Saturday, September 3, 2011

Is it Okay to Pull Your Kids Out of School for a Vacation?


Is it okay to pull your kids out of school for a vacation? This question is an important one and should be given serious thought before planning that fun trip to Disneyworld. It’s true that traveling during high peak season, aka, “the summer,” is just too expensive, not to mention crowded. Planning a family vacation in the months before or after summer could equal substantial savings, but what about your child’s education? If elementary, junior high, or high school students are involved, there are some things to consider.

1. Familiarize yourself with the school’s attendance policy. Most of the time, these are case-by-case situations; however, some schools have a non-negotiable rule about attendance. Others only allow a certain amount of days to be missed for traveling.There are also state mandated laws for attendance, too. You will definitely want to check into these laws before planning your vacations.

2. How is your child doing in school? If your child is struggling with one or more subjects, has a negative disposition about school, or has trouble completing assignments on time, it might not be a good idea to take that trip. On the other hand, if your child shows competence in most subjects, completes his/her work on time, and generally has a good understanding of the importance of education, then you might be able to get away with some fun family time.

3. How old are your kids? The younger the student, the easier it is to take that vacation. Junior high gets a little tricky as students are rotating between multiple teachers and learning how to balance a more in depth workload. High school becomes even more difficult as students are working on bigger projects with more responsibility and preparing for college.

4. Talk to your kids. Just because a family vacation is important to you, doesn’t mean the rest of the family agrees. There may be a special project or event that your child is involved in or has been waiting to attend, and a vacation would cause him/her to miss it. It’s better to ask than to travel with an angry teenager.

Tips when traveling during the school year:

1. Think about the teachers. Keeping a teacher in the loop is your best bet when attempting to plan a trip during the school year. Talk about how you can work together so your child does not fall behind and assure the teacher that you will monitor his/her progress throughout the trip. A teacher will want to have enough time to fully gather your child’s assignments. Informing a teacher the day before that you need your child’s work for the next week will only cause stress and frustration to the teacher and this isn’t good for your student.

2. Keep the trip short and plan wisely. Acquaint yourself with the school calendar and be aware of major projects and events happening. Consider traveling over a long weekend so that your child only misses a few days of school rather than a full week. Also, traveling during the second half of the year is usually better than the first half since students are getting adjusted to the new routine in the beginning of the year.

3. You never want to give the impression that school is unimportant to either your child or the school. Limit your family trips to once a year during the school year. Pulling your child out of school should be the exception, not the rule.

4. Make the trip as educational as possible. Don’t allow your child to get so out of touch with reality that they have an even harder time jumping back into their schoolwork. There is history everywhere. Take any opportunity to cause your kids to think…Who knows? The whole family could learn something!

Heather Johnson writes for Honeymoon Destinations, the best honeymoon research and planning website. Discover some great honeymoon ideas today!

Thanks for your contribution to Mommy Rantings! You covered some great tips about vacationing during the school year!

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