Children Missing School

deedeew80

Dreaming of My Prince
Joined
May 28, 2004
Thoughts on taking your children (or if you’re a teacher, missing students) out of school for a vacation? We are planning a trip to Disney next year. We were originally going to go the end of August so that the kids wouldn’t miss school, but my parents and two of my brothers, and cousins are all going the end of September. This would mean I would have to take the kids out of school for about 6-7 days. My daughter would be in 5th grade and my son in 3rd grade. We went to Disney this past November and the kids had to miss school, same amount of days. They were fine. Teachers gave them work to do while we were gone. I think my son will be fine. My daughter will be in middle school then so not too sure about that yet. Both my kids are smart kids so I don’t think it will put them too far behind. I don’t know what to do. I know I have a year to think about it but we will probably put our $200 deposit down next month and then a free dining discount will hopefully be out in January and I would have to jump on that quickly before it’s sold out. Only reason I’m worrying about this now. Lol!
 

JenboJambo

We're all just children, reaching for our dreams
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
We are taking my daughter (5th grade) out of school for 4 days this fall. You will be judged no matter what you decide. There are many variables to this decision. Ultimately do what makes you happy. I think that ANYTIME a family can be together in Disney is a good time to go. Family first.

FYI. We took her out last year and it was A LOT of work to make up.
 

Klayfish

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2016
There are many variables to this decision. I think that ANYTIME a family can be together in Disney is a good time to go. Family first.
I quoted what I think are the key factors. There are so many variables that it is a case by case. Personally, I think at the elementary school level it's probably a bit easier and less impactful. However, for a student in high school honor classes, 6-7 days could be a real challenge. There are other factors...school requirements, childs' learning ability, childs' ability to cope with being "behind" or missing classes, etc... So I think it's case by case.

And I am family first too. As long as I didn't think the kids would be seriously compromised by missing school, I'd be 100% for it. We've never had that issue fortunately, as DW works for the school district where the kids go. So when they are off, so is she. It's only my work that is the key factor.
 
  • MickeyWaffles

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2010
    This is a very personal decision and every school/school district has different policies. While our school doesn’t encourage missing school, our district also understands that sometimes both parents can’t get off work when the kids are on breaks, a larger family group is traveling with different schedules to coordinate, etc. Our district allows us to take a certain number of days off for family vacations if needed.

    It has been discussed on the boards before and even teachers have mixed opinions on it.

    You know your kids and school situation best and I would go with your gut.
     

    softball chick

    Teacher of Math and Disney Magic
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2008
    Weighing in as a teacher, it can sometimes be difficult for students to catch up after missing a chunk of school. Now that being said, by no means do I think it would be an awful idea to have your kids miss school especially given their age and ability levels (I teach high school math so it's a whole other ballgame when my kids miss a week of school). The one thing I will say as a teacher is make sure that you talk to your kids' teachers about their missing class EARLY! Putting together a week's worth of work is not the easiest thing to do in a day, yet often students/parents will give us that short of notice so we are left scrambling. The farther out you let them know, the happier they will be!
     

    sponica

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2017
    I don't think it will be an issue for the 3rd grader and 5th grade is the OLDEST i would go with taking kids out of school for an extended period of time.

    A lot can change between now and 2020, if you feel at the end of this coming academic year that one or both kids may not be able to cope with that much missing time, you can always modify the trip to fewer days.
     

    SaintsManiac

    Adventure is out there.
    Joined
    Dec 9, 2014
    Oh boy will you get some replies to this.

    We took my daughter out in K, 2nd and 3rd grade. 4-5 days. All was fine each time, but we decided to stop taking her out after 3rd. It caused me too much stress and worry. She'll miss the day before Thanksgiving break this year, but no more.
     
  • Pappy Tom

    "Love, or the lack of it." ... Mr. Rogers
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2019
    It's easy to see how this could be difficult to decide on one way or the other. In today's world, it's hard to plan a Disney vacation where it works for everyone at the same time.

    I tend to look at life experiences as being the best way to learn and grow, especially if it is done with family. For most, Disney is possibly a once-in-a-lifetime event. School and work will always be there, in one form or another; where as going to Disney may not.

    Remember, schooling only takes you so far... Experience is what makes you the person you will be in life. If a special event is a positive experience, then it'll make you far richer as a person than you can imagine.
     

    TavieP

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2012
    My best friend's niece and nephew aren't allowed to come with us when school's in session (he's 3, she's 9) and it makes trip-planning hard when we want to take the kids. But I respect their parents' choice!

