I can't believe what I am hearing from the family board. Many people think it is just fine to take their kids out of school just to save a few dollars on discount cruises. Education is the most important thing for kids today. Parents are teaching their kids that education can take a back seat when pleasure is believed to be more important. I have heard that they will do their schoolwork when they are onboard or they will learn a great deal by being in other countries. What are they going to learn when they are swimming in the Caribbean or when mommy is shopping at the jewelry boutiques? There is plenty of time to cruise when school is out. My wife is a schoolteacher and I am in my senior year at college to become a history/political science teacher. We have three kids and we would never take them out of school just to cruise. My eight-year-old son brings home a great deal of homework every night during the school year. Not only do I have to do mine, but also part of the new school program is for parents to assist their kids in their work as well. I have to sign off each evening to affirm that is was done in compliance with these new methods. What would happen if they missed one whole week? Unthinkable.
Frankly, I think missing a week of grade 2 or 3 will not impact a child's ultimate educational development... and can be made up for with "life experiences". Missing a week of high school or college might not be so cut and dry.
they can work with the teachers to develop lesson plans they could implement on the ship..having the wonderful opportunity to meet people from all around the world and different walks of life, that they would not encounter at home is in itself an education
I respect your view on this and you know what's best for your child, but my son had the opportunity to see the world over a number of years by traveling with me sometimes during the school year, and I think he is the better for it
Sorry Kuki, but the early grades are important for kids because they are learning the fundamentals of reading and writing. One week can put a child at a disadvantage. My six year old son just finished his first year of school and not only was he learning to reading and write but also the ability for him to adopt a regular routine which he will continue when he gets to college.
If one week is putting your "child at a disadvantage", then you have more serious problems then taking your kid out of school.
Pulling your kids out at the high school level should not be done on a regular bases. Most parents, if they make the decision to do it, will do so based on their kid. Everyone is different. Therefore it is an individual decision. Obviously, grade school is easier, however if I were to do so, I can tell you it will not set my kids back. My kids have adopted a regular routine. They are very responsible, and can certainly tell the difference for when school should be a priority and a once and a lifetime trip. Having quaility family time, that is very hard to fit in with all their "routines", is important also.
We too have a lot of homework, and have to be a part of it! All the more reason! There is also less and less summer left for today's kids. Between taking additional classes so you can have more AP's, studying for "test out" classes, sport camps and practices that they must go to, varying religious commitments were lucky if we have one week.
I have taken my three kids (age 8, 10 and 16) out of school each of the last 3 years for cruising without any problems and with their teachers' blessing. In fact, I took them out twice for 10 days each this year for two cruises (we don't usually do this, but my husband won the 2nd cruise in a workplace raffle so we couldn't pass it up). They didn't miss much on the first cruise (September) since it was during the fist month of school when the class was basically just reviewing from last year. The 2nd cruise (May) happened to coincide with the NCLB/Star testing here in California so they didn't miss any actual schoolwork since they would have only been testing anyway.
It worked out really well for my family cruising while the rest of the class took the standardized testing. I have never liked all the pressure put on the kids to perform on these tests, but I didn't know until this year (I learned it on these boards!) that parents in California have the legal right to opt their kids out of testing. Now that I know, I will be trying to plan all future cruises to coincide so they won't miss any real work.
Every child is different. Some can miss a week or two of school without suffering any, while for others it would be devastating. I think the child's parents are in the best position to weigh the positives and negatives and determine what is best for their family.
Gee, what would happen if the kids were out of school for a whole week? Hmm, nothing, that's what. Especially in grade school, kids are learning and reinforcing what they are learning all the time. With advance notice, teachers assign the work the kids would have covered or other assignments they feel appropriate. My son (a consistent B+ student) never fell behind, did all his work and even stayed ahead because of the trip. As he has gotten older, High School is more of a challenge, but based on inputs from his teachers, a block schedule (where he misses at most 3 of any particular class in a week), and the fact that we solicit his input to make sure we are not placing an undue burden on him, taking him out of school for a day, week, or whatever, is usually not a problem.
BTW, traveling to various places around the world, learning a foreign language that he can actually apply in the real world, scuba diving and snorkiling (where he applies what he has learned in science classes, etc. has made him (and I'm sure makes most kids) a more well rounded person.
Just like people who work, students sometimes can't wait for school breaks or vacations and need a little time to recharge their batteries.
