Is It OK to Take Your Kids Out of School to Travel?
This is a question hotly debated by parents all over the country. My answer to this question is YES! You should absolutely allow your child to miss school for travel. The only caveat being if they are truly struggling and even then you should still consider it.
In my own experience, I have never hesitated at taking my daughter out of school to travel from pre-school throughout college. I am sure this is why she is the main Traveling Gal, Ashley! Education goes far beyond the classroom. While the classroom is the foundation and largest part of studies, life experience is crucial to learning and overall education. I have always stressed the importance of a solid, first-rate schooling and my daughter achieved that goal. However, there is no substitute for experiencing culture, lifestyle, history and landscape for yourself. To study World War I and II and then travel through Europe only strengthens your knowledge and deepens your understanding. After learning about the Vietnam War and then traveling through Vietnam you gain perspective that can never be found in books. The same can be said for the current world situation. We are inundated with information regarding the global state or affairs. To visit other places you only hear about, can completely reshape your mindset about issues and develop a more well-rounded viewpoint. There is also unparalleled benefit in spending time as others live in other parts of the world or even our own country. Firsthand exposure to other cultures and standards of living is an education unto itself.
It is up to you as the parent to make the most of travel. You need to emphasize the educational aspects and teach your children how to appreciate learning while having fun. Anticipation and planning are an important part of taking a big trip. Here are some ideas on how to prepare in advance to make the most out of the academic side of travel:
- Research important significant places in each city you visit and read so you are informed before you get there;
- Download podcasts that correspond to places you are visiting. Many museums and historical landmarks offer podcasts on-line.
- Read travel essays or novels that take place in the countries you are visiting;
- Educate yourself and your children on exciting events that have taken place where you are traveling;
- Try a new sport or going to a sporting event from the country you will be in.
My daughter has been provided with a very well rounded education as well as a mature view of the world and her place in it through both the classroom and travel. Although an excellent student, her journeys while growing up have proved equally important. As a Mother, our travels together have been the best times of my life. It is priceless bonding time and worth a few make-up tests and homework assignments.
We also asked a few other bloggers their opinion on this topic and everyone seemed to have an overwhelmingly positive response to this!
Rhiannon from rhiyaya.com
“I think travel is a completely legit reason to take your kids out of school. Out of a typical school day how much time to gets spend actively learning vs time spent lining up, being told to quiet down, and waiting for others? With travel everything is a learning opportunity, even if the trip doesn’t have an “educational” purpose. My daughter knows how long it takes to get to DC and New York, because we’ve been there. She knows what the White House looks like in person, and how to ride a subway. She can help pitch a tent and loves to ask Siri questions about the things we see. It’s all educational, and those rich life experiences are more meaningful than sitting in a classroom doing worksheets.”
Lori from lovemybighappyfamily.com
“As a teacher and parent for over 25 years I’ve always believed that a great education involves so much more than textbooks and the four walls of a classroom. Our children are grown now, but we never hesitated to take them out of school to travel. The knowledge they gained from experiencing new things and visiting new places was invaluable! Right now I’m a homeschool teacher for just one ninth grade girl. As I write this email, we are on a trip to a fine arts competition. For the last week we have done nothing during our school days but work on her art and speech for the competition, no math, no history, no grammar. For the next two days when we’re not at the competition we’ll be swimming in the hotel pool, playing board games and visiting the Snake River Canyon and Shoshone Falls! I’m absolutely convinced that the education my own kids and students have received while traveling is every bit, if not more, beneficial than the education they receive in the classroom!”
Kevin from wanderingwagars.com
“Although our children are young (2 & 5) my wife and I have already travelled extensively with them and have seen the benefits that travel has had on their psyche, education and soul. We have no doubts as to how much real world experience plays in their social growth as well. While we know that traditional education has its place, I know from experience where it has its limitations and we will make sure to carefully balance between the two to ensure our children have the best learning experiences possible.“
Christine from mytravelingkids.com
“As a former teacher, I absolutely think it is ok to take your kids out of school for a family trip. Travel allows kids to see the world in a new perspective. They can learn about new cultures and get hands-on experiences. Kids also learn more about themselves as they try new activities. In my opinion, the world is the best classroom and kids should take advantage of the opportunity to travel.”
Shatan from bookatticconfessions.com
“I’m actually allowing my daughter to miss a week from school because we are going on a cruise. I believe this will be the last time my grandma will be able to travel long distance. It my mom is coming as well so it will be 5 generations. We are taking a 10 day cruise. We will be leaving at the end of this month. In the middle of my daughter’s spring break. I’ve never been one for my daughter to take off from school but I feel this time it’s important for me to allow this. Let me also add that we are travel addicts! We go on at least 10 trips a year but around school schedule usually!”
What do you think about taking your kids out of school for a trip? Have you done it before? Let us know in the comments!
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