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conNH
08-23-2003, 11:08 AM
Ok my 5 year old starts kindergarten on Aug.27th....
We leave for Disney Sept.12th-20th Why do I feel gulty? :(
I always said I would never go to WDW during School vacations!
I mean Why pay all that money to wait in line?
I plan on getting his work ahead of time and doing alittle at a time befor we leave... Does anyone feel the same way I do?

twinmomto3boys
08-23-2003, 11:22 AM
I feel bad about taking my kids out of school too but because of my husband's work schedule summer and holidays are nearly impossible times to go. Plus if you go duing off season you get twice as much done in half the time for less money. :D

I think family time is just as important to children than school time - if not more. These memories will last a lifetime.

cruelladephilly
08-23-2003, 11:27 AM
woa!! do not feel guilty just yet--you will have plenty more time for that--not until 5th grade or more would missing school be a problem (IMHO) as long as your child is doing well and all--I, for one, am a staunch believer that family time is more important than a week or so of school that leaves nothing missed--it's amazing how fast our children grow up==we all need to make more effort to gain back our family time and stop feeling guilty for taking some!! I would take my kids out in a second if I had to--I would be happy to arrange for any make-up work if necessary--there are so many important things to learn that are never taught in school!! HAVE FUN!!!:Pinkbounc

Boo'sMom
08-23-2003, 11:29 AM
don't feel guilty. If the kids make up the work and the grades stay where they need to be.....why not enjoy it while you can?

JMHO

Lisa3
08-23-2003, 11:37 AM
On our first trip my kids were 1st grade, kindergarten & pre-school and yes I felt guilty. I asked for "extra" projects and ensured the teachers that this would be an educational experience. I quickly learned do not ask for more than you are willing to do (LOL). Our last trip the kids were in 1st, 2nd, & 3rd. I simply laid it on the line (nicely) to the teachers that DH could not take off any other time and that family time is very important. I also ask for them to only give me the work they would miss since I was not going on vacation to spend every evening doing a project for school.

This Nov. we will be pulling our now 2nd, 3rd, & 4th graders out for 7 days. Again, we will do the work we miss. My kids know that missing school is not to be taken lightly and they rarely miss any other days beside our vacation. I do also have to say that they are very good students and I might not be so willing to take them out if they were stuggling. As far as Kindergarten you should not have a problem. Go, enjoy and build those memories that will stay with your child long after they finish school.

cdrn1
08-23-2003, 11:40 AM
I did take my children out of school for family vacations. I always felt that there was plenty to learn outside of school as well as in, and that in the long run they would not be harmed. They are all grown, all are college grads with good jobs, and we have wonderful memories of those vacations. So, in short, no damage done and a happy close family.

StrwLady
08-23-2003, 11:43 AM
I'm taking my son out of Kindergarten for 4 days. I wasn't feeling guilty as much as I was worried about how the teacher would react to our decision. I decided to mention it to her at the orientation and was pleasantly surprised at her reaction. She said she feels family vacations are learning opportunities. She will give him a disposable camera and would like him to bring in pictures, something from the trip and tell the class about his trip. She will give us homework for him but told us not to feel like we had to get it all done. She knows how busy vacations can be.

I think it's perfectly fine for a family to take a child(children) out for a week or so for a trip. The parents should be the ones to decided if its right for that child or not. If a child is struggling then sure maybe a week missed of school is a bad idea.

Take care

NancyIL
08-23-2003, 12:00 PM
My kids missed a week of school 2 Thanksgivings ago, and they were in 6th, 9th, and 12th grades. Kindergarten is nothing!

Starz723
08-23-2003, 12:05 PM
I have taken my son out of school for the past 4 years and will again do so this coming October.

He will be in the 6th grade. Im a bit leary right now at this grade. As long as their are no pertinent tests and he is doing "OK"..I take him out. If I see that he is struggling after this vacation, I will reconsider future trips during school. My son is hardly ever out after that during school..Fortunately, he does not get ill often.

I also inform the teacher at the very beginning of the term about my vacation plans. Sometimes, depending on the teacher, they will give him extra before we go away.

He has NEVER had a problem. We do all the make up homeworks and I ask the teacher what he missed so we can review it. My son has a mild learning disability, and I thought that taking him out would be very detrimental, but it has not shown itselt to be so. If it did, I wouldnt do it.

Im a single parent and I have such a wonderful relationship with my son. I want to enjoy being with him as long as I can before he starts to "not wanting to go out with mom". Our Disney vacations are the highlight of the year and have been for the past 6 years. We go either in October around Halloween or the first two weeks of December.

Dont feel guilty. Enjoy the lower crowds and nice weather. Unless your child has problem, they can easily make up the work.

ryansmom
08-23-2003, 12:37 PM
No guilt about it here! Unfortunately we don't get to Disney as often as we would like so I don't spend any time feeling guilty for pulling the kids out of school. Disney World is not any ordinary vacation. It is quality time with the kids at the maximum and such an extraordinary experience. Enjoy it guilt free!!!! ;)

alaskantwinks
08-23-2003, 01:07 PM
I am glad to read these posts. Although we are taking our kids for a much longer time, (3 weeks) let me explain why...First of all, we live in Alaska, so getting out of the state is a BIG DEAL for us. It not only costs a lot more, but it takes twice as long to get there, and we don't have the choice to drive (we have to fly from our remote town). We haven't been out of state since 1999.

