Should you take Kids out of School to Travel? 13

This year our little man’s milestone was entering full-time compulsory school.  Whilst not yet 5 years of age, the state government altered it’s schooling regulations and added Pre-Primary to compulsory schooling and with that a new learning curriculum.

Taking kids out of school to travel

Reading and writing now part of the pre-primary curriculum

Last year our little man was in Kindy which was not compulsory, I didn’t even give it a second thought about booking our family holidays during the school terms.

So this year when I started doing my planning and research for our family holiday, I initially chose time frames within the school term.  The dates we travel are usually decided upon when my partner can get away from his business for a week or two.

When I came back to my partner with some prices and he asked, “what about school?”  I hadn’t even thought about it.  Normally my only concern is missing a paid swimming lesson now I had to consider school.

I also heard that principals and teachers don’t like you taking kids out of school for a holiday so we looked at travelling in the school holidays; the last thing you want to do is upset your teacher and get them off side with your child.

So I went and got new prices for the altered dates.  Gosh they were high.  Over $2000 difference for our little family of 2 adults and 1 child (aged 5).  To me that’s a lot when your only going for 2 weeks.

So I started asking around.  Did people take their kids out of school to travel?  Most answered with a resounding “yes – it’s too expensive to travel in school holidays.”

Other comments included:

  • “Only in primary school”
  • “It depends if they are in private or public schools” (apparently private schools expect a higher level of commitment)
  • “Depends what they are learning” (fractions are hard so keep them in school).

Some talked about what happened back when their parents took them out of school and what advice their teacher had given their parents, it included:

  • “The experience will be far greater than what I can teach in a class room”
  • “Just make sure your kids continue read”
  • “Do some maths with them”

It is with this advise from the teachers of yesteryear that I booked our holiday during school term, saving the $2000.

So to make up for the missed time at school I have added handwriting and maths books (purchased from the supermarket and appropriate for my sons age) to the usual colouring and sticker books that I buy for in-flight entertainment.

We will also take the Tablet and connect to the hotels free WiFi to access the computer based learning programs that the school offers for homework.

Will we actually get around to doing these activities?  Probably, there’s always a time of the day when my son gets a bit board in the room and this will be the chance to sit out on the balcony and do a little work together.

After all the holiday is about spending time together as a family no matter what the activity.

Have you taken the kids out of school travel?

What do you do?

About Sally-Ann Brown

I am Sally-Ann the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife and mother who has always had a passion for travel. I love sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday or day trip. Read "All About Me" under the "Home" tab to discover my story and what lead me to here.

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13 thoughts on “Should you take Kids out of School to Travel?

  • Claireyhewitt

    I will certainly take my kids out of school to travel – if only I could save up for a trip and stop spending on all that other stuff!

    • Toddlers on Tour Post author

      It’s all about priorities Claire.

      Back in my 20’s when I saved to backpack around Europe for 6 months, people asked me how I had saved so much money. “Easy,” I replied ” just go with new clothes and drinks at the pub for a year.”

      As with anything it is what is important to you.

  • Lisa @ Raising Explorers

    I’m a teacher. My kids aren’t at school yet. However, my answer is a resounding, TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL. My sister is a primary teacher, and she had a student one year who did a big tour around Oz with his family. He did a travel blog and the class followed him on his journey – they learnt from his travels, too. And of course, what the kids get from travel exceeds what they can learn in the classroom. Principals don’t like it, as it affects attendance figures, but as for the effect on learning, they learn while they’re away. Don’t take them out of senior studies, but as for primary, and junior high school, I say go for it!

  • Nat @ Natalia Familia

    Hi! My parents took the three of us out of school for an entire year and crammed a childhood worth of interstate family holidays into 12 months. We traveled right around Australia. We did distance education, which I think is all done on the internet these day. It was by far the best year of my childhood. It was an amazing learning experience and we didn’t get behind in schooling at all. I would definitely love to do something like that with my kids, even if it just for a term.

    • Toddlers on Tour Post author

      If you are taking the kids out of school for long term travel there are various alternatives including “School of the Air” which as you say is done over the Internet now.

      I bet your year of travel as a kid was the best education you received.

  • Lisa

    To be honest, I’ve always been in two minds about this subject – I am not worried about my kids missing out on learning, as you say, you can do reading and workbooks with them – but I am more concerned with the social experience of school, not just the academic, which is why I would never take my kids out at the start of the school year – I don’t want them to be the only kid who didn’t start with the rest of the class and hasn’t been involved in all the ‘settling in’ with a new class. Same with missing out on school camps, graduations, that kind of thing. Otherwise, I’d say, go for it and enjoy!

    • Toddlers on Tour Post author

      I must say I agree with you about about missing the beginning of the school year and children missing that settling in period.

      The next trick is getting the school to advise in advance when all the school camps, excursions and other main events are so that you plan your holidays around them.

  • Author Bek Mugridge (@bekmugridge)

    Absolutely I would (and have) you can bring an educational element into all sorts of holidays too and teachers might even give you some extra activities of homework they can do. It’s not only cheaper but quieter too 🙂

  • Lynne

    We certainly did take our son out of school for travel – only in primary school though and not at the start of the year – to me travel is education anyway and we always took some reading and maths to do in downtime…. worked well for us. 🙂

  • Marvin Deliss

    I will sure take my kids out for travel because they are naughty and there no one to take care for them . As being a working woman i got less time for my kids so these kind chance make me happy to spend time with them .