Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pulling kids out of school for family vacation: Yay or Nay?

I have written on this subject before, but I am continually surprised at how much controversy this subject gets on blogs and message boards. Pulling kids out of school for family vacation: Yay, or Nay?

If you couldn't already tell, I'm a "yay" on this topic. I recently turned in paperwork to pull 2 of our 3 kids out of elementary school for 5 days for our upcoming Disney Cruise. Why?

1.  Cost

On some vacations, the cost during the off-season is substantially lower than during summer or winter school breaks. Disney Cruise Line prices are drastically lower when school is IN session. The lower cost has enabled us to take a cruise vacation every year instead of every other year. Many hotels also have lower off-season pricing.

2.  Crowds/Weather

Some vacations are more enjoyable when it's not so hot and not so crowded. Disney World is a prime example of this. Have you been to Disney World during the summer? Hot, hot, hot! Not to mention the crowds. Even though the Fast Pass + reduces some of the ride wait time, you can still see more attractions during lighter crowd seasons.

We traveled to San Diego during January a few years ago and encountered great weather and minimal crowds, not to mention a steal of a deal on a condo rental for the week.

The wait is only 300 minutes!
3.  Scheduling

If my husband could not get time off work during school vacations, or we had the opportunity to go to a family wedding or reunion, I absolutely would pull my kids out of school for that.

I would not pull my kids out of school if they were struggling with grades or they were stressed about missing school. When my oldest starts middle school, we will limit the amount of days we take off school for vacation (maybe 1 or 2 days a year vs. a week).

Even living in a state with some of the strictest truancy laws, we have made these vacations work with no problems from the school district. (In Texas, if you have 10 or more unexcused absences, you may have to go to court).

My kids will remember the week we spent on the Disney Fantasy; they will not remember what they learned during a random week of school in the fall.

Have you ever taken your kids out of school for vacation? Would you in the future?


  1. Yay. We have done it in the fall for a trip to New Hampshire to see the foliage. We have also done it in early December for a New York City trip. I also plan getaways during school breaks and I would limit pulling my son out to one week total per year.

  2. We are homeschooling this year, so we just planned our school year around our vacation in November. Our son was in public school for k-2nd grade, though, and my husband was definitely opposed to pulling him out for a vacation, even though he is an excellent student. He ended up missing the first 2+ weeks of school last year due to a family emergency 1000 miles away, and finished all of the work he missed in 3 days.