>>I think the child's parents are in the best position to weigh the positives and negatives and determine what is best for their family.>>
You hit it right on the head CA. Guess we just have different approaches to education FamilyMan, but MY son learned a heck of a lot more about Belize than he would have in traditional school and we didn't even end up in Belize because of the hurricanes!
He is required to do a lot of prep work before cruising. He learned about the political system in Belize, eco tourism, language, history - you name it. That was in addition to his regular schoolwork, which he completed each time he cruised (twice) with no problems.
I said it on the family board - learning can happen anywhere not just behind the doors of a school.
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I can't believe what I am hearing. Pulling your kids out of school to learn about your cruise stops is worth one week of school. I cannot believe how much has changed since I was a kid in school. My parents would never pull me out for a week. Not even for a day. I can see now that they knew what was more important for me. My Dad always said that everything I wanted to do or see would be there after I completed my responsibilities. The world was not going anywhere and would be there when I completed my task. What I am gathering or reading between the lines is the world is fill of selfish people with selfish desires. Can anyone give me one reason for not waiting until the summer vacation months to take a cruise? Saving money is not an answer. So please don't give me a cope out reason. Like I said before, how much did your son or daughter really learn about Belize when he was sitting on a beach, or did he spend an hour or two in the computer lab on the ship researching the information?
Re: Re: Taking the kids out of school for a cruise
Alot of people cannot always cruise in the summer. I have taken my kids out of school for a week every other year to cruise with us. I always get the teacher and the school priciple ivolved in the decision. The way my husbands vacation time falls we cruise in October. I would never presume to tell other people what to do with their life and how to run it. Our decision to cruise in October is also monetary(there i said it). My taking the kids aout of school is not going to affect the life of people outside of my own family. I do not beleive the kids really miss that much in one week that it will affect the rest of their lives. I think it does add to the educational process of life to see what is on the other side of where you live.
Re: Re: Taking the kids out of school for a cruise
Agree with Dorothy and others that kids can learn a great deal by travelling. Exposure to other cultures/customs is extremely valuable. My son was learning about Mexico in his grade 2 class this year and could share firsthand knowledge of the culture/language etc. Sure, if a kid is struggling in school I would not consider taking them out for vacation. We have found with our own kids that they are so far ahead in their schoolwork that missing a week does not put them behind. Usually just a little extra homework before the trip is all that is necessary. Teachers have all been very supportive.
Re: Re: Re: Taking the kids out of school for a cruise
My son has worked so hard for the perfect attendance trophy!!! this last year (third grade) he finally had a year that didn't involve missing school due to illness, and he finally won the trophy. He missed 8 days since kindergarten!! He is in a gifted and talented program, as well as music magnet monday thru friday an extra hour a day, plus a private lesson during school! Now, that is a lot for a little guy. So this year, he gets a three day break in October, and I am really proud of him and the work he has done, and the drive he has for perfection. But this time, we are venturing outside of the box and taking three days out of school, and going on a seven day cruise I am sure he will remember how great it was that we took him on an adventure, and that is truly the most important thing in my childrens life.
When we went on our cruise last year... My brother and I were taken out of school. We did just fine. We got our homework, finished it, and turned it in before we even left. So, we doubled up our work load so that we could enjoy ourselves for our vacation. When we came back, we were able to easily catch up on what our classes were doing. And when we went to ports, we were told to write a travel journal telling what we saw, did, and learned. It taught us a lot about the culture in other countries. We made a port call in St. Martinique. I am taking French, and was able to hear and communicate with the locals a bit. That helped me a lot with my learning. Well, that's a point of view from a school child's eyes.
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I am taking my son out of kindergarten in November for two weeks to go on two back to back cruises. He will be spending extra time during the preceeding month getting ahead on his work and we'll have a long journey to the port and back to study as well. This past year, I took him out of K4 (preschool) for three weeks to cruise and take a vacation, We planned ahead and worked with his teacher to ensure he had his work done during his absence and his school performance was well above average. By the end of the school year he was starting to read and do simple addition.... not too bad for a four year old.
My point in mentioning this is that I feel that if the child and parents are willing to lay out a plan of action so that the child does not fall behind and follow through with it, why not reward their self - discipline and good behavior by taking them on a cruise?
Schools give prizes for attendance because reliability is an important lesson to learn.
