July 24, 2009
One of the questions we're often asked is, "Are you taking Maia with you?" That one puzzles us. The next question is always, "How will you educate her?"
There's a lot of stuff that happens naturally on a boat. Maia's urge to communicate with her friends ensures she works on her writing, our forays into the natural world include numerous lessons in biology, our travels to other countries should cover geography, culture and history quite nicely, sailing provides endless lessons in physics and navigating covers quite a bit of math.
And to supplement all of this we're throwing in some traditional schooling.
A few weeks before we left, we visited the Vancouver School Board's distance learning teacher. We chatted with her about our trip, our needs and our limitations. Options that required wi-fi and scheduled classes were out. We also didn't want such a full schedule that we couldn't enjoy the opportunities cruising brought our way. But we did want a structure. We wanted Maia to know what was expected of her and what was expected of us. After looking through all the options (seriously--we are lucky to be from a place with so many) we decided on 'school in a box' then went to a warehouse and picked up a big box of books.
The books will be interesting - they'll give Maia something of her own to do while we work on boat chores or I have assignments. And they'll provide us with a framework to make sure we haven't forgotten to teach her something vital.
Her education will happen all the time though - and I believe her deepest learning won't come from text books, but will be found in the moments when she learns what a gust looks like as it gathers speed on the water, or when she interacts with animals on the beach...