Taking kids out of school

Aug 13th, 2002, 12:59 PM
  #1  
beeper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Taking kids out of school

I would like to hear about how other families manage the homework issue when they take their kids out of school for a trip. Our 14-year-old high school freshman is especially homework-averse and we'll be gone for 16 days in the fall, three weeks after school starts. Trip is a week in London and a week in Paris, first time outside the country for kids and me. Our other kids are in sixth and second grade. We'll do travel journals and so on but there's still going to be a certain amount of algebra problems and multiplication tables to be got through. If you took kids out of school, did they have trouble catching up when they got back? How did you help them make the transition back into school? Any suggestions greatfully accepted.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:01 PM
  #2  
Sherry
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
This may sound silly but what about in the evenings your son doing his homework. Maybe the teacher would allow him to fax it to her, perhaps once a week or so. Hope this helps.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:06 PM
  #3  
Michele
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
When we travel we TRY to minimize the amount of time our kids will miss school. Travel journals are a MUST. It is a great learning tool. I print out and tape in their journals alot of homeschool worksheets to help with the history of the places we are visiting. This math website http://www.schoolexpress.com/fws/online_math.htm is one of quite a few that produce math worksheets which I print out and tape into their travel journals. These are always a hit (if you can believe it) when waiting in lines at the airport, early mornings...

 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:07 PM
  #4  
monica
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I'm having a similar problem. I'm looking to go to rome this coming March, but my partner doesn't want me to take my kids out of school (8 & 10 years old). Meanwhile, the airfare is twice as high to go in April. My kids are much younger, but it's still a problem.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:16 PM
  #5  
rlr
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Frankly, I don't believe in taking kids out of school for vacation especially high school. They fall too far behind too quickly. If you are homeschooling that would be another matter.

My daughter absolutley refused to take any days off for vacation during the school year in high school. Just too difficult trying to catch up. Especially at the beginning of the year - your child is going to be behind before he even starts.

Saving money on airfare just isn't a good reason.

That's my opinion, you are entitled to yours.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:23 PM
  #6  
school1st
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Agree with rlr.
I did take my son to Arizona for 1 week when he was in 3rd grade. I insisted his teacher send assignments with him and she did a great job of tailoring the assignments to our destination. For example, he had to write a paper on how the enviroment is different in AZ than in our home state.
Traveling can be a great learning tool but that long with a child that already, by your admission, is struggling with academics may not be in his/her best interest.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:28 PM
  #7  
teacher
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thank you rlr!! Teachers across the US will applaud you.
Many times we gather up work for the 2-3 weeks (which takes hours to do ahead of time) and the student comes back to school with little or NONE of it done.
Granted, travel is a great learning experience, but please try to travel on the 185 days that the kids aren't in school.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:30 PM
  #8  
Rex
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
As enthusiastic as I am about taking kids to Europe (typically after age 10), this is a huge decision, and possibly a bad one. It would not have been the right decision for my family and our three daughters to miss two weeks in the first semester of freshman year. I'm fresh from those experiences (94, 96 amd 98).

If it were a "junior high" school (7-8-9), it might not be quite as bad.

I don't mean to make you feel bad, since it sounds like the trip is already set. I do think you need to make 5-10 hours each week strict school time, and even this won't really make up for it. I think that faxing does have some merit.

I would also suggest serious conferences with each and every one of the teachers in that first three weeks of school. Make a plan, and make it clear that you accept responsibility for following it.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:34 PM
  #9  
gabejohn
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We did that last year; kids missed only 4 days of school; we had known about the chapters they would be studying while they were gone and we thought we'd prepared but a test the following week ended dismally giving my child a D which lowered his overlal grade to a B when it coudl have been an A. It's traumatic for all of su because we value our hard-earned grades (we parents do as much work as the kids). So I am inclined not to recommend it especialy for such a long spell...
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:36 PM
  #10  
Old and Cranky
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I have a serious question. When I was a kid back in the dark ages (okay, in the 1960s) it was considered to be illegal truancy for a kid to skip school except for medical reasons. The kid could get in trouble, and so could the parent if the parent didn't do anything to stop it. Now I see kids taken out of school all the time to travel, and not just for "educational" travel, either, but to go skiing and stuff like that. Somehow I can't believe that this is okay with the schools, but I guess it must be. Can anyone explain?
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:39 PM
  #11  
mom
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I would advise against taking the high schooler; I had a freshman last year, and she had a great deal more homework and important stuff happening during class time. I think she would have really fallen behind, and she is a good student.

We are going on a trip soon and are not taking her.

We did take our kids out of school when they were younger (7 and 10) and it was no big deal, although they didn't like doing the homework, it got done.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:40 PM
  #12  
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I did this in 2000 with my then 12 yr old son about 7 weeks after school started. I began by informing them before school ever started and personally wrote notes to each of his teachers descibing our 2 week trip. I followed up w/ them every week or so because I never heard anything from them. I wanted to make sure that he either got all his assignments ahead of time or that they wanted to wait till he returned and would work with him on when the new due date was.

