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Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Peach Loop. Today we are exploring fun you and your family can have this fall. From if your child should skip school for vacation to all of the fun that can be found locally!
Summer is over, which mean so is the major travel season (excluding the holidays). In all honesty, fall is our favorite time to travel. Not too hot, not too cold, and lots of great deals to be found at popular travel destinations. The only problem- our oldest has to miss school to travel during the fall. This is a topic that people usually feel very passionately about, but let’s explore if your child should really skip school for vacation.
Can your child miss school for vacation?
When deciding if your kid can skip school for vacation, the first thing you need to find out is if he or she CAN miss school for vacation. Check your school districts attendance policy, and communicate with the staff to find out if it is even a possibility. You don’t want to spend a bunch of time planning if your school does not excuse absences for vacations.
Our personal school district will excuse absences if the children make up work (taking it with them usually) or if they can show how the trip would be educational. It might be writing a paper for older students, or giving a presentation for younger students. They do however encourage you to try and plan your vacations around long weekends. We have a few long weekends in October, so it is possible to only miss one or two days and still get a good vacation in this fall.
Should Your Child Skip School For Vacation?
Even if your child’s school district has a policy that will allow your child to miss school for vacation, doesn’t mean your child SHOULD skip school for vacation. I took to facebook to ask my readers their thoughts on missing school vacation, and let me tell you, it was one of my most commented on statuses. People are very passionate about this subject. I used the responses to come up with things that you should think of when decided if you will be letting your child miss school for vacation.
- Age/Grade Level of Child. Children in elementary school will usually have an easier time making up work, gathering assignments, etc to miss school for vacation.
- School/Class Schedule. Be sure your child will not be missing testing, either for specific classes, mid-terms/finals, or state testing. Also take in to account your child’s class schedule. If your child is in a lot of advance placement classes, they may have a larger work load.
- Child’s Grades. A big factor should be how well your child is doing in school. If your child is struggling in school, missing some time for vacation is most likely not ideal. Be sure to talk to your child’s teacher and see how they are doing in class before making a decision.
- Occasion. What is the reason you are taking vacation during the school year? Maybe it is an event (like a conference) that only takes place during this time. Maybe you are going to a wedding? Maybe you are touring the fall colors? Or are you trying to travel when the crowds are less? Whatever the reason, carefully weigh the pros and cons of missing school. Is there any way you can travel at a different time to miss no (or little school)? Is this going to be a regular occurrence for your family, or is it a once in a lifetime trip? Be sure your children understand that while you are willing to take them out of school for vacation, they need to understand the importance of school.
How to go about missing school for vacation?
Now that you have checked if the district allows it, and carefully considered if you are willing to pull your child out of school to go on vacation, how do you actually do it?
- Communicate with the school. Don’t just simply go on vacation and call in that your child will be absent each day. First off, that is no fun to have to call in every single day. Second, that may make it so the absences are not excused. As soon as you know you will be gone, communicate with the teacher(s) and principal of the school that you plan to be gone and find out what you need to do. Some schools may require work be completed before travel, others before your child returns. Make sure to find out exactly what your child needs to do and that it gets done. Also be sure to remind teachers a few days before that your child will be gone and verify you have everything in order.
- Do the work. If the teacher sends home work for your child to do while on vacation, do it. Nothing will change the school district’s policy faster then parents who abuse it, and don’t make their children complete their homework. I am not saying you need to spend all of vacation doing homework, but car rides, flights, and even the mornings and evenings of vacation can be great times to get in a little homework.
- Returning after vacation. Make sure that you get back early enough that your child is fully rested and ready to get back in the routine. If possible, return with an extra day for your child to get out of vacation mode. Fly home Saturday night instead of Sunday morning for example. Use this extra day to also verify all work is done, and ready to be turned in.
- Thank the teacher(s). Remember to thank teachers for letting your child take them time off. Sticking a small note, souvenir pencil, or even a postcard with your child’s homework from vacation can go a long way.
In the end, it is a decision that a family should not make lightly. Our facebook readers had strong opinions, surprisingly, most felt it was fine to miss school for a family vacation, but all said the older the child, the larger the work load and less likely they were to do it. They also agreed that it depends on the child and the school district.
Personally, we have had nieces and nephews miss a little bit of school to go with us to Disneyland. We also may pull the Goof out for a family vacation here and there, but it is something we will consider carefully EACH time.
Would you let your child skip school for vacation? Let me know your thoughts below.
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Blogorail Peach | Family Adventure | Fall Travel
- 1st Stop – Love Our Crazy Life | Should Your Child Miss School for Vacation?
- 2nd Stop – Adventures in Familyhood | Halloween in Sleepy Hollow
- 3rd Stop – Trips with Tykes | 10 Fun Fall Activities for Kids Near San Francisco
- 4th Stop – Adventureland Pam | Massanutten Resort in the Fall