Vacation During School Year

Updated on September 18, 2012
M.M. asks from Jefferson City, MO
26 answers

We have put off a vacation for a while due to a variety of obligations. We are finally able to take time off work to go on vacation, but it is when school is in session. My kids are elementary aged and will be missing 10 days of school. Would there be any positive side to disenrolling them from school for the ten days and then re-enrolling when we return? We plan on bringing assignments with us and making up class work. We are not planning to pull the kids out of school for anything else this school year.

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So What Happened?

Hi, Thank you all for your responses. I think I confused some on the disenrolling and re-enrolling. I had seen responses on posts similar to mine where some said it was easier on the school if the child was disenrolled and then re-enrolled. But, I don't think that it is, was just trying to look into it further. We are leaving soon and there is no possibility to reschedule. Just to be plain honest, it's a desperately needed vacation for our family. I have rescinded several vacations over the past few years, and we are finally going to take it. Though, I can see that if I posted this that I am not comfortable pulling them out of school. But with weighing everything, we are doing the right thing for us for now, but I don't think I'd plan another vacation like this during the school year again.

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answers from New York on

Missing 10 days of school is a lot. Can you just go for a week of vacation and only miss 5? Or put it close to a holiday if you must take that much time? We are going to take a vacation next year while my son will be in school. He will be in K and will miss 4 days which for us, is fine.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Why would it be easier on the school to do the paperwork for nothing? Also, if the kids aren't enrolled, then the school loses out on the funds for them for those days. If you let the school know in advance (at least 2 weeks) they can get classwork ready for you to take with you. The absences are excused and the school still gets its funding.

If you "disenroll" them, their spots may be taken when you get back and they may have to re-enroll in a new school.

Just let the school know and go on vacation. And I say give the school 2 weeks notice because in my experience, the teacher will need about that long to get some classwork together for you to take.


answers from Washington DC on

i wouldn't think twice.
but then, i'm not the right one to respond, really. i have serious issues with today's public school system.

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answers from Billings on

My teacher opinion: What is the vacation? Could it be educational? I think quality family time in today's busy world is extremely important. As long as the kids can make up their work, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Go for it, and enjoy the time you get with your children.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

My parents did it a lot with my brother and myself. They'd get all of our assignments that we did on the trip, usually while sitting in the car driving places or the airplane.
I remember them making winter break an entire month by taking us out for 2 weeks plus the 2 weeks of break. We flew out to spend time with family.
It never messed up our education. It was never disruptive to the classroom. None of those horrible things people say it will be.
We both continued to get good grades.
Time spent with family is extremely important!! If this is when you can do it, then by all means do it and enjoy!!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

my vote is to wait until Christmas or Spring Break. Stopping/starting school can be very disruptive, not only to your children....but also to the classroom.

The only positive I would see to messing with their enrollment....would be trying to circumvent attendance policies/requirements.

& regardless of what your plans are.....accidents & emergencies do happen. :)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You may want to consider the rules in your state regarding excused and unexcused absences. A vacation is mostly likely unexcused and you can only miss a finite number of days in our state before you are considered truant and they can fine you or hold your child back. I would personally see if you can plan your vacation for a time when they only miss a few days of school rather than 10 days. It does affect them a lot at any age when they miss a large amount of class time.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Personally, 10 days is way too much to miss. I am always amazed when parents think this is okay. When your kids start school, your vacation options become limited. I don't understand why you would schedule a vacation during school time? Why didn't you schedule this during Thanksgiving or Christmas breaks?

This was poor planning on your part and your kids could be the ones to suffer the consequences. What happens if your kids get sick later in the school year?

This has nothing to do with No Child Left Behind. This has to do with taking your kids education seriously.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I know that this is not what you want to hear, but I just would NOT do this. Ten days is a lot of time to miss. Not only that, school is your children's job and you really want to show them that it IS a priority. When you have children in school, it really means that your window of opportunity for vacations gets more limited. The kids have MANY breaks between summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring break that you can schedule a vacation. I just don't see the need to schedule a 2 week vacation in the middle of school time. Additionally, as others have said, there is also the possibility that your children will get sick and have to miss time i.e. chicken pox, flu, whatever. You really don't want to risk your child not moving up a grade because you decided that you had to take vacation during the school year...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Are you seriously looking to take your children out of school for two continuous weeks? Do you have ANY IDEA how far behind they will be? Do you realize that the teachers DO NOT have to give you the assignments ahead of time? This is not a "medical absence". This is "Hey, school's not as important to us as the beach so we're checking out. Would you mind doing extra work so we can vacay? Oh and when we get back, could you spend time not only catching my kids up on the work they have missed, but also help us get them back into a routine?"

This is such a terrible idea that whether you enroll them or not they will still miss TWO WEEKS worth of work. What a terrible message to both your children and your children's teachers. When I was an AP if a parent came to me (or one of my teachers) and made this request the answer, quite simply, would be "no". These are unexcused absences. If you want to do this, then you figure it out.

