So, I thought that if we travel somewhere, my daughters need to enjoy it. But learning while enjoying is probably even more important, so I planned the trip to London with other things in mind – a little bit of this here and a little bit of that there, museums, creativity, self-learning, self-management, independence whatever.
(Note: the photos of this post were taken for my wife’s self-development as she works for the Educational Division of Budapest’s Garbage Company.)
First of all, let’s see the Museums. The first day of the trip (after the incident with the accommodation) was planned around arriving and a little travel in the city, and Luca wanted to start the official program with the Transport Museum of London. And we did that and that was a very good idea, the girls enjoyed it, they were all around the vehicles, getting on and off the buses, following the signs etc.
Luca understood it better, so it was easier for her, but the 4-year-old Pannus loved it too, although she was mostly occupied with the stamp collecting, provided by the museum. Kids had to follow a path and at 13 different places they had to collect a stamp (or a punch, rather) on a paper. She did check everything but the most important thing was the punch.
When I lived in London around 2000 and I was taking care of Stefan, an 8-year-old boy, we visited this Museum quite often, at least twice or three times a year, so I thought it would be good for my daughters. And it was, although Stefan enjoyed it more back then – and I understood the reason later on this trip.
The Science Museum
Now, this was a bit trickier. I thought this is going to be the best part for my daughters – but it proved to be a disaster. Once again I have to tell you that I visited this institution often with Stefan, and he really loved it.
But at this occasion I just realised that Luca just wasn’t the happy Luca whom I had seen one day earlier in the Transport Museum. Anyway, after a couple of questions she told us that it was boring. Well, that was like a hammer hitting my head. There was everything a child need: tools, technology, colours, pictures whatever you want. And no, Luca did not like it.
And then I realised that it was probably because of the language barrier. I translated the texts and everything for her but obviously, it wasn’t the best experience for her. There were a lot of other children around her and us, she had to wait for the translation, she had to wait for the moment I was able to start to translate to her after reading the text, and she may have felt a little bit different there, and she doesn’t really like to be different yet.
We still spent a couple of more minutes there and eventually it became a little bit less stressful for Luca so she started to ease into it and started to find things to play with, so after all it wasn’t a complete disaster, but I thing I learnt the lesson and will take every aspect into consideration – even things like language and tiredness, for example.
So, after it it was more like teaching through questions and answers – I tried to let the girls do whatever they wanted and ask questions whenever they wanted to. I shared (or tried to share) my knowledge with them while talking about history, culture, diversity, migration, environment – so, after all I think it was a good trip in terms of out-of-school learning and information.
And of course as this was the first time they were abroad in a very different community and situation they managed to meet things like spending money, spending money on things you want, travelling in a different system etc.
It was a very, very interesting trip for them and for us, too. Hopefully we all can learn from it.