Home schooling stinks!

Well, we deferred the start of home schooling during the passage up here rough weather on some days, low-grade seasickness on others, and the daily sleep deprivation amongst potentially teachers made home schooling one tiny objective too far… one tiny objective amongst a whole list of other fanciful goals that wed set ourselves for the passage and utterly failed to achieve. But as wiser heads than ours (you know who you are!) advised us from the start, the more structure we can introduce to the boys for this new life of ours the better, and so we began home schooling in earnest on Monday.

The day after arriving in Port Vila we were joined by Jasons wife Greta and 3 year old Ella for a weeks recuperation, most of it spent trying to get our youngest to be quiet in the mornings. Small consolation, altho some consolation nonetheless, to know that their little girl woke up anytime from 4:30am, whilst our little boy was luxuriating in a leisurely 6am wake-up. To those reactionary old farts amongst you who still believe monohulls are the only proper offshore boat and catamarans not quite cricket, its worth pointing out the extraordinary mayhem that can be occurring in one hull, whilst the residents of the other sleep soundly on. Naturally I exaggerate for effect. Anyway, heres a quick and huge thanks for our long-suffering and hugely resourceful friend and crew Jason, who as predicted has now witnessed the Nolan family at their worst moments of adjusting to boat life (nothing a few counselling sessions shouldnt cure, Im sure J).

And so back to homeschooling. Being numerically challenged as I am, Im forbidden from teaching any subject with numbers in it, so we now have a simple division of teaching duties. Rebecca teaches maths, myself reading, writing and other stuff. As it turns out, the boys HATE maths, so we find ourselves unwittingly falling into the good cop/bad cop roles Rebecca firmly in the role that none of us would choose. And of course however much she may rant against the injustice of it all, she knows what a complete hash Id make of teaching maths if allowed to do it, so shes stuck on her own determined objective to make our children numerate. Or, at least more numerate than their Dad, which shouldnt take too long. And in the meantime, Im suddenly everyones best friend in the classroom.

The general structure for us is starting to emerge: breakfast and morning boaty chores, school for 2-3 hours, then lunchtime and cool stuff in the afternoon. Sadly our cool stuff afternoons have been curtailed by a long list of dull but necessary jobs as we prepare for our first proper foray into the deep dark remote corners of Vanuata. This includes refuelling, stocking up on water, petrol, LPG, food supplies etc, fixing a few inevitable breakages, and in particular trying to figure our passage plan to get us to Indonesia by Xmas and how to manage what everyone reports as extremely tricky immigration and clearance procedures once there. Anyone out there with a recommendation for an Indonesian agent for handling cruising permits?

More seriously, anyone whod like to join us to crew one of the passages thru Soloman Islands, Papua New Guinea and Eastern Indonesia during Oct & Nov, wed definitely like to hear from. Come join the Nolan family mayhem Write soon!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jo
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 20:50:59

    Mike, would you take an old fart with you as crew? My dad has retired and may be interested?


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