Wide world of learning when it comes to kids education

THERE was a letter doing the rounds of Facebook lately which referred to a principal writing to a couple about their children's absence from school.

The letter said the school district did not recognise family trips as an excused absence, regardless the activities involved, as they were unable to evaluate the educational nature.

The family trip in question was to travel to Boston to watch their father take part in the Boston Marathon.

The father wrote back to the school in response to the letter.

"I can promise you they learned as much in the five days we were in Boston as they would in an entire year at school," he wrote.

He described how they learned about dedication, commitment, love, perseverance, overcoming adversity, civic pride, patriotism, American history, culinary arts and physical education.

He went on to say his children also visited a number of historical sites in Boston so were ahead of the game as they had learned about things years before they would in school.

I have to agree with him.

My whole primary school years were one long family vacation.

We travelled around Australia for six years, resulting in me attending 13 different primary schools, and probably missing a fair share of actual school days in between moving and travelling.

We might not have always been at school, but we were certainly learning. My family travels took me to so many places we later learned about in school.

In 1688 English explorer William Dampier explored the west coast of Australia. So did we, in 1980.

In 1873 Uluru was first sighted by Europeans, to be named Ayers Rock. We sighted it in 1981.

And so it went on.

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Research shows poor school attendance is associated with lower academic achievement, among other things.

I agree with that, but it depends on the context.

If kids are at home because they are not encouraged to go to school, then yes, I am sure that applies.

But if they are out exploring this wonderful world we live in an extra day here or there, I am all for it.

Education comes in so many forms.

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