Last week we left for a family wedding in California, after which we will head to Lake Tahoe with my recently married sister. By the time we return, my second grader will miss seven days of the new school year. At first, I pondered whether or not taking a vacation while she’s in school was a mistake. But after thinking about it and looking at all the angles, I decided it was totally worth it.
1. It’s a brand-new school year. While my daughter will definitely miss out on some spelling and math work, I think we can agree that there’s not a ton of critical information being taught during the days she’ll miss. These are the early days of rules, school goals, expectations, and review.
2. My daughter is a great student. She’s a straight-A student with a great track record. She’s a great speller, she’s an advanced reader, and her math skills are excellent. And, let’s be real here—it’s the second grade! If she was in middle or high school, taking a vacation in the fall would probably not be an option, but the second grade? She’ll have to play a little bit of catch up when she goes back, but it’s nothing she can’t handle.
3. I am an involved parent. I am fortunate enough to work part-time from home. I have good relationships with her teachers (I’ve already been a classroom helper this year). We got a list of spelling words, and she’s reading for 20 minutes a day. I also left a note and spoke with the front office before we hitched a flight to California.
4. She gets to be a flower girl! My daughter will remember the time she was a flower girl in her aunt’s wedding for years to come, more so than she’ll remember the few days of instruction she’s missing.
5. She’ll get an outdoor education. When we head up to Lake Tahoe, the time we spend hiking, identifying trees, rocks and animals is a pretty good alternative to spending a week in the classroom.
6. Our family is everything. We live halfway across the country from my family. We don’t get to see them as often as we’d like, so the hours and moments we do spend with them are precious. My daughter will see her cousins, meet new members of our family and forge a bond with her new uncle—things that can’t happen in a classroom.
What’s the Takeaway?
Education and good work ethics are important to us. But we also know that life offers an education that can’t be taught in a classroom. Allowing our kids to have unforgettable experiences are—for my husband and I—an essential part of their upbringing. And, if it happens during the school year once or twice, we are okay with that.
How do you feel about kids missing school for a family trip? Share with us in a Comment below!