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Old February 27th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Default Come on...fess up :) taking kids out of school

In texas a school district USED to be able to start early august so that there were more days off during the year. We always had a week off (usually 1 wk and 1 day = 12 days in a row) in Ocotober. Loved it! Always took vacation (disney etc) and were able to enjoy fewer crowds, less heat etc.

now the new law states we have to start late, hence depleting our vacation options.

My son has a wierd few days off in Jan. 17-22. (thur - tues) Having a hard time finding a cruise worth going on from galveston at that time. I did find a 4 day cruise, but for the price 4 days just doesnt seem good enough.

I'm seriously considering taking him out (and not warning the teacher!) next jan for 3 days so we can all do a 7 day cruise on the VOYAGER. We would have to have him back to school the very next day after its over.

Spring break vacations are a joke and a half. I'm taking him to san antonio, but my gosh there are a million people there then also...


Does or has anyone ever done this. Should i just feel so guilty? He will be in 5th grade next year. Funny the guilt is already setting in lol!
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Old February 27th, 2007, 02:00 PM
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No way should you feel guilty! My parents took my out of school every year and we traveled the US. We did always inform the school ahead of time to get the assignments done before we left.

My parents must have done the right thing I am an engineer now with my bachelors and masters degree. Hope that helps you feel better, Carla
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Old February 27th, 2007, 02:30 PM
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In my opinion travelling is a great educational opportunity for any child. They will probably learn more in that week on a cruise than they would ever learn in a classroom. A cruise ship is like one big lesson in sociology and psychology. The ports of call can provide something of a history lesson. Reading..... the menu and the daily Caper. Then there is the math lesson when you look at the sign and sail account on the last day and try to figure out how it got that high. Go and enjoy with no guilt whatsoever.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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I also take mine out of school for cruises. If the teacher balks, ask him/her if you can have your kid do a "special report" on some aspect of the cruise. You could even help your kid take pictures and add them to a report, for instance...
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Old February 27th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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School was definitely no picnic when I was a kid, but here anyway, its even tougher now. My son is in first grade, he's a serious reader, he can tell time, he has homework three nights out of five and writes cursive, which he learned when he was four. My daughter is four and already starting to read and write. My point is that, it seems that kids aren't allowed to be kids anymore. It's all very intense and focused. They are expected to enter kindergarten already knowing so much. When I went to kindergarten, I couldn't even color in the lines. I knew nothing about abc's and 123's. We knew nothing!
Anyhow, I suppose that if my kids were struggling, I might think two or three times about pulling them out of school to cruise or go on a vacation. But my children have gotten so much out of our travels and it offers an education that cannot be provided in the classroom. They have seen so much for being so little. This trip we're going on in 18 days is going to be great for them, We're leaving from New Orleans, and they know about the hurricane and since we were there before the hurricane and they went to school with some kids who relocated here from New Orleans in the aftermath, it will really drive home the point of what those families have gone through. We're going to go to Punta Sur, see some mayan ruins, feed the aligators, snorkel the reef, climb the lighthouse and last time d/h and I were there, we saw a huge tarantula. In Guatemala we'll take a boat tour down the Rio Dulce and swim in the hot thermal springs that spring up from the plates of the earth, and visit a local school and bring them supplies since they are very poor. In Costa Maya we're going to hang out at a beach resort that is struggling to make it because the port owner is making it difficult for cruise passenger to get to the resort. This will be a good lesson in free enterprise. In Belize we are going to take a water taxi just like the folks who live there out to Caye Caulker, I had to laugh when I was reading the rate schedule and it says $2.50 for caged animals lol! then take a glass bottom boat to see the sharks and sting rays and learn all about the mayan and creole culture and explore the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world.
Fortunately this trip is falling during their spring break for the most part. They will only miss one or two days of school, but really even if they missed a week, I think it would be time well spent. I have taken them out of school in the past to cruise and never stressed over it. I just planned ahead and worked with the teacher to ensure the work got done while we were gone. Fortunately the plane and road trips gave us plenty opportunities to do that.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 06:50 PM
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I would never do it. My son (9th Grade) has been on the high honor roll every marking period to date. No way I would risk him falling behind or out of the top of his class for a vacation.

I am a little weird. I think it sets the wrong message that calling in sick is OK. In my state that would be an illegal absents.

Just my opinion.

