Welcome to our past
newsletters, indexed on the left. We aren't publishing right
now...maybe in the future!
"We had a wonderful Italian vacation and enjoyed
reading your newsletters for months prior to the trip! Many of
your stories and tips came in handy for our family. Thanks for
all you do to demystify traveling. Keep up the good work.
Ciao!" Juli B
The idea presented by the Kids Europe Newsletter could be cars, pasta, mysterious
Etruscans, the Black Death, weird architecture, fashion,
geology, sports, interesting customs…you get the picture. It
is presented in a brief and lively way so you and your child
can quickly decide if you are interested or not. If so, the
newsletter presents links to Internet resources for immediate
gratification with more information. It also suggests
supporting resources such as books, music, and movies to get
at the library or to order online.
Your Travels to Your Interests
lend excitement and depth to your trip. You won't just walk by
famous sites, but will seek out the sites that support your
family interests. Whether it is pursuing the famous tartuffo
gelato (ice cream) in its native setting, visiting the tombs
of the mysterious Etruscans, or watching for unique models of
cars, your trip will be more personal, memorable, and exciting
when your children have had a chance to develop interests
before their trip.
Cancel Boredom and Whining
Oh, and less boredom and whining, too. All
of this church, museum, art, history, architecture stuff is
boring to many kids (adults, too). They don't understand much
about it and may not have studied it (or studied and didn't
like it), so they whine and mope and fight with each other.
For example, does this picture make sense to you: You have
spent how much money traveling to Italy and now for the first
and, perhaps, only time in your life are standing inside the
magnificent Coliseum in Rome. Your mind conjures up ancient
battles and the chanting crowds of Romans. Then, your kids
start in, "This is boooring. I'm tired. I'm hot. Just a
big bunch of rocks. It's ruined, who cares! Why can't I play
my video game?"
The Kids Europe Newsletter will help them
prepare for their trip and spark their imaginations. Your
family can read the edition of the Discover Italy Newsletter
that suggests watching the movie The Gladiator and then going
to a website that critiques its historical accuracy. It also
suggests some interesting and even goofy books about Roman
gladiators. Those very same kids could be running circles
around you pointing out aspects of the coliseum that they have
learned about and reenacting battles.
Virtual Travel, Too
And if a trip to Italy is far in the future,
the Kids Europe Newsletter can encourage virtual travel,
provide interesting ideas to pursue, and is a good source of
ideas for school reports. A family told me about their virtual
trips, one of the ideas that lead to this newsletter, when
they would prepare a meal (or get take out) themed after the
country they were "visiting," rent a video that
focused on that country, and read stories from that country.
On the Internet, no one knows your age. Even
if you are a child at heart, you will find delightful insights
into Italian culture and history. Adults confide in me that
they got as much out of the source of many of these ideas, the
Italy Discovery Journal, as their children did.
We have built in good educational design
that supports learning without being didactic. We offer a
captivating topic, then the opportunity for immediate
gratification by going to internet sites for more information.
If the child is interested, then links to books, movies, and
music related to the topic are offered.
Why Children Love Disney
It is because Disney is familiar; they've been
watching both the characters and the ads all their lives.
Believe me, they won't "get it" if you plunk them
down in front of the most fabulous sight in the world, if they
have no idea what they are looking at. So, a mission of this
little newsletter and the Italy Discovery Journal is to build
some familiarity to give them touch points, increasing your
whole family's enjoyment of your travels.
This is why
getting familiar with Italy or any place else that you travel
is really important for children. They haven't studied the
country very much, if at all. They don't have a historical,
artistic, or cultural context for enjoying their travels. They don't know what to look for in other cultures in order
to appreciate them. Without a context, this country, people,
all this stuff is just weird and maybe boring. The way people
often react to things that are massively unfamiliar is that
they shut down and reject. Imagine your children refusing to
leave the hotel room; it happens all the time. So let us help