Travel expands horizons, making social studies come alive, said Paula Charnicki, a teacher at Anasazi Elementary School.
“When I taught in a low-income school it was necessary to depend on books and videos to enrich the curriculum,” she said. “It makes a huge difference if children are given the opportunity to travel.”
Last year, Missy Preul, 6, took a threegeneration family trip with her mother and grandmother to Greece and Turkey.
“Missy learned so much about ancient civilizations,” said her father, Mark.
Lori Munn’s three children, who attend Greyhawk Elementary School, traveled through New York, Canada and Michigan last year, when they were able to see much of the Great Lakes region geography they had studied in school, she said.
When Bella Panchmatia and her husband, Patrick Brundage, decided to adopt a baby girl from India, they brought their two young daughters along — even though they had to miss a week of class at Sonoran Sky Elementary.
“We wanted them to see where their sister came from, and thought it was important for them to see a slice of life of how other people live” she said.
TIPS FOR PARENTS
Nanette Hubbell, a fifth-grade teacher at Copper Ridge Elementary School, said the following activities can help children get the most education out of a family vacation.
• Keep a daily journal of all family activities, or create a scrapbook of photos, to practice writing.
• Keep a budget, writing down costs for all activities, frequent flier miles earned, etc., to reinforce consumer math.
• Record mileage, including plane and car travel, to understand geography.
• Bring a souvenir or photographs back to show the class, and explain what you did and where.
SUGGESTED BOOKS Title: “Travel Wise with Children: 101 Educational Travel Tips for Families” Author: Mary Rodgers Bundren Subject: Offers practical ideas to enrich travel experiences. Title: “Lonely Planet Travel with Children” Author: Cathy Lanigan Subject: A practical guide for traveling with “tots to teens, from Vegas to Vietnam.” Title: “Trouble-free Travel with Children: Over 700 helpful hints for parents on the go” Author: Vicki Lansky Subject: Helps parents make decisions — what to pack, what to leave behind, how to stop backseat bickering, etc.