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Moms&Dads: Opinions/Experiences on taking the kids out of school to go to Europe

Moms&Dads: Opinions/Experiences on taking the kids out of school to go to Europe

Apr 12th, 2005, 11:20 AM
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Moms&Dads: Opinions/Experiences on taking the kids out of school to go to Europe

OK, my husband and I are seriously considering the idea of taking the kids (9,10&13) out of school for one week at the end of May to go to Andalucia. A great airfare deal that week would make the trip possible, while going during summer vacation would be too expensive.

I am definitely convinced of the many educational benefits of travel. In Southern Spain there is just so much interesting history, plus a chance to practice speaking Spanish.

Just curious as to others' opinions on the "legitimacy" of taking the kids out of school.
cruisinred is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 11:27 AM
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I think it is a great idea. That would be finals week here in Texas, but as long as your kids have no such problems, I think you should go. They can take work to do so that they do not fall behind with the limited time they will have in school once they return.
DanM is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 11:31 AM
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We took our child out of school regularly when we went on vacation. That stopped when she entered 9th grade and the grades started counting. As long as they are doing well and they make up any missed work take them to spain.
jay is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 11:32 AM
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We did it when we went to New Zealand when my kids were 13, 14 & 17. The school supported our decision to do so. I think it's worth it!
rapunzll is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 11:32 AM
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You'll get a lot of opinions on this board and the US board if you search on the key words. People line up staunchly on both sides and get a little hot under the collar at times. We have taken our kids out for a day or two around a scheduled school break but they are in high school now. When in middle school and grammar school, I did take them out for a full week once due to a business trip conflict with our planned holiday. I honestly think if you work with the teachers and give them ample warning, you will be fine. Some will be jealous that the kids are lucky enough for the experience. Andalucia can be very educational - Seville is great as are the pueblos blancos. If your idea is to lay on the beach at marbella, that might meet with a little less enthusiastic response from educators.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 11:37 AM
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Being European, I can only comment on doing this the other way round. When I was a kid, my parents did this once a year for a period of 7 years. Due to business related appointments they would take me along for a vacation afterwards in the U.S.. This was usually one week before the official vacations started and it became necessary for me to skip school for that time.
I don't think I suffered from it - and in fact am absolutely grateful for the great experiences I had during that time.

Go ahead!
hsv is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 11:42 AM
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We did this when my son was 12 (he's now almost 17). I talked to his teachers and the principal and coordinated getting all his homework several days before we left. He was able to get some of the work done before the trip and even during the trip. Some of his teachers adapted his homework to the trip, like keeping a journal etc.. You will get a lot of varying opinions but only you and the school can decide. Are they caught up on their studies? Do they easily fall behind after missing school for other reasons? Our last long trip had to be take during Christmas break because the school reduced the number of approved days they could be absent. We had no choice but to take a winter trip.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 11:46 AM
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One important issue is how cooperative the school will be. Based on reports from other travelers, some schools will aggressively punish a child who takes time off for a trip. It's quite unfortunate, but apparently the school board loses money if the kid isn't present in class.
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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My kids go to different schools and have completely different vacations. I have had one of them at a time miss a day or 2 while the other was off so we can get away. Now my youngest will be entering high school next year, so we are not planning any extended vacations because we don't want either of them to miss any school while they both will be in high school.

I think doing it once or twice while they are younger and the school is willing to work with them so they stay up to date, I don't see it as a problem. I know some schools no longer will cooperate because so many families would do this and the teachers did not like making these accomodations for different families throughout the school year.

I would speak to their teachers in advance and let them know of your plans and that you would be willing to have your children do whatever work they need to while they are away. Given their ages, I would think it would not be a problem this one time.
MFNYC is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 11:53 AM
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See a lot of heat (and a little light) on this subject here:


Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 12:09 PM
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Yes, I do agree that the teachers would have to give the OK first. Also, I wouldn't think of doing this next year when the oldest one is in high school.

