To travel or not to travel during the school term? Many families grapple with this decision, but it was an easy one for us. We are heading to Italy! Grace from The Italian Flame has collated some tips to help align your child’s education with their environment whilst being immersed in the local culture. There will be phonics and family stories. Counting euros and catching trains. 

Travel Kids Europe

With most of our family in Italy, and the pandemic crippling all of our travel plans, we leapt at the first opportunity for our son Alessio, to meet his relatives and get to know his grandparents, aunts, uncles and many cousins.

We decided to time our travel with my husband Franco’s 40th and father in laws 80th birthday, both in September. This happens to fall in the middle of the school term.

It also happens to be Alessio’s first formal year at school.

But not all learning is done in the classroom.

Travel Kids School

 

The school does not encourage families taking their children out for lengthy periods of time if it can be avoided and request for approval. This form had questions I hadn’t considered. There was no doubt in my mind that this would be an amazing opportunity for our son to experience the Italian culture, traditions and language that his parents were raised in. It was also going to be an experience that could not be replicated at school.

We would also be making memories as a family.

 

To complete said form, I asked for suggestions in the Australian School Mums facebook group; the only online community dedicated to discussions on all topics across Australian schooling.  It’s positive, informative and filled with constructive advice by real mums. The support received blew me away so I thought to collate the valuable suggestions in the case it helps other families. 

 

Below are some tips continue your child’s education whilst travelling:

Fun and educational activities

  • Start a travel journal. Keep it simple. Include things like date, photos, drawings,  where we went, things we ate, interesting things we saw. You can get creative and  make up your own journal or purchase one. I purchased one from Two Little Possums that includes a page for each day as well as  some activities we can do together. 
  • Keep maps, tickets to entries like museums, aquariums and zoos, brochures and  postcards.  
  • Download an app like Book Creator to store information that can be printed and used  as a keepsake.  
  • Take an instant polaroid camera and allow our child to take some of his own pictures that he can use for his journal or take back to show his school when he goes back.  

 

Pic courtesy of Two Little Possums

Educational iPad resources 

  • Download apps such as Reading Eggs, Maths Seed, Vooks and Mathletics. 
  • Complete the 2022 digital learning pack from the Department of Education.
  • Zoom lessons if available and time works out well.  

 

Educational screen free activities

  • Reading books. 
  • Sight cards and basic words/phrases flash cards in the Italian language.
  • Creating a family tree and explaining where family that we will be visiting sit on the  tree. 

 

Reasons to travel for the lengthy period of time outside of school holidays

  • To help our child develop his sense of belonging to his Italian background and Italian  family. 
  • Demonstrate firsthand the culture and traditions of the country where his parents are  from and how we have integrated these into our community.  
  • Assist our child to learn the language and participate in community events. 
  • Visit museums and historical landmarks. 

Travel Kids School

Ways to can stay connected to school

  • Send an occasional email to the class teacher about what he has discovered, seen or  done and include some pictures. 
  • Send a postcard to the class.  
  • Ask the teacher to provide some work in advance so that he can complete while  away. 
  • If the time aligns, zoom the class when we are somewhere exotic! 

 

I hope the collation of suggestions help families who are considering travelling during the school term. 

If you’d like to follow our Italian adventures, join us The Italian Flame where we’ll also be looking for inspiration for our next range of candles.

 

 

The Italian Flame

Grace is the founder of The Italian Flame, a range of candles based on her Italian heritage. Married to Florence-born Franco, they have a son Alessio that loves all things Formula One and the Italian Soccer Team.