Wednesday, December 16, 1998
Homeschoolers sail away
By CHRISTIE PATTERSON
The Carnival Cruise Lines' theme song, "Celebrate," blasts as children wave good-bye to land. It's 3 p.m. on Sept. 26, 1998, and the MS Imagination is leaving the docks of Miami.
The only unusual thing about this picture is well, the kids. Shouldn't they be in school?
Actually, they are. Almost all of them are homeschooled. Jody Coury, who also teaches her kids at home, works for a travel agency. She came up with the idea of a "homeschool" cruise, where homeschooled children (and their parents) would get their dose of education as well as a large helping of fun.
The idea started out as just something for her local homeschool group in Dacula, Ga., but after Coury advertised in a newsletter for homeschoolers, the number of families soared to roughly 100. They came from everywhere, from Georgia to New Mexico to South Carolina to Miami.
Some of the educational activities on board the ship included touring the ship's bridge and galley and watching talented employees carve ice sculptures and fold napkins Oriental-style.
Excursions provided numerous educational tours, such as a snorkeling tour of the coral reef in Cozumel and exploring a sea turtle nursery in the Grand Caymans.
The dazzling ship made its last stop in Jamaica, where many homeschoolers enjoyed touring a working plantation or climbing a 600-ft. waterfall.
Because of the growing popularity of these cruises, Coury has started a homeschool travel club. In the fall of 1999, homeschoolers will embark again, this time to Alaska and the western Caribbean.
Some education is just more fun than others.