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Old 11-24-2013, 07:22 PM   #16
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Ill give u just one example of why its necessary for some people to take kids out of school to vacation ..... Seniority! I have very little seniority where I work so I end up getting a "summer vacation" in may or september or October.
Yep. It's so easy for those with a regular 9-5 office job to forget that many professions require off peak travel (Most notably, those who make your peak season travel possible)!
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:31 PM   #17
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Ill give u just one example of why its necessary for some people to take kids out of school to vacation ..... Seniority! I have very little seniority where I work so I end up getting a "summer vacation" in may or september or October . So its take my kids out of school to vacation or not take vacations . For a long time I would not pull them out and we just did not take vacations . Then I got skin cancer and got a wake up call of how short life can be and 1 week together making memories is worth it to me to pull them out for vacations
I still respectfully disagree. DW and I work in jobs where vacations are forbidden outright in February, May, July and November. 8 of the 14 weeks my kids were out are in those time periods, and we will had no problem.
But, full disclosure, DW and I decided we would do everything we could to to not have our kids miss school, even scheduling every doctor, dentist and orthodontist appointment around school hours. Both made it from K thru grade 12 without missing a minute of school for those appointments. So not missing school was a higher priority in our household.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:32 PM   #18
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In the 5th grade my parents pulled me out of school for 3 weeks to do a Washington DC/Boston/Williamsburg/Gettysburg/New York/Phili trip. The school had no problem with it. I still have the journal I made and shared with the class. I learned more on that trip that I ever learned in a history class, and I still have great memories of the trip at age 40. My kids are homeschooled mostly because we want to travel during the offseason. If schools were open to giving kids time off to travel I would gladly send them to school. My dh and have jobs that don't allow us time off during holidays so that is another factor.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:39 PM   #19
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I still respectfully disagree. DW and I work in jobs where vacations are forbidden outright in February, May, July and November. 8 of the 14 weeks my kids were out are in those time periods, and we will had no problem.
But, full disclosure, DW and I decided we would do everything we could to to not have our kids miss school, even scheduling every doctor, dentist and orthodontist appointment around school hours. Both made it from K thru grade 12 without missing a minute of school for those appointments. So not missing school was a higher priority in our household.
In the long run I don't think your kids are going to be any better off than kids that missed a few days of school. K-12 is a very short time in a persons life. Perfect attendance is nice, but really doesn't determine how successful a person is going to be.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:46 PM   #20
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This is a topic that I've always felt should be a personal family decision. I didn't realize people had such strong feelings for AND against.

In our case, because my DH is an ER doc who will always have to work holidays, we've taken our children out of school for vacation almost yearly. AND for those that insist this means we don't value education...our now 24 yr old DD graduated from high school with a 4.0 unweighted gpa, attended undergrad on a full-ride athletic scholarship and then graduated fom Oxford with a Masters. We not only value education, we've worked hard to insist on academic excellence. We just happen to also value family time and travel. Our DS, btw, is only 10, but a 4.0 fifth grade student and talented golfer.

Bottom line, I agree with the OP...travel can be a part of a well-rounded child's education. School academics are certainly very important, but not more so than family time on vacation. AND, I'll stick with my first statement...it's a personal decision for every family. Not sure why we need to judge. Cheers!

PS. I do feel that families who pull kids for vacations need to be very considerate of their children's teachers. They need plenty of notice before you go and a small gift of thanks for their help when you return is always appreciated.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:12 PM   #21
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We take our kids out of school. We value school but we also value family time. My husband does not get to choose when he gets time off. We go when he can.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:54 PM   #22
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I can totally see both sides. My DH is a teacher and we're pretty tied to the school calendar and it drives me crazy to try to plan vacations; seeing the weeks we can travel double in price compared to other weeks. If it was just for the kids I'd probably be pulling them out of school too, if there was no risk to their academic progress. I totally see the value of family time and the educational potential of travel.

However, I can also see the school's point of view. My husband has had parents come to him saying things like, "We're going to be going on vacation for a week tomorrow, will she be missing anything important?" He says he's always tempted to say, "No, of course not! I was planning to spend the whole week letting them watch cartoons while I sat behind my desk reading the paper!" Can you imagine how you'd feel if someone asked you if you whether or not you were going to do anything important at your job for a week? And asking a teacher to put together a homework package or make up lessons for your child isn't really fair either.

