The School Trip Struggle: Helping You Decide Whether To Sign

Most parents agree that school trips are fantastic. If nothing else, we can all remember our childhood excitement at the prospect of a day away from the classroom. And there is, of course, a more serious benefit. Nothing’s better for learning than getting out there. For the most part, deciding whether to let your kids attend trips is easy. Why should it bother you if they head down to the local farm or travel to that historic site ten kilometres away? They’re close enough that you can get to them if you need to. But, as they get older, there’s a possibility their trips will become more serious – in our case, we knew for certain that Keian was going to have issues, I joked that he’d end up on the news getting lost in the bush or something, instead he may feel over and cut his leg (recovering stitches). In some cases, they’ll even take them overseas.

While we’re all agreed that it’s fantastic for kids to see the world, it can be tough knowing whether an abroad school trip would be right for them. If you currently have some abroad trip forms waiting on your approval, you may want a push either way. Which is why we’re going to look at a few things to consider before giving your seal of approval.

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Do they want to go?

The most important thing is, of course, whether your child wants to go. If yes, there should be few things which stop you signing those forms. Though, of course, you’re still the adult and have to make the judgement. If they say yes, but you think they wouldn’t enjoy themselves, talk them through the realities. We all know kids are sometimes swayed by their friends. Make sure they know what the trip would entail. Equally, their not wanting to go shouldn’t be the end of the discussion. Fear of being away may stop them from making the best decision. In this case, it’s again important to sit them down. Let them see how much fun they could have to ensure they don’t regret their decision.

What’s the educational benefit?

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You may think any school trip would have educational benefits, but things aren’t always that clear cut. Sometimes, they have no other reason than to bond a group or get kids used to travel. So, before you sign, consider whether the benefits of the trip are worth the expense and stress. This will also help with the above point. You’ll be able to return to these benefits if your child is having doubts. School battlefield trips are often the first abroad foray schools offer, and can be extremely invaluable. Foreign exchanges are also often an option and are crucial if your child is studying languages.

Have they been away before?

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Your last consideration should be whether your child has spent time away from home before. No matter how excited they are, spending a week away when they’ve never gone more than a night is sure to be a shock for some kids, not Keian and Tiarn (they make friends with people that may and want sleepovers straight away, a parents dream and nightmare in one). But for those normal kids who lack that self preservation gene, make sure they’re prepared for the fact that they can’t just come home when they miss you. It may also be worth setting up sleepovers, to test how they get on sleeping away from home.


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