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Old February 27th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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We've been on 3 cruises the last 3 years and have taken our youngest, now 13 out of school all 3 years.... the week after spring break. We ask every teacher for assignments the week before spring break and he then has the entire spring break week to work on his assignments. Therefore he can enjoy and fully take in the incredible life lesson he is getting from traveling the world and seeing devastation and underdevelopemennt of all the ports of call. It was an unbelievable experience in itself seeing the damage in Cozumel and the entire Yucatan after Katrina and the other storms hit.

Teachers will understand!!!!!
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Old February 27th, 2007, 11:48 PM
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We started cruising when our daughter was in Jr High. Her teachers usually had her create a journal of the experience. I think the cruises let her experience first hand some of the things she learned about in school. There is no comparison to reading about the ruins of Tulum and actually seeing for yourself first hand.

Our 5 grandchildren will be cruising with their parents and us in april. their parents are going to contact the schools before we go and get any assignments they will need to do while they are gone.

Have a great cruise,

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Old February 28th, 2007, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxpm
I would never do it. My son (9th Grade) has been on the high honor roll every marking period to date. No way I would risk him falling behind or out of the top of his class for a vacation.

I am a little weird. I think it sets the wrong message that calling in sick is OK. In my state that would be an illegal absents.

Just my opinion.

Brian
I totally understand your point, and i do think high school is much harder on kids to miss than grade school.

We are allowed 5 unexcused absences per semester (our semesters are 18 weeks long..two semesters per year, so 10 total unexcused absences.)

I'm not saying i would ever let him miss that much (missing more would be a huge no no and subject to truancy laws) but i just wonder how much he'd miss vs what kind of life experience he would gain.

My son has pretty significant ADHD (medicated) and is a strong B student. Not the straight A's he pulled in third grade, but we have reduced his meds because he was so depressive on his meds. I'd rather have a happy smiling kid with lots of friends then a bookworm who has to take prozac

I'm still on the fence. I do not beleive i need to worry about him losing his chance for valedictorian (mostly because he isnt that kind of student darnit)....but i think him missing 3 days in Jan. will be A-OK...
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Old February 28th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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No one knows your kid or his situation better then you. I wouldn't let anyone here influence you either way. Only you know if 3 days will make a strong B a weak B, C or would actually help him grow in other ways.

Isn't parenting fun?

Take care,

Brian
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Old February 28th, 2007, 08:00 AM
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IU take my kids out every year We aleays get omework ahead of time and on our down times they do all the homework needed. As long as your children are good students then take them out mine have always been a bplus or better and never a problem
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Old February 28th, 2007, 08:21 AM
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We are taking the kids out of school (6th & 8th grade) for our cruise next month. We spoke to the teachers before making the decision and they thought it would be fine but they would like to see the kids keep a journal of the week.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 12:15 PM
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We have done it and just returned from the Legend. My son is in the Nat'l Honor Society and a Latinist. I think seeing the Panama Canal was worth missing 3 days of school.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 12:48 PM
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This is becoming a heated topic over on another cruise message board! Here's what I just posted there...

As I write this, we are in Wyoming on a ski vacation. My 8 year old daughter is finishing up her class assignements and preparing to take her spelling test. She has kept up with her reading and journaled about her trip. When she returns she is to give an oral report to the class about the differences between Wyoming and Florida. My son has completed his week's work and continues to write a daily journal about his trip, complete with illustrations and photos. His assignment is to bring a rock from Wyoming to compare with rocks in Florida (their current study topic). On the way here is read two chapter books on the plane. He is 6.

I say if you can take your family on a vacation, do so and teach your children what a priviledge it is. Also drive home the idea that school is a responsibility, even when you are absent, and keep up with the homework daily.

