Just curious... We're traveling in November with elementary children age 5 & 9 on Spirit. November is my anniversary and the month we would rather travel. The only disadvantage is taking children out of school for a week. Just wondering who would take children out of school to travel. This isn't a bad thing is it?
As the son of a principal....(as opposed to a son of a mother dog), it depends on how your kids, at their current ages, are doing in school. If they are struggling, I'd be less apt to pull them out for a week. Further, if you do pull them out, the school is likely to require that you have them complete any missed work DURING the week they are off. What do you think...do you want to take a couple of hours or so out of every day of your cruise to do schoolwork? Will you fit it in between excursions, meals, and deck time? I dunno...
Conversely, there is a great deal of sociology and geography that can be learned on a cruise. You need to decide.
My parents took us out of school at least one a year. Dad could not get his vacation time when school was out.
Always check with the school/teacher for work and see if they are behind on anything. Seems like the teachers always had me to a report or talk on the vacation. Go for it.
PS You will love that cruise.
Here are the photos I took on it at the end of Feb http://joslin-family-photos.smugmug....veria%20Cruise
We have two kids, one is in college and one is in grade 5. We have always taken at least one holiday during the school year. We will be goingagain this year when my older son is done his college term, but my younger son will still be in school. (my husband refuses to go anywhere on Christmas Break or March Break because it is too expensive and too crowded) My kids have average marks. We make sure that they get any extra work they need before we go, and make sure they catch up when we get back. In the younger grades it is easier to go any time really, in the higher grades you have to plan around exams etc. We tend to "strategically plan". ie. We go in October, end of May -- one month into school or one month to go, they are probably not missing as much as if they were right in the middle of it, or we will go the week before March Break or the week before Christmas Break, (you know they are not concentrating much these weeks) or go on a week where there is a PD Day or long weekend etc. so they are actually missing less days. Of course, it all depends if they are keeping their marks at a decent level and also it would depend on your kids, and if they are having any trouble with learning.
All in all, I am sure the kids will be fine, the 9 y/o will probably appreciate missing a week of school more than the 5 y/o and everyone will have a great time!!
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Grandeur of the Seas-03/06
I agree with goin'cruisin';
as long as the kids are not behind, or struggling with school there is much to be learned from travel; as g.c. says, sociology, geography, patience, manners and the social graces; not to mention the memories you will be making as a family. Some of my happiest and most vivid memories are those of trips my family started taking when my sister and I were about the same age as your children.
Make it a learning experience for them; get them involved in the planing; have them keep a travel diary--let the five-year-old record his/her thoughts on a little voice recorder and have the nine-year-old write down a few lines every day.
I would do it without hesitation.
I pulled my 4 children (ages 8-10-12-15) out of school for a week 1-28-07 to 02-04-07 to go on a cruise. My 5th grader's teacher said that going on a trip like that provides the student with life experiences they just can't get in a classroom. The elementary school wanted them to keep a journal, which we do anyway, and the Jr High School teachers told my 12 year old they'd give him his work when we got back.
All 4 of my kids are great students & obviously if they weren't doing well in school I wouldn't let them miss a week. I wouldn't recommend doing it all the time, I do it once per school year. My kids get so excited when the classroom discussions involve places they've actually seen in person & they can share their experiences. I even made a small photo album for my 8 year old of all the places we've visited (one photo of her in each place like Hollywood, Lake Tahoe, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Jamaica, Mexico, Grand Cayman, etc). Then when the class talks about a place she can share her photos with them
Not to mention the priceless memories and bonding experiences you will get as a family. What better way to see the world than with your children?? There's nothing like seeing things through the eyes of a child. You really do appreciate things more!!
Sovereign of the Seas, Royal Caribbean 11-17-03
Fascination, CCL 2-14-05
Fantasy, CCL 2-05-06
Elation, CCL 9-24-06
Carnival Victory, CCL 1-28-07
Sovereign of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, 9-24-07
one month into school or one month to go, they are probably not missing as much as if they were right in the middle of it, or we will go the week before March Break or the week before Christmas Break
My wife a teacher would argue that point with you!!
So would my husband, also a teacher.
I agree that travel can be a great form of education, but there are limits. For instance, it could be argued that the day we dragged our son through the Imperial War Museum in London was a great learning experience for him. Same goes for the Pier One Immigration Museum in Halifax, and the Maritime Museum in Bermuda (for example, one exhibit illustrated the story of the slave trade). Yet, I do not see how spending a day at Horseshoe Bay Beach in Bermuda or shopping in St. Thomas is educational -- certainly not enough so as to miss school.
IMO, learning is a 365-day per year activity that does not end when the school calendar ends. There is plenty of time outside of the school year for travel, educational or not.