Every fall since the kids were small, we’ve been taking my Mom and Step Dad on our family vacation to Walt Disney World. We go in the fall for various reasons: cooler temperatures, less crowds, and since my husband and I work for the Federal Government, October is the only slow month for us at work.
Our oldest is starting First Grade at the end of this month, and we are planning on going this October on the same trip, and will be taking our son out of school for 4 days (around a school day off). Our daughter will be starting preschool, so there’s less of a worry for her missing time. We plan on having them both do some worksheets while we’re there. We did this last year when our son was in Kindergarden. His new school does not encourage family vacations during the school year, but will not penalize the children other than the work they will have to make up. The only thing they ask is that the child keep a journal while on vacation. This is something my son has been doing with drawings the last two years anyway, so we’re more than happy to continue this tradition.
While I am a huge proponent of Education and value school highly and in no way do I want to take away from the huge positive impacts of our teachers in the classroom, I am fully willing to compensate for this missed instruction time in the early primary grades, and am comfortable taking my children out of school. I know that some teachers and other disagree, but I am going with what I believe in here. There’s going to be a threshold after which the workload when we return will exceed the rewards of getting one on one time with their grandparents and at that time, we will move our family trips to one of their school breaks. I don’t think that time is yet here.
When I was young, my mother and siblings and I traveled a lot with my Mom’s parents and I treasure those memories. I see my children already making those memories with my Mom and StepDad and I cannot tell you how much it lights my heart to give them that gift.
Until it becomes a hardship, I am happy to offer my children some time with their family while we’re all still here. Life is short. Live what you can and enjoy every minute.
Photo graciously provided by Joe Penniston, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved