How damaging would it be to take your kid out of school for 4-8 weeks?

A lot will depend on the teacher, too. If a teacher sticks fairly closely to the lesson plans, it’s not so hard to predict where the class will be one or two months from now.But if the teacher is more flexible,(moving ahead when the class understands a concept in less time than expected,or spending more time on a concept the class is having trouble with. or covering topics out of order because they’re relevant to some current event ) it’s going to be much harder to predict where the class will be two months from now. And while I don’t think that would lead to not graduating after years of good grades, it might lead to a year of poor grades- there have been a few kids who transferred into my kids’ school and had poor grades or had to repeat a grade, not becasue they were bad students, but because of the difference in schools (public to parochial). They transferred at the beginning of sixth grade and there were some topics that the old school would have covered in sixth grade that the new school had covered in fifth grade or before.


My parents did it with my brother and me, and we both seem to have turned out ok. We were never gone longer than a month, and we usually went so as to overlap with the school’s spring break, but we did it pretty much every year until high school - and even then we went for a few weeks when I was a freshman and my brother a junior.

I imagine that the feasibility relies a fair amount on your local school district. My folks never ran into any problems (at least that I was aware of). The school would give us a packet of work to do for our various classes, and we’d usually give some kind of report when we got back. As far as I know, my parents didn’t have to do any kind of home-schooling or tutoring registration.

If you’re planning to visit a single place habitually, you might well be able to make arrangements with the local school, which would make life easier all around. My folks did this in the place that we visited the most, and it worked well - my brother and I mostly did our own work corresponding to whatever the other kids were doing (i.e., we’d work on our math assignment from home while the local school was working on math), but we participated directly in some classes, and were in a school environment.

I’d definitely encourage you to pursue this; I really view the extended traveling I did as a child as a definitive aspect of my character.

Best of luck.


As a caveat, all of this is a bit dated, but not too much - I’m just out of college.

just a heading for that last post.


hi im a kindie teacher, i can honestly say that if you were to keep your ‘kid’ up to date with the basics, reading writing and maths, then a few months somewhere else would be great. most kids stay wrapped up in their home town and have no idea what any other place is like ‘to live’ other people and especially other countries. at least up to a certain point when tests, exams and grades become important.

I have a friend who lives here in WI from October through April (roughly), and goes up to Alaska with her husband and daughter (12) to work in the fishing industry. The daughter has excellent school habits, and Mom either homeschools her or puts her in the local school system during what remains of the school year. Last year Mom and daughter took a monthlong trip to Europe in March.

For them it seems to work.

A lot of thoughtful views here.

Naturally, being a gypsy at heart, I am for the travel part with your future kids.

If you are traveling (IE: in a near constant movement) with kids, then keeping with their class work and tutoring them on your own will be imperative.

I’ve always held this fantasy of taking my children out of school for a couple of months (not every year) and travel. I was fortunate to have a mom that would take me out of school off the school break time and take me to go visit relatives with her. I remember those visits. I sure in hell don’t remember anything about school that week.

I heard/met recently of a girl who was raised by her grandparents ( parents were killed) and she attended school here in Michigan from Sept - December and then went to Florida from December -june. Every year. From whatever grade she was in when her parents were killed until graduation. Attended the same schools and had two different groups of friends. She graduated in the mid 80’s. Everything worked out. She was quite normal and said that she was probably better at socializing because of the moves. Took a little extra effort on her grand parents part with the paperwork, but this way, they got to enjoy their retirement and raise their granddaughter. The schools were flexible then and if you are reasonable with talking to the principal(s) then you shouldn’t have a problem.

I had around 6 weeks off when I was in grade 5 (age 10) to go overseas, and when I got back I didn’t feel as though I had missed anything!

A few words of advice from someone who’s moved around a lot, and thereby has had to deal with a week (or so) of absences from school about every year or two:

*If you can, plan to do the vacations such that they overlap with the school’s vacation times. (Winter break, or Spring break in your case it sounds like.) That way, time spent away from the classroom is minimized.
*Plan ahead as much as you can: let the teacher know at the start of the school year, and perhaps a reminder about a month before the actual vacation. This way, they’re aware of what will be happening ahead of time and it won’t be a surprise. It gives them time to prepare: either by gathering up some resources for you, so you can pick up where school left off, or perhaps by allowing your child to do the work early. (The latter may not be feasable in some circumstances, but if the teacher wanted a paper due during that time period, for instance, then your kid could get it done ahead of time.)
*Under most circumstances, the experinces gained while on vacation will be very good for your child. It’ll teach them flexibility, expose them to different modes of thinking, and help develop their social skills, among other things. Yes, they may miss their friends while they’re gone: but then have them think about all the catching up they’ll get to do when they get back!
*On an issue related to the above: problems with jealousy may arise. (But Fred got to go to DisneyWorld! Jane got this neat hat! Billy got to be out of school for X weeks, why can’t I?) And it may be on either side of the equation: your kid may be jealous of the things that were done while they were gone, your child’s friends may be jealous of the things your kid did while on vacation (or think that your kid is bragging). I don’t really have much in the way of advice on this though, beyond be aware it may happen and prepare ways to deal with the situation.

But at this point, all of this is just general stuff. A lot of the details will really depend on a) the school your kid is in, b) the teacher(s) you deal with, and c) the personality of your child.

Best of luck, no matter what you do! :smiley:

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