My question is: Have we gone too far when it comes to not allowing our kids to experience life when they have an opportunity to do so?
Our boys never missed a lot of school due to travel; although they did miss a day here or there. Family vacations are remarkable memorable events and rank right up at the top in life experiences. I totally understand why many parents opt to home school their kids.
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I have never "lied" to the attendance secretary at school in regards to our boys' absences from school. Problem being, I know many parents that openly admit to doing this, and the rest of us suffer and receive truancy letters! The parents that are lying to the school secretary should be the ones punished, not families that are playing by the rules.
Family vacations are educational in the fact that kids learn how to interact with waiters, waitresses, service employees and learn that they may have to wait for a few things. Yes, this could include waiting in a long line at an amusement park. One may argue, "What can a child learn while waiting in line at an amusement park?" Well, they learn awfully darn fast that they need to be patient, respectful, and wait their turn. In our schools today, kids are not always respectful (my boys can attest to this through all of the bullying they endured). I am amazed that my boys tolerated the bullying as well as they did. Funny thing- several of these bullies have landed themselves in jail for theft, forgery, and the like as of late.
Many families visit fantastic museums while on vacation. The architecture and history kids can experience while visiting a museum is priceless. Many museums offer extremely fun and educational experiences for our kids. Our Presidents also have many terrific museums filled with history that all family members can appreciate.
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A beach vacation can also be a very educational experience. There are shells, dolphins, whales, fish, and sea turtles to learn about. I do not know a lot about beaches, but I can tell you, there is a lot to experience and learn while on a beach. When it comes to our environment, a beach is the ideal opportunity for kids to see how litter impacts life on the beach.
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I will continue to advocate for families that travel with their kids. I "get" the value of family travel and believe every child that has an opportunity to travel with their family; should be able to without being punished. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?