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.