Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Sheltons
'We Went To Puerto Rico To Give Our Kids A New Remote Learning Environment'
A sign of the times means students across the country now attending school, virtually. We’ve seen parents and teachers posting about the frustrations of it all, and we’ve even seen viral photos of what appears to be students visibly upset from trying to adjust.
Jermail and Brandi Shelton decided to pack their bags, and take their 11 and 7-year old sons to Puerto Rico to provide a more calming environment as they adjust to remote learning. The couple owns Atlanta’s Just Add Honey Tea Co., and found they too needed a break for the day in, and day out of running their business.
The family decided on Aguada, Puerto Rico, which is about 2.5 hours from San Juan.
“We chose Puerto Rico for several reasons,” Jermail told Travel Noire. “The kids are currently learning remotely and we wanted to add experiences to their learning since they’ve essentially been inside the house for 6 months. Aguada isn’t a tourist destination, so we knew it would be quieter than San Juan.”
They were able to book a home via Airbnb under the ‘monthly stays’ option. Their must-haves when choosing a place were great wifi, and a home on the beach. They also brought their own Wifi box, just in case the signal was spotty while the kids were in class.
“A lot of hosts are offering a percentage off if you stay 30 days or more. We got our home at a 45% discount and it cost right at $2,000 for the entire month.”
The Shelton’s cook most meals at the home, but they made sure to set aside money to be able to support many of the local businesses when they can. They also budgeted around $1,500 for hands-on adventures around the island, when the kids have down time.
According to Jermail, his sons are enjoying the change of scenery and are actually adjusting very well.
“It’s been amazing,” he said. “They wake up with the sun around 6:30 a.m. to exercise. They swim in the pool at lunch, and walk along the beach after school. We’ve noticed they’ve been more relaxed while doing their school work because of the scenery.”
As for running their thriving business back in Atlanta, the couple shares that their team has been amazing at handling things while they are away. They put a plan and systems in place, for things to run just as smoothly as if they were there.
“So often we thought we had to be around everyday for the business to run. Since being away we’ve been more creative about future plans, and have taken care of business with a clearer head.”
The plan is to only stay for 30 days, but with things going so well the family is heavily considering extending their time in Puerto Rico. They’ve been able to spend more time together as a family, while also providing their sons with new experiences they wouldn’t get at home.
For other families that may be considering a similar escape, Jermail said “plan and do it! If you think about it too much, you’ll find a way to talk yourself out of it, like we almost did.”
To catch more of the family’s adventure or to ask them any questions, you can find them on social media at: @jermailshelton and @tealadystylist. To check out their tea business, you can find it at: @justaddhoney.