Sunday, June 9, 2013

Value of a Traveling Education

Sunday morning  June 9th - Fourth day of Crisis Management!  I don't actually do hardly any 'work' in this job.  The triplets are very capable - if only thirteen year olds could drive!  Well, maybe not.   Hmmm.

Remember how we teach toddlers, "Don't touch the stove, it's hot and you'll get burned."  Well, I think it's really important to tell teenagers the same thing about their concerns.  The issue is to "know" what their concerns are.

Kari and David are VERY PRESENT in the lives of their children.  They monitor, from day to day, what's going on with each one of them - it's a huge job.  Even though I'm here with the kids, physically, I'll bet Mom and Dad have had or have made 100 phone calls back and forth with the kids, planning their every move.  Cell phones.  What would they do without them?

As for 'traveling education,'  I met so many people in Guatemala last year who had taken their children out of school, in Canada, the USA and Europe, to travel as a family.  In view of the above comments about my 'babysitting' job, I am so pro travel for families.  There's just no alternative to the positives I see in a traveling education.

One family I met in Guatemala, a Dentist fro Nashville, Tennessee, his office manager wife, and their two kids - a 17 year old boy and a 15 year old girl - were on a one year family adventure.  They had spent about six months traveling - only in Central and South America - and were, at the time I met them, doing 20+ hours a week of volunteer work in Guatemala for six months.   I was so so impressed with all of them.  I met them in the hospital for malnourished infants and children where I did volunteer work.  The day we met I had Holland visiting me and also doing volunteer work.

They were an incredible family who had gone through all the pros and cons of deciding to make this adventure - had overcome all the negatives like high school football team member (boy), first year of high school with my friends (girl), etc, etc.  I spent about an hour with the son and daughter asking them questions about how they felt.  They both said there was no comparison to the way they think now with the way they thought before the trip.  They were 'home schooling,' that is, Internet schooling! Mom and Dad had to monitor very little and their progress through their high school requirements were astounding.  Their education accomplishments were far and away above any they could have received in a traditional setting.

I would so love to see my grandkids have the same opportunity - I don't even really think it's important where or what kind of adventure it is - it could be 6 months on a sailboat in the Pacific for Heavens sake - the intellectual, psychological, emotional, developmental possibilities are endless.


  1. M-P, please excuse the aliases (gilguy & Gil Stewart) It depends on which Gmail account I'm signed in on at the time.

    Anyway, it sounds to me you're setting quite an example for the grandkids. They see Gma continuing her education and they take note. I blog about such things a couple times each week. What I call the October Years can be a time for new kinds of education, or for parking by the wayside, waiting for the end. Since the end is always out there, why use the time to teach those triplets what the won't learn in a book.