As it turned out, he was able to do the majority of the work before we left but several teachers wanted him to keep an extensive journal on sites, historical info and food. This journal then served as his work in those classes.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:52 PM
  #13  
teacher
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It has become commonplace for parents in our school to take children out of school to accompany parents on their business or pleasure travel. They usually send a note or 'drop in' to ask that we provide their child's work BEFORE they leave. I always think to myself, "Are the parents able to do all of THEIR work before they leave???" Our curriculum is sequential and we adjust our teaching daily to meet the needs of the class. It is IMPOSSIBLE to do the work ahead of time!!!! My experience is that in most cases the work I Do send is done on the plane home, on the bus to school, or not at all. I usually get a note that they didn't have time to do it..... I always tell the parents that what they miss, they miss. I will do my best to help them make it up and I expect the parents to do their part, but if you take your children out of school you need to understand that they are missing what the other children are learning.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:53 PM
  #14  
msa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We have done this 3 times with our children. I cannot comment on the older children as ours are still in elementary school. But, our experience so far has been very positive. We let the teachers know exactly what is going on and they have always worked with us. Our kids have always done the travel journals, and those have turned into wonderful things to look back on. When our daughter missed 3 weeks in 4th grade she did not miss a thing at school. I was surprised, but as long as you make sure the child is on top of things before they go it can be fine.

Also, we have lived all over the country and have noticed that schools do have different opinions on whether they condone children being out of school. I am not talking about for going skiing and such though...more like the wonderful history opportunities that Europe and other places can provide. Our school and the teachers thought it was a wonderful idea.

Not everyone CAN take these vacations during the summers when kids are not in school. We are a military family and my husbands schedule is not always so accommodating. I know there are other careers that are similar. We all just have to do what is right for our family and realize that one answer will not be right for everyone.

 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:57 PM
  #15  
exteacher
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We travel lots with the kids. And sometimes, we have to pull them out of school. However, we try to limit the days missed to one or two days before or after a school break of some kind.
What's more, we make sure the family takes the responsibility for the lessons missed, not the teacher.

We believe the teacher should not have to do extra work for the kids because our children are blessed to be able to travel, and their blessing should not be a burden on the teacher or their classmates. Instructors have other students who arrive on time and faithfully attend all classes--those are the kids who deserve the extra attention.

Beeper, I'm not castigating you at all. It sounds as though this trip was landed upon you. What seriously disturbs me as both a parent and a teacher is the timing. The kids and the teachers are just starting to get the ball rolling, and the trip interupts it. Later in the year, this interruption isn't so hard on everyone; early on, it breaks the momentum, particularly if you have a work-averse child.

Ironically, it's less of a problem if your child has poor teachers. The more the teacher cares, the more your child will miss and the more of an insult the absence becomes to the class and to the instructor.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:58 PM
  #16  
another
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Our children are likewise homework averse and were in grades 6 and 9 last year. Every time they missed any school last year, even for a few days for illness, it was a major effort to catch up. Next time, hire a sitter. All the suggestions here are good. I suggest you talk with your son so he understands that he will be expected to work on schoolwork when you return. Have him help develop a schedule that includes a few hours of homework catch-up time a night. Limit time on the computer game system, instant messaging, sports to after he finishes his daily work. Then, be sure you know all the assignments and can check off when they are turned in (and tests taken). Make sure he doesn't breeze through his assignments, doing poor quality work, just to say he's done. It's not punishment. It is a privelege to travel and he needs to understand that school comes first.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 02:00 PM
  #17  
Teacher
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Dear MSA,
Your child didn't go to school for 3 weeks and "did not miss a thing at school"?????!!! What kind of an awful school does your child attend that the class didn't do a thing for 3 weeks?! Somehow I'm guessing that if you asked her teacher you'd get a different story.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 02:02 PM
  #18  
KKM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If you take your children out of school for a traveling vacation, you are telling them and showing them that travel and vacations are more important than education. Period.

Now, for some of you that might be true, and if you have curious, motivated thinkers for kids, it might all work out. Or if you have no particular desire to see your kids be above average academic "stars" and will be happy if they have middle-range jobs and travel as much as they can afford.

But if you bend their school calendar and the work calendar to fit your trip, it had better be the trip of a lifetime, because otherwise they are going to share your idea that what happens in school is secondary to other things.

One other personal comment: we NEVER took our son out of school to travel (except for a family funeral), although we tried to travel as much as we could afford during summer. During his senior year spring break in college he took himself to Scotland on money he had saved to go and had the time of his life -- it was a great reward he gave himself for working hard.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 02:06 PM
  #19  
Uncle Sam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Your kids are going to learn a whole lot more in witnessing where the history occurred than than they will by just reading from a dull history text and then regurgitating dates back to a teacher that may or may not even be motivated. (Some teachers are just poor, others may be good...luck of the draw!)

Work with the teachers, get the asignments and have them do the HW at night or on the plane.

If that doesn't work...do it anyway. They'll learn more in a day in London or Paris than a week in a typical public school!

US
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 02:11 PM
  #20  
Uncle Sam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
KKM,

What a bunch of self serving, pat yourself on the back righteous balogna!


US
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:43 AM.