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Have you taken your kids out of school for vacation?

Posted by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:23 AM
  • 189 Replies

Taking Kids Out of School for Vacation Is Just Plain Bad Parenting

Empty Classroom

It's that time of year again. The holiday craziness is over, and families are itching to get away from it all. Whether it's a trip to enjoy the fresh powder on the slopes, or escape the cold in warmer climates -- parents all over the country are taking kids out of school for family vacation.

That move is more likely than not just plain bad parenting. It's selfish, at the very least. Kids have more than enough time out of school for families to plan trips outside of class time. The entire summer. Two, sometimes three, weeks at Christmas. A week in the spring. Thanksgiving break, for which more and more schools are granting an entire week!

So why plan vacation during the school year? Most likely because it's cheaper and more convenient. But at what cost to your child's education?

Sure, I understand that plane tickets and hotel rates are higher when kids are out of school. I have two kids in school myself, and I pay those rates. Does it mean I don't get to stay as long, or go as often? Yes, yes it does -- but I just can't bring myself to pull my kids out of school in order to take a trip in the off-season.

More from The Stir: Taking My Kid Out of School for a Family Vacation Shouldn't Be 'Illegal'

Sometimes missing school can't be helped, and parents should be able to make a judgment call. Sick days, for instance. Weddings and funerals are another justifiable reason, depending on the circumstances. But for fun? Nope.

It's unfair to the kids, who may miss an important concept in class. What if they have trouble in certain area, but are too embarrassed to speak up when they get back, because their classmates have mastered it already? Is it fair to the already over-worked teacher, who will have to spend extra time catching your kid up? Hopefully he or she won't mind, because they're in education for the love of learning, but we all know that isn't always the case.

Kids have such limited resources these days in the classroom, it seems wholly unfair to deprive them of class time because mom and dad don't want to plan a vacation around school breaks.

Let's be clear -- I think parents are ultimately in charge, and they know their kids best. Never should taking kids out of school for any reason (even vacation) be illegal. But don't be surprised if I give you the side-eye if you do it. It's OK though, you can totally judge me for piercing my daughters' ears as babies. Or formula feeding. *Insert judgey mommy stare here*

Maybe it's because my kids are blessed to go to a really fantastic, highly academic school. Maybe it's because they actually enjoy going to school every day. But for whatever the reason, I just can't bring myself to see the benefit of taking them out of the classroom just so I can save some money on vacation.

Have you taken your kids out of school for vacation?

by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:23 AM
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Replies (1-10):
momtolittleg
by Ruby Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:24 AM
Yep. If my child was in middle or high school I probably wouldn't. Or if she was behind. But I'm a teacher and she and I are on different schedules, so we will sometimes take a day when I'm off for a trip.
MrsDavidB25
by Stacey on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:27 AM

 Yes. Every year. We are going away next week. They will miss 5 days.

spunky946
by Ruby Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:28 AM

Yes we have and will probably do it again.

danie24
by Ruby Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:37 AM
1 mom liked this
Yes.

I let my kids miss school a couple days each month for something fun, special and educational.

Teachers know ahead of time so they never miss anything important.

Learning doesn't always have to happen inside a stuffy classroom.
Not_A_Native
by Ruby Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:37 AM

Generally, no.  School is important, and like you, my kids attended a great, academic (public) school.

Mine are grown, but I can still count the times I took them out. 

They missed one day (they were 17, 10, 7 and 6) for my brothers wedding (they live 1400 miles away, so yeah, a 2 1/2 hour plane trip).

They missed 3 days when my husband did an Ironman race in Cabo over Thanksgiving (2 days before, than one day after, they only had Thursday and Friday off for the holiday).  My older one was out of the house, the younger 3 were 18, 15, and 14.

And yeah - that's it.  No other times.

mcginnisc
by *Claire-Bear* on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:39 AM
6 moms liked this

What a stupid article...of course, I expect no less from The Stir...

Yes, we have and we will again. We homeschool now, but next year we are going to China for 2-3 weeks. My girls will be getting an incredible education while there as they will be seeing so many historical and cultural places. They are learning Mandarin right now, and they will be writing a paper on their experience. 

Their old private school never had a problem with students going out of town for vacations during the school year. For instance, last year a girl in my oldest dd's 2nd grade class went to China for 3 weeks when her family adopted her brother. She skyped with the class several times, wrote a paper and did a presentation when she came home...all of her own accord. Another of her classmates when to Taiwan to visit family for 3 weeks...she also did a paper and presentation. 

My niece is going on the China trip with us next year and will be writing a paper on her experience since it is considered an educational trip as they sponsor Chinese foreign exchange students and her cousin ( my oldest dd) is adopted from China. 

Sometimes, it is best to travel during the school year..especially Internationally..there are times when travel to China is almost impossible due to trade shows, CNY celebrations, and in the summer when Western Chinese families send their children to China to spend the summer with family. 

Claire


" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 

MrsDavidB25
by Stacey on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:40 AM

 A couple days each month? How many do they miss a year on average? We take them out for 5 days in a row and I am always terrified walking into that office and filling out the form LOL. They hem and haw but nothing ever comes of it, so I don't know why I am still scared. I'm going today actually :  /

Quoting danie24: Yes. I let my kids miss school a couple days each month for something fun, special and educational. Teachers know ahead of time so they never miss anything important. Learning doesn't always have to happen inside a stuffy classroom.

 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:40 AM

Then I guess my parents are bad parents.  They took my brother out of school on the opening day of Star Trek First Contact.  I was offered the option to join but I really just wanted to go to school that day because I really like school and always have. ^_^

But yeah, my brother took the option and he went to see First Contact on opening day.  When I finally got the chance to see it, I really did start to regret my choice to stay in school that day.

There is no harm in a parent pulling  a kid from school for an activity with the family or even for a vacation.  They may not be in class so they will miss a day or two of participation points but they are gaining more skills by being involved with their family.

Now, I know someone who tried to jeapordize her daughter's education to keep her home as a babysitter for her sick sons when they were missing class.  That was bad parenting because her daughter needed to be in class so missing as much class as she did almost caused her to not graduate.  Had she not been placed with my family, she would not have the diploma that she now has.

Her mom was a bad parent but that is because her mom was sabatoging her daughter graduating high school.

Nolanzo
by Silver Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:41 AM
1 mom liked this

LOL, fucking PLEASE.

I come from a family of educators, all of whom SUPPORT vacations during school time as long as the child is doing well and is not behind.

My mother taught high school and college math for 35 years, and routinely booked Florida vacations for us during the school year. Not a big deal.

My 1rst grader is doing excellently this year in school and they took away our spring break because of the huge ass snow storm we had at Thanksgiving. We lost all 5 days that we had.

IDGAF, we are going to FL to visit my Mom because it was already booked by that time. I'll be damned if I'm staying home. Just no.

She'll be quite fine.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Jan. 6, 2015 at 10:42 AM

not before. Maybe a day at the start of a break but nothing more than that. Now in 2 weeks we are heading to California but i wouldn't call it a vacation they will miss 5 days of school but we are going to have a memorial for my father in law and settle the estate.

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