So, I guess what I'm saying is I can see the logic in it, but please, please think of the consequences of your decisions beyond just the financial benefit. Every child is different and every family is different so there's no right answer, but there are a lot of sides to the issue.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:16 PM   #23
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Well for starters, who said that a cruise vacation can't be educational?

We couldnt afford to take a western carribbean during summer but could first week of September and hooked it to Labor day so it was only 4 days missed. Here are the things my 12 yr old son did that were not only educational but perhaps once in a lifetime -

1) did a submerged ocean tour and saw coral reefs, many species of fish and sunken ships

2) saw the remains of ancient Maya culture that yes are part of the school lesson plan

3) spent time in a foreign country, met and spoke and learned their cultures and lifestyles from them, etc...

Children are a sum of their experiences and i am a firm believer that the more they are exposed to the better they will be... at understanding the world, adapting, and yes even tolerance of other cultures. Now this doesnt mean that i would take them for a 14 day vacation during the year, but IMHO there is room for a little discretion here.

On the flip side, some school systems have or are experimenting with year round school with breaks every quarter, we don't have them yet but i think that would be great personally.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:29 PM   #24
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I homeschool for many reasons. One of them is to avoid the non-learning aspects of brick&mortar school. Like the schedule stuff. I've experienced amazing things with DS...like when we've been sick for two weeks and one of us can't learn then the other can't teach (or vice versa)...he often has a HUGE leap in understanding without doing any sort of learning. He'll be struggling with something...math, reading, whatever, and suddenly he just GETS it, without any purposeful teaching or learning. Amazing. So I personally believe that a week off can be amazing.


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Just not sure a cruise is really all that educational. That's not stopping me from taking my kids out once a year to vacation, I'm just not going to call a Disney cruise to the Caribbean "educational"!
We are using our upcoming cruise AS a big part of DS's education right now.

Researching San Juan and St Maarten's history. Researching Florida history. (we're going to focus on the shared history of San Juan and Florida...namely, Ponce de Leon, just as a place to "start") Looking at population, language, how people live, government (the French/Dutch aspect of St M is so cool!) etc. Gracious, it's amazing the educational things you realize you're experiencing when even just planning a vacation!

And then getting to BE there? Why do you think it's so traditional of schools to have 8th graders go to DC for a week? Because BEING THERE is so good for learning. Hands on museums and places like Williamsburg can bring home the book-learning like nothing else. If travel is valued when it's a school field trip, it's silly to think it's not of value just because a parent does it.


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Trying to say a family vacation has the same educational value as spending 6+ hours a day in a classroom with a professional educator is at best self delusion.
Thinking that sitting in a room for 6+ hours a day with an educator is the same thing as actively learning for 6+ hours is delusional as well. I think that most of us here went to school, and when we're honest with ourselves we can take the number of hours of actual LEARNING way down from that. If we truly learned during that whole time, homework wouldn't be necessary at all.


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And asking a teacher to put together a homework package or make up lessons for your child isn't really fair either.
Why not? Plenty of teachers offer them, I've learned from thousands of threads on this site. And shouldn't they be made up already? Or do teachers make up their next day's stuff the night before, even if they have taught the same grades/subjects for years? That seems more complicated than having them worked out beforehand.

I think maybe you guys are taking "will s/he miss anything important" a bit too seriously. They want to know what is being covered; that's how they are asking. If that's the week long division will be discussed, that's a big one. In my own experience it was worlds harder than even the most complicated multiplication. If that's what is being discussed, I know I would want to know. I know that here at home some days/weeks we're discussing really hard subjects, and other days it's all pretty easy. Not everything is hard.

And we sure had enough "let's just watch a movie" days in school for me to know that there ARE some days where nothing at all academic is learned in school....
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:36 PM   #25
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I still respectfully disagree. DW and I work in jobs where vacations are forbidden outright in February, May, July and November. 8 of the 14 weeks my kids were out are in those time periods, and we will had no problem.
But, full disclosure, DW and I decided we would do everything we could to to not have our kids miss school, even scheduling every doctor, dentist and orthodontist appointment around school hours. Both made it from K thru grade 12 without missing a minute of school for those appointments. So not missing school was a higher priority in our household.
You and your wife then are very fortunate to have never worked for a company that had enough people pick vacation ahead of you that getting a week during traditional school breaks was difficult at best and most times impossible. My mother is a nurse, and when I was young she had upwards of 30 people pick vacation before her. My father was a police officer, same situation, and then it was all about getting the SAME week off for people that work somewhere that is never closed.

