I am a teacher myself and at one point in my life, it irritated me to no end when parents would pull their kids out of school to go on ski trips and the like. I think it came from the pressures of State testing and mastery learning.
My philosophy is a bit different now and have been known to take my DD out of school for vacations and family functions. On our last cruise, by taking her out 2 days early at the end of school, we saved over $1000. We are going during Spring Break this month and she will miss the Friday before and the Monday after for travel.
I think I agree with those who have favored the knowlege gained from travel is as important as the hours spent inside a classroom limited by 4 walls. JMO
thank god for teachers like you! You guys are so under paid and under appreciated...i have a family full of teachers and my daughter is in college now to be a teacher. kudos to you!
On that note, i DID take my DS out of school last October (we had a weeks fall break) but we took him out one extra week. Why? We went to disney and to the beach, but if we left for disney the week before then all our meals were free, i'm talking anything our hearts desired at the most expensive restaurants in the "world". It was a phenomenal time and saved us 1,500.00! The actual week of his break we spent hunting for megladon teeth on venice beach, deep sea fishing and swimming on the most beautiful beach (3rd anyway according to the travel channel) Siesta Key. It was indescribable how wonderful the whole trip was.
However a very good friend of mine was a friend of a 4th grade teacher who actually told my friend "can you believe that girl Libby...taking her son out of school for a week just to go to disney" she then proceeded to bad mouth my parenting skills to my friend. Needless to say i let her know the next time i saw her how inappropriate it was for her to discuss a student with someone outside that students family, or parents for that matter.
As a pediatric nurse i am sure i would be sued, lose my license etc if i were to discuss her child with my friend. There is a level of trust btw teachers and students and families, and a large level of privacy and confidentiality that i'm sure is part of both our careers.
I guess this is why im a little scared to do this next year, because of what happened this year, It just proved to me that my sons teacher was discussing this with other teachers over lunch, as i hadnt mentioned it to my friend or her friend for that matter. I'm sure they were all talking about how bad a parent i was!
oh well....sigh. I agree my son will remember that disney trip, eating fabulous food in 5 star restaurants, watching WISHES from on top of the contemporary hotel in the California Grill while eating his first sushi. Catching a baby shark (and releasing him ) and finding 150+ prehistoric sharks teeth on the beaches of venice, much more than what he'd remember in the week prior to a fall break....that is somthing he will NEVER forget, 50 yrs from now he will remember it fondly!
I take my kids (6th grade and 10th grade) out of school for one week each year to cruise. My kids bring home A's and B's and have yet to miss a day of school this year. I cruise every year either march or april and get some good deals. my next cruise is 4/29 that same cruise in the summer months when school is out would cost me $1,500 more. the teacher never gives homework to take on vacation they make my kids make it up when they get back and give them enough time to make it up.
This is my rule - if my kids are doing well in school and have not missed a day i have no problem taking them out for a week.
my high school son is on the honor roll and it is never a problem taking him out for a week. our school system allows up to 12 days off for the year and my kids take 6 (5 for the cruise and 1 in june right before school is out for the summer).
We have taken our kids out of school for trips before also. When they hit Jr. High it got more difficult given the amount of homework they get. They all go to Catholic schools and obviously I pay tuition. I do not tell them we are going on vacation-I send in a note saying they will not be in school from xdate to xdate and leave it at that. As far as I am concerned it really isn't any of their business. They all nixed any ideas of taking off while in High School though as the thought of making up all the honors and AP homework made it so not worth it for them. Another thing to think about is that some parents aren't lucky enough to have time off when their kids are off. It is very difficult for my husband to get Easter break and Christmas off. He does get a week or two off in the summer, but sometimes it is in Aug. when the kids have started fall sports so we can't travel then. It really is a parental choice and I wouldn't let the school tell me if it was approriate or not.