My parents, also, would never think of taking us out of school unless we were really sick.
Ahh, but things are different now, maybe that's why I work with a gaggle of giddy girls who can't figure out how to make it out their door and come in to work because they are just too busy with "life's experiences"
I believe it depends on the child, the parents and educator. Does the child have the ability to leave a structured environment for that period of time? Do the parents have the ability to determine this? Does the educator have the ability to prepare the parent and the child with material so the child will keep up with their classmates and will the parents see to it that the child does the work required? If the answer is no to any of these things (If the parents want to cruise then the answers will be yes) then the child should stay in school.
In many instances life experiences are the best learning experiences a child can have. If a child comes away from a cruise learning that Mexico is a shopping mall in Cozumel then it wasn't a very enriching experience. If the cruise is just for fun, then that's great but don't sacrifice their education for it. But if you are trying to make it a learning experience then do it. It would be a great chance to learn about marine biology, marine engineering, etc.
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"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
"Can anyone give me one reason for not waiting until the summer vacation months to take a cruise? Saving money is not an answer."
Cruising during the summer months is something that is very difficult for us due to our work schedules and also the extra cost involved in traveling during the peak season. It's nice for you to make the sweeping statement that saving money is not an answer, but if it's the difference between taking a family vacation and not taking one, it most definitely is an answer.
Also, this year cruising during the summer would have been impossible for my 16 year old who was getting a jump start on college by taking summer school courses at a local university. He was able to get his entire first semester of college completed in 2 six week summer sessions! Not bad for a kid who only just completed his sophomore year of high school! He is planning on taking courses again next summer and the summer after he graduates high school and will have completed almost 2 years of college by the time he "officially" starts in the fall of 2007. We felt that this opportunity was far more important to him than missing a couple weeks of high school.
My two younger children learned valuable lessons from our trip to Mexico that they could have never learned in a classroom. Seeing the poor conditions that many mexican families live in and seeing children younger then themselves having to beg for money to help support their families taught them how to appreciate the things they have and how to feel compassion for those less fortunate then themselves. These are lessons that will stick with them the rest of their lives. I knew it really hit home when they both asked if next time we can bring some of their toys to give to the children. I doubt anythning they could have learned in the two weeks of missed school could have had that kind of impact!
Cruising during the summer is great if you can, but for those who can't, I stick by my original statement that only the parents are in a position to judge what is best for their family. For mine, taking the kids out of school was definitely the right thing to do.
Other parents always thought me odd for the way I looked at my daughter's schooling and "days out". I told her if she ever got up in the morning and did not feeling like going to school she didn't have to. She could spend the day doing whatever she wanted to do. She graduated in the top of her class - A honor role. And her attendance was nigh on perfect. I think because she knew she didn't have to go she wanted to go. She is now in her thirties and has only missed two days of work - while she was in the hospital. Education comes in many way - not just the hours in school but 24/7. Take the kids and go- that's what they will remember and strive for later on. IMHO - ttfn Jennifer
It's our call to decide whether we take our kids out or not.
Both of our kids teachers endorse it year after year
our kids learn a lot more than a week or 2 in school
education is a lot more than reading and writing (I mean real world education) - life skills
kids will remember a vacation - special family time will mean a lot more in the long run over 1 week in school (no one can recall any specific week in school - but most of us recall memorable moments or family vacations)
what is missing with our kids today is exactly that - TIME - DOING STUFF - LAUGHING AND SHARING MOMENTS - (kodak commercial)
kids get something they will never get in school: learning other cultures and MORE important - seeing how other people live and being thankful to God what we have and they way we live (big lesson for life)
So you say education is taking a back seat - no it's not!
School is taking a back seat to education (other types - family, life, real world)
We made our daughter (7) bargain for something for the first time on our last cruise. Before that, she had no concept of it. She thought you just paid and left. (same thing with ATM's mommy and daddy walk up - put a little plastic thing in - and money comes out - WOO HOO)!! - or - you eat a nice meal, daddy scribbles his name on a piece of paper.....and off we go WOO HOO.
Don't you think bargaining or negotiating skills, learned early in life, and later mastered, will help her a lot more in life than algebra? Things like, negotiating wages for a new job, buying a new car, buying a house, selling a used car, or her skills in negotiating in the boardroom and through life.....