Just my humble opinion. I don't see a downside.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 01:20 PM
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I think that if it's not hear the end of a trimester or semester, and the kid is doing well enough in school that they won't have to struggle to get the work donie or catch up afte the cruise, then do it. Especially for 5th grade, I would say don't do it in 7th or 8th grade as things really get more difficult for kids as they start to have research papers do to on tigiht deadlines. Take your kids out of school through 6th grade nd if you must, try and just have them miss one day. In my case, through our divorce agreement, neither of us is allowed to have him miss school other than for sick days, or if there's a death in the family for the funeral. He had that added after I took our son out of school in 1st grade for a long Veteran's day weekend so he only missed one day and that's really nothing in 1st grade. Ex is an a-hole and I think he just did that becuase he resents that I have sole custody. Oy! My vacations with my son are restricted to the summer, winter and spring breaks he's with me.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 01:21 PM
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one more thought - for a student, having to do school work on a vacation is NOT ideal. I'm sure they'd rather go during one of their breaks than have to deal with anything related to school on a vacation of any type.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:04 AM
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Ive taken them out of school for vacations a few times, and the teachers never give me a hard time, they consider it to be educational to travel.
They do expect homework to be done, or kept up while the kids are out which is comletely understandable.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Our son was an honor student (35 on his ACT) and the penalties were stiff if you were absent. Senior year you could only miss 2 days for illness or you lost a lot of Senior priviledges...so we never took him out.

However, that being said...it does make me angry that the "school" imposes what IT says is a responsible reason not to be there.

My son missed at least FOUR days a year EVERY year to earn KUDOS for the school...ie math competitions, knowledge bowl, science conpetitions, speech debate...and the school thought nothing of our middle school POMPOM team missing 3 days last month to go to a competition in Disney World. So who is sending the wrong message now????

Thank goodness he is in college now...
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 03:35 PM
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Since the implementation of No Child Left Behind school districts have really cracked down on "unexcused absences". Before you go I would check your school district's policy. I know in ours its up to the teacher whether or not they want to give/accept make-up work if its an unexcused absence. If the teacher doesn't want to do it, the child will get zeros on everything missed. After 5 unexcused absenses we may get a visit from the truancy officer and/or possible legal action. Not passing judgment one way or another, but I would check the policy first and then determine whether or not to go.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 04:00 PM
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We've taken our DD out in March and September.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 05:44 PM
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I just don't have a problem with this at all.... I really think that kids learn a ton when seeing the world. Bring some homework and enjoy!
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 06:25 PM
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I agree with Darcy, you have to know the school policy on absences. In Oregon since the " No child left behind" we have no unexcused absence days. I think in elementary school you shouldn't have to worry about taking the kids out. I used to take my kids to Disneyland [ when I could get time off and it was never during school breaks ] and the teacher sent homework. Once my stepdaughter hit high school they lost all tolerence for missing days. She was in the hospital for illness and missed three days and they were ready to send her to night school because she missed too many days, and that was hospital time. I think families should be the judge of what impact it will have on the childs school work. they grow up so fast and those vacation times are so wonderful. Will it really change their future to spend a week away from school and bond with the fam?
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 10:52 PM
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Great discussion!

:::Margaret's thinking she's so glad they homeschool!::::

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Old March 2nd, 2007, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxpm
I would never do it. My son (9th Grade) has been on the high honor roll every marking period to date. No way I would risk him falling behind or out of the top of his class for a vacation.

I am a little weird. I think it sets the wrong message that calling in sick is OK. In my state that would be an illegal absents.

Just my opinion.

Brian
Wow! A little hard on your son maybe? Not that I am in any position to say but just keep in mind that people (especially younger) need a balance of school and social life. All I am saying is don't turn him into a hermit. Plus if my dad was as strict as u sound I would have ditched school regularly anyways just in spite of him (not that I didn't ditch a lot cause I did).


* Also keep in mind a lot of kids don't always have to be there to earn good marks. I missed tons of high school, never did any homework, never studied for tests and got an overall GPA of 3.67 or something similar. Same with college I am in now. I barely ever go to my classes! Just study the day before the midterm and final. I have over 60 college credits and haven't received lower than a B.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 01:16 AM
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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
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prylwd
Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxpm
I would never do it. My son (9th Grade) has been on the high honor roll every marking period to date. No way I would risk him falling behind or out of the top of his class for a vacation.

I am a little weird. I think it sets the wrong message that calling in sick is OK. In my state that would be an illegal absents.

Just my opinion.

Brian
Wow! A little hard on your son maybe? Not that I am in any position to say but just keep in mind that people (especially younger) need a balance of school and social life. All I am saying is don't turn him into a hermit. Plus if my dad was as strict as u sound I would have ditched school regularly anyways just in spite of him (not that I didn't ditch a lot cause I did).


* Also keep in mind a lot of kids don't always have to be there to earn good marks. I missed tons of high school, never did any homework, never studied for tests and got an overall GPA of 3.67 or something similar. Same with college I am in now. I barely ever go to my classes! Just study the day before the midterm and final. I have over 60 college credits and haven't received lower than a B.

