The holiday season often brings ample opportunity to alter our everyday schedule. From parties and events to theater shows and skating, there’s so much to do over the festive season that it can be difficult to stick to routine.
As a lifestyle television producer, my kids often get the chance to do the extraordinary. My step-son Noah, for example, has appeared on both Entertainment Tonight Canada (with his dad) and on The Marilyn Denis Show (with me). The older he gets, the more difficult school becomes and so the debate ensues as to whether or not he should miss class for these fun, entertaining opportunities.
What’s to be learned?
Is there value in this sort of extra-curricular?
My answer is irrefutably, yes. When I was young, my mom used to pull me from class to go on various “special” outings (from mom-daughter shopping to quieter trips to the Ontario Science Centre, without all the crowds). Now that it’s my turn to parent, I vividly remember the excitement and family memories that resulted from those rare days. So, I’d like to create those same sort of memories with our kids.
Recently, I had the opportunity to pull Noah and our neighbour Olivia from school to participate as elves in a Marilyn Denis Show holiday Gift Guide. The kids put aside all school politics (that tend to arise when dressing up, using costume make-up and so on) and stepped outside of their comfort zone. I honestly believe that these opportunities develop skills and memories that can’t be created in the classroom.
In a modern world, so full of technology and screen-time, experiencing the unexpected cannot be valued or stressed enough.
Diversifying life experience for people of all ages is so important. Whether it’s travel or something entirely different, the world and all that exists within it, has something to offer each and everyone of us.
Note: This post in no way devalues the education system. I am a huge proponent of schools, the classroom, our fabulous teachers and the academic system at large. These opportunities to miss school are always weighed against what is being taught in the classroom and school work is always obtained and completed in advance.