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Kids 3-9 Got a 3 to 9-year old? Get vacation tips exclusively for families, from families. Traveling with Kids Ages 3 - 6 and Traveling with Kids Ages 7 - 9

 
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  #1  
Old 06-22-2009, 12:19 PM
Wendy Wendy is offline
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Default My Best Tip for Family Travel

It's not earth shattering, but when you're on your trip you'll be thanking your stars you did this: travel when everyone else is in school. Another way to say it is: Go Contrarion!

My husband and twin six year olds visited Disney World in October '07 (boys were 4 at the time) and my kids never learned the concept of what a line at the theme park actually is. There were no lines! It was insane! Every day, I was like, "we're pulling them out of school from now on! We're pulling them out of school from now on!" (meaning in the future).

Last year, a friend who is a Kindergarten teacher quietly pulled her two out of school and went to Disneyland on a Nov. weekend for three days -- so some of the teachers are doing it too.

But, if you're a teacher, please don't be mad! I know it really irritates some teachers that parents are up to this.

Now I never plan trips during the summer unless it's a place that isn't likely to be stormed by the crowds.

I'm also taking the boys to spots that might be considered boring, but they're fairly quiet in the summer: childrens museums, museums with special exhibits (King Tut is visiting SF! and pieces from a Lincoln exhibit are in Sac too) -- basically, things that the crowds won't be that interested in, but I know my kids will enjoy.

Wendy
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2009, 12:56 PM
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LauraS LauraS is offline
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I agree to a certain point; we really enjoyed all our family trips when our son was small and took him out of classes to do so. At least we did up until first grade or so.

After that, it is very difficult to make up work. Plus many school districts consider these absences unexcused and there are a certain number of these allowed. Some districts allow no unexcused absences. I guess the bottom line is to check with your school district first. Some are more lenient than others.
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  #3  
Old 06-22-2009, 04:41 PM
Wendy Wendy is offline
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oops, I guess that was irresponsible to write. If everyone were to start pulling their kids out during the school year, it would be mayhem for everybody.

We're on year-round and it does allow for some major flexibility. I'm sorry about that.

I do stand by the contrarion position to visit museums in the summer. King Tut in the summer in SF will likely be packed but smaller museums may be quiet and a great time to visit.

Wendy
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  #4  
Old 06-22-2009, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy View Post
oops, I guess that was irresponsible to write. If everyone were to start pulling their kids out during the school year, it would be mayhem for everybody.

We're on year-round and it does allow for some major flexibility. I'm sorry about that.

I do stand by the contrarion position to visit museums in the summer. King Tut in the summer in SF will likely be packed but smaller museums may be quiet and a great time to visit.

Wendy

No need to apologize, all districts are different. And I've even found some teachers more flexible than others as well.

Laura
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  #5  
Old 06-23-2009, 06:53 AM
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This is something I am debating with right now....long story short, I homeschooled for 2 years and vacation whenever I wanted. Recently, they redistricted our school and now the school for the girls would be much better and have pre-registered them for school which starts in Aug. I am still on the fence but whated to signed them up in case I decide to follow thru with it. We have a 1st family multigenerational cruise scheduled this Oct, so if the girls are in school they will have to miss some. I don't anticipate it being a problem from the teacher/school but still not sure of what I am going to do
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2009, 09:46 AM
mnmomof4 mnmomof4 is offline
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Taking kids out of school is a personal decision based upon the individual school district's absence criteria. Now that I have 2 kids in high school (in addition to a 2 and 3 yr) taking honors and advance placement courses, I am very careful about taking them out of school. For our disney and carnival cruise, I am taking my freshman out for 2 days. In january we are cruising with only the younger ones but we are taking all 4 kids to Florida for our spring break.
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2009, 05:13 PM
Sherette7769 Sherette7769 is offline
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This is something I am debating with right now....long story short, I homeschooled for 2 years and vacation whenever I wanted. Recently, they redistricted our school and now the school for the girls would be much better and have pre-registered them for school which starts in Aug. I am still on the fence but whated to signed them up in case I decide to follow thru with it. We have a 1st family multigenerational cruise scheduled this Oct, so if the girls are in school they will have to miss some. I don't anticipate it being a problem from the teacher/school but still not sure of what I am going to do
We are a military family, and just moved back to the US after three years living in Europe. I homeschooled my daughter for two years after not being satisfied with school system there. It was nice to have the flexibility to take a vacation when ever we wanted. Since her dad will once again be away this school year, I will be homeschooling again. We are planning on taking two weeks to meet him in Hawaii for his mid-tour leave. I do have educational trips planned while we're there, that are still fun things to do while on vacation. I'm not sure where you will be cruising with your family, but it should be easy to find something that would have an educational value that the kids could report on (in some fashion, depending on their ages) to their teacher when they get back. It would be a shame to miss out on such a great family trip because of school. Some teachers are even willing to give take along work (that would only require an hour each day and no books) so they won't fall behind.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:35 PM
momtotwo momtotwo is offline
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Plus many school districts consider these absences unexcused and there are a certain number of these allowed. Some districts allow no unexcused absences. I guess the bottom line is to check with your school district first. Some are more lenient than others.
Hi, I'm from Ontario, and we have our kids in the public school system here -- taxpayer funded.