    However, based on my own, ancient experience, I LOOOOOVED it when my parents pulled us out of school to go on a vacation (Disney or otherwise.) The teachers gave us homework to do while we were away, and it was totally worth it, and never affected my grades. Each kid is different, though.
     

    mjkacmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2006
    Just don’t count on having the work ahead of time, and be very appreciative if you do get it. I’ve actually found that technology has helped when older kids miss school. I wouldn’t take my older kids out for a vacation, but a couple of my kids missed one or two weeks of HS for overseas dance competitions. I let them deal with the teachers, and they were able to get a lot done in hotel rooms and submitted assignments online. They gave plenty of notice, and it took a good 3 weeks to catch up (all AP/honors classes).
     

    sponica

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2017
    I feel like 20 or 30 years ago, it was bizarre to pull kids out of school. But now with two working parents trying to get the SAME week off, that's not always possible in the summer or school vacation weeks.

    If school is your job, why shouldn't you be able to take a vacation provided you can stay on top of your work? I mean that's how it works in the real world (aside from teachers and our 180 day calendar that was determined back when we were farmers....) That's probably a conversation for another thread though.

    My mom works in education and my step-dad teaches. They say that at least one kid is on a family vacation every week of the school year. But we're a competency based state so it's not an issue.
     
  • wasnotafan

    All that fresh air over the years has done me good
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2010
    Depends on what the school system allows I would imagine. From what I've seen kids learn in school they won't miss much in a week. We've home schooled and tried to do what is necessary to get the kids the best education we can. This year DS will be attending the local college for his senior year of high school. All he needed was an English class and the rest were electives so no point in wasting time in high school when he can be that much closer to getting a degree. Downside is he doesn't qualify for financial aid because he hasn't graduated high school yet.
     

    deedeew80

    Dreaming of My Prince
    Joined
    May 28, 2004
    Thanks everyone! I honestly think it depends on how each child can manage missing school. If they are smart and will actually do the work while out of school then great, but if they are a child who won’t get it done and will fall behind, then that is an issue. So far, both my kids are great students. Smart and get their work done. When they missed school last year they did their work and only had a few things to catch up on and they were fine. Both their teachers were fine with them missing and even allowed them to talk about their trip to the class. As someone above mentioned, we will see how it is after this school year. Thanks again, I know how controversial this subject can be.
     

    Gingerfun1

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2018
    A week away right at the beginning of the year? Ehh...I'm not so sure I would do that personally. That's right when kids are getting into the swing of the new routine (especially middle school), coursework is ramping up, home work is getting heavier (esp. middle school).

    No judgement, those are just my initial thoughts.
     

    Sara_H

    999 ghosts with room for 1 more...
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2015
    We took my kids out last year for 4 days (the district already had the monday off that week) and my kids were in 1st and 3rd. Neither kid suffered upon return to school. Both kids were sent with some work before we left so they didn't return behind. We are again taking our kids out for 4 days in January and aren't thinking twice about it. Again, each kid and district is different. If you are ok with it, then go ahead.
     

    DisTXMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2013
    Echo previous responses. As others have said, as they get older it’s harder. Also, if you take 7 days early in the school year, it increases the risk that you’d fail to comply with minimum attendance in your state if a child became ill and had to miss significant additional days (based on state requirements). We pulled our kids for travel but it was generally 2-5 days and 4th grade and earlier. We now limit it to 1 day misses because the catch up work is so much harder. You will know what’s best.
     

    siren0119

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2018
    There was a REAALLLLY long thread about this a while back - but I agree with the previous poster - You have to weigh the decision against the factors that affect your family.
    Some school systems have very strict absence policies, others are more relaxed.
    Some kids are fully able to do make up work after missing a week of school, others cannot risk falling behind academically.
    Weigh the pros and cons, and just go into whatever decision you make with all the facts. then make whatever is the best decision for your family.

    Good luck!
     

    MsOnceUponATime

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2014
    My daughter is finding it harder and harder to make up school as she gets older and as her course work gets harder. Actually yesterday we were having a conversation about going to the eye doctor in September and she asked if we could please go on the weekend so that she would not have to miss any class time.

    When she was younger we would pull her out for a few days either before or after a holiday (they rarely did anything productive around those), but as she's gotten older she's asked us not to schedule anything for her where she'll have to miss school.

    We live in a district where the school is paid per day per child for attendance. Years ago (but not too many years ago) the attendance admin would call and verbally harass the parents when their children missed school. Both parent and student were sent to truancy court. The Judge wasn't thrilled with the school district sending hundreds of parents and students to his court so he'd tell the kids just not to be absent on consecutive days moving forward if it was necessary for them to be absent. Then the state implemented a new law regarding truancy and the schools stopped harassing both children and parents. I'm sure that Judge was elated. I'm only telling that story because some schools are really strict about truancy and absences and you'll need to gauge whether or not your district is one of them. Our school district will not even allow teachers to send home school work when a child has missed school unless they've got a genuine medical issue! When the school is calling and harassing the parents (even if you have really good kids with really good grades) they are also harassing the children. Which is hard for the children too.

    Only you can judge whether or not taking your little ones out during school is the right thing to do for your children and your family. I stand behind you though -- should you choose to!!
     


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