We’ve got a few trips planned this year – and a couple of them fall during the year when Olivia’s in school. I don’t have a second thought about taking her out of school to experience something new, whether it be the white sands on the beaches in Cuba or exploring the fjords of Iceland.
Here are a few of the reasons I think it’s okay for kids to miss school to travel
WE CAN FIT IN SCHOOLWORK ON FLIGHTS. We can read double the amount of books (and she can also occupy her sister while doing it) on the flights to different destinations, on road trips, and while waiting in Airports. We can use printable resources and homework arranged with the teacher ahead of time, and fit it all in during travel time and down time.
OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Whether it’s Spanish words for Crocodile, please, thank-you, hotel, bathroom, market, or the dozen other Spanish words she’s learned during the time we spent in Cuba last week, or the printable home schooling materials I brought with us for her to learn about the Atlantic ocean and the anatomy of a Starfish, there’s a great chance to learn something different than she would be learning about in school.
THEY’VE GOT YOU. And you’re the most important teacher. Kids are going to learn a chunk of information in school – but I’m still a believer that you’re the biggest teacher of your child. You’ve got the chance to teach life lessons when you travel that you may not otherwise have. Everything from the importance of learning new languages, trying new food and facts and information about the places you visit.
BUILDING INDEPENDENCE & CONFIDENCE. The week we spent in Cuba was filled with Olivia making friends, and introducing us to at least a dozen people a day that she met at the beach, in the market, everywhere. I feel like giving your child the opportunity to travel and experience new situations, gives them the confidence they need to explore, build relationships and independence. One of my favourite parts of the trip was watching Olivia interact, independently, as she spent more and more time with new friends, many she didn’t even share the same language with, and see her confidence shine.
Observing all of this – you might just be surprised what they can teach you.
LIFE EXPERIENCE AND MEMORIES. They get the experience of seeing something they wouldn’t experience at-home, seeing entirely new landscapes and cultures. It’s a visual lesson in history and sociology, that sinks in because it’s right in front of them. The experience and memories build the person that they become, so exposing them to as many experiences as possible helps to build those tiny well-rounded personalities.
ENHANCES FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS. Olivia’s not going to remember the homework that we did together, or the board game that we played during the week, but she’s not going to forget the first time we snorkeled together, or the feeling of the salt water stinging her eyes as we came up excited, riding the waves into shore. Spending all day together a few times a year, unplugged, without distractions, gives everyone the chance to reconnect with what’s important.
Whether she’s five or ten, as long as she’s able to keep up and maintain the work while in school, I’ll never have a problem pulling the kids out of school a few times a year to experience something different through travel.