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Thoughts on pulling kids out of school for a holiday

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#1 ~Nic~

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:28 PM

We are looking into a family holiday next year... anytime we have gone away previously, we normally go in the school holidays but we are looking at pulling the kids out of school for a week this time for a couple of reasons - financial (I'm having treatment for breast cancer at the moment and the medical bills have dented the holiday budget. Holidays in school holidays always cost a lot more... I've just been quoted nearly double). Also the crowds... we are looking at going to the theme parks and we've never been outside of school holidays. When we went a few years ago, 45mins to an hour in the queue was not uncommon and we would love to be able to actually go on the rides and not just stand around in queues. We're looking at going for DH's birthday in late March, however DS1 will be in year 11 next year and I'm worried about the consequences of taking time of during term. I've always thought that taking time of in school term was pretty much frowned upon, but the vast majority of people that I know have no problems going away then.

What's the general consensus? Is it a big deal to take a week off for a holiday??

#2 KA

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:32 PM

Many, many people do it. We have never done it. DH and i agreed early on we didn't think it was the right thing to be modelling for our kids. However we are definitely in the minority.

I probably should add we don't really do expensive holidays. We did do the theme parks in January and yes very, very busy.

#3 Whattothink

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:35 PM

We do it. We personally don’t think it’s a big deal. Do what ever you’re comfy with, your life, your family.
I always go with the life’s too short philosophy.

Edit: just read properly and saw year 11. I probably wouldn’t do it in year 11 actually, a few years off for us, but I probably wouldn’t relax as I’d be worried about what was being missed.

Edited by Whattothink, 15 September 2019 - 09:39 PM.

#4 Apageintime

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:35 PM

I wouldn't take a year 11 student out.

We're going on a decent holiday this year and missing 3 weeks, but DS is in FYOS.

After this we won't be missing school for only a holiday. Its important to me that school is seen as a priority.

#5 Dianalynch

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:41 PM

Can you tie it in with a long weekend, so that's only 4 days of school missed?

#6 rosie28

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:41 PM

I don’t think it’s a huge deal in the younger years, though I wouldn’t do it for theme parks (personally not a fan), but I think by year 11 a week can have a significant impact. My parents took us out for a week at a time a few times through school and it was always a good experience. Our teachers often asked us to write a travel diary or similar.

#7 Grrrumbles

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:46 PM

We don’t. DS needed a tonsillectomy a few years ago, despite my hopes he would bounce back quickly he needed the full 2 weeks off school. All it would take would be an illness and some holiday absences and the student has missed a month’s worth of school.

I would consider a few days tacked on to a weekend in the circumstance you are in but only if the Year 11 student was on top of their studies.

#8 Emm27

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:46 PM

My primary school aged kids have missed an entire term of school in 2015, another block of 4 weeks in 2013 and have just had a fortnight off for family holidays. Not because of cost, just that we had long service leave and have always wanted to travel (spent the two big blocks driving around Aus.)

I wouldn’t be as keen if my kids were in high school, particularly Year 11 or 12. It would depend on how much it would impact their studies. What does your son think about it?

#9 Lou-bags

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:49 PM

I’d do it for sure. Unless my child was struggling to keep up at school already. And not right before exams.

Edited by Lou-bags, 15 September 2019 - 09:50 PM.

#10 kerilyntaryn

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:50 PM

I wouldn't especially the first term of yr 11 and around exam time and lots of assessments due, term 1 of yr 11 is a huge adjustment

#11 BornToLove

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:51 PM

DD is in primary school and we have taken her out every year so far to visit family overseas. Usually leave a few days before term ends and come back a few days into the new term.

None of her teachers have taken issue with it as they see the benefits of spending time with family and learning about her culture (we often visit other cities in our home county). DD’s school is culturally very diverse, so it’s quite common.

That said, we have heard from parents of older kids that the local high school frowns on it, especially in upper years (10-12). Once DD starts high school we will try to minimise travel days during term as much as possible.

#12 annodam

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:52 PM

Our School does not allow students doing Yrs 11/12 to take time off.

I don't like taking off any time during Term at any age.
We have done it with DD as she was doing Rep Sports but I didn't like it one bit!


Edited by annodam, 15 September 2019 - 09:52 PM.

#13 MessyJ

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:52 PM

As others have said - I agree it would be a bit stressful for the year 11 child. Those last 2 years of school run so differently to the others, there's SUCH a strict timeline and managing all the requirement for all the subjects can be overwhelming.

It would depend a lot on your son though - if he's the sort of student who is fairly organised and stays on top of his workload yeah I'd consider it...

#14 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:59 PM

we’ve done it in younger years....i probably wouldn’t do it in year 11..

#15 night jasmine

Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:00 PM

We wouldn’t from year 9 onwards.

We’ve done it a few times in primary. I do think travel as a family is hugely valuable and educational but the importance of middle to high school years outweigh the holiday benefits.

