School talk…

As we are seating here in the Boca Chica’s anchorage, our beloved teenager on board is finishing two classes, no March Break yet… Truly high seas or high School are both compatible and in style. You have seen pictures of Benjamin in various posts but how does he manage to go to school. No he is not home schooled, which is in a way too bad because I wish I could pass my knowledge on the next generation unfiltered by government propaganda, although isn’t it what parenting is all about? Then again if I were the sole teacher we would end up with an education mostly geared toward business and spreadsheets… When Benjamin’s strong color lies in writing creatively.

So how will Benjamin get transcripts for university and how does he follow the curriculum of British Columbia’s education?

Before leaving Valerie took charge of that project and got in contact with various parents who had been in the same position. After some time spent on the internet researching what was available and conversing with other parents cruising, the answer pointed to one direction: Summit learning center. It is based in Mission and this online school is specializing with a Web based curriculum, from kindergarten to Grade 12. You can take one or two course at a time at your own rhythm and on your own schedule. This program was first designed for high level athletes competing all over the world or children actors not available for a traditional timeframe or for reluctance/late high scholar who need one more course to finish, this was a perfect match for our lifestyle. Last year they had only 12 students taking the load full time like Benjamin (but hundreds of part-time), a perfect education with almost one on one time.

So with the wonders of the internet, Benjamin has so far been able to connect onto a server enabling him to retrieve classes on flash/video/written format. He can then work on the course(s), uploading his assignments whenever we have a connection. When we are on passage for a few days, he pre-downloads some of them and that way he is able to keep on top of it all. As for exams, he logs in once a password is delivered and then gets the proper time allowance. For more serious provincial test or challenges, we need to arrange with an invigilator, this task is a little more challenging for us but not impossible. The work habits are more in line with a university education as you are left alone to fend for yourself, which makes our teenager grow and mature in a way! Still you get the provincials approved curriculum with a transcript that gets you into higher education, without further testing. Benjamin has so far excelled in all classes with mostly A’s and a few B’s, even if sometime we need to set fire under his… you know what. Note that for Canadians this service is totally free and you even get a re-imbursement for expenses at $65 per courses.

We can only recommended this system; with that said of course some teachers are better than others and more available, more understanding of the circumstances we sometimes have to face. For example: No we can’t send a 20 MB file via E-mail… And could we please stop cooking soup in Mexico summer? Also square dancing is not easy on a boat… I know it is 5pm on Saturday but “could we get a password for a test?” no problem. Thank you to all the people behind this organization that make our task easier and even enjoyable for a 17 year old as he actually likes learning this way!

 ben high school

Not the way you imagine going through English class but this is his reality.


Working on Biology in Golfito…


Boca Chica Bay, we told you it looks like the San Juan or Gulf Islands