Honestly 2-4 hours is preposterous. That's another debate unto itself -- homework. But when does this 2-hour thing kick in?
Well, I obviously feel that it is OK to occasionally take a child out of class for family time, as I did it But if I had a struggling student, I think I would talk to the teacher first about it. There would be times that are better to do it then others. For example, I know that most classes do Art on Friday afternoons. Because there is only 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon at our school, there is often very little else done except some reading, which if you read every day with your child is not a big deal to miss. Many classes also have other days were they have less academic stuff stacked together, like music, PE, and buddy reading in the same afternoon. Those days would be better to miss from an academic standpoint then others.
The problem that I see (and why I was hesitant) is when the message is sent that we can miss school because education is not important. I think if you pull out too often this can happen, and then your kid could be in real trouble. I think if you explain to your child why they are missing (ie, Daddy has been so busy and we have all been missing him so we thought it was important to spend some time together), make it a special 'event' (not just miss school to hang around the house), and make sure that school is the priority the rest of the time (make sure they get there on time every day, do their homework, go to parent teacher interviews, communicate with the teacher, and make sure the student sees you take an interest in how they are doing) then one or two days should be fine.
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
Just wanted to add, there is some thing to be said for what my husband calls 'social capital' which is cool things your kid has done that makes them feel special and that they can tell their friends about, leverage into games, stories etc. Having many experiences to draw from can help give a child confidence and social capital. I think that is pretty important for success in life as well, so I could also support pulling a child out for an opportunity that comes along rarely, or might never come again. Like a special show or activity.
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
I assumed it was a given that no one was talking about pulling their kid out of school and saying, "Who cares? It's just school!"
Yeah...the idea isn't to minimize the importance of school to your child. If my son is sick OR out for some other reason, we still get his homework and we stress all year how important it is. (Juliet's in kindergarten so it's not quite the same, she loves it every day. Who wouldn't?)
And definitely picking the right day is important too!
Yeah, I don't buy the every day is a precious gem of learning stuff. Not to underplay the importance, education is super important to us ~ but learning happens by the boatload at home, too. This year really showed us that as my kid has a craptastic kindy teacher (she's a LTS as his teacher had a baby the third week of school, the sub has never had a class before) Rather than worry about it we have just worked more with him at home, he is reading like a champ and right where he should be, despite captain moron at the helm of his class. Now that our kids are hitting school age we are also enrolling them in summer educational camps, so I guess that could more than make up for any time they take during a school year. We plan to take them out of school for a straight week every February for a family vacation starting next year. We used to take a 10 day ski trip out west every winter when I was growing up, all through middle and high school. I always took my work, and did it diligently after a day of skiing. Those trips are literally some of my favorite memories of childhood and of my family. It didn't impact my GPA one bit. My teachers used to grumble, but my parents didn't care. My Dad was a workaholic so wasn't around a lot, and those times were really important to us as a family.
Kyla I couldn't agree more with social capital. Nobody will ever convince me that a trip to europe, or south america or a week on a working ranch, or learning to ski, or hiking the grand canyon, or whatever our vacation that year will be is not broadening a kids horizon and opening their eyes and mind more than that week in school would be doing.
Last edited by Potter75; 03-10-2013 at 08:07 PM.
While I agree that hiking the grand canyon is pretty awesome....my child being promoted to the next grade is even more awesome. I would never jeopardize that for a family vacation that could be postponed until a scheduled school break. If my child was meeting standards with flying colors - well, then that's another story.
Look, I don't think anyone is saying that family time or vacations aren't important. They definitely are. But a child's job is to go to school and learn. And if they are falling behind at that job then unscheduled breaks "just because" probably aren't a good idea.
Not saying that homeschooling is for everyone (It is not), but verifying that most homeschoolers do do less than 4 hours of sit down work a day.