Pictured above: John and Tom Springett sailing.
One of the things we value at Wolsey Hall Oxford is flexibility. Our students come from all over the world, and are able to study in a way that suits their situation, schedule, and goals – even if they’re travelling homeschoolers and constantly on the move, like the Springett family.
We recently spoke with Hiromi Springett, who has spent the last few years sailing around the world with her husband and two sons, Thomas and John. The boys are both enrolled with Wolsey Hall and have been able to keep up with their studies whilst on the boat and truly are travelling homeschoolers!. Here’s what Hiromi told us about this wonderful, unusual way of life:
“Currently we are moored up in Miri Marina in Sarawak, Eastern Malaysia.
We have been sailing since March 2010. We sold our house in New Zealand and moved to our 55-foot catamaran in Phuket, Thailand. It had been my husband’s dream since he was a young boy, and over the years it became a family dream: living on a boat, visiting places we have never seen before. Maybe it sounds a little crazy, but the decision came naturally and everybody was excited.
The upsides of this lifestyle: we can go everywhere our boat can take us, with all the comfort we need. We meet many different people from all over the world, with all sorts of professions – from boat-builders to an astronaut! We bond easily with the people we meet and help each other due to a common interest: sailing.
There are some difficulties, too. Our days and decisions are dictated by the weather. In bad weather you need to stay inside regardless of whether you want to or not. And while sailing, power and water usage are limited, so we’ve learned to appreciate and conserve energy and water.
Our eldest son Thomas is 15 years old. He’s doing IGCSE English, Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Business Studies with Wolsey Hall Oxford while we sail. It’s great to have a course manager to provide assignment schedules, which encourages Thomas to organise his study plans – his time management has really improved.
We’ve had to learn to prepare and plan ahead for interruptions to our Internet access due to sailing. We print out or download whatever materials are needed for a sailing period before departure. So far, we haven’t come across many difficulties, as mobile Internet coverage is amazingly good and we can use email even when at sea.
Thomas enjoys the lifestyle. He misses his friends in New Zealand; however, we’ve been lucky enough to meet other youngsters quite often and they get on well. And his younger brother John, 12, has also recently begun taking courses with Wolsey Hall Oxford – he’s taking KS3 English, Maths and Science.”