We have had a lot of major things happen in the last 4 years, first my uncle died in May 2001, my aunt in June 2001, my dad in July 2001 after a long battle with Alzheimer's, (there are 9 kids in the family, we all took turns taking care of him at home) and than another aunt got diagnosed with stomache cancer the same month, although thankfully, she's alive and well. A couple of months later, 9/11 happened, which of course saddened everyone.

About a year ago my husband's grandma (mom's mom) that lives in Missouri died, and this past May his grandpa (dad's dad) died. He was close to both of them, but we hadn't seen them since 1994, when we were last down there with our daughter who was 2 at the time, and is now 11. Sadly, they never got to see our son who is now 8. Now I really wish we could have gotten down there sooner. The trip we took in 1999 was to the West coast with my parents, our last trip with my dad. My point is, life is too short to worry about things. Take your trip and enjoy.

DH works a lot of "swing" shifts and doesn't have weekends off like I do, so we don't get to spend too much time together at home...We really need this trip to let off some steam and just be together as a family. My husband's mom is joining us too, which should be a lot of fun. The first five days we will be at Universal, the next 7 days at the Polynesian (FTP!) and the last 3 days in Orlando (will sort of ) will be on the Disney Wonder!! Than we fly to Missouri to visit with relatives before heading home. I plan on talking with my kids teachers as soon as school starts next week, and maybe they can integrate some of the homework into things like our visit to Epcot, etc. We are not going to let anyone make us feel guilty for needing some quality family time. We are all counting the days!!!

cindyfan
08-23-2003, 01:12 PM
No offense....but....what kind of "work" can a Kindergartener miss????

IMHO....kindergarten was designed so that the children learn their "social" skills. There are still a lot of school districts that do not require any child to attend kindergarten.
The family life at this point is way more important than a week at kindergarten.

If it was high school and your child struggles with their classes, I would worry then...otherwise....Just enjoy the vacation.

My DD is in the 7th grade and I have been pulling out of class in Oct for the last few years. No big deal!! She will get her assignments ahead of time and we will have time set aside every day to do her work.

Stop worrying!!

woody5
08-23-2003, 01:44 PM
I believe the work they miss in Kindergarten is no big deal. My only concern would be that your child is just starting school and learning the schedule and making new friends. He/she may have a hard time readjusting once you return. It is unfortunate that your trip wasn't just a little later so the child would be in more of the school routine. I know when my kids have missed alot of school at the beginning of the year due to illness they seem to feel left out once they return. Something to think about!

Tigger Fans!
08-23-2003, 02:12 PM
Even at 5 years old there is TONS that you can learn at EPCOT! Besides....it's so important to spend time with your children. Just enjoy your trip -- guilt free!

TTFN!

n2mm
08-23-2003, 02:24 PM
No guilt here. We are heading to WDW in Sept. for a short 6 night trip. Our grandson, 9 years old--a fourth grader, is going with us, along with his folks this time. I don't think anyone of us has any guilt. Maybe because when his mom and her sister and brother were younger, I took them out of school for a week every May. I guess it didn't hurt any of them. They graduated, got great jobs, bought homes and sometimes I think we are just a little closer from all of that bonding.

Doc and Family
08-23-2003, 02:53 PM
PULL 'EM OUT!!!!!!!!

Especially at that young age. We pulled my son out last year, and will do so again this year. Education is critical, don't get me wrong; however, it is not the only thing in a child's life. Besides, think how cool he, as well as you, will be perceived by the other kids when they find out he missed school to go to WDW! Of course, the other parents will curse you, but, I think we can live with that.

Have a great trip!

msteddom
08-23-2003, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Starz723
As long as their are no pertinent tests and he is doing "OK"..I take him out. If I see that he is struggling after this vacation, I will reconsider future trips during school.


I really like this point that Starz made. I teach middle school, and I have no problem with parents taking their children on vacation, as long as everyone is aware what the child will be missing, and will be required to make up. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to have a child in my class who is really struggling (and the parents know this), then they miss school for a week to go to Hawaii. So my point, especially for parents of older children, is enjoy your vacation but make sure you know what will be missed in school and that all the work is made up. Have fun!


Melissa

LoriZH
08-23-2003, 06:46 PM
Yes I have been wrestling with this one myself. This will be the first year I have to pull my boys out of school for vacation and I feel guilty. My daughter goes to private school and usually there is absolutely no problem they actually encourage family time. However, last year my daughter got lyme disease and she missed a lot of school due to hospital stays, inflamed joints, medications, etc. The boys caught strep twice and it was a NIGHTMARE as far as days missed at school so I am a little leary about pulling them out, but we will make up the time and hopefully everyone will be healthy this year and all my guilt will melt away when we see the castle live again! lol

Rosered
08-23-2003, 07:53 PM
Do not feel guilty!!!

I had this problem last November. My DD was in kindergarten and I mentioned our vacation plans to her teacher on the very first day of school. Well she said she saw no problem with it although my daughter would miss 10 days of school. She was willing to give us makeup work and everything. She did tell me that I should speak to the principal since 10 days maybe considered extreme. The principal acted as though I was going to ruin the schools precious attendence record and even said I should discharge my daughter then reenroll her so the school would not have so many absences on record. I was practically in tears, i had been planning this trip for years and it was to be my DD first.

To make a long story short, I decided to go anyway after speaking with the guidance counselor who suggested I write a letter explaining the absences for the record.

It was the best decision I could have made. Whenever my daughter had to write a "story" in school she'd write about our trip and when asked to draw a picture of herself wearing a hat guess what type of hat she drew? Yes, mickey ears!!!

