pulling kids out of school to cruise...

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by dnice416, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. ALMinVA

    ALMinVA Mouseketeer

    Sep 9, 2012
    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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  3. Mickeyhugger

    Mickeyhugger DIS Veteran

    Sep 6, 2003
    This is probably the 3rd topic:stir:(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.:)
  4. MeganCello

    MeganCello Disney Lover

    May 25, 2011
    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! :)
  5. jen-n-greg

    jen-n-greg Mouseketeer

    Aug 27, 2001
    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. :)
  6. caribbeandreaming

    caribbeandreaming Mouseketeer

    Feb 16, 2013
    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.
  7. Yellowstonetim

    Yellowstonetim DIS Veteran

    May 22, 2013
    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! :)
  8. dpswift

    dpswift DIS Veteran

    May 6, 2007
    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.
  9. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

    Jul 1, 2005
    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.
  10. quentina

    quentina <font color=deeppink>The bridge has been built and

    Aug 15, 2004
    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.
  11. ddixon1

    ddixon1 Mouseketeer

    Jun 16, 2012
    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. ;)
  12. MikeAndNick

    MikeAndNick If you can dream it, you can do it.

    Jan 4, 2010
    In California we have "Short Term Independent Study". This is a minimum of 5 day and I am not sure if there is a maximum amount of days. A week or so before I take my son out of school I sign a contract and put down the days he will be away. All of his teachers will create work packets for the time he will be away. While he is gone he will complete the work he is given from his teachers. When we return he turns in the work and he will get credit for the work he does and the School will get credit for him attending school as long as he does the school work. We are happy because we get vacation and not pay top price for the cruise and the School is happy because they get paid the same as if he was in school. The nice thing is some of the teachers will give him special assignments based on the vacation we are going on.
  13. ansmom

    ansmom Earning My Ears

    Oct 18, 2011
    I took my kids out this past January and I'm going to take them out next January as well. I let the teachers know well in advance and it was not a problem. I tried to pick a month where they didnt have much going on so no testing or anything like that.
  14. Huntley_Fam

    Huntley_Fam Earning My Ears

    Mar 4, 2011
    Only you can say what is right for you and your family. That being said, we have taken our children out of school on multiple vacations. We had wonderful trips and our kids are still bright, responsible, well adjusted children! They have been able to come back and not really miss a beat. Our oldest is now entering high school so we do not plan on going on any more week long trips during the school year, but up until now, we were able to manage it just fine! Good luck!
  15. Lauriejl2

    Lauriejl2 Mouseketeer

    May 2, 2012
    I used to never take my kids out of school but just last January we did for the 1st time for a week and my dh let the schools know ahead of time and the elementary teacher was very supportive... I asked for work for my son and she wouldn't give it said go let him enjoy then she will catch him up when we get back. The middle school teachers all gave my son work and some was online so he tried to keep up. We are doing the same thing again in May for our cruise. I bid on vacation time and am low senior at work if I wait to get time off when the kids are off we will never get to go on vacation !
  16. insureman

    insureman DIS Veteran

    Oct 3, 2008
    We did take our daughters out during their elementary and middle school years but for that last three years in high school we waited for school vacations under the assumption that it would they wouldn't get too much homework during the vacation period. In reality both girls had double the work and at least one project due the Monday after vacation. It made for very stressful vacations. With my oldest daughter off to college next year we will now cruise during her Winter break in January and pull my youngest out of school for that week. I feel if the teachers really wanted us to go on vacation during the school vacation periods they wouldn't double the workload for that vacation time. Just my opinion.
  17. CraftyMommy

    CraftyMommy Mouseketeer

    Aug 28, 2012
    My kids' school district will let the kids out of school as long as its not more than a week. You have to give the school a 2 week notice so the kids can get their work completed before they go or turned in the day they return. I have had no issues and will do it in the future. It did not put my son behind at all. His teacher had him do all the makeup work at school so he could relax on vacation.