My family and I will be going April 28th aboard the Holiday. My daughter is 8 and will miss a week of school. We filled out a form from the school stating where we will be going and what educational things she will learn while on the trip. It was approved by the principal and I have no reservations about her missing these days of school! I think this will be a great experience for her!!!
I wouldn't worry about taking him out of school for 3 days. Especially that early in the school year. I took my boys out of school for a week when they were in elementary school and it wasn't a problem. Now that they are in middle and high school I wait till school vacation weeks to go away. At that grade level it is much too hard to catch up.
We took our kids out the 2nd week of January, right after the 2 week Christmas break. #1 the first week back is always quiet here, mainly catchup. #2 by going this week we saved $$$ as the Christmas break is always a rip off by raising the prices triple in some cases. #3 we drove so took the week before when they were off anyway to drive down to Florida from Ontario. #4 travelling to different countries is also a great education for the kids...the things they have learned from other countries is great and they realize how lucky they are.
We have taken them out a week before the March break as well at times as it is way cheaper to travel in that week. Why pay sometimes $1000 more per person just so they don't miss school?? Here the teachers will give the kids work to take with them if needed, which has not happened. Sometimes when we get back the kids have a few days of extra homework to catch up, but it has NEVER been a problem or an issue. Now I would not be taking them out if there was exams or important tests, which we always check beforehand as well.
Wow, now you have me thinking. My parents are celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary next year in October. Us kids and lots of family and friends are joining them on a cruise to celebrate. I have a niece that will be a junior then a one that will be a sophmore. Will they have to miss this cruise because of school?
Do not get me wrong, education is very important and should not be minimalized. On the other hand, should family and those marks in a families history be minimalized?
How does one prioritize school and family ... which comes first and which comes second? If school (and work later) becomes the priority over family, what is that teaching our young people ...
Understand, I do not advocate missing school because a child just does not feel like going or would rather go to the mall or what have you. I just wonder what is more important, school (work) or family?
I still state my opinion... Parents should take the kids on vacation when school is OUT!! That is why it is called SCHOOL VACATION.
This thread rates up there with the age policies of drinking on cruises and underage adults.
Really? I would rather i take my child out for 3 days of school then let my underage teen drink on a ship with no parental supervision.....
now since texas implemented early start late release schedules (love law makers who have no kids btw) we are so limited by school breaks its ridiculous. It only leaves us summer and honestly we cant afford it during those months, so its off time or no time for our bank book.
a few years ago my sons then 3rd grade teacher did not like the idea that i was taking him out of school. however i took him out for a week came back got his work done that he missed and that was the end of that. it did not effect his grades in anyway. just last year that same teacher took off during the school year to go to hawaii for two weeks with her family. the class had a sub for two weeks.
every vacation destination hikes up the prices during summer and school breaks. why pay thousands more.
but i also understand those who rather not take the kids out of school that is fine too. to each his own.
there is no right or wrong on this topic but whatever works for your own family.
I see that there are varying opinions about taking kids out of school. I will state again that I once felt that school attendance is more important than family vacations. My opinion has changed.
I am a Texan now living in Kansas. Our two education systems are very different. We do not get a fall break and barely get one week off at Christmas here in Kansas. Ahhh, how I miss Christmas Break in Texas!
The older I get, the easier I find it to "color outside of the line" or to bend/break some rules. In my younger years, I was a deputy-sheriff and I truly believe that it shaped my opinions about following the norm. I used to believe that something was either right...or is was wrong. No mitigation. Again, as I am greying a bit here..I have a different outlook on life.
I am my child's first teacher. I am ultimately responsible for what my child learns. I trust her teachers/district to teach what they can, given the restrictions set upon them by NCLB, etc. A classroom cannot give my daughter the same life experiences/lessons that travel with her family can offer. DD works hard ALL year long...not just during the academic year. She is a tri-athelete that competes all year long . She is an average student with As and Bs. (here's another difference-a 93 is a B here ) , but all learning is limited by the budget constraints of a small district. The way I look at it, (as long as I am not abusing the absences) I am enriching her life with memorable experiences with which she will be able to make excellent life choices when the time comes.
