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Old 06-06-2013, 07:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Kbrush
I think there are times when time spent together as a family in a relaxing manner IS more important than school. If it truly feels as if it is genuinely more important than the school days missed then that is a good indication of whether its OK to go.

I took my daughter out of school in 2nd Grade to go to WDW in October because the grandparents were taking ALL the first cousins. My DD is adopted, I'm a single mom, and my parents are dead. This was my brother's kids and his wife's parents and siblings who have all embraced my daughter and myself as part of their clan. It was VERY important that we went because they hasn't thought to invite us two years previously.

I am taking my daughter out next year for two days because we are moving and switching schools and want to spend time with two best friends who are also adopted. We will not have seen them for awhile and all want to try to maintain the friendships as the family histories are very similar and the friendships are emotionally supportive for the girls.

I would not skip school to take my DD on vacation just for fun or to save money.
I agree, but most families don't have the finances to go on vacation only when school is out. My family would not be able to afford a disney cruise if we didn't go in October, while my son is in school. So sometimes saving money should definitely trump a few days of my opinion anyways.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by twinstars View Post
We do not pull our kids out of school for vacations because we feel that would send our kids the wrong message that vacation is more important than school.
Personally, I think sometimes it can be. And like a PP said, taking a week off of school is hardly sending a message that school doesn't matter. Instead, it can send the message that sometimes family matters more than school, especially when it's the only time a family can afford (either in time or money) a trip.

To the OP, only you (and your state laws, apparently) can decide what's best for your child. Personally, I say go for it!
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:45 PM   #18
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You'll find very strong opinions on both sides of this topic, but no one should make this decision for you. This is a personal decision. You need to make the decision that is best for you and your family.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:46 PM   #19
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I have no problem taking my DD out of school this October for a cruise. A week will not make or break the school year. Perfect attendance is highly overrated. She will be in 7th grade and any work she will miss I will personally help her with, if she needs it. Sometimes, kids need to unwind during the school year. Breaks seem to have gotten shorter since I was a kid.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:47 PM   #20
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I've taken my son out of school for at least a week for the last 7 years. He just missed a week for a cruise in Jan, another cruise last month, and will miss a week in November for yet another cruise. He hasn't missed the honor roll yet. School is important, but life experiences are more important in my opinion. I NEVER missed school as a kid. Always had perfect attendance, yet it did nothing for me. As an adult, no one cares that I was in school everyday. I guarantee that my son will remember these vacations a lot more than a random week in 8th grade. With that said, he doesn't miss school for anything else. Since he's been blessed with intelligence, anything less than the honor roll is unsatisfactory. We highly value school, but we also value enjoying life. My wife and I have chosen careers that afford us the opportunity to vacation when we choose, and we choose to vacation during non peak times. Hopefully, he'll follow suit.

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Old 06-06-2013, 07:47 PM   #21
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We took my dd out in 2011 for 2 weeks - in January when she was in 4th grade. We spent a week in WDW and then a week on the Magic. But - we had permission and full support from the school who recognized what we had gone through that year. DMIL had been diagnosed and suffered for 6 mos. with brain cancer before passing away. My inlaws lived 3 1/2 hours away and the school watched us and supported us as we drove back and forth while we went through surgeries and rehabilitation and then finally hospice. And just a few months later, dfil passed away of heart failure unexpectedly. They were ages 63 and 67. DH spent most of the year in Afghanistan and traveling all of the world for work and had done so previously and his parents were always helping with the kids. Losing those 2 people in 10 months shell shocked our family. When we decided we needed time together, away from it all, to heal ourselves - the school and community supported us completely.
That said, I do plan vacations when we are able to go; dh still travels the world and is gone for weeks at a time. I have a rule that I do it when it is a short week - so for example, we are booked next Memorial Day week so it is less impactful. Also, my kids know that school work comes first and grades have to be maintained and kept up if a vacation is booked and they expect to go.
That January trip in WDW - we did all of DD's homework every morning before hitting the parks, so that we didn't have to do any work on the cruise.
We stressed the importance of keeping up with schoolwork.
I believe there is a balance and if you teach your children right, then it can work out. If you abuse the system, then you are teaching your children that school is not important. Its all about the examples parents set.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:56 PM   #22
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This is probably the 3rd topic(right behind smoking and MDR dress code) to stir the pot.

