A New Way to Travel
Have you heard about touring countries or cruising the open seas with other homeschooling families? In the past five years a new form of tourism has developed. Homeschool tours and cruises are now being offered by companies that offer travel services. While earning a certificate of completion, or even school credits, homeschoolers can now enjoy an educational vacation. Discover what sets a homeschool tour or cruise apart from a traditional one.
Homeschool On The Seas is a program run by Alumni Cruises, and has been doing homeschool cruises since 2007. What makes this different from a traditional cruise is that participants receive a pre-cruise curriculum guide developed by homeschooling moms, private and group sessions onboard the ship, and a post-cruise learning package. While the work is not graded, participants receive a certificate of completion at the end of the cruise. There is a graduation ceremony for those completing the program. The educational sessions include a scavenger hunt and ocean lab tours. As with most cruises, the meals are included in the price of the package. In the past five years they have taken homeschool cruises to Bermuda, the Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, Alaska, and the Mexican Riviera. The 2011 homeschool cruise to Alaska is $895 per person, for the first two people in the cabin.
Another company offering homeschool cruises is World Wide Family Vacations. Their School at Sea program has four trips taking place in 2011 for homeschooling families. These cruises are going to the Mexican Riviera, Alaska, the Western Caribbean, and the Southern Caribbean. In 2012 they will be taking three homeschool cruises to Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, and the Western Caribbean. They also offer "land cruises" to Israel, Washington, D.C., Canadian Rail, Egypt, and New Zealand. Their pre-cruise curriculum guide includes geography, literature, critical thinking, and puzzles. Every participant from the ages of two to seventeen receives a daily goodie bag. Special venues have been reserved for the School at Sea program participants. Students can participate in educational workshops or classes such as scrapbooking, writing, art and science. For around $800, you can take part in a 7 day Alaska cruise through the School at Sea program.
If you're deciding between a homeschool cruise or a homeschool tour, one company to consider is Homeschool Travel. This company offers you an incredible experience in Israel. The founder of this company is a homeschooling dad, who's been to Israel many times, and also owns a homeschool supply company. They have contracted another family to run the tours in Israel, and not only can you experience the trip with other homeschooling families around the world, or your own group, they also connect you with homeschooling families in Israel. Unique to this experience, they offer hand on activities like gleaning the left over crops in the fields, or sleeping in a tent in a desert. Their goal is to create a real experience for participants, unlike tours where you'd experience Israel by bus with a tour guide. The testimonials speak highly of this trip. If you help organize a group, you could possibly earn a trip for free, and a typical experience is 21 days, costing around $2695 (which doesn't include airfare or most lunches).
Other Travel Opportunities for Homeschooling Families
Since homeschool tours and cruises are still relatively new ideas, there are few companies that offer unique opportunities for homeschooling families. However, one other option is The Ultimate Field Trip, which is organized by the 3D Travel Company. Since its start, 1,700 homeschoolers have participated in their ultimate field trip at Disney World. They offer personalized service to create a memorable experience, at no extra cost to the customer, as Disney pays them a commission.
Enjoying your Educational Vacation
When deciding on a company to work with, make sure to check their references and testimonials. By reading about other homeschoolers experiences with these companies, you will be able to make a well-informed choice. Also, be sure to find out about costs not included in the price of the experience, like airfare, or certain meals that may not be included. All vacations can be educational, if you plan them to be; however, these companies offer a special experience to travel with other homeschooling families, which can make the experience all the more memorable.
Alumni Cruises, www.alumnicruises.org, Homeschool on The Seas
World Wide Family Vacations, https://worldwidefamilyvacations.com
Homeschool Travel, https://www.homeschooltravel.com/
The Ultimate Field Trip, https://www.theultimatefieldtrip.com/
Wikimedia Commons, Cruise ship Amadea.jpg, author: Garitzko
Wikimedia Commons, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, author: Sheepdog85