Recent Articles in Home Education

In which we extol the virtues of home-schooling

The results of the home-school experiment

We all arrive in this world with a certain level of curiosity, and that curiosity will be directed according to an individual’s own particular character or bent. The art in teaching children is to stoke their curiosity. As anybody who has ever had charge of a capricious wood-stove will know, if one is clumsy or over-enthusiastic and dumps too much wood onto the flames then they can easily be stifled; but, on the other hand, if one kindles the fire…

The Purpose of Education

From time to time we get e-mails from people who are excited to hear about our very informal home-schooling method but who want to know, “What happened next?” The last time I wrote on this subject Caesar and Xoë were struggling with their A-levels. But that was four years ago! Did they pass the exams? Did they qualify for university? And what are they doing now? How does an utterly un-schooled child fare when the time comes from him to…

Home Education – A Preçis of Our Experience

Bearing in mind the nature of our lifestyle, it probably goes without saying that Caesar, Xoë, and Roxanne are all home-schooled. Caesar once spent about two weeks at a school in St Helena, in the South Atlantic. Xoë has sampled both the English school curriculum as applied in St Helena and that of a Spanish school. Two weeks of each was quite sufficient to enable her to form an opinion of The System. Based on the reports received from her…

Learning to Read

Just how hard is it to learn to read? By far the most frequent question that cruising families are ever asked is, “What do you do about the children’s schooling?” And then comes the inevitable second one: “How did you teach them to read?” This is a thing that we get asked both my other families planning to cast off their mooring lines, and also by land-based folks whose experience of statutory education is less than perfect. It seems that…

The Ship’s Naturalist

This article by Roxanne appeared in somewhat abridged form in the RSBP’s junior magazine, Birdlife, last year. I was born on a boat, and ever since I was a baby we have lived aboard the boat and sailed wherever we want to go. I have never lived in a house, although I have occasionally lived in a caravan or a camper van, in different parts of the world. I wonder if it is to this gipsy lifestyle that I owe…

A Levels (Part II) – Traumas with Mercers College

When she finished the last instalment of her GCSE exams in June 2007, Xoë was almost in tears. She couldn’t wait for us to sort out the materials for the next lap of her education – her A levels.

DIY GCSEs and A levels (Part I)

The advantages of homeschooling are so many that they would fill a book. The disadvantages number just two. The first disadvantage is the problem of finding enough other kids to form a football team or the cast of a play... The second is the difficulty of studying for GCSEs and A levels. For our experiences in this latter arena, read on.

Sea School – Our Approach to Education Afloat

When you live on a cruising yacht the world is your oyster – but it’s an oyster which comes without any dressing. Liveaboard yotties, drifting about on the seven seas, have to do without many of the things that Westerners generally take for granted: there is no hot and cold running water out here – not aboard our boat, anyway – and there is no national grid to provide our electricity. We also do without television, the Daily Mail, postal…