As the temperature shifts from spring to summer, many families put the finishing touches on summer vacation planning. Usually, vacation means leaving behind the comforts of home to experience a new place or destination. It can also mean finding some much-deserved relaxation.
But the situation changes when vacations include traveling with children. Kids – even older ones – can make even the simplest tasks infinitely more difficult. They also have a knack for derailing relaxation. Take eating out as an example. Last week, I took my three kids (ages two to eight) out to dinner. We selected a kid-friendly restaurant that catered to families (but was also upscale enough to not include a playplace). My kids, although well behaved, still managed to make a mess of the joint. During a one-hour meal, drinks were spilt, fries were smooshed into the floor, and crayon bits were stirred into the mashed potatoes.
Situations like these cause even the bravest of parents to think twice before embarking on a vacation with children. Still, traveling with children has many benefits both for the parents and the kids that should not be ignored. Here are five reasons you should consider travelling with your kids this summer:
- Stronger Families – Families share a number of experiences together while on vacation. These shared experiences enhance and strengthen family bonds. Whether you are sharing a roller coaster ride or fishing off the back of a boat, the time spent together serves to draw families closer.
- New Responsibilities – Life is different on the road since traveling forces us to get out of our normal routines. This difference requires both children and adults to accept new roles. A navigator is necessary to study maps and find new and interesting places to visit. A financer is also needed to ensure that activities stay within budget. Decisions need to be made about where and what to eat. Both kids and parents will learn new skills as they adapt to new roles and responsibilities required by travel.
- Opportunities for Bravery – The adventure of traveling away from home can also provide opportunities for children to learn and demonstrate courage. On a recent vacation trip with my own family, we decided to do some rock climbing. My oldest daughter was fearful, so my younger daughter stepped up and went first. After seeing her sister’s accomplishment, the older one decided that she could also climb the rock and attempted it herself. Both were excited by what they managed to accomplish when they faced their fears and pressed forward.
- Learning Experiences – Another benefit of travel is that it provides opportunities for unique learning experiences. Most of school learning is done through books. Travelling, on the other hand, can give children real-world applications to what they’ve been studying during the school year. Just as taking kids to an art or natural history museum can add tangibility to what they first read about in school, travel can add rich context and substance to their classroom knowledge.
- Improved Grades – The University of Georgia conducted a study to determine the effects of the study abroad programs on academic performance. The study showed that students who studied abroad had improved academic performance when they returned to campus. Think how much more impactful this kind of travel would be during the formative years! Exposing our kids to new cultures and places fuels their sense of curiosity and wonder.
At Brain Chase, we believe that travel is a wonderful tool in the development of our children. That’s why an adventurous journey is at the core of the Summer Learning Challenge. The first participant to follow the clues and correctly pinpoint the location of the buried treasure on our online map (within a two mile radius) will win a trip to the treasure’s location to claim the prize. All we’re allowed to say is that the treasure is buried under a rosebush – but we hear the location is incredible, and the trip will be quite an adventure.
We’ve designed Brain Chase to incorporate all five of the benefits listed above – and more. The winner will take on new roles such as intrepid explorer and treasure excavator. Each participant will need to boldly navigate a path to the treasure by deciphering each of the virtual clues along the way. But the best part is that each student will receive plenty of learning experiences and grade improvement through the best-in-class academic curriculum. And for those who aren’t lucky enough to win the chase, don’t worry – we’ll be posting several videos of the winner’s journey so you can follow along online.
If you could like to learn more about Brain Chase, please contact us today.