Taking Kids Out of School for Vacation Is Just Plain Bad Parenting

Empty ClassroomIt's that time of year again. The holiday craziness is over, and families are itching to get away from it all. Whether it's a trip to enjoy the fresh powder on the slopes, or escape the cold in warmer climates -- parents all over the country are taking kids out of school for family vacation.


That move is more likely than not just plain bad parenting. It's selfish, at the very least. Kids have more than enough time out of school for families to plan trips outside of class time. The entire summer. Two, sometimes three, weeks at Christmas. A week in the spring. Thanksgiving break, for which more and more schools are granting an entire week!

So why plan vacation during the school year? Most likely because it's cheaper and more convenient. But at what cost to your child's education?

Sure, I understand that plane tickets and hotel rates are higher when kids are out of school. I have two kids in school myself, and I pay those rates. Does it mean I don't get to stay as long, or go as often? Yes, yes it does -- but I just can't bring myself to pull my kids out of school in order to take a trip in the off-season.

More from The Stir: Taking My Kid Out of School for a Family Vacation Shouldn't Be 'Illegal'

Sometimes missing school can't be helped, and parents should be able to make a judgment call. Sick days, for instance. Weddings and funerals are another justifiable reason, depending on the circumstances. But for fun? Nope.

It's unfair to the kids, who may miss an important concept in class. What if they have trouble in certain area, but are too embarrassed to speak up when they get back, because their classmates have mastered it already? Is it fair to the already over-worked teacher, who will have to spend extra time catching your kid up? Hopefully he or she won't mind, because they're in education for the love of learning, but we all know that isn't always the case.

Kids have such limited resources these days in the classroom, it seems wholly unfair to deprive them of class time because mom and dad don't want to plan a vacation around school breaks.

Let's be clear -- I think parents are ultimately in charge, and they know their kids best. Never should taking kids out of school for any reason (even vacation) be illegal. But don't be surprised if I give you the side-eye if you do it. It's OK though, you can totally judge me for piercing my daughters' ears as babies. Or formula feeding. *Insert judgey mommy stare here*

Maybe it's because my kids are blessed to go to a really fantastic, highly academic school. Maybe it's because they actually enjoy going to school every day. But for whatever the reason, I just can't bring myself to see the benefit of taking them out of the classroom just so I can save some money on vacation.

Have you taken your kids out of school for vacation?


Image via Krissy Venosdale/Flickr

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