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May 2, 2013

Time to Travel

Becky Cooke

The finish line is in sight for the end of the school year! Are you busy planning summer vacations? Travel can broaden your teen’s horizons better than many other ways. Whether you are planning trips to local sites and events or going further afield, they will be times your teen will remember for years to come. Travel allows your teens to see up close places they’ve studied or will be studying. They will appreciate their families and homes when they see the demands facing others here and abroad.

Encourage journaling of the vacation, making notes of impressions to what is seen and points of interest. This summary may provide fodder for essays in the next school year or for college applications. If your teens are traveling without the family, emails at the end of the day will keep you in touch as well as provide a running story to read back through after they return home. One of my sons had the opportunity to teach English in China for a summer. We looked forward to his emails and enjoyed the humorous episodes and interesting people he encountered and places he visited. Even today, it is a reminder for him of that experience.

Maybe your teen is traveling for educational purposes. If it’s to be evaluated as credit for a course, impress upon him to keep a log of hours he spends completing the “course work” and a summary of what was required of him. Even though you may want to give credit for these trips, sometimes it’s better to leave them off the transcript and include them on an extracurricular sheet or resume. On the transcript you can merely give it a title, grade and credit; whereas, on a resume you can note more information to flesh out the experience for the eyes of those reading the application. As the parent, though, you make the final decision as to where and how you’ll use these wonderful opportunities.

I hope your summer vacations will be refreshing and relaxing. Take time to enjoy one another’s company rather than becoming weary racing around trying to see everything that’s recommended. These are memories you will cherish.

-Becky

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