Mixing Online Education with Vacation – we’re all trying to find the silver lining amidst covid and at-home online learning. One I’ve found is the ability to open your vacation time with your family to go beyond Labor Day. I had the chance to interview Dr. Mike Dow, a psychotherapist and best selling author about ways to make online school more exciting and how to break up the monotony. Here’s are his tips for mixing online education with vacation!
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – With many children doing online education, how beneficial can it be to take the online education “on the road” for a change of scenery?
Dr Mike Dow – That’s a great question. One of the incredible things in research that we’ve seen is that a novel environment, changing your scenery for just a few days leads to a lot of benefits I think parents and families could really use right now. We know that it enhances learning, it boosts attention span so if you have a child or even a teenager who’s like “Ugh, I just can’t do that 3rd or 4th hour,” changing your scenery with a little quickie getaway can help. It also helps with energy. I think for all of us, we’re getting a little run down, tired, it’s starting to feel a little mundane. The pandemic has been going on for so long now. So, it can really help to boost those energy reserves for everybody in the family just by changing your scenery a little bit. I think that’s really exciting.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – We’ve heard that the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island offered a dedicated space for online schooling with a schedule of activities following the “school day” so families could take their online education on the road and have fun with it. Are you noticing any other vacation spots offering something similar to this?
Dr Mike Dow – First of all, I’m from Ohio so I’ve been to Mackinac Island many times and I’m a huge fan of that vacation destination. We are seeing that a lot of hotels are really adapting to the pandemic and offering families these really fun learning opportunities. And, even if that hotel doesn’t have something, it’s really fantastic to book a last minute rate and to create your own as well. Yes, but we are seeing that more and more across hotels in this country.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – How has the flexibility of remote jobs and online education allowed for families to save money on vacations by choosing non-prime vacation seasons?
Dr Mike Dow – It’s actually a fantastic silver lining. Right now you can get some incredible deals. On, Hotwire.com actually, the longer you wait, the better the deals tend to be. So you can get a 4-star for a 2-star price or a 5-star for a 3-star price. It’s that silver lining and that reframe. In my practice, I’m all about the reframes. And, yes, there are really a lot of awful things happening in this pandemic, but it’s so important (especially in these times) to look for that silver lining. So, if you’re that family that has always had that pipe dream of “Oh I want to pick up my kids and do a year in New Zealand,” well, now is the time to do that on a smaller scale. It’s more sustainable and the deals are actually better because of course we are seeing lower occupancy rates across this country. What a great opportunity for families right now.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – Mentally, do you think this is a good way to separate (for children) the ideas of home and school because that fine line is very faded right now with what they are having to do?
Dr Mike Dow – Yes, right now our living room is our office, it’s our classroom, and there’s something about the ritual of crossing into a different room that really creates that separation. And, isn’t it so fun that parents can get away and create that for their kids to actually go to some hotel to go to this last minute drivable destination and take a little quickie getaway that’s also a learning opportunity. Whether you’re outside or going to an outdoor table to be your “classroom,” it’s just a really unique opportunity for families to create that separation that I think frankly all of us need.
Hotwire.com did a survey and found that 62% of Americans have not taken a vacation day since the start of Covid. They put this list together to help…it’s America’s best cities for a quickie vacation. For more info on how to mix online education with vacation, CLICK HERE.