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Old 12-12-2012, 08:06 AM   #16
Four Swampers
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I am a pediatrician, and I have two daughters. One is a high school freshman, the other a seventh grader. This will be the 10th year (remember kindergarten) that I have taken one or both out of school for 2 to 5 days for a trip. Before anyone else rails at me, please know that I understand the value of education (I finished 20th grade, for crying out loud), and I understand the importance of teaching children responsibility for school attendance, especially as it relates to their future work ethic.

School is important, but the material can be learned with make-up assignments. Frankly, no one's career nor life is changed based on 5 days of middle school. On the other hand, family vacations can be life-changing. That change can be the unique educational experience of seeing a different culture and bringing concepts of geography and ancient history to life. That change can also just be a deeper sense of family created by being together on a beach.

Whether educational or just for family fun, one thing is certain: 20 years from now, your children will remember a vacation with mom. They will not remember any particular five days of school.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by violetmonarch View Post
As I read through some threads about taking school-aged children out of class for a family vacation, I am hesitating taking our trip as planned...not because I fear that my middle-school aged daughter will have a hard time catching up with assignments, but rather because I feel I dont have the confidence to approach the teachers/principal about the subject.
I am single with two kiddos (ten years apart) and we have NEVER taken a vacation ANYWHERE, EVER! That said, this year has been a long, extremely stressful and emotionally taxing series of very unfortunate events. My thinking was that a good family trip, while being as educational as I can make it, would also serve as a shot of confidence or perhaps even just a reset that our little family needs.
Am I wrong for thinking that missing 5 school days are worth getting our family going off to a better start? I suppose that I am just putting this thought of mine out here for some feedback or maybe support.
If you have advice, I am happy to listen. Thanks so much for posting this exchange of information here&it does help to see what others go thru and their ideas.
Let me start by saying to know your school's policy for missed days (which you agreed to by enrolling your child there). I don't buy the "making the vacation education" line of bologna. WDW is just as educational the other 185 days of the year they don't have school.

Having said all that, I have pulled my DD from school each year in elementary for a trip to WDW. I was also honest with the teacher's. No 'it's eduational' line. Simply, I got a great deal and it works better for my family so we are going. There is no limit on the # of days a child misses in the handbook as long as they keep up their work.

Having said that, my DD now in grade 4 has asked that we no longer pull her because it's just too stressful and overwhelming for her to make up the work. This is from a straight A student. If she missed 5 days she would have 5 days to make up all in class and homework missed on top of her current work.

How does your middle schooler feel?

I'm sorry to hear you had such a stressful year and I hope the New Year brings much less stress.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:38 AM   #18
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It really depends on the state. Where I'm from its very relaxed. I wrote a note a month in advance letting them know the dates. They said have a wonderful time. It feels weird doing it but once you get out and see all the other kids out for vacation you realize you are not alone.

On a different note my son was really upset about the lessons he missed and even though he caught up ok it was stressful for him. I promised him I wouldn't do it again unless he was willing.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:59 AM   #19
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Well, I don't have any kids, but thought I'd chime in anyways since I was once a kid myself . Ask yourself this: In 10 years will your kids remember the specific 5 days of school more or less than they'd remember their family cruise vacation??? Plus, if your apprehensive about approaching the teachers about vacation time/school missed, this seems like a wonderful opportunity for you to grow as well! Grab a hold of those boot straps, pull 'em on up and go talk to the teachers. you'll be glad you did, AND, you'll walk away with a cart load of confidence to boot!!!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:02 AM   #20
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If your children have missed a lot of days already then maybe not a good idea.

If they have great attendance THEN GO FOR IT AND ENJOY LIFE!
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:18 AM   #21
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I was hesitant to take my kindergartener out of school for a trip. He has anxiety, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder and in general catches every bug that comes along. My parents wanted us to go on a cruise with them this year and I declined several times until the kids sale free out of Galveston came. We were able to situate it over a week where he would have two days off school anyway and will miss 5. I was hoping for only 4 but airfare is just too expensive, much cheaper to drive. He attends a private school so I think things are a little less stringent for things like this. He is also doing so much better in school than we could have hoped for him to do, academically he is far ahead and he has done so well socially that I'm not as worried about the time off as I was before school started and the beginning of the year. I know there is a form that we have to fill out and I will be doing so after Christmas break so about 6 weeks out from the trip.