ETA: You can't just "disenroll" your children without "reenrolling" them somewhere else. Children of this age are legally REQUIRED to attend school, so you would need to disenroll them and enroll them as being "homeschooled. This is a PROCESS and not meant to facilitate this kind of manipulation. Schools don't hand you records as a parent. They have you sign a release so that they can be transfered directly to the receiving school.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I think you need to wait for either Christmas break, Spring Break, or Summer Break and not make your kids miss 10 days of school. Having them miss a day or two would be one thing but 10 school days? Not fair to them and setting a bad tone for missing school because you want to or have something fun to do. Education is important and scheduling around it shows your kids that. While they are JUST in elementary school, please remember that this is where they get the foundation for all the rest so it is just as, if not more important, than the rest.

Additionally, most schools have very strict attendance policies and 10 days might put them at their max. While you don't plan to take them out the rest of the year, you can't know what emergency or sickness could arise.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I can't imagine doing what you're doing, honestly (and I understand about the vacation thing - I didn't get one this year either because the timing never worked out...) It's really hard on kids to miss so much school.

I'm not sure what the reasoning for disenrolling them and then enrolling them again would be. Is the only reason because the school has deemed it an unexcused absence and you don't want the kids dinged with the marks?

Wouldn't you have to pay the registration fees again? Our school's fees were over $500 per child (more if they were taking AP classes - my child is now in high school.) That would be an expensive endeavor.

You never know when sickness will hit, I want to just mention. Usually, a child cannot miss more than 20 days of school - if they do, they have to repeat. If one of them ended up in the hospital, or got pneumonia or chicken pox (yeah, that happened to my kindergartener even though he had had the shot), it would be easy to miss 10 more days of school. My kindergartener had the big kahoona - bless his heart - salmonella, then chicken pox, and then roseola. He missed more than two weeks of school. (And was sick as a little dog.) I was grateful that he was academically able finish the year out. He sure wasn't able to do his work while he was so sick...

Anyway, it might be helpful for you to consider this.


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answers from Boise on

That is a LOT of missed time. I wouldn't do it, heck we homeschool and I still wouldn't do it. For a few reasons..

It's very hard to get caught back up, it messes with their routine, and I'm not sure that I would want them to think a vacation and fun come before education. Even if it's a one time thing. But that's me and i know some wouldn't agree.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Wow. The responses you are receiving are really intense. Go on vacation and have a great time. Do your best to get work caught up either before you leave or when you get back. My family is going on vacation in October and my boys 5th and 8th grades will miss 4 days of school. Am I stressing a little? Yes, but this was the only time we were able to schedule our vacation, so we'll do what we have to.

School is important, but so is family and the mental health of everyone!!!!

Have a great time!!!!!!!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Yikes, that is a lot of school to miss.
We make school our child and our priority.

I really encourage parents to not skip school, it is just really important for your child to be in school learning.

Interruptions are difficult and yes, they can send home work sheets etc.. But she will still miss out on a lot of the "teaching" that would go on.. These are the techniques used by teachers to teach certain subjects.. and combine them with facts.. Things that are covered that your children will just totally miss out on.

Check with your school district and ask about unrolling.. that is really frowned upon for lots of reasons. One of them all of the work that it would take to un-enroll your child and then coming back and having to re-enroll..

There was a parent that did this at our daughters school. the child was gone 2 weeks. And the district flagged it and called CPS, so they could investigate.. It is the district policy to flag these type of situations.

Maybe some smaller trips away on the weekends?

And remember, you have no idea what may come, flu, stomach virus.. a reason you all need to miss school like a family emergency..

Just consider it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

What grades are they in? There is a huge difference between taking a kindergartener out of school for 10 days and doing the same with a 6th grader. I don't think if my kids were past 2nd grade I would do it. They wouldn't have even wanted to miss that much school. Once or twice we took them out for a short trip and it was hard to make up all the work, and they felt like they had missed a lot once they returned. It was hard for them to get back into the groove. I never would have gone for 10 days. Can you plan it so it coincides (or at least overlaps) some school break so they aren't actually missing so many school days?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think there is a problem with kids missing 10 days of school at this age. We are taking a vacation next month and my son will miss one week of kindergarten.

I don't really understand what you mean about disenrolling and re-enrolling them. Would you actually remove them from the roster during that time? And then go through the whole process of signing them back up as new students? That doesn't make sense to me. I would just tell the teacher I was going on vacation, ask for the work in advance, and leave it at that.

Have a great vacation!

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answers from St. Louis on

I see you have plenty of responses, but what's one more, right? LOL First, in our school system if a child misses more then 6 days in a Semester for ANY given reason they have to make up the extras on Saturday! Yep, not kidding!!

Second, my son (12yo) has been homebound since the start of school (he made it 5 days) due to an ATV accident. He has a techer coming to the house 5 hours a week and they usually don't even spend that much time with him. The amount of work he has for a week (they bring it weekly) is insignificant. If we sat down for 8 hours we could get in all done in one day or EVEN LESS! What I have noticed he is missing is the classroom "talks", but if his teachers would work out of the books I could help with that (sorry off subject!)

