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Old 11-27-2013, 04:11 PM   #166
dgmommie
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Originally Posted by TheLanes View Post
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"!
Of course it can be. Learning about other cultures and other countries, seeing other countries and cultures can be educational.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:16 PM   #167
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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. Depending on the grade level and what proficiency testing the child is expected to pass that year you could be hurting them.
Not always. Sometimes school isn't always about education either. My 5th grade daughter spent the past two days in school learning nothing. Monday she watched two movies, had recess, and lunch. Tuesday, she finished watching one of the movies, had a Thanksgiving feast, ran the track after lunch, had recess, did a couple of fun worksheets, and played games. How is that any more educational than being off on a cruise?
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:01 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by dgmommie View Post
Not always. Sometimes school isn't always about education either. My 5th grade daughter spent the past two days in school learning nothing. Monday she watched two movies, had recess, and lunch. Tuesday, she finished watching one of the movies, had a Thanksgiving feast, ran the track after lunch, had recess, did a couple of fun worksheets, and played games. How is that any more educational than being off on a cruise?
I think if that was my child's school my response would be to express my concerns to the teacher, meet with the principal to discuss how class time was being used, perhaps contact the local school board if I felt my concerns weren't being addressed. I certainly wouldn't respond by saying, "My kid wastes her time at school anyway so we might as well go cruising!"
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:50 PM   #169
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I'm going to start by saying that I don't think a cruise is going absolutely to be educational, but, these things are what you make of them. I am the product of home school, back in the day when people looked at you REALLY weird when they found out. I started home school in Kindergarten in the late 80s and from that day until the day I graduated from high school my mother strove to make everything we did, partly an "educational experience". Her favorite tag line. Did my trip to Myrtle Beach in October really educate me? Perhaps not, though I did learn about the tides, and beach erosion after a big storm came through one night.

However, I will say it depends on the trip. Did I learn a lot during the 5 days( Saturday and Sunday included mind you) we spent in Gettysburg? Heck yes! Far more than I ever could have in a class room and far more in depth than I would have from a one day field trip a lot of schools around here take.

So I guess my point is, it depends on the trip how educational you could make it. A 4 night on the Dream or the 7 night on the Fantasy to the Caribbean, you could make it educational, different cultures, poorer countries, etc. But imagine what you could do with the Mediterranean cruise? I think I would pull my non existent kid out of school in a heart beat (assuming they were doing well) to see Europe first hand. Experience is better than reading all about it.

End long winded post.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:41 PM   #170
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I, as a local BOE member have heard that rhetoric and that is all it is teachers and administrators finding excuses for poor performance. There is not any data that supports that theory or claim families that do not vacation during the school year score higher on standardize tests than students that vacation and trust me, we have challenged that rhetoric, there is zip data to support the vacation theory. They've stopped offering up that excuse. Actually with one of my kids year after year has hit several perfect scores with being pulled from school for 2 weeks annually.

Try and remember to be objective about the administrative gibberish they spew. If the facts they are spewing seem to be a major determinant, likely it is false. This is why there is a need for Federal and State mandates because for decades the excuses for failing standards just become more creative excuses.

If education was handled by the private sector they'd be gone with excuses like they spew.
I don't disagree that students who would have otherwise scored well on tests will still score well on tests if they miss school due to family vacation. It has everything to do with the fact that out-of-school factors determine a student's performance on those tests much more than in-school factors.

