Sailing and Lesson Plans

Nadine Slavinski, a long time friend of mine and the author of several books, has just published a new title. Her latest book Lesson Plans Ahoy! is for sailing families who want to undertake educational activities with their children – but the practical, hands-on units she describes can be applied to many other contexts. It’s really about learning outside the classroom and in the real world.

Nadine writes:

Lesson Plans Ahoy! is a resource for sailing families heading out on a short cruise, an ocean crossing, or a year of home schooling. The book includes detailed instructions for six units in Science, Math, History, and Physical Education; all are designed to be fun, practical, and relevant to sailing children. Dissect a fish, graph resource use, and even exercise on board – have fun while learning! What were the consequences of Columbus’ “discovery” of America?  Why isn’t there a lunar eclipse every month? All units include tips on how to adapt the lessons to each child’s own level through a section called Age-Appropriate Adaptations.

My website,, lists many free resources for families interested in education, including recommended books and educational projects described online, as well as tips from families who home school their children aboard boats. Reviews of my book and links to recently published articles can also be found on the website.

Nadine is a sailor, teacher, and parent. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University and she has been teaching in international schools since 1996. A lifelong sailor, she took a 10,000 mile, year-long sailing sabbatical with her husband and four-year-old son. On their 35-foot sailboat, the family explored the Mediterranean, crossed the Atlantic, cruised the Caribbean, and sailed on to home waters in Maine.

More on Lesson Plans Ahoy!: Hands-on learning for sailing children and home schooling sailors (where a “Look Inside” feature allows browsing) from

International Stammtisch at the English Theatre Frankfurt

On 3 November, Frankfurt International School will be the host at the International Stammtisch at the English Theatre in Frankfurt. This is a forum for newcomers, short-term and long-term expats, was well as Germans who want to network while learning more about the region. It is an initiative of the city of Frankfurt, the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce, the English Theatre, both international schools, the German-British Association and the Newcomers-Network.

Please come and join on 3 November when Ian Gulliford speaks about language learning. The Frankfurt International School Honor Strings will entertain with a few pieces out of their fall repertoire. The finger food afterwards has been kindly sponsored by ARAMARK.

You do need to register for the event in advance at newcomers-network

Effective Distance Language Learning

When I lived in Japan in the early to mid-nineties, I found it quite revolutionary to be giving lessons over the phone. This was the precursor for today’s distance learning via internet.
It can’t get more comfortable than studying at home as well as choosing your own most suitable time of day for learning. You can study around the clock and keep free of appointments.
For most of us in this global market, the knowledge of a foreign language is an asset to make yourself more marketable in today’s economy.
Transparent, a language-learning site, features all these products and services you need to learn a new language.
Their products and services cater to individuals, educators, businesses, as well as government instutitions.
You will learn to use the language in context with the help of their computerized immersion program using video, audio and text. You can choose your own pace, carry dialogs and discussion, and games and activities will round off your learning progress.
Is your company sending you to Spain? If so, then learn to speak Spanish before you go. Give yourself a headstart.
Are you thinking about buying a retirement home in Southern France? Then your financial investment should be accompanied by a time investment geared at learn to speak French.
Whether you are a lover of Italian opera or cuisine, the knowledge of the language will intensify your experience. So learn to speak Italian.

Motivating Writing in Middle School

This useful guide, comprised of the best teaching ideas from prior National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) publications, is meant for K-12 teachers to help students meet higher literacy standards.

Click here for more information:

What can I write about?

This book includes 7,000 topics for High School students.

This second edition has been updated to fit today’s topics and is a good resource for students and teachers alike.

Click below for more information:

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