Our vacation helped my normally quite, shy DD have something to talk about and opened her imagination.

Enjoy your vacation and know you are giving your child an invaluable gift that just can't be taught in school.

polkadotminnie
08-23-2003, 08:16 PM
I am a teacher and I pull my kids out each May for our vacation. No guilt here.Enjoy your trip!

uvm81
08-23-2003, 08:17 PM
Obviously, you have some guilty feelings about your child missing their first few days of kindergarten or you would not have posted here. If your looking for "sound" advice, look elsewhere. Most people who subscribe to this site are mind-numbed Disney fanatics who would condone such acts as missing your grandparents Golden Anniversary, your best friend's funeral, or an appointment with your parole officer... all in the name of a visit to WDW.
My daughter sprained her ankle the day before Kindergarten started and we carried her into school so that she would not miss this special day. When she moved on to middle school we were delighted to see six year old pictures of her and her classmates in their yearbook as they began their educational journey together. I agree with the previous post-- couldn't your trip wait a few weeks?

slist
08-23-2003, 08:57 PM
I am pulling my son, who is entering the 4th grade and my niece who is entering the 5th grade. I had knee surgery this year and have been laid up so any chance of a vacation went out the window. My sons principal will have a fit when she finds out. We took him out of school when he was in first grade and they would not allow him to bring work home before hand. I figure it this way
he will be missing 8 days of school it not the end of the world. I bet he will still be able to go to college:smooth:

Dogslider
08-23-2003, 08:59 PM
Most people who subscribe to this site are mind-numbed Disney fanatics who would condone such acts as missing your grandparents Golden Anniversary, your best friend's funeral, or an appointment with your parole officer... all in the name of a visit to WDW.

Lucky for us we that we have few more well balanced people around here to educate and balance out the rest of us fanatics!:smooth:

As along as the school allows it, without going over the days that they can miss. I would do it also.
Have fun!

Pam

Tigger Fans!
08-23-2003, 09:02 PM
Originally posted by uvm81
If your looking for "sound" advice, look elsewhere. Most people who subscribe to this site are mind-numbed Disney fanatics who would condone such acts as missing your grandparents Golden Anniversary, your best friend's funeral, or an appointment with your parole officer... all in the name of a visit to WDW.

Whoa! Thought I was on the debate board for a minute. :rolleyes:

I think all parents should seriously consider their individual child when making this decision. But...as a teacher I recognize that not all learning takes place in the classroom!

TTFN!

G-gang
08-23-2003, 09:41 PM
My kids start school on Monday and we will be leaving next Sat. for WDW.

I have already spoken to all the teacher's and they were all very understanding about our family vacation.

I was worried and feeling guilty--not anymore.

mkandk
08-23-2003, 09:44 PM
But it's more because it's a finance issue for the school. I'm not worried about my kids' education, because I agree that the family bonding and the new experiences are worth it. But the school loses, like, $35? per day, per child.

pygmymom
08-23-2003, 10:43 PM
Go and have a magical time!

This is such a question of balance--school is extremely important, but think of what your child will remember--the wonderful family vacation you took right after Kindergarten started. It will be a special year all the way around.

The only concern would probably be how early in the school year you're going, but in the big scheme of things, it's minor. We first went during school when our DD's were in grades 2, 4 and 7. My job in retail dictated the time of year we travelled. We've always been proactive about letting the school know, and with one notable exception, we've had fabulous teachers willing to partner with us as far as telling us when they would be available for make up work, etc, even though it was understood it was our responsibility to make sure it was done. As they get older, it becomes much more challenging as teachers are already overwhelmed and the studies move at a faster pace.

Our high school made the decision for us: it's a policy that unless it's for a medical reason, once you miss six days of a class, you don't get credit. So, now we go in the summer.

Don't waste any time on guilt. Savor every second. Have a magical trip!

*Fantasia*
08-23-2003, 10:44 PM
Originally posted by cindyfan
No offense....but....what kind of "work" can a Kindergartener miss????

IMHO....kindergarten was designed so that the children learn their "social" skills. There are still a lot of school districts that do not require any child to attend kindergarten.
The family life at this point is way more important than a week at kindergarten.

If it was high school and your child struggles with their classes, I would worry then...otherwise....Just enjoy the vacation.

My DD is in the 7th grade and I have been pulling out of class in Oct for the last few years. No big deal!! She will get her assignments ahead of time and we will have time set aside every day to do her work.

Stop worrying!!

Not all schools let the students get the assignments ahead of time. They have to make it up when they get back from the trip.
.................................................. .................................................. .....

My son is entering 1st grade. This time if I am taking him out of school, I will only let him miss 2 or 3 days. If I let him miss a whole week or two, he will be missing too much lessons and he might have a hard time gasping to the present assignments and homeworks.

My kids are in private school. I want my money's worth. I would prefer to take them out during school vacation.

Unfortunately not all parent or parents can do this, so in this case, it is very understandable why they need to take them out during school days. As long as the child is OK, then nothing to worry.

I think you'll feel better once you talk to the teacher. Good luck.

Coll0610
08-23-2003, 11:10 PM
We've taken DS out in kindergarten and first grade and will be doing it again this year in second grade. (We go in October). His K and 1st teachers were fine with it and sent some work for him. He also did a journal both years - which is something we can treasure for years to come.

Maybe it's a bit of a bribe, but I always bring back something for the teacher - stickers, note cards, post-it notes - something she can use for the class. It is a little extra work for her to get stuff together and I want her to know we appreciate it.

