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Old 04-16-2012, 01:32 AM   #1
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Taking kids out of school

I was going to reply on WAMUMOF4's thread but didnt want to hijack - so started a new one.

Last year our teens missed 9 days of school while we were on our trip - DD was in year 10 and unfortunately this coincided with yearly exams - (who knew, every other year they do nothing in the last week of school)

She did a couple of exams before we left and a couple after - she topped the grade in English and History and was up there in her other subjects - so obviously it didnt have any real impact - we figured it was better that she was away during exam time rather than missing lessons -

Our DS's both in Year 8 - both faired reasonably well in their end of year reports, in the scheme of things who looks at a Year 8 report anyway.

So I have no regrets in taking them from school and they definitely gained more knowledge than they missed.

My dilemma now is that I am planning a holiday for April 2013 -after much agonising we have pretty much decided on Japan (all those reviews of Disneysea pushed me over the edge) Anyway, April coincides with Cherryblossom time in Japan, however this is a brief season usually early April, and school holidays don't start until April 12.

DD will be in Year 12, which I know is very important, should I take her out of school for the week and fly on April 6, or wait until April 12 and miss the cherry blossom festival?

I will speak to school about this, but in my heart unless there is something important at school we will be going early - she is doing "Society and Culture" as a subject so we will call it an educational trip - (can I claim that on tax)

As for DS's - pretty sure they will be OK to miss a few days!!
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:09 AM   #2
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I don't have a problem with taking kids out of school, I am doing it myself, but if your child is trying for a university place there, year 12 is not the time to do this. I can't imagine how stressful it will be if she is trying to get a uni place. If she if in Year 12 then she should be old old to stay home by herself.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:51 AM   #3
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Battymum - I'm all for taking kids out of school to broaden their horizons. Afterall, life is more than schooling.

However, I think that with the focus so heavily on ATAR scores these days, Year 12 is not the best year for taking a kid out of school. Afterall, it really is only 9 - 10 months in the overall scheme of life that VCE represents. Perhaps you might want to reconsider going to Japan for the following year if you want to catch the cherry blossoms.

But you know your child best and if you think she'll be fine with it, then do what your heart tells you.

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Old 04-16-2012, 02:57 AM   #4
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I wouldn't be feeling good about taking my child out of school for a week in year 12 - remembering (far far) back to my own year 12 days, the pace is pretty fast and you can miss out on a lot in a week. If the school can give her some make-up work or some extra help before you leave it might help?

But I'm probably not the best person to ask as I'm pretty conservative about taking my kids out of school - I am feeling guilty about mine missing 2 days this year (and they are in year 2 and year 5, and the year 5 one will only be missing out on camp!)
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:15 AM   #5
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Japan, Battymum !!!! I'm looking forward to reading along as you plan it.

Hey, and thanks for starting this thread because, as you know, I'm also very interested about this.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:39 AM   #6
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I can't comment on taking older kids out of school as I am yet to face that dilemma. Does one week really make that much difference? Wow, things are different from when I was at school. In form 5 ( equiv yr 11) I went to England for 5-6 weeks in Aug, exams were in Nov. But then there was no internal assessment until form 6 back then.

However I have absolutely no problem with taking primary aged kids ( Yr8 and younger) out of school for holidays (and we do this every year).
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:14 AM   #7
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This is always a hard one and I've been in a similar situation.

We generally have no problems with the kids missing a bit of school, in fact this year our youngest DS (Year 10) will be missing the last week of term 3 and a couple of days of term 4. He has usually missed up to a week of school for all our trips.

Usually I think the last week of term is a good choice to miss as, unless they're doing exams, it's nearly always a very quiet week.

Is there an option to have her miss a bit less than a full week? My two oldest did the HSC in recent years and it was such a full-on time for them. There really is a huge difference in the pressure level between Year 10 and Year 12.

Having said that when DD was in year 12 we went to Europe and she missed the last day of Term 1 and one day at the beginning of term 2 ( we were fortunate that the timing of Easter and Anzac day gave us a couple of extra public holidays to take advantage of). Missing those couple of days were fine ( she did very well in the HSC) but I would not have felt comfortable about taking her out of school for a whole week.

I think your best bet is to take the advice of her teachers. They are the ones who will have the best knowledge of what will be happening that last week of term. Maybe it will be a quiet week and she won't miss anything, but it could be a week when major assignments are due or they are having study seminars or something like that.

Good luck with your choice, I know I'm NOT looking forward to going through another year 12 again in a couple of years.

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Old 04-16-2012, 05:06 AM   #8
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I am really bad at making decisions - and probably share too much of my pondering on here, but we always planned on making a trip in April 2013, we thought about Hamilton Island, then Hawaii both of which would be awesome, but I thought Hawaii was a lot of $$ for a beach holiday -(still on the list though)

Then I started looking at Japan, DH has always wanted to go - airfares look reasonable and I can justify the expense to myself on a cultural trip, I am quite excited about it - its still in the maybe stage - this is what happens to me, I research to see if it is doable - then find I have my heart set on it. Although finding accommodation for 5 is proving to be tricky - will have to be two rooms which is going to be pricey.

