a change I wish I could make

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by mom4fun, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. cjbcam

    cjbcam DIS Veteran

    Sep 22, 2013
    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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  3. deanimal

    deanimal DIS Veteran

    Aug 21, 2011
    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?" :confused3 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.
  4. Racer X

    Racer X Mouseketeer

    Aug 24, 2013
    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.
  5. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    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....
  6. Becky925

    Becky925 Mouseketeer

    Apr 23, 2012
    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.
  7. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

    Nov 28, 2011
    Excellent post!:thumbsup2
  8. TheLanes

    TheLanes DIS Veteran

    Dec 21, 2009
    Well put! I think we can use your examples of pre-studying to be a good one!
  9. elaine amj

    elaine amj DIS Veteran

    Jan 26, 2012
    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*
  10. Racer X

    Racer X Mouseketeer

    Aug 24, 2013
    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 :)
  11. neg58

    neg58 DIS Veteran

    Oct 5, 2012
    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.

  12. icesk8abc

    icesk8abc Mouseketeer

    Jan 23, 2010
    I'm a teacher who takes a week off every other year for a Disney vacation due to cost and crowds. I also talk my sisters into pulling their kids (still elementary aged) out of school to go with us.

    In advance of comments my sharing this usually brings...Yes - I have had people (never parents of kids in my classes strangely enough) tell me that I shouldn't be taking off time to go on a trip when I have the summer off. My district gives me 5 days of vacation time a year. I choose to use them on consecutive days every other year.

    As long as the family has a good track record for make-up work/studies, I have no problem with them taking vacation time. My students (who I've had for 2 years because I loop) know that I have no problem with family time. I do ask that they notify me in advance as much as possible.
  13. twindaddy

    twindaddy DIS Veteran

    Aug 11, 2010
    Do you want an honest opinion from a teacher? Flame me if you want, but here is what your teacher will not tell you, unless you get a glass of wine in him/her

    The students who are polite, respectful, follow directions, generally turn into assignments, ask questions and get help when needed, and have parents that treat me like a partner in their kids education: I am glad they are going on vacation, have a great time. It has nothing to do with academic aptitude, I am talking about all the other qualities. For those students, I will gladly spend 30 minutes out of my Sunday to put together a packet for you. Do it, but have a great trip!

    The students who are terrible in class, disrupt the learning of other students, have a terrible attitude, have parents that never respond to my phone calls and/or say "My little Johnny would never throw a chair at you or call another student (insert curse word / ethnic slur / sexual orientation slur), you must be a bad teacher or it is your fault somehow. Those are the students that seem to get most of the vacations, and NEVER, I mean NEVER turn in the packets I make them. Those are the students your teachers and office staff resent, and when you have little Sally the terror on vacation, we are just glad they are gone so everyone else can learn. I had a student a Disneyland last week who makes it is daily mission to bring other students off task.

    Be nice to your teacher, make them a partner in your kids education, and have a great trip. I have kids too, I know how much pricier things are at school breaks.

    I dont know the point of this post, other than to give you some insight into the mind of a teacher about vacations.
  14. Dug720

    Dug720 SQUIRREL!!

    Feb 16, 2012
  15. natmom

    natmom Mouseketeer

    Apr 6, 2009

    Great post! I've often wondered if it is the unpleasant children/parents that have created the crackdown by the schools. I have pulled my kids from school for vacation, usually once every other year. I given the teachers a month or two of notice and thank them profusely for their cooperation. My children complete everything the teacher sends home. If I felt my children were unable to grasp the concepts they would miss then we wouldn't pull them from school. I think it really depends on the child.
  16. magrudersmakes3

    magrudersmakes3 DIS Veteran

    Jul 16, 2011
  17. fredgirls

    fredgirls DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2009
    Great perspective.
    We had 6 months when we had to travel away from home. Instead of placing the kids in local schools we home schooled, using our districts curriculum.
    I was AMAZED how little they actually learn in class!
    Research says something like the 6+ hours a day in the classroom equates to just an hour of actual learning! It was a real eye-opener!

    It meant while away we only had to spend an hour a day on school work and the rest of the time was travel enrichment! :thumbsup2

    I now get a copy of the curriculum every year so we can offer relevant enrichment at home. And sometimes this involves travel!
  18. TwinPrincessMermaids

    TwinPrincessMermaids DIS Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    My parents took us out of elementary for Disney trips. He had business shows and seminars and would combine the two. He heard flack about it. Once. And then he pointed out that he had to keep us kids out of school the day that they hired ghost story tellers for assembly (how was that education?), or about the times the kids would hold hands end to end to show how big a whale was (he was taking us to SeaWorld.) He never heard another complaint again.

    After elementary, we were homeschooled. England several times (actually walking around the Battle of Hastings where William won. How many times do you get to read about that, but to BE there to SEE IT? Same with Tower of London. SO much history there.) We have been blessed to go a lot of places. We never suffered for our education. We are all successful, and it was wonderful family time that you can NEVER NEVER get back!

    I also know a youngster (1st grader last year, 2nd this year) who got to spend several weeks in Nicaragua, is going to visit all the Hawaiian Islands in Jan (stand on REAL volcanic parks and see real volcanoes, etc). He is seeing the world, people, and he just turned 8.

    What could be better than that?
  19. Disneybridewifemama

    Disneybridewifemama Mouseketeer

    May 17, 2013
    My parents used to take me out for vacation as long as my GPA was above a certain number and I always had to do some kind of report on the trip. I specifically remember when I was 11 and did a report on the world showcase at Epcot. My school work was always made up and I never saw an issue with taking a vacation. I will do the same with my kids.
  20. PaceFamily

    PaceFamily Wife and Grumpy

    Mar 8, 2011
    I am probably going to get flamed for this but here it goes. I am not sure where we draw the line on these types of conversations. I have seen numerous conversations about "how dare people (XXX) because it is against the rules". This can be applied to, but is not limited to, the following...

    1. Shorts in the dining rooms
    2. Seat saving at the shows
    3. Deck chair saving
    4. Etc.

    I have read people complaining about how dare "this person" do "that" because it is against the rules. Now here we are talking about taking children out of the education system to take an "educational" vacation. In many locations, missing school for an unexcused absence is called Truancy and is a crime in many areas. Last time I checked a vacation is not an excused absence. It is just against the rules/ laws. Saying the rules do not apply to you so that you can take a cheaper "educational" vacation is really a stretch. Is the value of the vacation to your child's education any greater during the school year than it would be during the more expensive vacation season? Honestly, I would love to hear what is so educational about taking a vacation cruise and visiting tourist areas. Really, please enlighten me.

    Now that said, I am are that there is no one on this particular thread would ever have complained about anything that I mentioned above because we can see past these minor "restrictions" that we call rules and do not see the need to worry with them. I am sure that none of us will ever complain either when we book a veranda and a smoker lights up next to us. After all, they are choosing to "flex" the rules because they are inconvenient to them, so it is all good there also.:eek:

    Sure my wife is going to boot me for posting this, but I just needed to say it.:confused3
  21. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2002
    That's my problem with the idea. When my kids miss a week of math, or Spanish - its gone. Science is starting to get like that - you need to know last weeks Chemistry to do this weeks. And the burden of getting them caught up is falling on the teachers as much as the students.

    Its different in elementary school - maybe. But I'm not sure how different since my daughter started Algebra in elementary school (and we live in a not very good district).

    Yes, travel can be educational, but its education usually in the "you can miss this part of your education and still do well on the SAT" way. Whereas if you miss learning absolute values and being able to correct dependent clauses because you were busy learning about Stingrays on Castaway Cay that can be a big deal.

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