the relationship between degrees, minutes and seconds and they get to take turns reading our position on the chartplotter as well as plotting our position on the chart throughout the day.

Mark and Cole plotting our position.

Mark and Cole plotting our position.

For Christmas the boys received an invention kit from Radio Shack.  The kit included the materials to make simple motors, a radio, a telegraph and a number of other inventions.  We invited some of the other cruising family’s kids onboard to make the telegraph.  We incorporated some of the literature we picked up at a pony express station in Nebraska because it was the invention of the telegraph that made the pony express obsolete after only 18 months of operation.

A successfully built spinning motor.

A successfully built spinning motor.

Our lesson using the telegraph lent itself to learning about Morse Code.  The next day the kids used flashlights to send messages using Morse Code to one another.   The trivia question for the day is, what does SOS stand for?

And so goes learning on a boat.  We learn about radios and then we use them in a practical application.

This week we have been held over at Black Point in the Exumas .  While here, the boys are going to the local school.  The kids in the school have been very friendly and the teachers and principal were open to having any of the cruising kids attend while we are here.

Helping out in Black Point.

Helping out in Black Point.

Christine and I were invited to help out in the school as well.  She has been helping with some of the kid’s reading, while I gave a short lesson to the class about energy and simple machines.  I brought in a chisel/wedge, a pry bar/lever as examples of simple machines and scavenged up a wheelbarrow from one of the locals and a propeller and can opener from our boat as examples of compound machines to demonstrate how simple machines can be combined to make more complex ones.

Recess is fun where ever you are.

Recess is fun where ever you are.

Meeting new friends at school.

Meeting new friends at school.

More importantly than the lessons they are learning in class is the experience they are getting by attending school in another country.  They are making new friends in a different culture and while that isn’t part of the lesson plan it’s all part of the experience.  Who knows if they well ever study abroad, but if they do now they have at least a taste of what they could expect it to be like.  We thank the teachers and kids at Black Point for inviting us into their school.


7 thoughts on “Education Afloat by Mark

  1. Not only are you educating your kids and the Black Point kids, I also find myself googling Black Point, Bahamas, … Perhaps I can get Margaret to take a cruise on a somewhat larger vessel visiting some of the places you teach me about. Thanks.

    I often gave Radio Shack kits–different ones give 4j0 years apart–as gifts and watching them learn and have fun. I always believed that I could take kids from school, admittedly for much shorter periods of time, and if they weren’t learning more, I wasn’t doing my job as a parent.

    How can I help you with your role as educator? Why the hold at Black Point?


    • Hello Phil,

      The weather has been holding us here for several days but we are going to head out tomorrow. I think we have some supplies to give to the school when we go. Everyone is so giving here welcoming us into the school we feel like we need to give a little back before we depart. Thanks for following along and I hope the snow falls lightly on your driveway!


  2. I love to see this. I’m totally NOT surprised that you two were enlisted to teach. You both make learning so much fun. I loved seeing the boys in the class too. They won’t want you all to move on. Currently we are having a snow day in Boise (and the valley) Of course, all the kids are out in the yards building forts and such. Brandon has really enjoyed all the information you are sending about the fish and especially the reptiles that you are meeting, Cole and Logan. Thanks for the updates. Nancy Armstrong

  3. Bob and I are LOVING your blogs and are fascinated by everything the boys are learning and experiencing. What a great adventure! It’s too bad everyone can’t experience what you are experiencing. Keep the blogs coming!


  4. Amazing. What great learning with all the experiences you are having on this trip. It is fantastic. Many blessings and safe voyage. We feel like we are stoaways and so enjoy the wonderful adventures you are all experiencing too. Tell the boys Mrs. Mederios, Trevor, and Kaila certainly enjoy the timeline that is being created.

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