We've also told DS that he only gets to go to Disney as long as he's doing well in school, so it's become an incentive all year.

Liz
08-23-2003, 11:22 PM
My son missed about a week of Kindergarten (he's going into 10th now) to go to Florida. I was stressed about it at the time and now looking back it seems like nothing. The teachers were great about it.

Just by coincidence, the week we were gone they were having a "beach day" at school. The kids wore shorts, sat on beach towels, and did beach type activities. While the kids at school were doing this, my son was spending a day at the Atlantic Ocean!

TDC Nala
08-23-2003, 11:26 PM
My nephew will probably miss some kindergarten to go to WDW next May...

So, what are they missing in kindergarten? Quantum physics?

K, P & J's Grandma
08-23-2003, 11:49 PM
One of our daughter-in-laws is a teacher. She says that her kids will NOT miss school for any vacation!!!!! We are going to Disney in November and can't take our grandson along - he will be in Kindergarten!!!!!! :( We will be going with another one of our sons & his family - they have a daughter who will be missing Kindergarten!! :)

magicmouse2
08-24-2003, 01:00 AM
I have taken my kids out of school the past 2 years. They could not cope with crowds during peak season. Their grades did not suffer and they were still top of the class:D In the next 2 years though we are going to try and avoid taking them out of school. They are getting older now, and I do not want them to miss anything.

momsmall
08-24-2003, 06:49 AM
Don't feel guilty! I truely believe if a child is excelling in school the time that he/she is pulled for a family vacation is valuable. We have pulled our kids, DD 10 - 5th grade, DS 7 - 3rd grade ever since they both were in kindergarten. We are lucky enough to be able to see the following year's school calendar 1 year in advance and there is always a conference week in Oct where there are 3 1/2 days and the other 2 days of the week are teacher education days. So if we only take a week the kids only miss 1 and a 1/2 days of school, many times we are gone for 10 days and they only miss 3 and 1/2 days. Same thing goes for January. Usually, Martin Luther King's birthday week the teachers have professional days and the kids do not have school 3 of the 5 days. So we either go in October or January. My husband is self employed so he is flexible, I'm a stay at home mom and our kids both work at a grade level above the grade they are in. Don't get me wrong the kids are aware that the only reason we are willing to pull them from school is because they get such good grades. They both know if there is any slip in the grades there will be no Disney trips. I tell the teachers at the beginning of school and always offer to get any work they may be missing so they are not behind when we return. We took our DD when she was 3 at Christmas time and swore we would never put ourselves through that again. So as soon as the school calendar is released I keep a copy by the computer to begin planning that years trips. We will be making our 5th family trip this October. :D

cdrn1
08-24-2003, 07:44 AM
I take offense to the phrase "mind-numbed Disney fanatic" (which I certainly am not) but I will let that pass. Like I said earlier, I always took my children out of school for family vacations and they have turned out to be successful adults. Imagine that. No harm done. It's interesting to note that it was not the teachers and administrators who had a problem with it, it was the sports coaches who were upset that the kids would be missing practices! One of my dd's had to run 50 laps around the track for missing practice during fall break.

tardin1964
08-24-2003, 08:28 AM
I for one am not in favor of taking kids out of school to go on vacation.

Although I agree that missing a few days of kindergarten does mean the child will not get into Harvard, I think it sets a precedent in the childís mine that going to see Mickey Mouse is more important than school.

Using the argument that it's family time and that they learn a different lesson on vacation than at school really doesn't cut it.

Family time is eating dinner together every night...as a family.

Family time is spending time together on the weekend.

Family time is definitely going on vacation, however, when you have school age children it should be done during summer break, winter break or Easter break. Or it should be done during other times when your kids are off from school.

I believe the main reason parents pull their kids out of school is because it is easier on them either financially and/or because there are less crowds. The kids will have a great time whenever they go.

And before anyone makes a comment on my countdown timer, most schools in New Jersey are closed the first week of November for teacher conferences. This is the first time my kids school district has closed the whole week. This will be our first family trip to WDW. I've waited till now (DD 5 and DD 7) because it works out well for all of us. No school missed and value season rates.

My two...well maybe three cents.

cindala
08-24-2003, 08:31 AM
I wouldn't worry too much about Kindergarten. If you work with your child in helping them complete their work, they'll be fine.

It's when the kids get older, like HS, that it is really hard to pull them out. I have two teen DD, with one in college, and I have never taken them out of school for Disney. They would just have too much to make up, and their grades would suffer.

jjsmom
08-24-2003, 08:37 AM
I always try to convey happy thoughts on this board but this is one issue that makes my blood boil. I do not want to offend anyone especially hard working teachers and school administrators, but this is my opinion regarding school vacations.

My daughter will be entering 7th grade next week in private school (they tend to be a bit more flexible). We have taken her out of school every year to go to WDW since pre school. I have never,ever felt guilty about doing this. It is a bit of a challenge to make up work, and luckily, all of her teachers have been accommodating. I feel very sorry for kids and parents in school districts that will not accommodate reasonable family vacations. They make arrangements for sick kids don't they? I do not understand what the difference is and there are circumstances that interfere with a family's ability to travel when it's "convienient" for school systems. For instance, my DH has asthma, and he just cannot function in FL heat. We went in June 2 years ago and he struggled quite a bit. He also sells real estate and summer is his bread and butter. We can't hardly take a long weekend away from the business. Even when she enters public high school in 9th grade, we WILL continue to take vacations during school and if they insist on punishing my daughter I WILL challenge them in court!

