Last year, in our reader poll, most readers responded that they are willing to take their kids out of school for family vacations. School vacations are often limiting for travel, and usually cost much more than off peak times. If you are taking kids out of school for a family vacation, here are some tips to make it the most successful. Keep in mind that some states have specific state regulations on truancy – know those rules before deciding to take your kids out of school.
Tips For Taking Your Kids Out of School For Vacation
First, make sure that you look at the school schedule to know what the off limits dates are. For example, this year, my daughter will be taking the Massachusetts standardized tests, and I’m not going to want her to miss those. If you want to limit the amount of school missed, try to plan around random days off or half-days. I’ve been able to take my kids out of school for a week that included a day off (for the teacher’s technology day) and a half day.
Once you choose your days, make sure you let the teacher know in advance. Obviously, the impact of missing school will vary based upon your child’s grade, but it’ll help your child’s teacher prepare if they expect that absence. Offer to bring school assignments along with you.
When you are on vacation, do make sure that your children work on the homework. I generally have our kids do the work on our drive or flight to our destination so we don’t have to worry about it during our vacation. I also like to have my kids write up a little report on something they saw on our trip. They are still young, so these are pretty basic reports, but as they get older I’ll expect them to write more.
I firmly believe that the educational benefits of traveling (as well as the emotional benefits of bonding with family) are worth missing some school, and these few steps help me minimize the impact during the school year.
Do you have your kids miss school for family vacations? What tips do you have for other families?