Tips for Parents

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle While Traveling

By on December 9th, 2015

This is the eighth post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney Adventures 8Whether you are planning a “stay-cation” or a global yearlong adventure around the world similar to ours, staying healthy, happy, and fit while traveling can present a few obstacles.

Maintaining healthy eating habits at home can be difficult and doing the same on the road requires even more due-diligence. Preplanning is the key, and can mean the difference between completely abandoning your healthy lifestyle or keeping you on track.

Incorporate some or all the following tips we’ve used to ensure you have a healthy, happy trip.
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Travel is the Ultimate Education

By on November 16th, 2015

This is the seventh post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney World Adventures Issue 7Recently, friends of ours withdrew their nine-year old daughter from school to take her with them to Washington, D.C. and Iceland.

They planned to tour the nation’s capital before leaving for Iceland for the family’s first trip abroad.  To do so, Jennifer (not her real name), would miss approximately a week of school.  Jennifer’s mom contacted the school well in advance and completed the necessary paperwork to request an excused absence.  She outlined in detail all that Jennifer would experience and see during the trip.

However, the school principal did not respond and after repeated calls asking for an update, it was time to leave. Continue reading


National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

By on October 30th, 2015

National Bullying Prevention MonthAt one point, bullying was simply considered a rite of passage in childhood.

Today, research shows that bullying has a significant impact on one’s education, health, and safety.

Bullying can negatively impact a child’s education.  It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Research shows 15 percent of all school absenteeism is directly related to fears of being bullied at school.

One out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying. Continue reading


Red Ribbon Week 2015

By on October 26th, 2015

Red Ribbon Week 2015Don’t Wait to Talk to Your Child About Drugs!

While it may seem difficult or feel awkward, it is important that parents have these conversations and keep the lines of communication open. Research shows that talking to your child early and often is key.

According to the National Family Partnership, children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42 percent less likely to use drugs than those who don’t, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

Almost 90 percent of youth reported that their parents would strongly disapprove of their trying marijuana once or twice. Among these youths, only 5.1 percent had used marijuana in the past month. However,  Continue reading


What Travel Has Meant to My Career

By on October 12th, 2015

This is the sixth post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney World Adventures Issue 6Traveling has been such an amazing opportunity for me in so many ways.

It’s taught me more than I ever could have learned from solely reading books. It’s showed me how to relate with people and find ways to communicate with others, even if we don’t speak the same language. You begin to realize deep down we’re not all that different.

Traveling has been an extremely liberating experience, though it wasn’t always easy. It pushes you and constantly forces you out of your comfort zone. Early on I had to find a way to be able to continue school while traveling. FLVS was such a great way to be able to do that. There were times when I was in the middle of the jungle in Central America, monkeys were swinging above my head and I was still able to take a test online. Continue reading


Never Stop Exploring

By on September 4th, 2015

This is the fifth post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney World Adventures 5

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

In Margret Mitchell’s novel, “Gone with the Wind,” Gerald O’Hara states that, “Land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.” While I agree that the preservation of natural places is one of the most important goals, Mitchell’s character is only partly right, in that there are other things in life worth the effort as well. There are non-material events and knowledge, which are incommensurable.  Continue reading


5 Ways to Stay Safe While Traveling the World

By on August 5th, 2015

This is the fourth post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney Adventures 4Travel Safety Awareness Month is the perfect time to address one of the questions we were often asked before leaving on an around-the-world trek.

“Aren’t you afraid to travel to other countries with your family?”

As we all know, there is risk in nearly everything we do.  Whether taking a shower, driving to work, walking across the street, shopping at the grocery store, going to the movie theater, or skydiving, there is inherent risk in everything we do.  If you don’t think so, just count the number of attorney ads on TV, radio, and social media. Even after our trek, the question of safety continues to be asked when I give talks about our adventure.

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Making the Journey the Destination

By on July 14th, 2015

This is the third post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney World Adventures Issue 3“There once was a man who became unstuck in the world. He realized that he was not his car, he realized that he was not his job, he was not his phone, his desk or his shoes. Like a boat cut from its anchor, he’d begin to drift. He took the wind for a map, he took the sky for a clock, and he set off with no destination. He was never lost.” – Castles in the Sky

Seeing the world will change your life.

There is simply no way around it. Once you take the first step in your journey to understand a new culture, learn a different language, climb a higher mountain, or sail across a deeper sea, you will never be the same. Continue reading


Got Balance?

By on June 8th, 2015

balanceDo you ever stop and think about how much you juggle to find balance on a daily basis?

First, there’s the never-ending work or school/life balance.  Then, there’s the healthy/non-healthy balance. How much and what we eat needs to be considered along with and how much we sleep and exercise.  The balance between saving and spending is also part of that struggle.  Balancing family, friends, and personal time can also be a battle.  You name it, we’re trying to balance it!

Finding our balance might seem like a small thing, but it has a profound impact on our daily function. Finding and maintaining balance is something we usually don’t think about, until we lose it. Continue reading


Traveling the World with Family: A Mom’s Perspective

By on June 5th, 2015

This is the second post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney Family AdventuresWhen Mike and I decided to take off for a year to travel the world with our three teenage sons, the decision was the easy part.

Walking away from the life we currently knew was the difficult part.  After we made the decision in 2005, we went into planning mode.  We all had our respective roles.

In between running an online business, homeschooling our three sons through Florida Virtual School, and carting them to various activities, I spent copious hours researching travel websites and books, creating a budget, and finding places where we could immerse ourselves in the culture.  What we all discovered is that planning is definitely necessary, however, it is also equally important to have a plan B, C, or D. An even better option is to learn to go with the flow! Continue reading