Learning through travel

by MICHAEL HIBBELN, PrincipalRoguewood Elementary School
With the school year behind us, summer break serves as a time to relax and regroup for many of our families and students. With all that our Rockford community has to offer, students have many opportunities to spend their summer days close to home. Perhaps it is a canoe trip down the Rogue, or a visit to one of the many parks-opportunities are all around us! Passing the days with trips to the beach, riding bikes on the White Pine Trail, or just playing outside in the yard until the stars come out is what a childhood summer is all about!

Yet, with the traditional summer break, summer also provides us with the time to take those family vacations we’ve been planning and waiting for all year. By spending some part of the summer traveling, students will return home with more than souvenirs, but memories that last a lifetime. When they return to the classroom in the fall, these memories and experiences serve as a great resource to draw from when being a student.

When traveling this summer, make a point to visit important historical sties with your student. Students may not be in social studies class this summer, but social studies come alive when you travel. Sometimes through travel, your students can learn much more than they would have in a classroom and also make important connections to what they studied during the year.

Through travel, you might get the chance to see your child in a different light that was not evident when under the pressure of daily routines. Maybe they were always the last one getting out the door in the morning or forgetting homework. But when traveling, you might see a new side of your child’s independence. Encourage this to come out by assigning them a specific responsibility, like being in charge of the map or directions.

By traveling, you take your student out of their daily environment, which in turn exposes them to how others live. With this, their cultural awareness rises. Learning about other cultures and geography is something discussed on a weekly basis at school, but nothing can expose a student to this like travel.

Finally, even the best travel plans can fall apart as a result of delays or other inconveniences. It is through these experiences that students learn flexibility and gain the ability to persevere. These are all lifelong skills that students can apply when they return to school.

Have a relaxing and enjoyable summer!

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