Cruising with Kids

Video: Kids speak their own minds about cruising

During our stay in Tauranga, New Zealand, the kids from two boats (Namani and Alouette) really hit it off. One activity they particularly enjoyed was learning to program computer graphics using a program called KTurtle.

Seeing their enthusiasm for this, we parents agreed to assign the kids a group project as part of their home schooling: to create a video documentary about life on a sailboat. The idea was for our children to learn new computer skills while producing an informative and interesting video, not to mention having fun.

We thought it might take them one to two days, and they ended up taking four to produce quite a good five minute video. The video met all the requirements we set, which included a minimum length, use of different scenes / transitions / titles, as well as including a musical clip and credits. They decided that their audience would be kids who were familiar with sailing but hadn’t been cruising. The project also called on the organizational framework they usually call on for written reports: brainstorming, planning, outlining, drafting, editing, and finally, presenting their work.

As so often happens with boat kids, the three worked very well together despite only having recently met and an age range of 9-14. They worked very independently of outside guidance, taking advantage of a lounge room and power supply in the marina we were staying in while completing projects on our boat.

The assignment also met another important requirement: giving the kids something fun and interesting to do while we parents were occupied with repairs! Markus of Namani acted as tech support, but for the most part, the kids were able to figure out the home video-making program (“kdenlive”) through logic, trial, and error, and the resulting video is entirely their own work.

To follow up the assignment, each of the kids wrote a reflection on the project (what worked well, what we could have done differently, what was difficult, etc). Katie, Nicky, and William are quite proud of their work and justifiably so.

It’s great to let kids speak their own minds about cruising, and we hope that others will find their work interesting and informative.

• Watch the video on NAMANI’s website and read Nicky’s reflection on the movie-making assignment:
Boat life – the kid’s perspective
A video documentary about what it is like to live on a sailboat by Katie, William and Nicky

•  Watch the video on Vimeo:


About Nadine Slavinski
Lesson Plans Ahoy!

Nadine Slavinski is the author of Lesson Plans Ahoy: Hands-On Learning for Sailing Children and Home Schooling Sailors.

Nadine is a sailor, teacher, and parent. She  holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University. She has been teaching in international schools since 1996.

A  lifelong sailor, she has taken two extensive sailing sabbaticals with  her husband and young son. Living aboard their 35 foot sloop Namani  for three years, the family sailed from the Mediterranean to Maine, and later,  from Maine to the Caribbean and across the Pacific.

Articles by Nadine Slavinski have appeared in various sailing magazines and websites, including Cruising World, Blue Water Sailing, Caribbean Compass, and YachtPals. Her website, lists many free resources for home schooling sailors.

Lesson Plans Ahoy (Second Edition) is available from:
- (Printand Kindleedition)
- and 
For details check

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2 comments to Video: Kids speak their own minds about cruising

  • Rob

    ….Uh Oh!
    There was a problem loading this video.

    Is it only me or is something wrong.
    Would love to see “the result”

  • Nadine

    Hello Rob,

    There seemed to have been an issue with the video between April 6 and April 9, resulting in the error message your quoted above. It seems to have worked fine since then. Let us know if you encounter any further trouble when trying to access it.


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