Homeschool Opportunities


Homeschool Co-ops

I have dis­cov­ered, while research­ing home­school ideas that will work for my fam­i­ly, an idea called home­school co-ops, oppor­tu­ni­ties for fam­i­lies to sup­ple­ment their children’s stud­ies with gath­er­ings for play­dates, music lessons, field trips, etc. based on loca­tion, children’s ages, etc. One such site, Lake (Fl) Local Home­school Sup­port Groups, lists the Cen­tral Flori­da mee­tups for kids in my area. I am par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about the resources avail­able for the teenage group, since my chil­dren fall into that cat­e­go­ry, so I have joined the teenage home­school group on this site. In my search for home­school oppor­tu­ni­ties that will work for our soon-to-be high school­ers, I have been able to devel­op a plan to meet their needs using a com­bi­na­tion of home­school and unschool ideas. Keep read­ing for my course list that will take my kids through grad­u­a­tion. Use or adapt as you see fit.


Unschool­ing is a con­cept I only dis­cov­ered after search­ing for alter­na­tives to a tra­di­tion­al edu­ca­tion for our chil­dren dur­ing the peri­od of time we will spend sail­ing. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I was left with more ques­tions than answers. Unschool­ing involves let­ting your chil­dren decide what they want to learn and what resources they’d like to use. As a trained edu­ca­tor, I embrace the idea of let­ting chil­dren have the free­dom to learn mea­sure­ment and chem­istry, for exam­ple, while cook­ing, or life sci­ence through a com­bi­na­tion of vis­its to zoos/nature cen­ters and library/internet resources. Just the ben­e­fit of engage­ment could make this tran­si­tion worth­while. *Con­tin­ue read­ing to see our course list below.

What about subjects kids don’t want to learn or have no interest in?

How does unschool­ing cov­er top­ics kids don’t like?  Since I could not find an answer, I have come up with my own solu­tion. If unschool­ing allows kids the free­dom to learn in their own way, I will rec­om­mend to my own chil­dren to find the best way “for them­selves” to learn, what for me would be, non-nego­tiables. The “how” would still be their choice. Our biggest chal­lenge will be liv­ing on a sail­boat, often with­out inter­net access. Sci­ence and social stud­ies cur­ricu­lums will focus on activ­i­ties in the envi­ron­ments where we stop. I imag­ine them keep­ing sci­ence logs detail­ing wildlife, weath­er pat­terns, geol­o­gy, etc. and social stud­ies logs filled with cul­ture and cus­toms.

Unschool­ing math for teenagers… I have no idea! For ele­men­tary-aged kids, no prob­lem. We could add, sub­tract, and mea­sure any num­ber of items on our jour­ney. Maybe you have some sug­ges­tions…

Adapting Current Education Course Curriculums

I decid­ed to do what I do best- research! So, I turned to one of my favorite resources when plan­ning the mate­ri­als I will use with my stu­dents (in Flori­da)- CPALMS.  On this site, you can find the course num­bers, descrip­tions, and instruc­tion­al prac­tices for each class.

After cre­at­ing my over­ar­ch­ing list of class­es for my children’s high school sched­ules, I went to CPALMS to ver­i­fy the num­ber of cred­its for each class and to dis­cov­er what the “best prac­tices” were, accord­ing to the state of Flori­da. This was my “eure­ka” moment! I can eas­i­ly adapt many of the class­es to the unschool­ing phi­los­o­phy! For exam­ple, the instruc­tion­al prac­tices for Astron­o­my sug­gests “ensur­ing wide read­ing from com­plex text that varies in length” and “mak­ing close read­ing and reread­ing of texts cen­tral to lessons.” For cours­es with these guide­lines, my kids can select the read­ing mate­r­i­al that appeals to them for the appro­pri­ate sub­ject areas. Addi­tion­al­ly, the major­i­ty, if not all, of the cours­es require writ­ing and answer­ing high­er lev­el ques­tions using evi­dence from the text to sup­port their respons­es. Again, any texts can be used as evi­dence for writ­ing respons­es.

