Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Pulling my kids out of school to travel: Would you?

True confession time - when my son was first born, I made several vows:

  • I will not allow my kids to use pacifiers.
  • I will not allow my kids to leave the house with runny noses.
  • I will not pull my kids out of school to travel.

and on, and on. Well, as it turns out, my husband does not feel the same way, and slowly, I am beginning to see the benefits of missing school to travel with our family. The Wall Street Journal Online posted an interesting piece about pulling your kids out of school to travel. I was especially intrigued with the comments about additional work for the teachers and some state's decisions to limit the amount of absences from school. And while I certainly would not advocate pulling them out all the time, I think we have done ok with our trips so far. Also, I think the decision is up to us, based on what we know about our children, how they are doing in school, and what the pros/cons will be for missing school. For example, we decided to leave a day early for our winter holiday trip in December. My son pointed out that he missed an all important, in-class viewing of "Polar Express". In January, we plan to pull both kids out of school for a trip to visit my great aunt, who will be turning 93. And in March, we will leave for spring break 2 days early, which will allow us to see the Louvre, the London Bridge and take the Eurostar through the Chunnel. So far, I am not worried about my kids in class educational experiences, as I think the experiences we will have together as a family, traveling to new places, will be education in itself.

What do you think? Would you take your kids out of school to travel? Why or why not?

Cross-posted at Kango

1 comment:

Lori said...

My kid's not even 3 yet and is attending Montessori school, so I'm not too worried about pulling him out for family trips later in the year (once most of the group lessons have been taught). I *was* a little apprehensive about pulling him out for a day last week so Grandma could take him somewhere -- I didn't want him to miss some crucial 'classroom community' lesson.

Once he gets older, I'll re-evaluate my policy depending on where he's going to school, how he's doing, whether wherever we're going offers more opportunities for learning than school, etc.