This is the main reason I like a previous posters children, was homeschooled. We could never get time as a family otherwise.

My friend is taking her kids out of school to cruise with their grandma and grandpa, it's all about the kid but if they can make up the work, I don't see the issue.

Last edited by Becky925; 11-24-2013 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:50 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
I homeschool for many reasons. One of them is to avoid the non-learning aspects of brick&mortar school. Like the schedule stuff. I've experienced amazing things with DS...like when we've been sick for two weeks and one of us can't learn then the other can't teach (or vice versa)...he often has a HUGE leap in understanding without doing any sort of learning. He'll be struggling with something...math, reading, whatever, and suddenly he just GETS it, without any purposeful teaching or learning. Amazing. So I personally believe that a week off can be amazing.




We are using our upcoming cruise AS a big part of DS's education right now.

Researching San Juan and St Maarten's history. Researching Florida history. (we're going to focus on the shared history of San Juan and Florida...namely, Ponce de Leon, just as a place to "start") Looking at population, language, how people live, government (the French/Dutch aspect of St M is so cool!) etc. Gracious, it's amazing the educational things you realize you're experiencing when even just planning a vacation!

And then getting to BE there? Why do you think it's so traditional of schools to have 8th graders go to DC for a week? Because BEING THERE is so good for learning. Hands on museums and places like Williamsburg can bring home the book-learning like nothing else. If travel is valued when it's a school field trip, it's silly to think it's not of value just because a parent does it.




Thinking that sitting in a room for 6+ hours a day with an educator is the same thing as actively learning for 6+ hours is delusional as well. I think that most of us here went to school, and when we're honest with ourselves we can take the number of hours of actual LEARNING way down from that. If we truly learned during that whole time, homework wouldn't be necessary at all.




Why not? Plenty of teachers offer them, I've learned from thousands of threads on this site. And shouldn't they be made up already? Or do teachers make up their next day's stuff the night before, even if they have taught the same grades/subjects for years? That seems more complicated than having them worked out beforehand.

I think maybe you guys are taking "will s/he miss anything important" a bit too seriously. They want to know what is being covered; that's how they are asking. If that's the week long division will be discussed, that's a big one. In my own experience it was worlds harder than even the most complicated multiplication. If that's what is being discussed, I know I would want to know. I know that here at home some days/weeks we're discussing really hard subjects, and other days it's all pretty easy. Not everything is hard.

And we sure had enough "let's just watch a movie" days in school for me to know that there ARE some days where nothing at all academic is learned in school....
Excellent post!
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:52 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
I homeschool for many reasons. One of them is to avoid the non-learning aspects of brick&mortar school. Like the schedule stuff. I've experienced amazing things with DS...like when we've been sick for two weeks and one of us can't learn then the other can't teach (or vice versa)...he often has a HUGE leap in understanding without doing any sort of learning. He'll be struggling with something...math, reading, whatever, and suddenly he just GETS it, without any purposeful teaching or learning. Amazing. So I personally believe that a week off can be amazing. We are using our upcoming cruise AS a big part of DS's education right now. Researching San Juan and St Maarten's history. Researching Florida history. (we're going to focus on the shared history of San Juan and Florida...namely, Ponce de Leon, just as a place to "start") Looking at population, language, how people live, government (the French/Dutch aspect of St M is so cool!) etc. Gracious, it's amazing the educational things you realize you're experiencing when even just planning a vacation! And then getting to BE there? Why do you think it's so traditional of schools to have 8th graders go to DC for a week? Because BEING THERE is so good for learning. Hands on museums and places like Williamsburg can bring home the book-learning like nothing else. If travel is valued when it's a school field trip, it's silly to think it's not of value just because a parent does it. Thinking that sitting in a room for 6+ hours a day with an educator is the same thing as actively learning for 6+ hours is delusional as well. I think that most of us here went to school, and when we're honest with ourselves we can take the number of hours of actual LEARNING way down from that. If we truly learned during that whole time, homework wouldn't be necessary at all. Why not? Plenty of teachers offer them, I've learned from thousands of threads on this site. And shouldn't they be made up already? Or do teachers make up their next day's stuff the night before, even if they have taught the same grades/subjects for years? That seems more complicated than having them worked out beforehand. I think maybe you guys are taking "will s/he miss anything important" a bit too seriously. They want to know what is being covered; that's how they are asking. If that's the week long division will be discussed, that's a big one. In my own experience it was worlds harder than even the most complicated multiplication. If that's what is being discussed, I know I would want to know. I know that here at home some days/weeks we're discussing really hard subjects, and other days it's all pretty easy. Not everything is hard. And we sure had enough "let's just watch a movie" days in school for me to know that there ARE some days where nothing at all academic is learned in school....
Well put! I think we can use your examples of pre-studying to be a good one!
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:04 PM   #28
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I would love a non traditional school calendar Would sure make it cheaper to travel! For our family, I've decided to pay a bit more to avoid taking them out of school.

