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Alternative Education

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WSVN -- Gia Valdez doesn't have to catch the bus to get to school, she's already there

Gia Valdez: "When you collect data you use observations and record them."

Jessica home schools her 9-year old daughter half the year on board, the boat they live on and sends her to a traditional school the other half t's a decision she made when Gia was four.

Jessica Geffen: "That's when we started practicing writing her name, and doing arts and crafts and it became a learning thing kinda after that."

Her mom calls it self-led learning letting Gia research topics she's interested in. For example, if she comes across a jellyfish on their travels.

Jessica Geffen: "We would then learn about the jellyfish, she'd say what kind is it, what's the scientific name?"

And since they spend half the year cruising to different ports of call, class turns into a living history lesson.

Gia Valdez: "It's actually nice not to look at a picture with a bunch of words on it, you can actually see it and touch it and look at it."

7's parenting expert Dr. Valerie Goode says a growing number of families are choosing to take their child's education outside the classroom

Dr. Valerie: "If you think about it education happens everywhere, it happens every day of every minute of every year."

Dr. Val says alternative methods of teaching can help your child adapt to new situations and expose them to a much bigger world.

Dr. Valerie: "Exposing your child to different environments, different kinds of people, different ages of children is a good thing."

Gia Valdez: "Brain coral, that's my favorite."

Gia keeps track of all of her adventures and the people she meets in a special scrapbook.

Gia Valdez: "I just list down all the things I've been to and all the things I've seen, and I think it's pretty good."

Mom feels like she's giving her daughter the best of both worlds and plans to continue home schooling on the high seas.

Jessica Geffen: "Helping her to create her personality to be an explorer and a citizen of the world."

Dr. Val says if you do choose to home school but are worried about your child socializing, make sure to enroll them in after school activities and take them on field trips.


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