Also, we would plan to visit Seville, Granada and the Roman ruins at the beach in Bolonia...not just sunning in Marbella. Thanks again for the feedback.
cruisinred is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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We have taken our son out of school for up to a week at a time, once a year. He misses little to no school due to illness and never for "appointments" like doctor, dentist etc. So we figure if he misses a total of 4 or 5 days each year he is still probably ahead of most kids. Of course, we discuss our plans with his teachers prior to going and usually he has been given the opportunity to do the work ahead of time or do a special project while on the trip. Many times our trips have been for scuba diving and since my son is an avid underwater photographer, he has even had teachers ask him to do a little photo presentation upon his return in exchange for the typical homework assignment. One of our main criteria of taking him is his grades, if he continues to do well he gets the "fun stuff" as we say. If he was doing poorly and missing school would adversly affect his grades, he wouldn't go. Hope you, and your kids, have fun.
BabsB is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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Hi red,

It might help with the teachers if you promise that the kids will write a trip report.

ira is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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We've taken our child out for a week each year he's been in school for similar opportunities. Agree with the posters to coordinate with the teachers and principal. We've always gotten a positive response, but we're not to the point where grades matter at all. So far our teachers have been great about supplying work, and we schedule some time each day to do it.

We also tell our son that his teacher requires a journal -- and this has made the journal writing less arduous. It's actually mom that requires the journal (I wish the teacher would!)
sprin2 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 01:43 PM
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Hello cruisinred. When my daughter was growing up we took her out of school several times. In grammar school she was in a Parochial School and consequently we did not have a problem. Like another poster here she never thankfully missed school due to illness or dentist appointments etc. and always had good grades so the teacher and the principal gave their permission for us to do that. She was required to write a trip report which at first did not meet with a lot of enthusiam but she ended up enjoying that assignment.

At the end of her junior year in highschool (public) we took her out of school for the last week, again with the permission of her counsellor, teachers and the principal. We were going to Italy and they all stated the educational value of the trip would far exceed the last week of school with all the end of school festivities.

Having said that I do not know how California public schools would react in these days as all the school districts are on such tight budgets and they do not receive the money for a student if the student is not in the classroom. In fact in the school district I live in the schools get really annoyed if a child misses school due to illness, which is why I think students are always picking up bugs from each other.

I sure hope that you can work this out with your childrens schools. IMO travel is one of the best ways to educate a child. And the treasured memories of the trip will be with all of you forever. Good luck with this venture!
LoveItaly is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 02:38 PM
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When our sons were in grammar school we took them out to travel. The administration at their private school believed travel was educational. They were required to keep a journal and take photos. Upon return to class they each gave a report-this was their grade. They did not have to take class assignments with them nor did they have to do make up work. Go for it!
auntgrapes is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 02:48 PM
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When I was a kid (Mastadons were roaming the country at the time) my parents always took us out of school every year for vacation. It was usually around easter so we already had the one week vacation and then they tacked on the week before or after..can't remember. Anyway, we always had homework to do while we were gone (yea, right but anyway, it worked. I was also going to suggest, along the lines of Ira's, of either having them do a journal or maybe give them something to report on. Or perhaps they could do a trip report for their classes and using photos etc, make a presentation to their classes upon their return. Opportunities like this don't come up that often as as the kids get older there will probably be fewer and fewer times for you all to get away together. I put my vote in the "yes" column.
crefloors is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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You don't need to rationalize this by telling yourself your kids will learn much more Spanish history and language than if at school. At their ages, they almost certainly won't.

But don't let that stop you. If the kids are doing fine in school, by all means, go. It may not be history or language, but they'll gain knowledge and experience that they would never get in a classroom.
beachbum is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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There's a gigantic thread on this issue that started about two yearrs ago but is resurrected from time to time. Maybe someone can find it.
cmt is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 03:14 PM
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cmt is offline  

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