I had no qualms at all pulling them out from Kindergarten to Grade 1/2. The kids starting Kindergarten was such a shock to this SAHM's system that I pulled them out as often as once a month to go on picnics, to the splash pad, etc. I regularly pulled them out for 1-2 weeks every year for vacation.

I stopped all this in Grade 4/5 after a 10 day trip to WDW in late January. I was OK with their missing a week of school. However, soon after we got back, they both got a really bad flu and ended up staying home for an entire week. I was NOT happy about their missing 2 weeks of school and it was hard to catch up, especially as their work was getting harder.

Our school does not offer any makeup work, replacement homework, or even makeup lessons. If they missed the class, they typically miss whatever was taught that day. sometimes the teacher will get a classmate to show them the missed work, but its rather informal. Both kids have missed questions on tests and when I ask, they say they missed the lesson that day. So we already deal with that when they miss school when sick, or when pulled out of class for something (e.g cross country meet).

This year, I have even stopped pulling them for the occasional day off for a long weekend trip. This December, I wanted to pull them out on a Monday so I could take them to Kalahari for my DS' birthday. I ended up paying more for a Saturday stay so we could avoid missing a schoolday. $150 vs $109. *sigh*
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:14 PM   #29
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I would love a non traditional school calendar Would sure make it cheaper to travel! For our family, I've decided to pay a bit more to avoid taking them out of school.

I had no qualms at all pulling them out from Kindergarten to Grade 1/2. The kids starting Kindergarten was such a shock to this SAHM's system that I pulled them out as often as once a month to go on picnics, to the splash pad, etc. I regularly pulled them out for 1-2 weeks every year for vacation.

I stopped all this in Grade 4/5 after a 10 day trip to WDW in late January. I was OK with their missing a week of school. However, soon after we got back, they both got a really bad flu and ended up staying home for an entire week. I was NOT happy about their missing 2 weeks of school and it was hard to catch up, especially as their work was getting harder.

Our school does not offer any makeup work, replacement homework, or even makeup lessons. If they missed the class, they typically miss whatever was taught that day. sometimes the teacher will get a classmate to show them the missed work, but its rather informal. Both kids have missed questions on tests and when I ask, they say they missed the lesson that day. So we already deal with that when they miss school when sick, or when pulled out of class for something (e.g cross country meet).

This year, I have even stopped pulling them for the occasional day off for a long weekend trip. This December, I wanted to pull them out on a Monday so I could take them to Kalahari for my DS' birthday. I ended up paying more for a Saturday stay so we could avoid missing a schoolday. $150 vs $109. *sigh*
There is no doubt it gets a lot harder as they get older! Especially when you add extra carriculars to the equation!! (sports, band, honors, etc!) I agree with you that its just so hard to plan around! And that is why the rates are almost double at peak times. I already reserved a shorter spring break cruise for 2015 for just this reason. Good luck with all your juggling
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:19 PM   #30
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If there are an average of 25-30 kids in a class, and everyone took a different week, that teacher would be constantly preparing packets or grading work that is a week late, or staying after to help someone catch up. Add to that kids who miss for illness, family matters, moving mid-year, etc. and it's understandable why classes aren't moving as quickly as they should. I get rather angry that this week we have classes on Mon and Tues, but so many kids will miss that I'm sure they'll review all the work next week. Why should those who do attend have to go slower because others want to miss school?

My daughter left early on Friday (school related) and she just spent 6 hours making up the 4 hours of school she missed - chemistry, physics, calculus, and statistics - plus her regular homework. If she misses 2 days, she'd be in a panic.

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