Home Learning




Part II: The Execution

Frequently asked questions that will be answered in Part II:

  1. How did our homeschooling look like?
  2. What were our challenges of home schooling on a boat?
  3. What were the advantages of home schooling?
  4. How did a typical homeschooling day look like?
  5. How did our homeschooling journey evolve over the years?
  6. How did we let go of a set curriculum and created our own one, based on the kids interests?
Our big WHY to starting homeschooling was to be able to maintain a lifestyle of (almost) total freedom. Although this may sound like a luxury or even a selfish position to start from as parents, we didn´t take this decision lightly. We started with asking ourselves many questions:
  • Is home schooling the best option for the kids?
  • Am I, as a mom, able to homeschool them as I´m not a teacher?
  • Am I ready and committed to dedicate all my time to my children’s education?
  • How do we organize the “school setting” on a boat with limited space?
  • What about the socializing aspect (the first thing people ask when homeschooling is mentioned)?
  • Will the kids be able to transfer into the regular school system in case something happens to me, or we decide that that´s what we/they want?
The answers were either YES or WE WILL FIND A WAY. Our WHY was strong enough, we took the decision, and started the journey.

We don´t believe that screens kill brains (if used in moderation) and opted for an online homeschooling program that would lead the way. It was a powerful blend of old (the best research on how children learn) and new (engaging content and interactivity). It consisted of a detailed timeframe with online lessons combined with books and instructions for traditional lessons. The kids loved it and I loved it as it served as an all-inclusive roadmap for (beginning) homeschooling parents. It allowed me to give my children all the attention they needed and help them enjoy learning as much as possible. At the same time, it helped me grow my confidence as a homeschooling mom and slowly but steadily lose the fear that I might fail my kids.

Although we had limited space on the boat, we never really had a space issue. Keeping things tidy and organized (as much as possible) and establishing a daily (flexible) routine helped a lot. The fact that the kids did most of their after-school activities on land meant that we didn’t need to keep a lot of toys and other stuff on the boat, which helped as well.

Challenges consisted mostly of external factors. If the air-conditioning in the salon stopped working on a hot day (which sometimes happened), we would all have to move to one of the bedrooms to continue our day or alternatively, go on a spontaneous fieldtrip. If the Marina internet connection wasn´t working (in the early days), we had to adjust and refer to more traditional resources to cover certain subjects. Keeping the kids from falling in the ocean meant I developed eyes in my back and made learning how to swim an absolute priority very early on in their lives (which inadvertently lead to them becoming competitive swimmers).
It all made us resilient, flexible, and adjustable to the circumstances of the day.

The most challenging homeschooling aspect for me was educating multiple kids at the same time. One is (after a little while) easy, two is still very doable, but three gets hard and needs a ton of preparation.

A fallback plan in times of need (when everything seems to go wrong) was always to call a time-out and connect with a good old book. Whether we read out loud together, listened to an audio recording together, acted out a story together or watched a movie of a book we had read earlier to compare.

However, the advantages of homeschooling outlived all the challenges by far. To name the most important ones:

  • The kids were able to grow up at their own pace, without peer pressure and become their own person.
  • As a family we were able to spend lots of quality time together.
  • I got to know my kids inside out which still serves me to this day.
  • We were able to maintain a healthy lifestyle with loads of sports and healthy homecooked meals (most of the time).


  • The kids were able to sleep until they would wake up, grow and rest their bodies when needed, without being exhausted and in need of a vacation before the next school break started.
  • We never moved on from a subject that wasn´t mastered which gave the kids a strong foundation.
  • We had a lot of free time to do the things we chose to do.
  • We were free to travel whenever we wanted, taking school with us on the road or into the world.
  • We were able to spend long summers in Europe, avoiding the worst heat in the UAE, to connect with family and friends and homeschool from there.

A typical homeschooling day looked like this:

8.00AM Wake up
8.30AM Sports
9.30AM Breakfast
10.00AM Start School
1.00PM Lunch
2.00PM Continue School
4.30PM After School Act.
7.00PM Diner
8.30PM Bedtime

My confidence as a homeschooling mom grew year after year. I felt I knew what I was doing and what the kids were supposed to have mastered at the end of every year. While the kids were growing older, I started using their input more and more when making educational decisions. We added coding to our schedule, started touch typing and cooking classes. I invited friends to teach specific art and music classes and hired a young teacher to help my eldest with creative writing which made all the difference. From refusing to even start his writing assignments, he tuned in with his imagination and started writing the most amazing stories.

With growing confidence, the need to break free from our curriculum grew as well. I felt more and more pressured by the prescribed amount of work we had to complete daily, let alone the depth of the subjects. Every day we were more and more in a hurry to get everything done.

This was not aligned with WHY we started homeschooling. We decided to let go of the curriculum, have faith in the abilities of our kids and in myself as their teacher and start homeschooling 100% on our own terms.

I created our own curriculum, dove deeper into my own resourcefulness, and started using new resources that I knew the kids would love to work with.

There was no backup, no registration with any (umbrella) school, no entity to control what we were doing, as rules in the UAE were vague about homeschooling. However, by now I knew what I was doing, and I had faith in my kids’ abilities. I was excited and ready to make the jump and get back to the WHY we started homeschooling in the first place: To Keep Our Freedom!

I also knew that we were not going to homeschool forever and that with moving countries (which we planned for several years before we eventually made the move), the kids would probably start going to a “big building school”. Not having any accredited backup scared me a little but I again decided to trust my gut feeling that the kids would be fine no matter what tests and/or interview they had to pass to be admitted to any school.

Our whole homeschooling period was a journey of a lifetime, but the last few years have been the cherry on top.

Have a look at the overview below to find out WHAT choices we made at the execution phase and WHY we made them:

Curriculum, Program




  • We had no plans to move back to our countries of origin.
  • We wanted an international program.
  • We preferred the American curriculum over the British one because of:
    Focus on sports & arts
    Less rigid
  • Micky studied in the US himself (Hawaii).
  • Accredited in the US and licensed in the UAE. This was important to us as we initially thought we were only doing this for a year or two.
  • The academy provided report cards.
  • As a new home school mom, I preferred a set curriculum to hold on to, show me the way and compensate for my lack of experience and confidence.



Combination of Online & Traditional


  • A powerful blend of old (the best research on how children learn) and new (engaging content and interactivity).
  • Complete and detailed timeframe with online lessons available.
  • Books and instructions for traditional lessons provided by the academy.
  • Online help from a teacher when needed.
  • Very flexible and easy to take “on the road.”





  • We lived on a boat most of the year.
  • We lived in a house during long summers in Europe.
  • We continued to “learn on the road” while traveling through Europe, US, Australia, Asia
  • While traveling, we world-schooled our children eating local food, meeting local people, visiting cultural landmarks as well as hidden treasures.

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