Bad Mom Files: My Kids Just Missed A Week Of School.
Tomorrow my kids go back to school after a holiday, not just the holiday Monday but a full week and a half off of school. They are a bit stressed, their reading sits untouched in their backpacks and it is too late to do any homework.
We were in Florida last week, (which is why it was a bit quiet around here, if you noticed) celebrating some family occasions. We left on a Thursday, returned the following Thursday right before a school-mandated four-day weekend. We did a quick turnaround and went skiing a couple hours north of the city for three days.
It's a tough life, I know.
There were a total of 15 of us in Florida, all of whom also live in Toronto. But it is the first time all of us have travelled together. It was the usual mix up of a family vacation with lots of laughs, sand, swim and the occasional irritations that only close family members can create.
It was not the most educational trip -- there weren't any visits to museums or lessons about fish. There was a lot of swimming, some squabbling, a movie, an Everglades visit to see the gators.
I didn't stop for one moment to wonder if pulling the kids out for a week was a bad idea. I always think that a one-week family vacation trumps a week of school. In fact, we pull our kids out of school for one-day trips skiing and even to Great Wolf Lodge.
Seven days of swimming and negotiating family relationships is a great education. The amount of memories my kids made on this trip will outlast anything they would have learned on last week's dictee, math lesson or by running a few laps around the gym.
photos from Alison Frank Photography, Fort Lauderdale
And in the scheme of things what is one week missed? My friend Heather pulled her kids out for a year to travel the world.
We rarely run into opposition from teachers about missing a week of school -- but other parents are often surprised. I'm not sure why one Grade One parent had to be so sanctimonious about how she would never let her kid miss a day of school for something so trivial as Florida, but I assume it had to do with her own insecurities about her kids' academic achievements.
We will continue to book trips during the school year, until it becomes obvious that the risks outweigh the benefits (with a Grade 7 on the horizon, that may be sooner than I want). But until then, we will be taking advantage of the cheaper rates, emptier hotels and little break from the routine.
Do you book vacations during the school year?
Want more chaos? Last year, I wrote about how I don't want to hear parenting advice from celebrities, especially about breastfeeding.