When the idea of boat life was first proposed to Owen he was surprisingly enthusiastic. He rapidly agreed to move and travel anywhere, as long as he could keep attending the same school. Maple Dene was a great fit for Owen, a student interest driven K-6 school with three teachers. He loved the kids, the teachers, the challenge, and the flexibility. Somehow, I just couldn’t make that happen.
As much as it would make things simpler, I had no desire to drop Owen into a boxed complete curriculum, even one that would level for his diverse skills. Part of what I love about having him out of formal school is the ability to let him find and follow his own interests. Owen is a unique kid with some odd areas of interest. One month he is reading his way through the complete collection of Calvin and Hobbes, another month he’s writing tabletop gaming adventures, the next is all about Legos. I love that boat schooling allows him to dive deeply into a few topics rather than just skimming the surface of a variety. He learns in gulps, devouring one topic before moving on to something else.
The nitty gritty. Right now, Owen is working through Singapore Math grade three which I’m guessing he will finish before Christmas. He’s especially enamored with the logic puzzle book which supplements the workbook. He completes cursive writing practice each school day as well as a daily writing on a variety of topics.
Social studies is being covered through the Junior Ranger programs at the state parks. So far he’s completed the programs for the Freedom Trail, George's Island, and Spectacle Island. There’s a heavy focus on map skills as we all learn our way around new areas.
Science is more haphazard but includes trips to the science museum and aquarium, long discussions of techniques to make things explode, and a focus on engineering.
We are slowly adding in activities with some of the local homeschooling groups, park days and field trips primarily, to meet other families in the area. I have a feeling his schooling will never be easy to summarize or categorize, but it’s a good fit for our family and that’s what matters.
- Joy Weiss