Good luck. Sounds like you have some daddy issues. You figured out a lot about me and my parenting skills from a couple of sentences.

If that's all true (which I doubt) you should keep in mind that you are less then half way through school. If I were you I would start buckling up now. It will catch up with you soon either when you get farther into school or when you hit a real job working for a boss. I have fired lots of people that were brilliant but scared me because they weren't dependable, waited to the last minute, or did "B" work.

Brian
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prylwd
Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxpm
I would never do it. My son (9th Grade) has been on the high honor roll every marking period to date. No way I would risk him falling behind or out of the top of his class for a vacation.

I am a little weird. I think it sets the wrong message that calling in sick is OK. In my state that would be an illegal absents.

Just my opinion.

Brian
Wow! A little hard on your son maybe? Not that I am in any position to say but just keep in mind that people (especially younger) need a balance of school and social life. All I am saying is don't turn him into a hermit. Plus if my dad was as strict as u sound I would have ditched school regularly anyways just in spite of him (not that I didn't ditch a lot cause I did).


* Also keep in mind a lot of kids don't always have to be there to earn good marks. I missed tons of high school, never did any homework, never studied for tests and got an overall GPA of 3.67 or something similar. Same with college I am in now. I barely ever go to my classes! Just study the day before the midterm and final. I have over 60 college credits and haven't received lower than a B.
I just saw some of your other posts. Sometimes you are 20 having a 21st birthday in April. In other posts you are 22. You brag about excessive drinking.

Thanks for reaffirming my faith in leaving my son in school and teaching him values. You couldn't have help reinforce my point any more.

Thanks,

Brian
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 05:47 PM
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This is one of the hardest questions for anyone other than a parent(s) or educators to answer.

How old is the child?

How successful of a student are they?

Do you plan on taking school work with them on the cruise and will there be time set aside for them to do it?

What do you plan on doing on the cruise?

What do you plan on doing on doing on shore?

I believe that if you plan on going on the cruise and having the child go to the video arcade and the shore excursions are spending time on the beach or visiting the Cozumel shopping malls then there is no reason that the child should take time out of school so you can get a vacation. Your child's real education comes first. If you turn it into a real educational experience then you may be able to take them from school.

Learn about ship's operation. Do a report on the International make up of the crew. Find a way to interview with a ship's officer and understand the mechanical, navigational, or hotel operations of the ship.

Do shore excursions that actually interact with the people or the geography of the island. Do snorkeling excursions that identify different types of fish or sea life. Go on a "eco excursion" to identify wildlife. Take an excursion to the Mayan Ruins and have them write a report, with pictures about the Mayans including the information they learned while at the ruins. If you do this then this makes it an educational experience. If not then it's just a vacation and an excuse to get out of school and a chance for the family to cruise at cheaper rates.

That's my opinion.
Mike
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:33 PM
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While onboard on the 1st of March, I was amazed at the amount of children who were on the ship instead of being in school. Here it is, a week or two before spring break, depending on the school districts, and the parents had the children out of school for a week and then they will be out the following week as well. That's two weeks of school that they will miss because of poor planning by the parents.

This also teaches the children that school is NOT as important as getting away for a vacation. This could (and probably will) be ingrained in them and when they become adults in the work force, looking to take time off instead of working could become the norm and that could harm the economy.

My $2.00 worth.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 09:42 PM
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Default kids out of school for vacations

Wow, After reading the above posts, I am sure to be of the vast minority, but here goes nothing. It sounds as if no other school district except ours has any vacation time over Christmas, Easter, or summer. Parents, it seems, absolutely MUST take their kids out of school in order to have any family vacation time. Sad. We have taken our four children (19, 17, 15, and 13 yrs old) to Europe, on a 7-day Disney land and sea vacation, to Hawaii for 9 days, two ski mini-trips, and on a week to two week camping trip each year for the past 13 years. The number of days TOTAL that all have missed is 2. Not uncoincidently, all are on the A-Honor Roll, multiple-sport athletes, musicians, and are involved in extra-curricular clubs. Yes, I may have been obsessive, but on the other hand, we didn't miss out on family vacations.
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1st, absent, cruise, due, educational, excessive, excuse, family, grade, job, kids, legality, school, taking, vacation

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