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When Is It Appropriate to Take Your Child Out of School?

A Brownie troop peddling Girl Scout cookies outside of Sugar HQ in the middle of a weekday sparked this question: when is it appropriate to pull your child out of school? For some parents it is only on rare occasions like to accommodate a family reunion or a doctor's appointment, while other moms and dads allow their children to accrue numerous absences so the family doesn't have to travel during the peak season or to beat weekend traffic on road trips. Growing up, one student in my private school could stay home whenever she wanted if she reimbursed her parents for the missed day's tuition. What is your opinion on this issue?

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danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
Growing up, I missed quite a bit of school from being sick, but my grades never slipped. Other than that, my Mom really only took me out of school for Disneyland (my whole family would go). Doctor and dentist appointments were scheduled after school. We never took vacations during the week. Since Disneyland was less than once a year (we couldn't afford it), it wasn't a big deal. School can be stressful, kids need a break and time with their family. My Dad worked a lot (still does) and I didn't see him much. He worked on weekends and when he didn't, it was because my Mom was shooting a wedding (photographer).
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Well, you mentioning "sacrificing" your own free time, but if you have time to do all of that, you must have plenty of it.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Well, Alzaetia, it doesn't sound like you are wanting for free time !
MonicaNichole03 MonicaNichole03 7 years
I work in education so I see the importance of the child being there. When your child does not attend school the schools loses out on funding. Also I think it is really unfair for the parents to expect the teacher to accomodate their child for something as unnecessary as a vacation. Education is important and family is as well but we have our weekends and evenings to spend as a family when she is older. They also give you three months off in the summer to spend as a family. I agree with annonymous 2.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I agree with most everyone. Like hippiecowgirl, I was classified as gifted pretty much right when I started school and never had problems keeping up when I missed classes. (Although, luckily, my school offered a ton of additional enrichment for gifted children, so my parents didn't really have to worry about giving me too much enrichment outside of the classroom.) But, I took vacations with my family during the school year from time-to-time and, as I got older, I was allowed to skip a day here or there because I just didn't feel like going in. And I turned out just fine.
lilegwene lilegwene 7 years
Agree with hippiecowgirl. My parents also let me pick a day of my own, usually I would pick my birthday and my mom and I would go to lunch and go horseback riding. Anonymous #6, I think the whole idea of growing up is making your own decisions. If a person can't tell the difference between missing class a couple times a year to do something fun with their family when they're young and missing college courses or work when they're adults, there is more going on than meets the eye.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 7 years
My parents gave me one "mental health day" every grading period starting in 6th grade. I got to pick when I wanted to use it, but it couldn't be on the day of a test, quiz or due date for a paper or project. I think I missed school for family vacations 3 or 4 times. My parents always let the school know ahead of time and I'd take my assignments with me so that I was caught up when I got back. My mom also pulled me out of school on occasion to go to plays, museum exhibits, etc. that were relevant to what I was studying because, in her opinion, those were more educational than what I was actually being taught. I do believe what is "right" varies on a child-by-child basis. I was classified as gifted when I was in school and my mom never felt like the curriculum was challenging enough for me. The teachers agreed, but said they couldn't do anything because they had to teach to the lowest child in the class. The activities on my days out of school were designed to enrich what I was learning, not take anything away from it. I'm not sure why selling Girl Scout cookies on the street is more important than going to school, but I guess some people would say the same thing about the reasons I was pulled from class. Essentially it's just up to each parent to decide what constitutes a "good enough" reason.
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
We've taken our girls out to go to dsneyland in Feb. for their birthdays a few times. There are literally no lines, at since they are still in elementary school, and their schools are private I feel fine about it. School is not always #1, sometimes families need time together.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I personally will probably never take "season" vacations for two reasons. Most importantly, my husbands job doesn't allow for it, period. It's a black out period for the entire company usually, and not an option. Secondly, i really hate the heat.. unless we plan on doing something that REALLY needs to be done in summer (say, hawaii), i prefer colder events. Theme parks and the like are so much more fun when the park is barely full and you don't feel like you're going to spontaniously combust. I do agree that if your child has learning disabilities or other problems along those lines or is recovering from a sickness that forced a long school leave, that you should keep it close to home for a while. That being said, as long as you give the teacher enough notice to prepare your childs work for that time - don't demand work for 3 months ahead right then and there, that's asnine, it isn't that big of a deal for your kids to miss some school. I think its a far bigger shame for a child to never go on vacations or experience things like that then to be in school every single day.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Letting your kid stay home whenever she felt like it as long as she paid for it? GREAT parenting.
MuppetsForDinner MuppetsForDinner 7 years
It depends on the grade and it depends on the child. If your child has organizational problems, or learning disabilities, it should be an absolute emergency to pull him/her out of school. It's just so much more stressful to disrupt the routine for these kids, and pulling out for non essentials like off-season vacations isn't fair. Pay the extra few bucks or find a doctor that has later hours.
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