My brother in law ran the Disney marathon 2 years ago and the local school district wanted to FAIL my poor little 1st grade nephew (for the term) for missing 5 days of school!! They had to go before the board (a courtroom atmosphere) and explain why they "defied" rule and went on vacation (oh the horrors!!). In my opinion, schools have far worse problems than kids who take a few days off for family vacations. They need a good dose of pixie dust!

cindyfan
08-24-2003, 10:31 AM
The principal acted as though I was going to ruin the schools precious attendence record and even said I should discharge my daughter then reenroll her so the school would not have so many absences on record.
WHAT!!!!! It was kindergarten for gosh sakes!!! That principal needs to take a chill pill!!!
Most people who subscribe to this site are mind-numbed Disney fanatics who would condone such acts as missing your grandparents Golden Anniversary, your best friend's funeral, or an appointment with your parole officer... all in the name of a visit to WDW.
My parole officer was very understanding!!! :crazy: ....That is getting pretty bold for it being just your second post on these boards.
I think all parents should seriously consider their individual child when making this decision. But...as a teacher I recognize that not all learning takes place in the classroom!
HURRAY !! I agree. Good point.
My DD and DSiL are both teachers and totally agree with you. And ENCOURAGE family time. When their kids get older they will be traveling to WDW during summer and spring breaks. BUT.....totally agree with my decision to pull my 7th grade DD out. She is an A student and has no trouble making up any missed work.
DH and myself have jobs that simply do not allow us to take vacation time during spring breaks and VERY limited to which weeks in the summer. So for us October is best.

Not all schools let the students get the assignments ahead of time. They have to make it up when they get back from the trip.
Very true. We did have a couple teachers that preferred she do her work when she returned......couple of reasons for that....they felt the "family time" was very important and the pressure of completing assignments would take away from the "family time" Also, after DD returned she would have the teachers there to help with the assignments if she needed it.

jeannej
08-24-2003, 03:34 PM
I wouldn't feel guilty. It hasn't been a problem for my children through elementary school. I no longer do long trips to WDW on the off season because now that I have a middle schooler, it really does make a difference. So, now it is only three days tops.

Enjoy your young ones while you can. :smooth:

Jeanne

kathleena
08-24-2003, 04:41 PM
Take the time for your vacation and don't worry about school. 20 or 30 years from now the only thing that will matter is that your child grew up with a loving caring family.

Lisa3
08-24-2003, 05:56 PM
Family time is eating dinner together every night...as a family.

Family time is spending time together on the weekend.
While I agree with you that these are very important times, for many busy families this is just not possible on a daily basis. Yes, we try to eat as a family but you have to understand that that includes myself and the kids. DH is out working seven days a week during our busy season and usually until well past dinner time in order for me to be a "stay at home" Mom with our kids. My kids have plenty of time with me (sometimes too much) but may not see their father except to say goodnight for several days at a time.
I believe the main reason parents pull their kids out of school is because it is easier on them either financially and/or because there are less crowds.
We have a seasonal business which does not allow us to vacation any time during the year except late fall. If DH does not work, he does not get paid. There is no "paid" vacation time when you are self employed in a small business.

On the flip side, he is able to arrange his schedule to see their school plays and other important events during the daytime. Our vacations are a time when we can bond together again as a family. It allows my children to see their father as a "dad" who enjoys sharing special places and things with them. Somehow, the rushed dinners and mowing the lawn on weekends just don't do the same thing.

Please think twice before you judge when people should take their vacations. You don't know other people's situations and even if the reason is purely financial, maybe it's for the greater good of that particular family's welfare.

Although I agree that missing a few days of kindergarten does mean the child will not get into Harvard, I think it sets a precedent in the childís mine that going to see Mickey Mouse is more important than school.
To say that I am teaching my children that school is to be taken lightly is an insult. I am very fortunate to have 3 very bright children who do exceptionally well in school. I attribute this mostly to their hard work but also to the amount of time I am able to spend with my kids helping them with their homework, being involved in their activities and showing them that learning is a lifelong process that can be fun and exciting. If I felt that pulling them out of school affected them negatively in any way I wouldn't do it. My children have learned geography, reading, mathematics and spelling on our drives to Florida. They can read a map, locate state capitals and determine how long it will take us to go a certain distance when traveling at a given speed (these kids are still in elementary school). The best is that they don't even realize they are learning important skills that they will use over and over again in life.

Sorry this is so long. I just had to blow off a little steam. I really dislike when others are so judgemental. Everyone needs to evaluate their own situation and make the best decision possible. There are no guarantees in life.

Tesabat
08-24-2003, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by Lisa3
Everyone needs to evaluate their own situation and make the best decision possible. There are no guarantees in life.

Oh, this is a subject near and dear to my heart.

We pulled our son out once before as he actually only missed 2 days of school. I was very nervous, but it ended up not being a problem. Other than that, we usually vacation right before school starts up.

However, this year, he's in 7th, and we are pulling him out for four days! Same week as before, different school, different calendar. I'm VERY nervous...but then mad at myself for being so. I keep telling myself that whatever the school throws at us can't possibly be worse than what life threw at us this past year. :)

We booked the vacation when I found out about a health condition...thinking - rightly - it would give the whole family something to look forward to. I had to live away for several weeks and my son would call me and say "Don't be sad Mom - Just think about the cruise! That's what I'm doing!" For my DH - also self-employed - it's difficult to take time off during summer or the holidays...And, we thought in the summer, I might not be "quite there" yet, and during the holidays, we knew extended family would be hurt by our absence.

My family did end up surprising me with a mini-vaca to WL in July...but I struggled physically. I'm already so much stronger now than I was even then...that I know by Nov., I'll be able to really kick up my heels with my family and finally be back to my "old self" again. We are looking foward to this trip more than we've ever done so before.

I think about the memories we will be making together, and I know I'm right to pull him out. Then, I think about how much harder 7th grade is - and how difficult some of the teachers will be about it and I'm doubting our decision!! We are going anyways, so I'm trying - operative word here - trying - not to feel TOO guilty!

And, therefore Lisa's quote was right on the mark for me. Thank you. :)

tardin1964
08-24-2003, 06:54 PM
Tesabat

In my previous post I was just picking apart the reasons most people give as excuses for pulling their kids out of school. Of course every individual situation is different. In your case I think your making the right decision. I hope you are feeling up to "kicking up your heels" and feeling like your "old self" again during your trip. God bless.

I will respond to Lisa's post in a future post.

MJames41
08-24-2003, 07:31 PM
Tesabat,

I also think you are making the right decision. I've pulled my kids out of school 2 out of the last 4 trips, and will be pulling my son out on the next trip. For those 2 trips, my daughter was in high school (not doing well - in the bottom 15%) and my son has been in jr. high and high school (in the top 15%). The results of the trips? My daughter graduated in the bottom 15%, and my son is still in the top 15%. However, our family is closer, and I have excellent communication with a teenage daughter who has moved out, and with a teenage son who is still living here.

tardin1964 I can respect your opinion, although for my situation, I respectfully disagree. You see my wife died when my son was 3 months old. I'm a single parent trying to provide for my children. This often involves 60 to 70 hour work weeks. When that happens, a family dinner once a week is a victory. I agree that it is worth it, so every effort is spent to accomplish family dinners. Also, family time on the weekend is and has always been an important time for us. When they were younger (before there liscenses) I made them go shopping with me (oh the horror, one of their friends might see them spending quality time with uncool dad). Now that they have their own liscenses (and my daughter has moved out) it's harder to pin them down, but I still try.

Is it cheaper then? Yes, it is. I couldn't afford a regular season visit, neither financially nor physically. If it wasn't for what I have learned from the boards, I couldn't afford to go that often at all.

I feel what I am teaching my children is just as important as any lesson they would learn in school. They know school is a priority based on how I treat it during the year - they aren't allowed out unless their homework is done, things like that. But, school, nor my work, is more important than the family. It is reinforced for us on our trips by our spending Thanksgiving with my dad on the winter trips (he lives 2 hours away from Orlando near Ocala). I know that helps with the lesson as well.

My perspective is different than many. Being a single parent from necessity rather than by choice perhaps has changed some of my priority's. Also, my daughter was hit by a car 6 years ago (when she was 12), and came very close to dieing. If, God forbid, anything should happen to me or to one of them, I want as many happy memories as I/they can get before hand. If it means missing a few days of school, I say it's a bargain. Just my thoughts.

toystorymom
08-24-2003, 07:38 PM
DS will miss 5 days of 1st grade this November. I didn't think I would ever have them miss school for vacation but we're going to give it a try. Our other boys are still in preschool.

Last year, he had perfect attendance in Kindergarten until almost the end of the year when he got sick and was hospitalized for a few days. He missed a full week of school and when he got back it was like he never left. There wasn't even any work to make up. On my own, I had him write a journal about his experiences in the hospital to bring to his teacher. She thought it was great and I will save it forever! I plan on having him do the same thing for our vacation in addition to any work the teacher assigns.

I admit I am nervous about telling the teacher. I plan on waiting until our first parent conferences - by then she'll know how brilliant he is anyway ;) and that he won't suffer missing a few days. I definitely agree it depends on the individual child and how well he/she is doing in school.

I know someone mentioned the school calendar. I asked at the end of last school year and again this summer while my son attended a summer workshop there. Both times I was told (somewhat rudely) that the calendar would not be available until the first week of school. That kind of made any advance planning difficult.

So, to the original poster, I know how you feel but I'm doing it anyway. They are only little once, enjoy it, and don't sweat the small stuff. :D

Sammie
08-24-2003, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by tardin1964
I for one am not in favor of taking kids out of school to go on vacation.

Although I agree that missing a few days of kindergarten does mean the child will not get into Harvard, I think it sets a precedent in the childís mine that going to see Mickey Mouse is more important than school.

Using the argument that it's family time and that they learn a different lesson on vacation than at school really doesn't cut it.

Family time is eating dinner together every night...as a family.

Family time is spending time together on the weekend.

Family time is definitely going on vacation, however, when you have school age children it should be done during summer break, winter break or Easter break. Or it should be done during other times when your kids are off from school.

I believe the main reason parents pull their kids out of school is because it is easier on them either financially and/or because there are less crowds. The kids will have a great time whenever they go.

And before anyone makes a comment on my countdown timer, most schools in New Jersey are closed the first week of November for teacher conferences. This is the first time my kids school district has closed the whole week. This will be our first family trip to WDW. I've waited till now (DD 5 and DD 7) because it works out well for all of us. No school missed and value season rates.

My two...well maybe three cents.

Have to agree with Tardin, if the only time you can go is during school then going is probably more important that the days missed at school. However as stated if your reason for going during school instead of regular school break times is purely convinence, then I think it sends the wrong messsage as to priorities.

