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Child missing school to travel?

Cincinnati, Ohio
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Child missing school to travel?

My husband and I booked our airfare to Ireland months ago in anticipation of celebrating our wedding anniversary and taking our "honeymoon" that we never really took when we married. We are now considering taking my son after some change in events.

Has anyone pulled their child out of school for two weeks to travel? Is this reckless? Our son is 10 and has asked me nearly everyday why he can't go. On a side note, he's an amazing little guy with a deep love for travel and history. I'm just worried his grades will suffer and I would be asking too much of his teachers.

Any experiences?

England, United...
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1. Re: Child missing school to travel?

I don't know if this is the right forum for your question - but then again I'm not sure where else you would ask. Here in the UK schools really frown on taking children out of school in term time, and you need to get the Headteacher 's permission, which isn't always granted.

I'm of the view that travel can be an educational experience in its own right, especially for a child such as your son who is interested in history. My daughter and son in law took their nearly 7 year olds out of school for a week, for a special family trip to India a couple of years ago. They worked with the school to agree that reading, and a little bit of maths would be done every day -( talking minutes rather than hours here) and the girls kept a travel journal/scrapbook which they enjoyed doing. They certainly didn't suffer any ill effects academically, and we all felt that the experience was enriching for them. I'd start by talking to the school, it does seem a shame for your boy to miss out, particularly if yours is likely to be a once in a lifetime visit. Good luck with what you decide!

Scottsdale, Arizona
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2. Re: Child missing school to travel?

My experience isn't the same - we pulled our daughter out of preschool - but I just have to say I wish I'd had parents as cool as you. On to your original question though...there is *way* too much to learn in Ireland for it to be a problem to pull him out for 2 weeks. I would suggest that you use everyday events to teach though. Having trouble with math? Let him do currency conversion to compare prices. Geography? Let him be the one to describe where you're from whenever someone asks. Science? Visit places like the aquarium in Galway, or learn about puffins along with a visit to the Cliffs of Moher. World history? I wouldn't even know where to start.

Look into what topics they'll be covering at school while you'll be abroad and I'm sure you can easily come up with ideas. Keep in mind that if you're going to visit a few historic sites you can purchase a Heritage card from the OPW and see a lot for free...and the national museums in Dublin are all free. I think this would be a really cool opportunity, and I don't think you should hesitate to take him along because of potential problems associated with missing school...in fact, I wouldn't ask permission - which you really don't need in the US anyway, I'd just ask for suggestions about how to introduce topics if you feel you need additional ideas.

Edited: 02 January 2014, 07:41
Dingle, Ireland
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for Dingle
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3. Re: Child missing school to travel?

I would be the last person to take my children out of school, so I am puzzled as to why you arranged this trip in school time. However, at 10 years old I cant see that he is due for any major career threatening exams - the sort that if you get bad marks you miss out on University. It must be your choice.

Robert's suggestions are good, dont just 'take him along 'as extra baggage - get him a good book now and let him plan some days out.

Limerick, Ireland
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4. Re: Child missing school to travel?

Two weeks at age 10 won't have a big impact on the rest of your son's career. However the two week holiday may well be the inspiration for a university course or a life long passion.

I think there is a difference between taking a child out of school for two weeks sitting by a pool doing nothing except playing computer games and two weeks spent learning about world travel.

Our gang have been travelling to France and the UK since they were smallies. They have learned so much, not just about geography but also about rock formations, different types of agriculture, language etc.

If you can treat this as a field trip - as Robert has suggested - then you are on to a winner.

In addition to Robert's brilliant suggestions, also get your son to do the map reading as you are travelling - get him his own copy of the map you use while driving and get him to make the route suggestions (if you have your own copy you can then over ride if necessary!!).

Get your son to learn about the mechanics of flight. How a plane takes off, the different forces that conspire to keep a plane in the air e.g. the Bernouilli Principle www.lcse.umn.edu/~bruff/bernoulli.html‎ Get him to learn about the Gulf Stream and how Ireland is (relatively) so warm considering it is so close to the Arctic Circle. Get him to compare the latitude lines of Cinncinati and Dublin. Show him Ireland in the context of Europe and compare the proximity of different states to Ohio and different countries to Ireland.

Stop worrying. Start enjoying.

Edited: 02 January 2014, 10:00
Limerick, Ireland
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5. Re: Child missing school to travel?

http://www.lcse.umn.edu/~bruff/bernoulli.html

sciencekids.co.nz/lessonplans/flight/flighti…

These links may work better.

Sorry first one still doesn't - copy and paste into your browser!!

Edited: 02 January 2014, 10:03
Cork, Ireland
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for Ireland
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6. Re: Child missing school to travel?

Have respect for the school and go with school policy.

Waterford, Ireland
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7. Re: Child missing school to travel?

I agree with both Bean and Bryno - check with the school, but do it if you can.

Tralee, Ireland
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8. Re: Child missing school to travel?

As a teacher myself, my off the record advice to parents has always been to take the child on holidays. Time spent together is invaluable. History and geography come alive, exposure to other cultures encourages an inquisitive mind. Let the school know by all means but tempus does really fugit.

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9. Re: Child missing school to travel?

My 10 year old joined me on a two week trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland last summer. He had such a great time, and learned so much. He fondly mentions events from the trip often, and I can see that it positively influenced him in ways that I hadn't even imagined.

I am a public school teacher in Ohio and I would welcome the opportunity for any of my students to get to experience the enrichment that this kind of vacation would provide. Policies do vary, but most schools are willing to plan ahead for completion of missed work. The flight alone could provide several hours to fill completing any assignments. I also like the idea of keeping a trip log, as mentioned above.

Have a wonderful trip.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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10. Re: Child missing school to travel?

Thank you everyone, for all the advice and encouragement. I spoke with his teacher this morning and she was MORE than willing to help with missed work. She said that she felt this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we should take him. Please keep in mind, the original agreement was that he would stay home with his grandma/grandpa. However, grandma is now working full-time, and this may not be as easy on her as originally thought. While I would never purposely schedule a vacation during the school year again, circumstances have changed that we feel taking him would be more valuable than leaving him behind.

Again, thanks everyone for all the encouragement. Now, I'm off to worry about the extra money, LOL!