    Everyone has their own opinion on this subject. Some people will think its no big deal to take a child out of school, while others wouldn't dream of doing such a thing. Do what works for your family.
  18. shandrananette

    shandrananette Mouseketeer

    Feb 14, 2012
    This, exactly. We're looking at a school that will apparently pull your slot if you miss a certain number of days and it has me completely turned off, even though it's supposed to be a great school. They're my kids, I will decide whether their absences are justified. It horrifies me that there are districts that will send you a truancy notice after 3 days.

    My parents always pulled me and my brother out of school for a week in January to go to Disneyland - every year until I was a senior in high school (and I was also IB, pp - it worked out). I don't ever remember missing anything of importance, but I sure do remember those trips. I have every intention of doing the same for my kids.
  19. 2disneycruzrs

    2disneycruzrs DIS Veteran

    Oct 12, 2003
    I so agree with caribbeandreaming and yellowstonetim about how vacations and travel can be educational. I was a secondary ed teacher, so it's very important to me but I truly think you can learn so much - maybe as much or more than a textbook - in life experiences. It's up to the parents to help make it educational and as stated, you can find math, science, history even physical ed in every vacation. My 3YO knows geography more than, sadly, some high school kids including naming and pointing to all the states and the countries we go to on our cruise or places I travel to for work.

    Get to know the crew, have your kids learn from them about their cultures first-hand instead of by researching on the web. Go into the ports and meet the people, see the currency, show life in that town/country. Even with Dolphin Discovery, it's a conservation and life science education. Teach the real young kids about clocks, time and how their activities in the navigators apply. Teach measurements and how they apply to the Aquaduck, Mickey slide etc. I could go on but I look forward to my daughter learning more from these experiences as she gets older and will not hesitate to pull her out in order to save money and meet our schedule availability as a family.
  20. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

    Feb 25, 2003
    We pulled both kids out of school for a bit over a week every year from the time they were in kindergarten. We didn't have the luxury of taking time off during the summer due to DH's job, so we took it when the military allowed him to schedule breaks [civil support to military]. He traveled a great deal, so having the opportunity to spend 7 days together as a family away from his on call cell phone, the laptop, and the pile of paperwork was a priority for us. The year DS was in honors math and taking an online HS class in 7th grade was the first time it was difficult for him to catch up after returning to school even though he did a lot of work during the trip. Him asking us not to miss school for a cruise anymore is all it took. We have cruised during their three-week breaks the last couple years [YR school] so that has helped us. The kids have learned a lot on our cruises that has stuck with them. Thankfully the schools here have recognized that it is beneficial for kids to witness passing through the Panama Canal versus just reading about it, just for one example. DD was 6 when we went to the ruins at Costa Maya and repeated many of the facts that she heard on the tour for months. The kids still talk about stopping at the nearby village and distributing school supplies to the children there. DS14 will tell you his favorite port was Cartagena on the PC repo 5 years ago. Our travel inspired his love of geography. When he heard that we were leaving from Vancouver for our Alaska cruise the first thing he said was how excited he was that it meant he would have been in all three countries in North America then.

    The kids have not suffered from the time off in any way. In fact, DS is leaving 8th grade tomorrow with 4 HS credits and is on track to finish his graduation requirements in 3 years.
  21. cfriend416

    cfriend416 DIS Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    Just want to put in my two cents! I don't know how old your kids are, but if they are in high school and are not highly self-motivated students, I would be very hesitant to take them out of school for a week. Especially if their schools does block scheduling, in which traditional year-long classes are only a semester long. Missing a week of block scheduling is like missing two weeks of regularly scheduled classes. And that's just not fair to your kids who would be missing two weeks worth of material and making up two weeks worth of work. Further, it's really not fair to the teachers who are held accountable for the kid's success. But this is all just my opinion. As PP's have said, only you can decide what's right for your family. I just wanted to share a different perspective.

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