I have also been looking at staying in a hostel, which is a new experience for all of us, but I like the idea of the kids realising you can travel on a tight budget, it wont be long before they spread their own wings - and I would love them to be travellers.

I have actually brought it up with DD - and offered for her to stay home and we will give her some money to take her own trip at the end of the year. As much as I want her to come, she can be demanding and travelling with 4 would be so much easier.

I guess we can travel the week later - but it would be a shame to miss such a big thing on the tourist calendar by a week.

I will talk to school when they go back - they are really quite accommodating to her, and she is quite self motivated - a lot of their daily work is posted to a web site that she could access.

Decisions, decisions!
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:22 AM   #9
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How long are you going for?
Maybe she could stay with the Grandparents and then fly over if the school has an issue with it.
Though most schools seem pretty accommodating and its not exam time so i don't see why they couldn't give her the work to have done before you go away.
Good luck not an easy decision to make which is why we are doing our big trip this year whilst its still not an issue.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:32 AM   #10
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My own 2 cents. I have absolutely no issues with taking children out of school for holidays. I definitely believe they learn more in lots of different levels from the experience of travel than they could in "a week of schooling".

Year 12 is a biggie, no doubt about it. Lots going on and big deadlines and tight timeframes.

With that said, Andona's daughter had not issues missing 2 days of schooling in year 12, so I'm not sure an additional 3 days is going to impact your child that much more greatly.

To be the good news is that it is at the end of the first term. It's not at the end of the 3rd or last term which gives your daughter time to make up any lost ground.

I also think it would be worth really following the terms for the year 12 kids this year because I was under the impression that often the year 12 students had alot less "face time" required at school so perhaps your daughter could really cram alot into the weeks leading up to your trip so she could be ahead of the game to take those 5 days off.

It's definitely a big decision, but if you do your research, speak with the school, most importantly speak with your daughter and make informed choices - I say GO FOR IT!!!!!!!

It could be the last trip your daughter will come on with you also. If she gets into Uni she will likely be very focused on that and less inclined to come away with you.

Battymum - without a doubt I know you will do that right thing for you and your family and either way it will work out. Over a whole lifetime these are small decisions although they seem so huge at the time.

Good luck.

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Old 04-16-2012, 05:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Caroline NZ View Post
However I have absolutely no problem with taking primary aged kids ( Yr8 and younger) out of school for holidays (and we do this every year).
Yes, I was exactly the same until our eldest started Year 9 last year. Up until then, I happily took the girls out of school in the middle of term for an overseas holiday and their teachers were always quite supportive of it. However last year when we took her out of Year 9 for 9 school days (the rest was the official school holidays), I was made to feel really guilty by the high school even though it was only her first year and, now that she is older, I suspect it would also put added pressure on her if I did the same again. Sadly, there is no end in sight because, as our girls have 3 year gaps between them, as soon as our eldest finishes her important high school years, our second will have started hers and similarly with the second to the third. Oh how I wish I'd done these longer trips earlier and saved all the week long holidays we had in Fiji until later!
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:18 PM   #12
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I'll put my hand up for taking them out.

You did say she can get a lot of her work online, a week should be no biggie, that is 5 school days and I was in year 12 only 9 years ago and I can definitely vouch for the a lot less face to face time. I went from year 10 at a regular high school to 11-12 at a senior high and I swear I nearly died from excitement of all the "free" periods we had.

As long as she knows where she is up to and possible can get her teachers to give it to her before she leaves/online then it should be fine. Think of what she will learn being overseas.

I am of the mind I will take my children out of school to travel, although our school doesn't like it, I say:

1. He is in kindergarten, what will he really miss?
2. He is my kid so tough luck!
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mum from oz View Post
1. He is in kindergarten, what will he really miss?
2. He is my kid so tough luck!
I completely agree!

We have two nearly five year olds out of Kindy for three weeks in September. I told the Head Teacher and she said as long as it wasn't 3 weeks +1 day she was okay with it otherwise she'd be forced, under the regulations the Wgtn Kindy Assn adhere to, to take them off the role. They can take a running leap, I'm the one teaching them math and reading - not the kindy and I'm also the only one holding three jobs on the their committee and raising them funds. Kids learn from travel, certainly the six weeks I was pulled from school in 1981 to travel around the UK taught me more about history and geography than I could have ever learned in Standard 1.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:55 PM   #14
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My brother was in year 12 for my wedding last year. The main thing that my parents had to look into was what % of days he was taking off. It's a requirement of the HSC that a certain % of days be completed. If she takes off more days that what she is allowed she can actually not qualify for the HSC. My DB ended up taking 10 days including weekends, but that was all he could take off, and then couldn't have any sick days or any other days missed.

I'm all for taking kids out of schools for international holidays, but just make sure it's not going to ruin "everything"
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:02 AM   #15
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I'd be wary during HSC year. Our daughter did her HSC last year, and it was huge undertaking for her. There's also a lot of pressure on them during the whole year, so I don't know that it would be a great idea.

I think a lot of it will come down to being guided as to how your daughter feels about the time and whether she will cope okay. It'll be very easy for her to say "Yay, Holiday" but she might want to reflect on it for a day or two.
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