There is a saying that goes “travel broadens the mind”, and it’s true. For all that a child sits with books in front of them, reading about subjects, sometimes there is no substitute for really seeing them.
It’s no different for adults. Think of all the books you’ve read. Think of the pictures you got in your mind. Now think about going to the places those books were set in, or seeing them on TV. Chances are, they looked totally different. Actually being among what you are learning about teaches you more than any book can.
When it comes to home educating, this is no less important. There are some ways in which the home setting is an advantage. In maths, weights and measures can be found all over, especially in the kitchen. But in other subjects, sometimes you have to get beyond the confines of the home to really get the message across.
If you can combine education with a holiday, well, that’s even better!
One of the tragedies of school geography lessons is that they take a subject that is inherently multi-dimensional and make it 2D. Sometimes, a field trip can be fascinating, but let’s be honest. How many kids want to spend a day identifying soil types in a nearby forest?
Iceland is a country that manages to fit a lot of geography into not much landmass. Some of the most enthralling geography lessons concern volcanoes and their effects on a landscape. A visit to this fascinating land of ice and fire can bring those subjects to life in a way just reading about them never can.
Let’s be honest: In the UK, the words “history” and “Germany” often don’t go too well together. Certainly, when it comes to the subject of the Second World War, the image of Germany is filled with negative connotations.
Berlin school trips, however, can show how Germany moved on and has confronted its past to make a better future. If you’re home-schooling, then a trip there as part of a holiday can show Germany as it is now. If you want history from a little further back, a day-trip to Wittenberg Cathedral worthwhile. This is where Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door.
Languages: Take Your Pick!
If your children have a flair for languages, then there is no better way to encourage it than by travelling to the countries where they are spoken. Languages on the standard syllabus are spoken far and wide in Europe. French, for example, is spoken in Belgium and Luxembourg as well as France. It’s also spoken in Switzerland, where German is also a main language.
Indeed, Switzerland is a perfect destination for the budding linguist, as it is also home to a number of Italian speakers. Spanish, for its part, is restricted almost entirely to Spain unless you want to travel further and experience South America. Any of these trips will not only give your kids the chance to practice their language. They also give an invaluable insight into the cultures of these countries.