As some may know, but many don’t, my family homeschools. Our travels have quite a lot to do with that. We were, once, traditional public-school-going folks. But the state we live in has a limit to the number of unexcused absences (anything that isn’t excused by a doctor) and we exceeded those each year.
Before each school year I would speak to both the teachers and the principal; explain to them about my job and how I would be taking my daughter out of school. But the school itself has no say. No matter that my child was at the head of her classes. No matter that the travel experiences broadened her ability to learn, to understand, to be more creative and to contribute. Because it’s all about the numbers. If a child misses more than X number of days, the state begins to take away the school’s funding for that child.
I was thrilled when Vivienne McNeny invited me to chat with her about family travel on The Sociable Homeschooler. It’s a terrific show. Go ahead and click over; listen while I take you on a little tour of some of our learning experiences.
My youngest read Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson. She was showing what you need to do to go to bed when it’s light outside.
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I think visiting a mammoth dig is pretty educational.
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Or one of the few places in the world where you can see Spanish Mustangs.
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Or learning about animals we come into contact with more often…
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Arts & crafts? How about glass blowing?
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Or culture? We visited a Hutterite Colony near Aberdeen.
Travel has broadened my daughters’ horizons in ways no textbook can. It’s definitely not an easy choice- and not for everyone. Some days I’m not even sure it’s for me. But it’s the best choice for my family right now- and I am thankful we have the ability to pursue it.
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