This week on the internet I saw a post posing the question “Is travel a valid reason for kids to skip school?” and while reading through the comments I was surprised how many parents would not let their child miss a single day of school. I personally don’t have an issue with it unless they are falling behind academically.
I will allow my children to miss school for traveling, special family events and on a few occasions I’ve even let my kids have a day off for other reasons than being sick because I think kid need mental breaks too. The same way I need mental health days is exactly why I feel like kids need mental breaks too. I know I’m going to get a lot of backlash but if adults need them, then of course so do kids. Life is stressful for everyone no matter what age you are. We all process things differently and need a break not just when we’re sick but a legit break. One day is fine as long as it doesn’t become excessive.
Not all the time but sometimes if I have a day off and I don’t have any errands to run, there are times when I don’t make them go to school and we have a fun chill day together instead. I think it’s important that my kids and I have bonding days where they can just rest their little minds and enjoy our time together. I know some will say that’s what the weekends for but I’m mindful of them not to miss anything important at school so they will be okay.
My other reason is because on the weekends everywhere is more crowded and during the week not so much, so in the past I’ve pulled my kids out to go to amusement parks during the week to avoid the large crowds or save on airplane prices by leaving on a Wednesday or Thursday. I also every now and then like to give each one of my children individual time with me and while the other kids our in school is the perfect time for my schedule since I don’t always have weekend babysitters.
Traveling on the other hand is a privilege. To me it is definitely a reason to miss school but if you can accommodate your schedule for your kids to not miss any school time that’s awesome but if you can’t, don’t feel bad. Travel expands your children’s horizon. You don’t know what’s out there unless you explore. Let them babies travel and see the world. Education goes beyond the classroom. Some parents tend to forget that and leave teaching it up to teachers, but it’s also a parents job to educate their children first.
Life experience is vital. In the 4th grade, in California they teach the kids about Yosemite National Park. While some parents would have waited until there was a school break we decided that because the price was right and our kids are decent students that them missing a few days to experience Yosemite in person would be worth it. We notified their teachers in advance and got their school work for the days they would be missing and made sure we carved out a time for them to handle their business.
Now, if my kids were struggling in school maybe I’d feel different but because they are not it wasn’t a big deal to me to skip a few days of school. Education is important in my house and if I can I try to avoid them missing any days I will but sometimes it happens. It’s not the end of the world when they do so take that vacation, make memories and have some fun with your family.
To many absences can have a negative affect on your children so makes sure your kid isn’t walking around in $150 shoes and can’t write a sentence that’s grammatically correct. In that case, I’d invest my travel money in a tutor. As a parent it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of your child missing school to travel. If your child is at grade level with reading and writing, not failing any classes, and will not miss anything significant during those days they plan on missing I don’t see why not.
My advice would be to contact their teachers ahead of time, maybe ask them their thoughts on how your student is doing in their classes to make a good decision, then if they are not falling behind get their assignments ahead of time and delegate a time to complete all the assignments so that way they stay on top of their school work.
Two of my kids are still young, but now that my eldest has entered high school I’ll definitely limit the amount of days he misses to mainly sick days or family vacations because grades in high school ultimately affect if and what college he will get into. I want to set my son for success in school and in life so I absolutely want him to travel, but he has to do his part and get good grades to deserve it.
This December, my daughter’s cheer team will go to Florida for competition. I’ve been on her about her tough grades. If her grades are up to par she’ll get to go but if not she won’t get to go. She’s a student athlete and I would hate for her to miss out on this experience but I tell both my kids all the time they are students before they are athletes and if they want to continue enjoying their extra curricular activities they better have grades I approve of. Ultimately, I expect them to have good grades if I’m going to spend my money on them to have fun and we have an understanding that it can all be taken away if they let their grades slip so she has to decided how important is this trip to her. Kids need to know there are consequences for bad grades and I will not reward bad grades with the luxury of travel.
How do you feel about kids missing school for travel?