The reason parents should take their kids out of school for holidays

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

Making memories with your children is the most valuable gift you can give them, even if that means taking them out of school to take a holiday together.

"But why not do that in the designated holiday times?" – I can hear people cry.

Well, for many working parents it's hard to secure leave during those weeks, as everyone with kids wants them too. You almost have to put in for leave at the moment of conception.

Then, you have to fight the crowds at the attractions, airport, hotels and caravan parks. Meanwhile, your visit to the wilderness to go camping is like maneuvering through a sea of tents at the Glastonbury music festival.

And like a florist quoting for a wedding, prices skyrocket during school holidays too.

For many parents, work commitments or financial pressures make it near impossible to carve out time to spend together without interruptions of daily life. If it means they opt to take their kids out of school to make it cheaper or easier, then so be it.

I know for our family of five just getting on a flight costs us thousands of dollars. So, if we can get our hands on super cheap flights or hotel deals, it really makes a difference. And the reality is most of those budget offerings are only available at out of peak times.

Of course, there are some available during school holidays and if you plan way in advance it's often cheaper. However, with the changing nature of workplaces, many parents would be hesitant to lock-in holidays too far ahead for fear of not having steady employment or shifting to a workplace and then not having access to leave anymore.

And spare a thought for parents in Western Australia they've recently been warned that they're breaking the law if they take their kids out of school to spend quality time with them. While other states are not so rigid, each school has their own policy about school absenteeism.

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At our school not only do kids go on holidays during school term, even their teachers have taken-off. So, it's a two-way street.

Yes, I understand kids ducking in-and-out of class for holidays can be disruptive, and while some parents couldn't care less, many do whatever they can to ensure it's as smooth as possible for teacher and classmates.

And it's not like your kids will stop learning once they walk out of class.

There's a lot to be learnt by kids when taking a holiday – planning, budgeting, history or geography. And travel journals often make for great back-to-school fodder for kids to share with their classmates and, with guidance from the teacher, can be adapted to fit in with the current curriculum.

Simply taking your kids out of their comfort zone will help build resilience and adaptability.

With so many things to consider it's little wonder anyone takes holidays, but they do and will continue to do so because, like me, they know they're super important for parents, kids and the family unit as a whole.

We've taken most of our holidays during school time and along the way our kids have learned so much – how to deal with foreign currency, navigate travel and languages, local history, politics, how to check-in and geography.

They've also learned to catch a fish, widened their appreciation of art, climb rocks, tried new food, swum in waterholes, pitched tents, mastered the water bomb jump and even learned how to change a caravan tyre.

They've grown wiser, more tolerant, broadened their horizons, navigated uncertainty and definitely got braver.

And together our family has never laughed so much. We've held hands, snuggled, re-connected and explored.

We've created a world of memories – ones we will always share. These moments of pure, uninterrupted joy will always be at the forefront. These are the times our family are most happy. These are times to be cherished and encouraged.

You never know what's around the corner, school is important, but family time is what you'll always remember and the benefits should never be underestimated.