There are definitely some controversial topics when it comes to the Disney Driven Life and the world of education. The first one that cropped up into my head brought me back to December 2008. It was the winter when my husband and I decided to book our first ever family trip to Walt Disney World. When we looked at dates, no matter what we did, school days were involved.
Would I really be THAT parent and take my child out of school to head to Walt Disney World?
Yes, this teacher on hiatus jumped at the opportunity!
Making this decision did not come easily. The teacher in me knew that my son would miss things in kindergarten while out of school. At the same time, it was an amazing opportunity that would be filled with family, fun, and yes lots of learning. In the end, May was the best time of year for us. It caused the least issues for time off for my husband, it was not a state testing time at school, and by golly the prices and perks for traveling were high.
Of course, the hardest thing for me to do was when I went to tell NHL’s teacher that he would be missing a week of school. To get the best deal for our trip, we would be keeping our kindergarten kid out of school for five days. I have to admit, I felt guilty. Although I was super excited about seeing the looks on my children’s faces as they saw the Magic Kingdom for the first time, I knew I had to see the teachers face first. Add into that, the principal’s face since I also had to notify her.
We were very lucky and never heard anything negative from our son’s school. The teacher told us not to worry about anything and the principal knew that our son had only been out a few days for Jewish holidays. In addition to this, our son was excelling academically and they knew that as a teacher, I would help out at home to catch him up on anything that he missed. Although I could not make up that contact time with his teachers and peers, I certainly could teach any skills within the academic areas that were missed.
This post is now a second start to this topic. You see, I actually wrote another one that was ready to publish. For the ending, I wanted to ask my teacher friends and family members to weigh in on the topic. What I did not expect was a hot topic exploding that included some finger pointing. Many good points were made on both sides, including items I already had written. Still, it made me realize that this needs more than just a simple post to address such a touchy item.
So my plan is to break this up. Part 2 will be be a teachers thoughts on taking children out of school. I will include how my views have changed a bit and share the extra work involved for a teacher when a child misses school. Part 3 will be the view and responsibilities of the families that need to take their children out of school. This will include items that you need to think about and things to check with school about.
Let’s get this discussion started here. Have you ever decided that your family needed to travel during the school year? How was your experience with this? Please weigh in on how the teacher/principcal/school reacted, how your child made up the work missed, and if the overall experience was positive/negative and why.
FYI, we have now taken NHL out of school three times for trips. The photo above is my second grader doing his work on the plane to Orlando in March.