You are the parent and know what your child can handle and what is in their best interest. I will be working with his teacher to make sure that he makes up all his work. I realize that Kindergarten is way easier than other grades in that respect. I don't plan on pulling them out every year for a vacation but I'm sure this also won't be the last time we do it either. We're on a budget so vacationing at off times is very helpful.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:02 AM   #22
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We gave my son's teacher advance notice and she sent his homework home before our trip. We used to take it with us to breakfast each morning in Cabanas and have him work on it a bit at a time so it wasn''t an overwhelming thing when he got back to make up all the work he missed.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:09 AM   #23
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Do it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by violetmonarch View Post
As I read through some threads about taking school-aged children out of class for a family vacation, I am hesitating taking our trip as planned...not because I fear that my middle-school aged daughter will have a hard time catching up with assignments, but rather because I feel I dont have the confidence to approach the teachers/principal about the subject.
I am single with two kiddos (ten years apart) and we have NEVER taken a vacation ANYWHERE, EVER! That said, this year has been a long, extremely stressful and emotionally taxing series of very unfortunate events. My thinking was that a good family trip, while being as educational as I can make it, would also serve as a shot of confidence or perhaps even just a reset that our little family needs.
Am I wrong for thinking that missing 5 school days are worth getting our family going off to a better start? I suppose that I am just putting this thought of mine out here for some feedback or maybe support.
If you have advice, I am happy to listen. Thanks so much for posting this exchange of information here&it does help to see what others go thru and their ideas.
By all means, do it! It sounds like it is just what you need! Send a note to school for the teacher(s) and for the office a couple of weeks before your trip, and follow up with an email reminder. The emotional renewal, mental renewal, wonderful experience and memories made will be sooooo worth it! We went on our first Disney Cruise two weeks after finding out my husband would be deployed overseas for a second time (we already had the trip planned). While the deployment and the worries that come along with it were always in the back of our minds (sort of like impending doom), being together so close on vacation and having such a great time did help us all. It was a very special time for us for so many reasons. Our son's school will not give out make up work ahead of vacations, so we bring some of his books along for him to study on the plane so when we get back he is familiar with what he missed and the make up work goes a little easier this way. Good luck with everything!
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:21 AM   #24
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You won't even think twice about it in the future, especially if there are times of hardship that you must endure (that come along in our lives sometimes). School is mandatory, to give our kids a fair chance at a educated life.... exposing them to things they can't experience in school (mostly excursions, I guess, or even conversations with CM's) gives them a priceless education not obtained in a brick and mortar building.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:35 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Swampers
(I finished 20th grade, for crying out loud).
Lol this just made my day!
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:54 AM   #26
JKSWonder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violetmonarch View Post
As I read through some threads about taking school-aged children out of class for a family vacation, I am hesitating taking our trip as planned...not because I fear that my middle-school aged daughter will have a hard time catching up with assignments, but rather because I feel I dont have the confidence to approach the teachers/principal about the subject.
I am single with two kiddos (ten years apart) and we have NEVER taken a vacation ANYWHERE, EVER! That said, this year has been a long, extremely stressful and emotionally taxing series of very unfortunate events. My thinking was that a good family trip, while being as educational as I can make it, would also serve as a shot of confidence or perhaps even just a reset that our little family needs.
Am I wrong for thinking that missing 5 school days are worth getting our family going off to a better start? I suppose that I am just putting this thought of mine out here for some feedback or maybe support.
If you have advice, I am happy to listen. Thanks so much for posting this exchange of information here&it does help to see what others go thru and their ideas.
Are you friendly with any of the parents of the children in your kids schools? I know when I took DD out of school for her first WDW trip when she was in Kindergarten I was nervous about how to approach the teacher too. But I spoke to some of the parents in the schools, all of whom assured me that it was no big deal and the teachers did not mind at all. This might help to ease your mind about the whole thing somewhat.

I did take DD out of school one week a year until she started 5th grade. At that time, she asked me not to as she really hated having to do homework on vacation (and I hated bugging her about it!). While I have no doubt she would have had no trouble doing the work or staying caught up with class, it just wasn't something she wanted to do.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:43 PM   #27
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I was nervous about taking my daughter out for 4 days. She has off a random Friday in January. Go figure. Then I remembered the school sending home tons of reading and projects for her to do over the summer. So I thought if they don't mind disrupting her(and our summer) then I don't mind disrupting their January class time.

I'm writing a note about 2 weeks out explaining what we are doing and giving them the option of giving her work ahead of time.

