Pulling Kids From School for Vacation: The Pros and Cons

October 6, 2010

I've just committed my family to a 5-day July vacation to Orlando so we can visit a new amusement park dedicated to Harry Potter. The famous series of books about the teenage wizard has really sparked the love of reading in many children, including mine.

I've just committed my family to a 5-day July vacation to Orlando so we can visit a new amusement park dedicated to Harry Potter. The famous series of books about the teenage wizard has really sparked the love of reading in many children, including mine. My kids are really excited about seeing Hogwarts come to life, but my husband is not so thrilled about being in the potentially sweltering heat of Florida in the middle of the summer . . .  


 

PRO:

Teachers usually have planned curriculum. He or she could probably give your children homework. If you agree to provide time for a bit of study during your holiday, I say, "Go for it!" And give my regards to Hagrid.

-- Rosa Waggoner, FNP-C Providence Medical Group, Oregon

The memories of immense family happiness and the benefits of family bonding will far out way the negative outcome of missing a week of school for two elementary school-aged children. Having a cooperative teacher make up a "vacation packet" of school work to do in the quiet times of the vacation will help keep the children involved in the academics.

-- Michael Cater, MD Tustin, Calif

CON:

I don't want to be a curmudgeon, but what message are you sending to your children regarding the value of school? If school is less important than a fun vacation, then you may get more absences as they grow older and more distractions are available.

-- David Compton, MD, MPH Charlotte, NC

Pulling out your child from a scheduled school learning time during the present education term is bad policy. You are teaching them for the future that they can leave their job whenever they wish to go on a vacation. School has its own set schedule and times for learning. It is a bad policy to interrupt the child's learning time spent in the classroom with the other students. In the back of the child's mind it is a cop-out to miss school for a vacation when all of his or her classmates are in school learning and studying. This is poor planning on the part of the parents.

-- Sharon Wander, Disability Physician Specialist II Bureau of Disability Determination Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Wilkes Barre, Pa

For all the comments and Dr Nield's replies, go to the Children's Health MattersJoin the conversation!