Resorts to RV parks: Dad and mom take faculty yr on the street

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NEW YORK (AP) – At RVs, rental apartments and five-star resorts, families who are not bound by the limitations of physical classrooms for their children have turned the new school year into an extended summer vacation, partly enticed by the ailing hotel industry that takes care of parents with distant learners through “roadschooling” facilities.

Given the ongoing pandemic, the change of scene for desperate families working from home and working from home boils down to “risk versus reward,” said Amanda Poses, a travel consultant and mother of two teenagers in Austin, Texas. “If God willing, we don’t have the opportunity to do this again.”

Poses and her husband sent 13-year-old Addison to school for three days for five days in Park City, Utah, in early September. In search of a flight of three hours or less, they rode horses, hiked, and zipped. They went tubing and enjoyed an alpine slide. And yes, there was a bit of logging into school.

“I ended up skipping like half of my classes,” smiled Addison. “It was nice. It was like a fresh start.”

Addison’s 16-year-old brother suspended the trip. “He was worried about being distracted,” said mom.

One of the places the family has stayed at, the luxurious Montage Deer Valley Mountain Resort, now offers the Montage Academy for distance students with an all-day monitored “learning hall” and access to virtual tutors. Other hotels offer on-site tutors and tickets for “excursions” to attractions in the area.

Anna Khazenzon, data and learning scientist for online study platform Quizlet, said the monotony of weeks stuck at home for school, in addition to six months of pandemic restrictions, puts distance students at risk of burnout.

But there are also dangers lurking in school classes.

“Formal school education programs have the potential to create wider achievement gaps between high and low-income families, and lower-cost versions should be developed, but overall there are many learning benefits of having children go to school,” said Khazenzon. “If students are burned out and studying too little at home, they may not be involved in the class at all.”

Jennifer Steele, a professor of education at American University, said if distance students didn’t show up for class during school time, we would expect them to lose some knowledge and skills. In addition, she said, the idea reveals “socio-economic inequalities in terms of people’s inability to walk and go to different places”.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, families of the needy have settled in second homes or taken on long-term rentals in resorts around the world. When summer is over, school classes offer similar experiences to others, whether they’re traveling for extended periods or spending on hotels and resorts to make up for a onset of summer.

For Jayson and Tammy Brown, their three children ‘s schooling has been both ongoing and life-affirming for the past five years. Parents and 11-year-old Jayde, 13-year-old Jay’Elle and 14-year-old Jayson are used to traveling the world with school themes, but the pandemic keeps them avoiding planes.

Before the pandemic, there was a trip to Israel at a time Jay’Elle was studying the Middle East. Young Jayson made scientific connections between local rock formations and bioluminescent organisms that he saw on another adventure.

In South Africa, the family focused on Nelson Mandela and visited the former prison and military fortress, Constitution Hill, which was converted into a history museum on the country’s path to democracy.

The Browns have been on a number of driving distance road trips in Atlanta since March and have more planned. Tammy, a special education teacher, takes care of her students remotely. She and her husband make sure that their children enroll in school when necessary.

“Oh, we’ll definitely stay with them,” said Papa.

What do the children think they will win?

“I find it much funnier than school to experience firsthand what I’m actually learning in class,” said Jay’Elle.

Your brother’s favorite part of all these trips? “The food and the animals,” he said.

The siblings are writing a book about their travels.

Terika Haynes, a luxury trip planner in Orlando, Florida, said that all of the School from Paradise packages she recently discovered guarantee dedicated workspaces for children. Some add after-school activities, including sports training for student athletes.

Packages range from seven to 21 days, she said.

“It’s a little early to get the numbers as these programs are just getting started. However, these programs are designed for those with higher disposable incomes who are used to luxury,” said Haynes.

In Florida, Marker Key West Harbor Resort began offering private tutors in mid-September. It provides technical assistance for children and educators to address local issues such as the island’s literary history and marine life. So far there have been a handful of caveats.

The extras add $ 225 to $ 250 to the room rate, which varies by date and room type.

“Family vacations are the new excursion,” said Lee Rekas, director of sales and marketing for the resort. “Virtual learning was difficult for many children. They are stuck at screens all day or at home with their parents over their shoulders doing worksheets. “

Stephanie Gunderson, a mother who remains at home in southeastern Pennsylvania, plans a two-week trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina with her four children, ages 5-13, and their school-issued iPads in October. Your husband will be left to work.

They live in a small hut near the beach that they rented at a cheaper out of season price. They pack their food and bypass the usual tourist attractions.

“We mainly plan to stay in the cabin and do schoolwork. This is the # 1 priority for the kids who go to school but then have the late afternoons free to run on the beach or on a trail, ”she said.

Breaux Walker and Edie Silver Walker prefer Stormy, the nearly 30-foot RV they bought for $ 17,000 just before they took off from their home in San Francisco with their sixth-graders and first-graders twins on Aug. 8. Registering with school and doing homework is compulsory, said parents.

“We are working on our WiFi-related travel routes. We use hotspots on our phones a lot, ”said Silver Walker of Ennis, Montana, about seven weeks later.

Reyne, the 11-year-old who took full days of live classes, never missed a moment when Stormy blew an air hose on Interstate 15 in the middle of school in a snow storm north of Helena, Montana.

“She just hopped into the tow truck with her laptop and headphones,” laughed Silver Walker.

Breaux added, “We are in the woods every day after class. You get the coolest, most experienced, and useful education every day. “

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