<I will now slink over to my corner and wait for the flames that are certain to come my way>.
OK, this is my first post, but I really wanted to reply to this. My husband and I have only taken our kids on one cruise, and yes they did miss a week of school last February. We really agonized over the decision, but don't regret it for a minute. They learned so much, and yes we chose shore excursions that would be educational as well as entertaining.
Our school district makes it very hard for us to plan vacations on a budget without taking the kids out of school. You see, we end late, and have really odd vacations. For the past four years the kids have only had about one week off at Christmas - and we are a military town where most everyone is from somewhere else!!!! This year they had a half day on the 23rd, and had to go back Jan. 2nd. Instead of nice long breaks throughout the year there are several times where they get a day or two off for "staff developement". It's so frustrating when they get a Tuesday off one week (we never have school on election day) then the next week they are off two days for conferences - and it's all broken up so that you can't plan to do anything!
Education is important, but there are different kinds. They learn more seeing things in person as opposed to looking at pictures in books.
Yep, this is certainly an issue that is for each family to decide. It does, however, sound like the writers FOR taking kids out of school feel they must vehemently defend their position. And we all attempt to take vacations within our means, whether that is camping for a week in the summer (surely most people and students get off one week in the summer) or cruising for a week during the school year. I am sure eveyone's children are appreciative of the planning that goes into a family vacation.
I never had to take my kids out of school for a vacation. I also would never subject them to homework on a cruise just to make myself feel less guilty about it. I am also a part time teacher, and see all the kids who transfer into Texas from other states. I see how far behind they are, so I understand how easy it is to take them for a week, and not miss anything, so I understand both sides.
Texas schools move fast. If you start missing days, you have a very difficult time making it up. Our laws are very strict as well.
I would hope that if your school district does not bat an eye at you taking your kids out for vacation, then why don't they? Is your tax dollars being spent in the right way? Is your child getting everything they deserve out of education?
I can give you a good example. For the record, I am a Georgia girl.
I am working with a fifth grader from Georgia. Her parents just joined the military, and they were sent here to Ft. Hood. She was making straight A's there. She arrived here, and is six months behind Texas 5th grade students. By law we could have put her back a grade, but didn't want to traumatize the child, so extra help has been offered. Special classes to get her caught up, as well as learning at the pace we go.
This child could have easily missed time in Georgia, but not in Texas.
Remember, not just children but all of us are constantly learning. We can learn just about anywhere, but students also need the classroom instruction.
Now the question you have to keep in mind is " Is my child getting the best education in the area we live in?"
My child has missed school (with and without informing the school) for all-star cheer competitions. Last year the school board said, "Sure they can go and make up the work, it's a great opportunity and reflects well on our community." BESE came in and nixed that, so this year the team went without officially notifying the school. Depending on the teacher, they may or may not have shared their exact activity. Just because a parent writes a note, "Please excuse Mary's absence on March 14, 2007, she had an appointment." doesn't mean you are lying or consider school to be any less important. A well-rounded child needs many experiences.
These kids are great athletes and exemplary students. They work hard at everything they do. Missing the 2-3 days wasn't an academic problem for them. The work was easily made up.
However, my oldest child struggled in school. She had learning disabilities and she had to work 3-4 times harder than any other student just to make a C (or a D in Math). I couldn't let her miss a single day unless she was seriously ill. It wasn't fair to her. Luckily, she excelled in dance and those competitions were on the weekends. This was where she surpassed her peers. We couldn't take that away, but luckily it all worked out!
Personally, I think if you are a parent, you are a good judge of how things will affect your child academically and socially. I say make your own call for your own child based upon your individual circumstances. A mother's intuition is often the better predictor!
Have fun...no matter what you decide!
If you are going to walk on thin ice, you may as well dance!