My point is if you're kids are decent in school (or even if they are not) it is not going to hurt him. This one vacation is not going to keep them out of college. Go, enjoy & don't worry about any of it while you are gone! Life is too stressful for everyone right now, if you can get your family away for a while to relax, that is as important as anything & you will be teaching your kids that! They will learn responsibilities are priority but there are times you have to throw in the towel and CHILL! Again, have fun!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I wrote a letter to the principal outlining how our vacation was educational for our son...with plenty of details. She ended up excusing his absence! It is worth a try for you.

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answers from Norfolk on

In our school system, they've really cracked down on this.
Vacations are not excused absences and 5 non excused absences will get you a call from the truancy officer followed by meetings with the principal and possibly court action if there are more.
They were letting vacations be excused with advanced asking of the principal ahead of time but people abused it and now they've stopped doing it.
You've got 22-28 kids in a class and if you have all the kids waltzing in and out at their parents whims, it's impossible to keep the whole class on a schedule to cover what they need to cover before the various tests come up.
I've never ever heard of dis-enrolling from a school for a vacation (and making up classwork?) and then re-enrolling.
Your child might lose his spot in his class or other programs.
People want schools to be accountable for a whole lot, and in order to be accountable and measure up to all the tests the kids take, the schools have to crack down on kids who are not participating as much as they could/should be.
I guess we can thank No Child Left Behind for some of the attitudes schools have developed towards vacations.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I am 55, so my comments are from another time/generation. My M. worked for TWA, so the world was our oyster. My parents always (and still do) had a bag packed to travel. They would pull me out of school for an entire week so we could go traveling around Europe, etc. I remember going overseas with a bag of books. They always got my work from the teachers and I would study in the back of the car. That being said, I can tell you that the wealth of experiences & cultural education was far superior to anything I ever experienced in a classroom. Even later in college, I used my travels to Egypt to complete several class assignments (of course, I got an A!). I would not trade a moment of those experiences for anything. I am now the mother of a 5 year old, and I have had her on a plane since she was 5 months old. She's on her second passport!

Do it! You cannot have those moments back, and your children will remember these great experiences for the rest of their lives. You will too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I have thought about this too. But, my daughter missed, I think 9 days of school last year for sickness and unforeseen situations.
That would have put as at 19 days missed? Ouch!
I still think about doing next year, my daughter will be in 3rd grade, but my son will not be in kindergarten yet. But, the max I would take her out would be 5 days.

I dont think I understand your question about dis-enrolling. Didnt know there was such a thing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

10 days is a lot of school but each school and district has different policies on attendance so I would check on that. My kid's school have Contracts if you are going to miss more then a couple of days so I would talk to your office staff to see if they offer that. With a contract, your kid's will get their work in advance to work on during the trip. That way when they come back they won't be too behind. Also, that way the school still get their ADA money so they're happy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Best to check with the school policy and see if there are any educational things you can do while they are away to keep them up with their schoolwork.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I think that taking a vacation during the school year isn't always a bad thing.

I do think you need to make sure what the absentee rules are for them though. If they have to be in school a certain amount of days or they fail then that isn't a big deal. I think they can miss something like 27 days per school year here. I've heard that in rumor only, I have no absolute knowledge of it.

There are always things that do come up like illness, death in the family, other circumstances that would make them miss school so you do need to consider that.

It has also been posted here on mamapedia that some parents have gotten into legal trouble through their school kids attendance so I would make sure that's no going to happen.

When it comes down to this for me, I am the parent, if "I" say the kids are going to miss school....well, that's my choice and I am the final say. If I want to take a vacation and it falls during the school year then so be it. IF the kids are behind then that is a consequence that "I" have to deal with. Taking assignments on the road with you is a good thing to do.
My thoughts on dis-enrolling them.

They most likely won't get the same teacher, if they do have a family enroll during the time you are gone they may even fill up to their maximum and not be able to re-enroll you.

My daughter moved into a school's area but they were full. I had to get up and drive across town to bring my grandson to an elementary school almost by my house. She didn't have a car so she didn't have a way for him to get over here. To catch the bus that would bring him to school he would have had to walk to school about 7 blocks away from her house at 7am instead of 7:45 with the rest of the kids from the neighborhood. There weren't any parents taking kids to catch the bus either, none of them had high school kids or kids that went to other schools.

So, the long lasting effects of taking them out of school and un-enrolling them may not be the good thing you consider it to be.

In my book, I get to choose when the kids take days off. If the school has a problem with that then you might want to consider taking the vacation during Thanksgiving week and the one before or after, or Fall Break when they're out for a couple of days.

Our school is out the entire week of Thanksgiving. So if that was an option your kids would only be missing 5 days.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Actually our elementary school requires that if they miss 10 consecutive days you re-enroll them. I think they do it just to make missing that many days a hassle and make you think twice. Of course - who doesn't at least consider the pros and cons? Our school will 'excuse' 10 days for 'educational' trips (which as they have said can involve any sort of learning so I do not believe there is a trip that is not educational out there) but they discourage doing it consecutively.

I am typing this from the beach place we are staying during our educational break from school (we are only missing 3 days). Have a great trip :)

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