When your child is older and in college will you care if he/she takes a week off of class to go to WDW, when he/she could go during break times. If you have a problem with that, then you might want to remember who gave them the idea it would be ok to do this.

Also I think this decision is best made by the parent, the child if older, and the school your child attends. Anyone's elses opinion, including mine, is really not important.

ceecee
08-24-2003, 09:06 PM
I admit I'm starting to feel a tad quilty (third year) DD is in 2nd grade and is in an accelerated program (which won't start until Oct). We are taking her out for 6 days end of Sept. Last year she would have had perfect attendance had it not been for vacation. I missed 2 wks in 11th grade for a Europeon vacation, I still remember the history as well as the great family time. I admit we could go in the summer and we have. DD hates the lines as much as we do. I am sure as she gets older, we will change the time we go. The OP is talking about a Kindergartener not a college kid. Admittedly Pre-school is now for socialization more than the first real year of school, but the first several months are so much review, our DD missed nothing by being gone a week, she knew from 2 years of preschool everything she had to start with in Kindergarten.

ls1222
08-24-2003, 09:15 PM
I am starting to get nervous about telling the school as well. We will be taking our children out (3rd, 1st, and preschool) for 6 days the beginning of October. We did this last year and the teacher was great about it, I'm hoping to be so lucky again. Part of me feels that they are our children and we will make the decision but the school have a way of making you feel that you are a horrible parent. Our vacation has been planned for 6 months and everything is paid for so whether or not the school likes it, we are still going. I just hope that they will work with us. My husband builds homes and the summer is just not an option for us.

pann
08-24-2003, 10:19 PM
I know how you are feeling. We are taking my 8y.o. & 14 y.o. out of school for 5 days. I tried to find out the school schedule earlier, but was not released until recently. My husband had to put his vacation in during January & since he is low on the management ladder, November was the only choice. I also work alot of hours in the spring & summer. In this day in age, it takes 2 working parents to survive. We also work 2 shifts, so one parent is with the kids all the time. So family time doesn't come so often. I have had sleepless nights, worrying about this, especially taking my 14 y.o. out. But this is the age we need to have a good relationship together---it is even more important than education. We have even scheduled a tutor before we go to help her along. I will feel better after talking with the teachers.

Lisa3
08-24-2003, 10:30 PM
tardin1964 - Before you completely flame me, I have to appologize for being so defensive to some of your statements. I really did need to blow off steam and unfortunately your post gave me that little push over the edge. I still stand behind what I said but I could have said it in a nicer way. Sorry :(

Sometimes it's very difficult being a "stay at home" Mom. Most people assume I don't work because DH has his own business and there is no need. They couldn't be farther from the truth (I actually had one woman who couldn't understand why I don't have a cleaning lady!). You also seem to get very little respect from many other people even though you are the one taking your time to coach their child's team, be their child's scouts leader or their child's Sunday School teacher. I am very cautious about the decisions I make for my kids and I guess that is why I am so defensive when someone questions my judgement. I have to work on not taking things so personally. You obviously were not speaking directly to me.

In the end, everyone has a right to their own opinion and what is beneficial for one family may be detrimental to another. I certainly have had cause to question the parenting practices of some of the teenagers in my neighborhood (now there's a few who could benefit from being taken on a family vacation-maybe Mom & Dad would actually be forced to pay attention to the way their children behave)!

suevee
08-25-2003, 06:55 AM
My daughter allows me to pull my granddaughter out of school in February to take trips to Florida. My parents are retired in Florida and in fragile health. This year we have had two close calls with my father and one with my mother. They do not travel and though they want to see their great grand children, they cannot spend a long time with them. Also it seems they are better able to function in the winter than the summer. In the summer they are housebound because of the heat and humidity.

Our solution is to visit in February. Our jobs do not allow visits at Christmas. Since my parents are only an hour from WDW, we alternate days. A day at WDW and a day at great-grandmas - if they are up to it. Sometimes we only spend two or three days at my parents - but they love the time with their great-grand child even if it does wear them out. If I did not take my granddaughter with us she would never have the opportunity to know and remember her great-grandparents. In my opinion, this is as important as school. WDW is just a great side adventure!

By the way I do make other mini trips by myself to help my parents through their health crisises, but that is not an appropriate time to take my granddaughter.

tardin1964
08-25-2003, 06:58 AM
Lisa3

Believe it or not, I was not planning on flaming you. I was going to say that each family has to make the best decisions they can for their family given their circumstances, and every rule has an exception.

The main reason for my original post was to give a different opinion to the ones given by the majority. If someone really wants an objective opinion to the original question, these message boards are really not the place to get it.

I totally stand by my original post. But it was meant to be in response to previous posts like (I'm going to paraphrase here) "of course it is ok to take the kids out of school because going to WDW is good family time" or "it's cheaper" or "it's not as crowded".

Being that we are both from NJ I am sure we can share some similar experiences on how families pull their kids out of school to go to WDW for really no good reason. I think it is becoming more prevalent in recent years also.

Anyway...we are getting much to serious in this thread. We should get back to sharing our experiences on WDW and having a good time.

