A couple of years ago I took the children out of school to do a family review at Center Parcs.
I had slight qualms about doing this, worried they may miss important stuff at school. This was before Department of Education made prohibitive rulings on parents taking children on holiday during school term time. The maximum fine for a child’s absence is £60 per pupil, per parent, per day. It’s felt such holidays are damaging to their learning.
Would you still do it?
In my experience my worries about missing learning opportunities didn’t last long as actually our holiday was full of learning.
We had a lot of down time and both children read lots more than they ever would in a normal school week and completely lost themselves in their books and a love of endless hours reading. You need space to find this.
They learned a lot about nature as we were out amongst it wondering through acres of ancient forest, rabbits,ducks and swans were on our doorstep and came right up to us. The children had sessions with the ranger who taught them about the local habitat – expert, hands on nature lessons. They not only learnt new facts but also developed a greater appreciation of our natural world and eco-systems.
Both children did some craft sessions and made wands and capes and other fabulous wizardry things from glue glitter and their wonderful imagination.
Exercise was abundant pony trekking, parks, tennis and soccer school as well as long walks bike rides and many hours o f swimming. they learnt new skills, greater endurance and to push their boundaries,
Each night we talked over our day and they wrote in a little journal about what they had done practice their writing and storytelling in a very natural way.
Yes our short break was full of learning and importantly as a family we had a peaceful memory making week together which we could never have afford in the school holidays.
The campaign ‘Travel is Education’ lauched by BookFHR.com aims to highlight the specific nature of how travel can enrich children beyond the classroom.They beleive:
pitting a week in a classroom against an opportunity to explore a new place and culture, spend quality time with family and break daily routine is a very tough comparison. – travel is a fantastic way to bring studies to life and spark passion in a child
I agree completely. But I do also think if you do this you need to ask the teachers what the child missed and help your child catch up I don’t think the expectation can be on the school to do that.
So over to you, do you think Travel is Education ? (you can read more about the schools stance and the actual rules on taking children out of school by following the link)