As for the rest of your post, I will respectfully disagree. I do not think this is the correct forum for that debate, though.
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Last edited by Metsoskil; 11-27-2013 at 07:48 PM. Reason: Fixed typo
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:20 PM   #171
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That is interesting. Germany has an interesting schedule of a few weeks on one week off and similar. Various fragments here and there to allow. Summer off is a hold over from no AC. Granted there are many schools that do not have AC. In my senior high we had one or, if it was a big room, two fans. I think this option has some merit and should be explored to some extent. There are several countries that work this schedule. About same amount of time off but broken up throughout the year.
I'll have to have my daughter ask her suitemates, 2 of them are from Germany. She is going to college in England for a year. I know she has said they have struggled with the workload in England, DD has found it easy so far. But college there is 3 years, not 4, no GE classes, colleges there assume you learned all the GE topics in High School.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:56 PM   #172
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Straws are being grasped, flimsy excuses made, justifications have been fabricated, unique exceptions have been applied to every day reality, parental rights have been invoked... and 12 pages later it is still about the money more than some "once in a life time educational" opportunity for their child.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:17 PM   #173
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So what if it's about the money? My family can afford better and longer vacations when we travel during the off season. My kids are both great students who do well in school and their teachers have always been supportive of our decision to pull them out of school occasionally. Because we vacation during the off season we've been able to give our kids some once in a lifetime experiences that we would never be able to afford during the peak travel season. So for us it's about taking what we have and making the most of it.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:17 AM   #174
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So what if it's about the money? My family can afford better and longer vacations when we travel during the off season. My kids are both great students who do well in school and their teachers have always been supportive of our decision to pull them out of school occasionally. Because we vacation during the off season we've been able to give our kids some once in a lifetime experiences that we would never be able to afford during the peak travel season. So for us it's about taking what we have and making the most of it.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:23 AM   #175
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So what if it's about the money? My family can afford better and longer vacations when we travel during the off season. My kids are both great students who do well in school and their teachers have always been supportive of our decision to pull them out of school occasionally. Because we vacation during the off season we've been able to give our kids some once in a lifetime experiences that we would never be able to afford during the peak travel season. So for us it's about taking what we have and making the most of it.
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:45 AM   #176
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So what if it's about the money? My family can afford better and longer vacations when we travel during the off season. My kids are both great students who do well in school and their teachers have always been supportive of our decision to pull them out of school occasionally. Because we vacation during the off season we've been able to give our kids some once in a lifetime experiences that we would never be able to afford during the peak travel season. So for us it's about taking what we have and making the most of it.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:16 AM   #177
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So what if it's about the money? My family can afford better and longer vacations when we travel during the off season. My kids are both great students who do well in school and their teachers have always been supportive of our decision to pull them out of school occasionally. Because we vacation during the off season we've been able to give our kids some once in a lifetime experiences that we would never be able to afford during the peak travel season. So for us it's about taking what we have and making the most of it.
Thanks for being honest by not trying to pass off vacation like its some kind of university enrichment program. Which was my point.

The fact is anyone who can afford a vacation can afford to vacation during school season and still have "once in a lifetime experiences" just not as often or as long or maybe not in the cabin or hotel class they prefer.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:05 PM   #178
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There were kids who were with us in the Sea Lion encounter. The first 25 min is a trainer speaking about sea lions in almost a mini class room setting. For instance, their face and whiskers are very very sensitive. What makes a sea lion different from a seal? And so forth. And then we all get in the water and get to get up close and personal with them and feed them. The little kids with us were delighted. You never know how day or a dolphin swim watching a trainer etc. might inspire them to look into marine biology or science. And the reefs at Chankanaab, I must have spent at least several hours swimming with the fish, checking all the holes for eels and holding sea urchins. In Grand Cayman, we swam with wild natural enormous sting rays and got to hold them and see them upclose. In Hawaii, we walked on the giant crater that is Volcanic Natl Park, wow. I haven't been to Alaska, but that would also make for an incredible learning experience too.

I seriously disagree that reading about all this in books or watching a movie about it can replace that. No one will ever change my mind about it, since I experienced it growing up as well. (public school thru 5th grade, homeschool middle school along with vocational highschool.)

Additionally, I just watched an amazing trailer for BEARS by DisneyNature that is coming out on Earth Day (it looks wonderful! I hope its on the ship when we are). Disney is more than fake stuff. Animal Kingdom puts you face to face with giraffes and is frankly the closest I think I'll ever get to the African savanna any time soon.