Do you mind if I ask about how your school district is handling the teachers conferences the first week of November. I live in Old Bridge and usually they close for just the Thursday and Friday. This year they decided to close the schools for the whole week. My sisters live in Scotch Plains and Berkeley Heights and their districts are only closing for the Thursday and Fri. also. I just think it is strange to close for a whole week...although it has worked out great as far as planning our first family trip to WDW:D

kashkdz
08-25-2003, 09:51 AM
This has been an interesting topic, and I've read through all the replies. I guess I too get annoyed when someone asks about our vacation and I tell them where/when we are going; and their response is "what are you going to do, take the kids out of school?..we would NEVER take OUR kids out of school for a vacation." Initially I stare at them as if I'm about to poke them in the eyes (just kidding--I think, because I haven't done it 'yet'), and then after my boiling blood returns to normal temperature, I answer them simply and calmly with 'well it's the only time we can go to Disney (if that's where we're going) this year'.

Now, our family is fortunate enough to go on a few vacations a year, and unfortunately we are unable to schedule them all during the summer months or during school breaks. If we squeeze all of our vacations in during the summer then great, but sometimes we go during a not so busy time of the school year (ie., week before Thanksgiving, etc). Additionally when we do go during the school year, we inform the teacher early of our plans, and my kids are able to make up the assigned work before/after our trip. Fortunately, my two children (third is just starting pre-k) that are in school are doing very well. No problems.

Now more specifically with Disney World in mind. I'm not a big fan of spending a lot of money to stand in LONG lines in the blistering heat especially with small children. I'm just amazed that some people for the sake of going to Disney when "schools out", return to tell me the same thing that they were completely exasperated the whole time while on vacation. They waited in lines up to an hour, the kids were miserable, and they were able to ride on most rides only ONCE. Gee that sounds like a lot of fun to me..NOT !!..wow, you went to Disney and it was so HOT during the summer, and the kids were really cranky, and you were frustrated the whole time because of the crowds...Hello ! What did you expect !!! Meanwhile, when we go temps are more reasonable and crowds are more manageable. We are able to do everything that we planned, and we are actually 'enjoying' our vacation guilt free. And best of all, it's usually at reduced prices.

My intent here is certainly not to offend anyone, but rather inform those that pass judgement about when others take their vacations. I don't tell you when to go on vacation so please don't tell me. Especially when you return from your Disney vacation, and have nothing but complaints about your trip. Enough said.

diathoney
08-25-2003, 10:30 AM
I have taken my kids to Disney during the school year. They make up the work they miss. Actually it helps them go to school on the days when they don't want to go to school, but are not sick. I tell them we won't be able to go to Disney if they don't go and get good grades. Disney is a reward for doing well and incentive to "keep up the good work!"

claudia
08-25-2003, 11:03 AM
I think that you know your own child/children better than anyone else. It truly does not matter what anyone else chooses to do, as each family has their own beliefs and values. If you as a family choose to take this option and the teacher/school district is supportive then you should go. Never feel quilty about choices made. If you do, possibly then you should reconsider.
As far as my story, we have taken our son out of school every year in November. The district has no school the day before election day, election day and the Friday of that same week. We usually stay about 10 days, so he misses 4-5 days. He is an A+ student, we talk with the teachers, he brings all his assignments and does a travel diary as well. This year he will be entering the 7th grade and has asked us not to take the November vacation. He feels that it would not be good for him to miss school. Naturally we respect his decision, so we are heading down on Christmas break. ......not looking forward to the crowds, but we will be much more relaxed as a family!!

drogerstn
08-25-2003, 11:06 AM
If my vacation time was only available while my kids are in school, then I would consider pulling them out of school for vacation. I would not take them out simply out of convenience; this would send the wrong message about commitment to work and education.

If I have a day off while my kids are in school, Iím not going to tell them to skip school so we can go fishing or play golf together (family time) because it is less crowded on weekdays and the weather looks bad for the weekend. I donít want them to learn that its okay to skip school to have fun. If I was a kid, Iíd love to skip school to go on vacation!

conNH
08-26-2003, 06:36 PM
Wow what a responce!:eek: I can see 99.9 % of you think its not a big deal to take the kids out and after reading everything I agree! ;) I talked w/ my DS teacher this afternoon and she told me she has four kids and takes them out every year! I no longer feel any gult! :teeth: Thanks for all your help guys! :)

G-gang
09-11-2003, 11:10 PM
Just wanted to say that after just getting back from an awesome vacation of beautiful weather and no crowds I would pull my kids out of school in a second. We had the best time b/c we didn't have to wait 90 minutes to get on a ride--we walked on to everything and had plenty of time to relax by the pool everyday. Our experience was wonderful and my children learned a lot. We plan on returning in Sept. of 2005. :D

K, P & J's Grandma
09-11-2003, 11:29 PM
G-gang
Glad that you had a great time!!! We always took our boys out of school to go to WDW also. Didn't want the crowds or heat!! We now have grandchildren that we have taken with us to WDW. What a wonderful experience!!! Two of them just started Kindergarten - one of our daughter-in-laws is a teacher & she has said that her children will NOT miss school for vacation!! We are really hoping that we can 'change' her mind so that one day we can take our grandson with us again - we don't want to go during the summer or spring breaks. Guess that we will have to keep our finger crossed!!! In November we are going with another son & daughter-in-law along with their two girls - one will be missing Kindergarten for this trip -- we are looking forward to seeing Disney thru the 'eye's of a grandchild' once again!!!!

disneyluvers
09-11-2003, 11:46 PM
I never hesitate when it comes to vacationing during the school year. My DH work just doesn't let us take "normal" summer vacations so we go when we can go. I personally like going early in the school year so work can be quickly made up. My oldest is an A/B student and also plays instrument and participates in sports. My little one has just started K so I don't worry at all about him catching up. (There are tons of ways to teach him his Alphabet at WDW;) )


Michele