Hon­est­ly, my biggest prob­lem was not know­ing where to start! Putting togeth­er a list of required class­es, as well as those that meet my children’s inter­ests, will give them choice in cre­at­ing their final sched­ules for their 9th-12th grade years. This frame­work is flu­id; they can sub­sti­tute class­es on the mas­ter sched­ule as their inter­ests change. For exam­ple, the class men­tioned above, Astron­o­my, falls into the Earth/Space sub­ject area cat­e­go­ry. If they did not want to take the Earth/Space sci­ence course, Astron­o­my could become a sub­sti­tu­tion.

Our Class List

Although we still have a year before we set off, here is our ten­ta­tive list of class­es for grades 9–12:

***Keep in mind, some of my selec­tions are specif­i­cal­ly suit­ed to sail­ing so they should com­ple­ment our expe­ri­ences at sea or in port.***

Math: Since they will enter high school having taken Algebra 1

  • Geom­e­try
  • Alge­bra 2
  • Cal­cu­lus
  • Sta­tis­tics


  • Astron­o­my
  • Marine Sci­ence
  • Chem­istry
  • Physics

Social Studies

  • Amer­i­can His­to­ry
  • World His­to­ry
  • Government/Economics

Foreign Language (selected from the primary languages of the countries we’ll visit)

  • Span­ish 1–4
  • French 1–4

Visual Arts (they will pick from these)

  • Draw­ing 1–2
  • Dig­i­tal Art Imag­ing
  • Dig­i­tal Video Pro­duc­tion
  • Cre­ative Pho­tog­ra­phy

Music (based on their current instruments)

Physical Education

  • Swim­ming 1–2
  • Out­door Edu­ca­tion

Next Steps

I will cre­ate a more spe­cif­ic blog post detail­ing the resources we will use to meet the require­ments for each of their class­es, includ­ing the CPALMS instruc­tion­al prac­tices, com­ing up soon. I will also add a down­load­able free­bie to keep track of your cours­es. Please signup for our mail­ing list to be the first to get our edu­ca­tion­al resources as they are cre­at­ed.

I would love to hear about any books you have used for your homeschooled/unschooled high schooler’s cur­ricu­lum. I total­ly believe that it takes a vil­lage to raise a child, so by shar­ing our best resources, all of our chil­dren ben­e­fit.

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3 thoughts on “”

  1. Celes­tial Nav­i­ga­tion, it would be Astron­o­my and Math includ­ing con­cepts beyond the math basics. It’s a pret­ty “salty” skill too.

    1. Great idea! So what celes­tial nav­i­ga­tion book do you rec­om­mend? I looked at a cou­ple of books that claimed they are the best.
      I agree… a great skill to mas­ter! We will add it to our list!

  2. Hi, Elyza,
    We know sev­er­al fam­i­lies who unschool, but they all have an actu­al math cur­ricu­lum. When you start look­ing into “clas­si­cal” home­school edu­ca­tion, like, you’ll see they require between 6–8 hours a day of study; most home­school­ers we know spend only about an hour a day on aca­d­e­mics (most­ly math), and then freestyle the rest of their kids’ edu­ca­tion.

    We’re get­ting ready as a fam­i­ly to set sail with a nine-year-old and an 11-year-old; we’ve writ­ten about our home­school­ing plans here: For our part, we’re real­ly look­ing for­ward to throw­ing Com­mon Core right under the bus.

    I’d real­ly rec­om­mend you check out The Art of Prob­lem Solv­ing. EVERYONE in our fam­i­ly is look­ing for­ward to start­ing this math series. How often can you say that about math? And the CCBC ( has book lists that include Caribbean and Latin Amer­i­can texts that your kids can study in con­text.

    Best of luck with your refit!

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