All my talk on school and travel has really revolved around elementary school children; however, what about high school students? This is especially important if you aspire that they be competitive college applicants for the best schools in the country.
I am sure that there are a ton of homeschool families that could give all sorts of really great advice. In our case, my daughter has been in boarding school for the last four years, so the homeschool scenario no longer applied. Instead she was subject to traveling with us during her school breaks, which were pretty long ( 3 weeks in December and March) and summer holidays.
Family holidays, however, are not the only option for high school students. If you, as a parent, have an open mind and trust in the relative maturity and character of your child, you may consider the multitude of school year abroad programs that are out there. Through the School Year Abroad (SYA) program, my daughter spent 10 months living and going to school in Beijing, China and immersing herself in Chinese culture. She learned how to write, read and speak Mandarin and she learned how to make dumplings from her host family. She also had multiple opportunities to tour other regions of the country.
She grew immeasurably in ways that are still manifesting themselves, she has determined that Asia will be her future home base, and she picked her college prospects based on the strength of their Chinese and East Asian studies programs.
Whether you are a homeschool, public,or private school family, SYA and other similar programs, offer a unique opportunity for young adults to spread their wings, within the constraints of a structured program. Gap year (year between high school and college) programs, such as Global Citizen Year, can have the same effect as well.