I'm curious -- what do they mean for the US by "no unexcused absences"?

Here, we take the kids out of school on the understanding that we cannot expect the teacher to prepare anything special for them, and they'll have to write any tests they miss when they come back, and catch up on lessons too. (ie lots of homework!) Its not that big a deal for the younger grades (say up to 6 or 7).

In my opinion, not every parent can leave work during school designated holidays - some parents do have to work during those times, and therefore families must make choices - no trips away with the kids, or take the kids out of school -- importance of work schedules, choices, prioritizing, etc - all important lessons for the kids to understand. Family time & travel are also very important. Plus some people may not be able to afford to go during peak times.

Given that the US public school system is taxpayer funded as well, what exactly are would they do if you took your kids out for a family vacation because that's the only time the adults could get work off????? Are they seriously suggesting that school schedules are more important than work schedules????? What would they do?

Again, I'm just really really curious!!!!
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:16 PM
mnmomof4 mnmomof4 is offline
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Originally Posted by momtotwo View Post
Hi, I'm from Ontario, and we have our kids in the public school system here -- taxpayer funded.

I'm curious -- what do they mean for the US by "no unexcused absences"?

Here, we take the kids out of school on the understanding that we cannot expect the teacher to prepare anything special for them, and they'll have to write any tests they miss when they come back, and catch up on lessons too. (ie lots of homework!) Its not that big a deal for the younger grades (say up to 6 or 7).

In my opinion, not every parent can leave work during school designated holidays - some parents do have to work during those times, and therefore families must make choices - no trips away with the kids, or take the kids out of school -- importance of work schedules, choices, prioritizing, etc - all important lessons for the kids to understand. Family time & travel are also very important. Plus some people may not be able to afford to go during peak times.

Given that the US public school system is taxpayer funded as well, what exactly are would they do if you took your kids out for a family vacation because that's the only time the adults could get work off????? Are they seriously suggesting that school schedules are more important than work schedules????? What would they do?

Again, I'm just really really curious!!!!

Having personally grown up in ontario, my parents always took me out of school for at least a week every year, even in high school with no problems. I now live in the US and it's not a problem to take kids out of school before middle school (grade 6) but after that it becomes difficult. In my school district, you can't miss more than 5 days per term or you don't get the credit. It has to do with state standards and if you miss more than 5 days it becomes a truant issue and the matter is referred to the County attorney's office. People in the US in public schools usually know a year ahead of time when the kids are off school and they should plan accordingly. They have 3 months off for summer, xmas break, and spring break. They also have lots of 4-5 days weekends which you can combine with a few days off school and not worry about the 5 day unexcused absense. Within that time off families should be able to find time for a family vacation without using up the 5 days of unexcused absenses. I personally am taking one of my older sons out of school in oct for 2 days and we are enjoy a few days at disney then a carnival cruise. In january I'm leaving the older kids home instead of having them miss 4 days of school. As kids get older its difficult to miss classes. A lot of curriculum is cover in one 90 min class period and my oldest son has 2 honor classes and 2 advance placement classes (college level) and missing any classes makes it difficult to get caught up on. Sometimes it's not worth putting your child threw all that make up work and to expect them to keep their A honor roll status. This is based on my personal experience and with our school district
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2009, 04:01 AM
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Rae6 Rae6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momtotwo View Post
Hi, I'm from Ontario, and we have our kids in the public school system here -- taxpayer funded.

I'm curious -- what do they mean for the US by "no unexcused absences"?


Given that the US public school system is taxpayer funded as well, what exactly are would they do if you took your kids out for a family vacation because that's the only time the adults could get work off????? Are they seriously suggesting that school schedules are more important than work schedules????? What would they do?

Again, I'm just really really curious!!!!
While mnmomof4 answered most of your question I thought I would speak specifically about this. In my county/districted excused absemces are those that the school system find reasonable to be out for, such as illness with doctors notes, school approved trips/activities and family illness/emergency (such as death in family). Those of this nature are excused and unexcused is anything else within reason.

If you a student is found to have too many unexcused absences than, the student and parent are refered to the county/district as truant and could face legal proceeding. I think you have to be excessive before it gets to this level, but nevertheless, it is an option available to them.

My children have been homeschooled for a couple of years so we never had to deal with this, but this year they are in public school and although they are still relatively young 1st and 4th grade vacation time is very important in our household. Hubby works in an enviroment where vacation time is a NO GO from June up until October-close out of the fiscal year.

We have often vacation in off season times, which was a definite benefit to homeschooling. This year we are vacationing in October and while this trip was planned when they were still being homeschooled (last year), I still have some concerns about their absences, not because of the work missed (they are more than capable of keeping up), but the unexcused absence part.
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