Do you take your kids out of school for family trips?
My son came home from school last Monday fit-to-be-tied.
“Mom, why did we miss Thursday and Friday of school? I have SO MUCH homework!”
With that, we sat at the table and got started on the work.
The week prior, I had pulled my first grader and third grader out of school to travel to California for my dad’s wedding. The wedding was early on a Friday afternoon, so we had to leave early Thursday in order to be there for all the festivities leading up to the great event.
Missing school was unavoidable. We let the teachers know ahead of time and I prepared the kids (I thought) that there would be a lot to do when we got back.
They read their books for long stretches of our eight-hour drive there (with a baby in tow, it takes longer). We also watched a few educational videos, so they weren’t totally out of the loop.
And to be honest, my son didn’t have that much homework when got back. We spent a few hours getting it done, but it wasn’t unmanageable.
As I thought about this blog, I realized that my son – my oldest – has probably missed at least two days of school each of the last three years because of a family trip. This is the first time, however, that he’s really noticed how much goes on at school when he’s gone.
I don’t take it lightly when the kids miss school. But when it’s the time planned to see grandparents or great-grandparents, I think there’s as much value in that as there is in being in the classroom. We’re avid readers in our home. A day doesn’t go by without a book being picked up for at least 30 minutes. We’re always learning, whether it’s about where we’re going and the distance to get there or the seasons changing (something we don’t see the effects of a lot in the Valley).
One year, we traveled to Indiana in the fall for a family reunion. With everyone come from several states, there was no coordinating the time with everybody’s vacations. This year, if we make the trip, it’s during our fall break.
I think my son will agree with that.