I've decided to not stress over it. She's heading to high school next year so I figure this might be the last time it's feasible to take her out. It was now or never.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:51 PM   #28
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First, I would like to thank you all for your response to my original post...you have helped more than you know.
I am going to try to answer some questions you all had:
My daughter is in the 8th grade and she was on the Honor roll twice last year, but this year I see that her grades are not as good, but I truly believe is that she is highly stressed about the events that have occurred in our home (probably more than she knows), and despite all my best efforts, I can tell that she needs a break as much as me.
My daughter does not like to miss school and we have never had an issue in the past with attendance. That said, she has only missed two full days of school this school year, and two partial days due to doctors appointments. She hates that she has to do make-up work when she is out and so she makes a point not to miss. She is a great kid!
We were planning on her missing six days, since we are staying in Galveston the night before we leave and were going to take that Friday driving the 400 miles to get there. However, I decided that it would be better to leave after she is out of school that Friday and just arrive late that night and kind of be rushed. I am trying to minimize days she is out. I did already check the school district calendars and there are no state tests or anything major she will be missing during that time that I can see she cannot make up. I suppose that the actual teachers' assignments are what I won't kow until I ask. So I will.
I am not close with other parents so much, but I have tried. My daughter is a bit picky about who she calls a friend, which I can understand. I did email the principal, seeking a meeting with her. However, now I feel I may need to request that meeting with her counselor? I should have thought about that since she is more aware of things here than the principal, duh me.
My daughter and I were talking about what we were going to pack, clothes-wise, and I told her how excited I was and she said YES, me too! I said for me, it's a dream come true. She said it's a dream I never knew I wanted coming true!
I know that I am not the smartest person, but I know that there can be educational aspects to anything, really. I do a lot of couponing and she watches that and sees that there is a value to it, she thinks twice before spending her allowance. To me, if seeing a ship makes her want to be a captain or if swimming with stingrays or dolphins makes her want to work with marine life, well then that's something that the classroom couldn't have given her.
I guess you are right, though, I do have a problem with confrontation. I didn't used to have this problem, but because of time and unforeseen occurrences, I now feel I guess less confident and unsure. I hate to admit that as a mother but it's true. So I will take your advice and talk to the counselor and teachers in person and tell them what I a planning.
I am so grateful to the positive feedback I got to read just now...I needed to hear that.
BTW: I hope that if you are on the ship we are on, we can chat more
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violetmonarch
First, I would like to thank you all for your response to my original post...you have helped more than you know.
I am going to try to answer some questions you all had:
My daughter is in the 8th grade and she was on the Honor roll twice last year, but this year I see that her grades are not as good, but I truly believe is that she is highly stressed about the events that have occurred in our home (probably more than she knows), and despite all my best efforts, I can tell that she needs a break as much as me.
My daughter does not like to miss school and we have never had an issue in the past with attendance. That said, she has only missed two full days of school this school year, and two partial days due to doctors appointments. She hates that she has to do make-up work when she is out and so she makes a point not to miss. She is a great kid!
I am not close with other parents so much, but I have tried. My daughter is a bit picky about who she calls a friend, which I can understand. I did email the principal, seeking a meeting with her. However, now I feel I may need to request that meeting with her counselor? I should have thought about that since she is more aware of things here than the principal, duh me.
My daughter and I were talking about what we were going to pack, clothes-wise, and I told her how excited I was and she said YES, me too! I said for me, it's a dream come true. She said it's a dream I never knew I wanted coming true!
I know that I am not the smartest person, but I know that there can be educational aspects to anything, really. I do a lot of couponing and she watches that and sees that there is a value to it, she thinks twice before spending her allowance. To me, if seeing a ship makes her want to be a captain or if swimming with stingrays or dolphins makes her want to work with marine life, well then that's something that the classroom couldn't have given her.
I guess you are right, though, I do have a problem with confrontation. I didn't used to have this problem, but because of time and unforeseen occurrences, I now feel I guess less confident and unsure. I hate to admit that as a mother but it's true. So I will take your advice and talk to the counselor and teachers in person and tell them what I a planning.
I am so grateful to the positive feedback I got to read just now...I needed to hear that.
BTW: I hope that if you are on the ship we are on, we can chat more
You sound so stressed..

Why do you feel you need a meeting? You aren't asking for permission. You're just stating a fact, right? If I were you I wouldn't get the principal for counselor involved. I'd read a letter to her teacher, state the situation and leave it at that.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:00 PM   #30
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Just one request, be sure to come back on here and tell us how much fun your family had on their trip! DCL will pamper you!
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