Thursday, December 6, 2012

Travel Tips - Educating Kids through Travel

Our kids were thrilled this week to find themselves on the front cover of the Edmonton Journal, our largest newspaper in our local city.

Chris Zdeb spoke to us about the impact of long term family travel, and how leaving our traditional school setting for extended travel may have hurt our children's education.  It seems some people hold the belief that the only place learning can happen is within the walls of a classroom.

Thank goodness our school district disagreed.

Deciding to take our children on a trip around the world was a personal decision.  It came from a deep realization that life was worth living, now.  We worked, and had worked hard, for many years.  And though we had built a great "normal" life, we were not completely satisfied.  It seemed that life was passing us by.  I love the quote "we travel not to escape our life, but so that our life does not escape us."  That pretty much summed it up.

Our schools, thankfully, understood.  Yes, it did help that as a trained teacher, I was able to assure the administration that the five months away would not be a big "waste of time."  But truly, I didn't need an education degree to be able to teach our children about the world.  I believe strongly that life is about learning.
Every day, we should learn at least one new thing.
Seek out knowledge.



It is our philosophy of life.

The knowledge our children gained may or may not have matched the specific curriculum of each of their grades in our specific region of the world.  But they learned about culture, history, geography and life in a way that was relevant and meaningful.  And not to mention, fun.

And most importantly, they learned how to learn, which for us was the most important lesson of all.

Try these Family Travel Tips to make your next vacation a learning one:

1. Choose a new destination.  If you love to travel, you can share that love with your children.  It doesn't have to be only "kid places" like Disney.  Choose activities you love, and pick a new place to try.

2. Do something new.  Pick an activity your family hasn't done before, and learn it together.

3. Don't overpack.  Kids don't need to have everything from home. Laundry is done everywhere, and you are their favorite toy.

4. Hire a local guide.  Often the cab driver or waiter would love to share his city, or take you to her family's favourite museum or surf beach.  Don't be afraid to ask to discover the best local "haunts".

5. Let the kids help with the planning.  Older children can have great ideas, and will often enjoy the trip more if they are given some control.  You will share in their interests, and they just might surprise you!

And my favourite place for recommendations:  TripAdvisor.  Just search for the "Top 10 things to do with families" in your destination, and let the ideas inspire you!

Happy Travels!  6 Andersons 1 World

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