Just because the kids are back in school doesn’t mean that learning should be restricted to the classroom. As Mark Twain (and Peter) say, “Don’t let school interfere with your education.” With the Election Day fast approaching, travel is one way to let your kids learn about U.S. history, the presidency and the election process. In her Window Seat or Aisle Seat column this month Kerri Zane, family travel expert and author of It Takes All 5: A Single Mom’s Guide to Finding the REAL One, on sale now, offers up four historic trip ideas perfect for families.
Did you watch the presidential conventions as a family? The conventions have sparked debates across the nation all gearing up for Election Day, November 6, 2012. As a single mom and an experiential learner, I am a big fan of making education come to life. There is no better way to do this, than organizing a family vacation to the places where presidential history happened.
Ken Budd, author of The Voluntourist: A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem, knows first-hand the power of experiential traveling. Not only did Ken travel to a destination, he spent his time volunteering in meaningful actions like rebuilding homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and caring for abandoned infants in Kenya. Budd said, “Everywhere I went I learned about that place on a far deeper level.” He suggested that when planning an experiential educational vacation think like a kid. Go for the full adventure not a just tour!
Middle school educator, mother of four, and author of Mom! There’s a Lion in the Toilet, Lisa Anderson said it best, “Parents can provide invaluable experiences with real-life field trips to explore the places and cultures that are covered in the school curriculum. They can also instill a love of life-long learning, by sharing in the visits as a family.”
Here are four ways to make history come to life for your children and bring a whole new light to Election Day results in your home.
For a solid overall presidential history lesson I would suggest you check out the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area. Known as “Where America Happened,” this area holds more American history than any other region in the Nation. Within the 180 mile swath of land that runs from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, there are nine Presidential homes, 13 National Parks, 16 National Historic Landmarks, 47 National Historic Districts, 30 historic towns and villages, and the largest single collection of Civil War sites in the nation (remember many major Civil War 150th anniversary events taking place for the next 2 years). In addition to the Civil War, there are Native American and African American sties, French and Indian War sites and so much more. The hallowed ground website offers families a self-guided map, travel book and additional reference materials for more interpretive and historic details about the sites within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area. Further it can assist with packaged tours through licensed operators. The site even has educational programs so your children can learn about some of the sites before, during, and after their travels as well.
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