DH and I took DD out of school for one week, from Kindergarten through 3rd grade (for vacation.) We were fortunate enough to have her in a private school, so taking her out wasn't an issue. (DH was low seniority, and couldn't get summertime vacation then.) We don't regret doing it, and we all have happy memories. Do what is right for your family.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:06 PM   #23
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Depends on the age of your children. When I was in fifth grade and my brother was in fourth, we missed a week of school during the first week of May and experienced no repercussions.

March of next year my family is taking a cruise and I am being pulled out the Friday before school gets out for spring break. I will be a Junior in high school (and I am in an IB Programme) and I am already uneasy about all the work I will miss and much it will put me behind. And that's one day!

So if your kids are elementary age, I think it's okay as long as they understand that this is a one time deal and that school holds supremacy. If they are older than that, speaking as a high school student, I wouldn't recommend pulling then out for more than day.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:11 PM   #24
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School & Cruises

I have pulled my kids out several times-- never been a problem. In fact, a lot of their teachers have said it is educational. My kids for our next cruise in Sept 2013 will be a sophomore in college, junior in high school, and the 8th grade. They all said don't worry about it, they have never had any problem keeping up on their school work and making the honor roll.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:12 PM   #25
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We just pulled our son out for 6 days at the beginning of May. Before making our final payment, we double-checked with his teacher to make sure that he wasn't behind on anything. We also chose to travel later in the school year so that way we would know how many absences he already had accumulated.

I feel that traveling is an educational opportunity in and of itself. We did a tour in St. Maarten and my DS was able to recall so much that he learned. He also looked at a map to see where he was visiting. Seeing some of the poor parts of other countries also makes him more compassionate towards others. These are lessons that are hard to learn in a classroom environment.

With that being said, I think you have to decide what's best for your family since you know your kids the best.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:17 PM   #26
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Life is School!

If you do it right, life is school! There is education in so many things. We always look for learning in everything, including Disney. We take, or took, education seriously and instilled this in our kids. We took them out of school to go to Disney in January, several times, without undermining the importance of education at all. In fact, we always tried to be curious, learn, and instill a love of learning in our kids. You can find math, science, history, and in other subject any where you happen to be!

My kids are grown now, and I don't regret a day out of school!
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:27 PM   #27
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It needs to be a personal decision. When my oldest was in 8th grade(a private school at that time) we took him and our 6th, 5th, and 3rd grader out for a week to go on a Disney cruise it was the only way we could afford it. It was wonderful and the only family vacation he went on. It was definatly worth it.

Since then Dh has only wanted to go during breaks. We saw the KSF deal for February. Dh wanted to do a 5 day however it meant Dd and Ds missing a week of school. Dd is a senior in HS and did not want to miss so alas we went on the four day during Presidents week. I did an onboard booking for a dummy 4 day cruise for next year. The first thing Dh said was we cannot go then Ds will miss school.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:29 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Davistigers View Post
The schools in our school district mark anything over a 3-day absence as "Truant" and reports it to the school district main office. I got nasty letters sent to me for both kids reporting that they had a truancy on their record now. This is all AFTER I had already spoken with both kids' teachers at 2 different schools and they had said OK and even given us homework to do on the vacation. Our district is super strict about attendance due to the state funding issues.

However, when I was little my parents pulled my brother and I out of school for at least a week every October so we could go on a family vacation. My dad worked in a summer-heavy business and this was the only time we could all go. Those were some of my best memories of travel, discovery and family time.
If the school tried that, I would pull my kids out of school and do home schooling and then they wouldnt get ANY money for my kids.

In all reality, I would have no problems pulling kids out of school for family reasons. I would of course work with the teachers to get homework, etc. but I would not let them tell me I couldn't. Yes, I know I have issues with authority, but I think we have forgotten about what really matters.....FAMILY. It is one of the most important things we will ever have and is one of the few things that can last beyond this life. When we keep that in mind, we will realize that I. The long run taking a kid out of school for a week or two out of the year is nothing by comparison to not being able to build and maintain those family bonds.

So, if it seems I am insistent about this, well I am.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:31 PM   #29
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You do what is best for your family, don't worry what others think.

I do pull my kids out. I will continue to do so. That is what works for us.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:34 PM   #30
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I pulled my nearly 8 y/o son from school, for a 10 day WDW marathon/Run Disney and DCL 4-night cruise. He is a strong student. His teacher provided his work -- over 50 pages of math, plus homework (spelling, math, etc.). He completed a little each day. At the end of the trip, he stated, "Mom, from now on, I don't want to miss more than 3 days of school at a time!"
I was impressed by his insight. Not bad for a second grader.
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