To me, the bottom line is: Parents who want their children to learn in life have every right to take their children with them to see the world whenever and wherever they like.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:15 PM   #179
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I really tried to stay out of it....

....but as a teacher in a Title 1 public school, I just can't.

First, there are some students who can cope/keep up missing a week of school but the vast majority of students can not. (ex: I thought I was giving my middle school students an "easy A" by giving them a study guide, with answers, that was exactly the test, as in the same exact questions in the same exact order, and over 60% still FAILED the test. This includes some students who are in my gifted/advanced classes.) If your children are those who can keep up, wonderful and congratulations.

Second, in response to some posters: Yes, teachers have lesson plans prepared usually one to two weeks in advance, but not much beyond that because we have to adjust to student learning. However, much of those lessons include activities that can ONLY be completed in the classroom such as hands on labs, demonstrations, etc. Further, your children's teachers are the absolute best source of information and instruction. There is not a packet that can be created that can provide a child with as much educational experience as being in the classroom. This becomes more and more essential the further along your children progress in school. In both professional and social arenas, I have had parents say to me that they are not able to help children with their homework because they don't understand it themselves.

And finally, to paraphrase a previous post, while teachers are more inclined to help the students who are trying to learn, willing to learn over those whose only goal throughout the school day is to get in the world record books for most trips to the principals office, it is still a huge chore to attempt to come up with a week's worth of work that will be meaningful and coincide with what is going on in the classroom when the student does not have the background knowledge to complete the work; a chore that is most likely completed on the weekend or at home in the evenings when your teachers should be spending the time with their own families. (and before anyone asks, yes, we do get a planning or "prep" period but more often than not it is filled with required meetings or parent conferences) Then on the off chance that the packet is completed and turned in, teachers then have to figure out how to assess that work and include those grades along with the grades that were taken in the classroom.

Bottom line: it is a personal decision, one everyone has an opinion on. But please know that however "accommodating" your school may seem, if it is a public school, pulling students out for vacation is very frowned upon.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:12 PM   #180
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There were kids who were with us in the Sea Lion encounter. The first 25 min is a trainer speaking about sea lions in almost a mini class room setting. For instance, their face and whiskers are very very sensitive. What makes a sea lion different from a seal? And so forth. And then we all get in the water and get to get up close and personal with them and feed them. The little kids with us were delighted. You never know how day or a dolphin swim watching a trainer etc. might inspire them to look into marine biology or science. And the reefs at Chankanaab, I must have spent at least several hours swimming with the fish, checking all the holes for eels and holding sea urchins. In Grand Cayman, we swam with wild natural enormous sting rays and got to hold them and see them upclose. In Hawaii, we walked on the giant crater that is Volcanic Natl Park, wow. I haven't been to Alaska, but that would also make for an incredible learning experience too.

I seriously disagree that reading about all this in books or watching a movie about it can replace that. No one will ever change my mind about it, since I experienced it growing up as well. (public school thru 5th grade, homeschool middle school along with vocational highschool.)

Additionally, I just watched an amazing trailer for BEARS by DisneyNature that is coming out on Earth Day (it looks wonderful! I hope its on the ship when we are). Disney is more than fake stuff. Animal Kingdom puts you face to face with giraffes and is frankly the closest I think I'll ever get to the African savanna any time soon.

To me, the bottom line is: Parents who want their children to learn in life have every right to take their children with them to see the world whenever and wherever they like.
Thanks for sharing. My kids are homeschooled. We spend about two hours a day doing school work, and they are still ahead of the public school. The last time we were at Disney World(waiting for a storm to pass and the pool to reopen) the life guard spent a good 30 minutes with my son teaching him about what causes lightning, and how to tell how close it is. I think people forget that kids are like sponges when it comes to learning. There is so much to be learned outside of the classroom. and traveling and seeing things first hand is so much better than reading about it in a book.
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