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Is it ok to take your child out of school for a week to go to Disney World?

We're thinking about taking a family trip to Disney World this year, and having never been before nearly had a heart attack when I saw the prices. I'm thinking about going in early Jan. since that's value season and the weather should be nice. Do you think it's wrong to take my kids out of school for this? I know schools frown on this, so if I do it, should I be honest or make up another reason? By the way, before having kids I was a teacher and hated it when parents did this, but that was before I realized how much cheaper it is to travel outside of school vacations!

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:56 AM on Apr. 21, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (25)
  • I would only do it if they are doing good and have good grades and are able to bring some work with you.


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:57 AM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • Your the parent, you have to make that decision, if you do, arrange it that your child/children can take any assignments with them to still work on it during that week off.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:59 AM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • My mom took me out of school for a week once for an event. She just made sure I got my assignments and kept up with them. You'll have some downtime here and there where you won't be doing anything, so they can do a bit here and there, and on the drive there and back, or the flight, however you choose to get there. If their grades are good enough, and you don't think it'll have a major impact on their grades, why not?

    Answer by tropicalmama at 9:02 AM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • do it! you only live once! just make sure they bring their homework. u can set aside a little time in the hotel to work on it.
    as for the school- i'd tell the truth. maybe add in a few 'educational values' to your trip if you feel like you need to justify it.
    in reality, a week out of school is a very short amount of time in the long run. right? and the memories you make will make it worth it!

    Answer by mama_moonsong at 9:15 AM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • Yes do it, but please be honest. Some schools now are to report absences that are 4 or more days to the Dept. of Family and Children Services. If you let them know why they will not report you. They will know why you are not going to be there. A friend of mine does this about once a year with her girls and just makes sure that their teachers know. And usually the teachers are very understanding!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:51 AM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • Personally? It's not something I would do. We don't allow the kids to miss school unless they're sick. For us, we want our kids to understand that education is important and it comes first. In addition, the school only permits 20 days out per year - excused and unexcused. This yr the stomach flu was brutal. Between that and a few minor ear infections and colds, my 1st grader missed 10 days. Taking him out for a vacation on top of that would have been a HUGE gamble - what if he got sick between now and year end? eek! Automatic repeat grade.

    That said, to each her own. It's not what is right for my family but that doesn't mean it's not what's right for yours.

    If you *do* go, be upfront with the school or it could cause you issues. Our school, for example, requires a doctor's note for any absence over 2 consecutive days unless you've discussed an "unexcused absence" ahead of time.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:40 AM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • fwiw - Disney offers a ton of vacation packages...or they are right now in this economic climate. You can go cheaper at others time of the year. So far this year they've offered "buy 4 nights/days and get 3 nights/days free" if you booked before March 31st and traveled between March 1st and August something or other. Right now they have an offer for a free meal plan over the course of your stay. AAA offers discounts too. Look around. yes, value season is cheaper but that does NOT mean you can't save (even save more sometimes) if you're smart about it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:42 AM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • YES. Just be honest with the school. :) Have fun.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 10:54 AM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • I used to worry about similar issues. My girls are now older (14/16) which, I believe, lends perspective. That being said, GO! In retrospect, 5-8 yr olds can easily miss a week of school w/o ruining their little lives. They can get work ahead of time, catch up, etc. What cannot be 'caught up' later is the special family time this trip would create. Life rockets by us & suddenly kids are grown. I realized this when my oldest was 5th grade & changed as much as I could to add fun in our lives. As long as you teach commitment, imp of school, etc elsewhere, be sure to model fun, familytime, and imp of relationships. They can't be learned in school--you must actively model & live them so that your kids can have direct experiences and (later) memories of them. Then they will pass them to their kids. Life should include fun, frivolity and strong relationships full of love--otherwise, why struggle thru the routine stuff?

    Answer by Gert at 11:33 AM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • I guess it depends on the message you want to send your kids. As a former teacher yourself I would think you would want to instill in your kids how important their education is and the responsibility they have in attending school. I know it's cheaper to go now but by waiting a few more months you'll have the opportunity to save up a bit more for the vacation as well and Disney offers some good packages year-round.

    If you do go don't lie to the school. Then you're not only teaching your children responsibility takes a backseat to fun but that lying about it is okay too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:50 AM on Apr. 21, 2009

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