#16 EsmeLennox

Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:00 PM

I’d do it...except for the fact that your son will be in Year 11. What pathway will he be on...an ATAR pathway (ie aiming for uni entry)?

A week can be a long time in an ATAR level course and it’s hard to catch up, and some schools will not allow catch up tests/assessments etc if students are away for an unacceptable reason (which is what a holiday absence is), in fact in some states that’s governed by the external curriculum body. And keep in mind that in Year 11 assessment is not an on-balance judgement of a student’s ability...it comes down to weighted assessments and, depending on the subject, missing one can be extremely detrimental.

#17 Blue Shoe

Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:03 PM

The last week of a term is usually a bit of a waste anyway, even for year eleven, so could that be an option?

#18 Freddie'sMum

Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:06 PM

We have done it once - but like PPs have said it was in the younger years (the girls were kindy and year 2 and were off school for one week).

I wouldn't do it when the girls are in high school.  If you are planning on going on holiday in March next year - when does Easter fall next year?  Because you might be able to actually tie in Easter or the first school holidays and go then.  Just a thought.

#19 EsmeLennox

Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:08 PM

View PostBlue Shoe, on 15 September 2019 - 10:03 PM, said:

The last week of a term is usually a bit of a waste anyway, even for year eleven, so could that be an option?

No, it’s really not. Especially not in Year 11/12. My classes usually have assessment in the last couple of weeks of term. And depending on how the terms have fallen (eg a year where the terms are uneven, for example) I may also be introducing a new unit of work. There is no time in Year 11/12 to let the last week of term be ‘a waste’.

#20 SeaPrincess

Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:13 PM

View PostBlue Shoe, on 15 September 2019 - 10:03 PM, said:

The last week of a term is usually a bit of a waste anyway, even for year eleven, so could that be an option?

The last week of term 1 and term 3, my high schooler was having assessments.

I wouldn't take mine out of school during year 11. We've actually only done it once when the older ones were in grade 2 and prep and DD hadn't started school yet. DS1went on a sporting trip last year and missed 2 days of school and they were marked as unapproved absences.

#21 JRA

Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:17 PM

Last week of term in y11 is flat out for DS, lots of 1/2 SACs at that time.

There is no way I would pull a child out "for a holiday". DS has missed the three weeks before these holidays with concussion, no way would I do it by choice.  

Also is your child doing some 3/4 subjects in year 11.

#22 Lifesgood

Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:19 PM

Agree with the PPs that say not in Y11/12. We take our kids out of school every year for holidays otherwise but with DD now in high school (Y8) I can see how critical a week off can be.

#23 ExpatInAsia

Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:23 PM

I would not do it in year 11.

There comes a time when you have to stop taking children out of school during the term as it does affect their academic efforts. For us this is minimal in year 8 and 9 and nothing from year 10 onwards unless it is an emergency.

Edited by ExpatInAsia, 15 September 2019 - 10:39 PM.

#24 MrsLexiK

Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:27 PM

I ended up with a week off from school in yr 11 (a few days either side of the school holidays) but it was 3 week trip and holidays were 2 weeks. It was also to USA. We recently took our kids out for 2 weeks. I booked it without thinking the year before. (Fyos this year) thankfully the kid at school is doing well and hadn’t had a day off for illness. He was really upset when he found out it wasn’t in the holidays. We likely won’t be able to do it for the next 2 years as we are looking at intense therapy for DS2 with his speech and anything else he may or may not be diagnosed with (and I don’t think he is a kid who will cope with 2 weeks off in fyos and I suspect he will have days off for illness). School holidays don’t work right now for our jobs - but come 10 years time that will be our only option! Yeah our school frowns upon it but we are not the family who lets our kid have a day off because it’s his birthday or because he doesn’t feel like it, or because I’m at the school and rather then come back in 40 mins I will just sign him out now etc.

Your family have been through some crap, your cancer treatment would have affected you all and you need time to regroup and recharge and have some fun as a family. Work it with his teachers/year level co-ord to come up with a time/week which is less disruptive for me that was last week of term 1 and first week of term 2.

Families need family time and sometimes for whatever reasons they don’t get it on the weekends and in school holidays or after school. Working schedules, family members medical needs, sporting/recreation schedules can clash and everyone is passing ships and slowly disconnecting within in the unit. Whilst our school frowns upon the absence it doesn’t frown upon the reconnection of a family holiday and in my DS1’s holiday homework pack it was mentioned “most importantly he connects with his family and makes memories with them”

#25 ~Nic~

Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:30 PM

Thanks everyone... that's pretty much what I was thinking. I have absolutely zero interest in going to theme parks in school holidays again but I'm not comfortable pulling him out of school for a few days unless there was a pretty good reason. He is aiming for an ATAR and is looking at engineering, so he does have quite a bit of work in front of him. Think we might need to re-evaluate the plan a little...

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