Oh, I'm sure this bunch of girls at work are all orphans, no one would consciously admit to have raised them I doubt they could find North America on a map much less an ocean on which it boarders. Maybe they should taken more cruises instead of calling in sick to go to Cancun, or usher concerts, or road trips to LA.
How does a child gain greater knowledge about the world by cruising? What ever happened to reading? I learned about the world by reading, not by sitting one a ship. Who are they going to talk to that will give them a greater understanding about the world? The waiters and stewards of the ships? Give me a break! I put a moneys bet that the parents put their kids into the childrenís program and run of to the pool and a few drinks. My wife and I are cruising this summer; we have been married for ten years. We saved up every penny for our cruise, not one cent on our credit cards. We havenít taken a vacation for about two and a half years because of the economic and time restraints. Well we survived without cruising. Yes it was tough. I think that people should try to understand that the world is all about work, with a few brief periods of pleasure. Putting aside reality does not make sense, but thatís what youíre teaching your children. Hey banker, I guess your not doing very well in your profession, if you need to take your kids out of school just to save a dollar. Like I said before, all those experiences can wait until the school years ends.
I agree with you, Family Man, the "dumbing down" of our kids is becoming more & more acceptable, and people are trying to qualify vacations being more important than education just so they can have their fun time. No wonder I'm forced to talk to ignorant children who don't know how to spell or speak properly. Teaching your kids that education is secondary is just going to go down the family lines, to their kids, to their kids, etc., etc., etc. Then of course it's okay to call sick into work if you have something better to do...
Maybe it's true that the world says that Americans aren't as interested in education...sad....
A kid these days can't even give you the correct change if the register isn't working and can't tell them how much to give!!
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Banker, Your post was well said and right on. I think we all know Familyman's real intentions of this post. I find it interesting that on the family cruising board, that he spoke of, he has no post on that whatsoever. No, he has to come on the gripe board and start a new one just so he can stir people up. Sad very sad.
Family man: Quote: "I think that people need to understand that life is all about work with a few brief periods of pleasure".
I really feel sorry for you. What else can I say. You just don't get it. Sad.
When my kids were 8 & 9 we didn't go cruising but we did have them start school a week late so we could go to Disney World for 10 days. (they actually missed 5 days of school) Before the previous school year ended, we talked to their new teachers and told them of our plans. Both teachers gave the kids worksheets to do on our trip. They also had the kids write a journal of what they did, saw and learned every night. Yes, there is things to learn in Disney, especially in EPCOT. My kids were very good about taking about 30-40 minutes each night doing the worksheets and writing in their journal. When we got home and they started school, they had to do a presentation from their journals for the class. Both got an exceptional grade and remarks from their teacher.
As they got into the higher grades, however, I would not even think about taking them out of school for a trip. I don't think it was problem in the lower grades. Having said that, I agree with others that it is an individual child/parent issue. Some kids are okay missing some school time, while others would be set further behind. For those who do take their child out of school for a vacation, I would hope that they would have the child do homework, read books and the idea of writing a journal.
BTW--both of my children graduated from high school with honors and are now doing wonderful in college.
Family man--How can kids learn by cruising? Well, I took my kids on a 12 night cruise to the Mediterranean and it gave them so much more of an understanding of history than looking at some pictures in a book. To walk through Pompeii, the roman forum, the Acropolis, the Vatican museum, etc. brought history to life. They learned an appreciation for other cultures and languages that will stay with them forever. I would take them out of school in a heartbeat to do that again(and I plan to).
what I think is sad is the kids now can't add or subtract without the help of a calculator,and I blame this on the teachers,I have two sons both have graduated from high school,but the days of doing home work with them are still fresh in my mind.I was trying to help my younger son with some math,when he told me he HAD to use a calculator.the next day I went to the school and talked with his teacher because I thaught he was just being lazy well to my surprise she told me he was right. so if you have kids that are struggling with math just throw a calculator at them and eveything will be just fine,well that is untill one day at the store the clerk gives them back the wrong change and they say thank you and leave not knowing if they have the right change or not.
we did pull my younger son out of school his senior year to go on a cruise,if he was in any danger in any of his classes we would not have,but guess what he graduated so I guess missing one week did not cause him to fail.I agree with many of the other posters that it is the status of the child in school.there are many students that can't afford to miss one day of class,well then those parents should think about their kids future and not a cruise but if the child is doing well then I see no reason why not.