Taking kids out of school

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ranch's picture
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Posts: 14
Taking kids out of school

Hi.  I like to travel and I have three kids.  They are 14, 13 and 6.  My wife and I own a business, and business is going fine.  Through the years we've taken our kids overseas to my wife's country (in Asia) many times.  This was no problem when they were in elementary.

I spent a number of years overseas myself, learned to speak one Asian language quite well, and place a very high value of this experience, especially for kids.

Last January my wife took our 13 year old to Asia and he missed 20 days of school.  He's in 7th grade, gets straight As with little effort, but the teachers frowned on his long absence.  I think they lose money due to absence.  Fortunately there is good technology with schooling, so with an internet connection my son was able to do most of his homework.  He got his grades up to almost all As within 2 weeks of coming back home.

I took my daughter (14) on an overseas trip last month and she missed 12 days of school, again no problem her grades are good. She loves to travel, is a great companion. 

I really have a travel bug now and want to get my kids out to see the real world, it's much more than they can learn in school at this point.  Also, I want to setup a base overseas.  Perhaps expand our business in Europe, or just take on a new challenge and setup a life there for a year or two, but don't want to make any decisions until I get over there and see with my own eyes.

My son has a chess rank over 1400 and can solve problems very quickly.  Math is his specialty.  I want to take him out of school in May on a 6 week trip to Europe.  Both of my teens don't want to leave school again.   In my opinion, May/June is better, we can miss the July/August tourist crowds.  I don't want to go alone.  I have to pay for hotels anyway, and I want to show my kids the sights.

Just wondering about thoughts on this from you in the CM community.  Thanks for any feedback.

Poet's picture
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Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
I Say Do It

I'd say they're old enough to travel and learn from that traveling.

As someone who has traveled to a few countries, I can definitely agree that it broadens one's horizons.

And if you want to travel, it's better to do it sooner than later if you think conditions may deteriorate over time. There are places in Africa I've enjoyed visiting in the past, where today I would be in danger of my life.

By the way, here's a great article: Hotel Security by Rick Davis.


iameurope's picture
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You have to think of what's

You have to think of what's best for your children because you made a choice when you decided on having kids. Why don't your teens want to leave school again? Was it too stressful for them to travel and study at the same time? I think it's best to travel when you have nothing else on your mind.

Anyhow it must be really exciting for your kids and it's a big opportunity for them!

docmims's picture
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Joined: Jun 17 2009
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I leave my kids in school

I leave my kids in school but if you are motivated theye are many homeschooling curicula available that are probably better for your kids than our current school system.  My opinion of our school system is that it is just to train our kids to get up on time, stand in line, and be good little consumers in order that, when they grow up they will be meek unquestioning workers.

Poet's picture
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Posts: 1892
Public Education
docmims wrote:

I leave my kids in school but if you are motivated theye are many homeschooling curicula available that are probably better for your kids than our current school system.  My opinion of our school system is that it is just to train our kids to get up on time, stand in line, and be good little consumers in order that, when they grow up they will be meek unquestioning workers.


Not to seemingly pick at everything you write... But perhaps I went to a different public school system. I actually learned art, math, biology, chemistry, physics, U.S. history, social studies, speech and debate, geography, economics, English, etc. (I never took an English class in college because I passed the Advanced Placement exam in English). I did well enough to be able to go to college and get a degree without having to first take any remedial classes.

I think school is what the government, teachers, the community, parents, and the kids themselves make of it. I know a lot of my fellow students were just clocking their time and they learned very little. But I think they (and their parents and perhaps some uninspired teachers) helped choose that outcome.

They say something like half of all college freshmen have to take remedial classes, and also that a lot of home schooled kids tend to do very well in tests. I personally like the "A Beka Book" math series.


earthwise's picture
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Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 848
  ranch, I don't see the



I don't see the problem. You seem to be educating them quite well. Parents are the primary educators and it would seem that you have a good grasp on that. Don't doubt yourself. I would submit that travel abroad has tremendous educational value, far greater than a classroom setting. Take responsibility for their education and you'll be surprised at how well you do. A homeschool curricula as suggested above would probably be valuable. It strikes me that you are locked into the public school, mass production,  'classroom'  mindset and that's limiting you.

As far as what they want to do, ultimately you are the adult and parent. Therefore the final decision is yours. Although they appear to be smart, they are also young and don't possess the adult perspective that you bring to the process. Take their opinions into consideration and then make the decision on what's best for them, not simply on what they want.

In a nutshell, I say go for it!!


P.S.   BTW,  I'm totally jealous of your opportunity to travel with your kids like that!Laughing



Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
You're right - the school district loses money

Just for the record: schools in the USA actually DO make money if children show up for classes. My mother was a member of the local school board, and according to her it goes like this: the school district gets a federal grant per child based on attendence and punctuality. Late kids only rake in half as muany federal dollars. (and no one gets suspended any more - they warehouse problem children in special schools, and get just ans much money for them as the honors track students)

RNcarl's picture
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Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382


I agree that international travel garners much learning that a classroom could never supply. When our children were younger we took them on vacations local, national and abroad without much concern for what the "teachers" thought. Our children are great students and very motivated. I also never gave a tinkers damn if the school system lost any funding. When I put my kids in private school, I figured the "system" more than made up for whatever they lost when I took my kids on vacation.

Now, to answer the "why" the teenagers don't want to leave right now should be obvious to anyone who has gone through puberty. Adolescence is when the kids really begin to ask "who am I, do I matter? Does anyone like me?" - Friends, social bonding, learning how to deal with peers, all of these things solidify during puberty - not to mention the confusion of raging hormones.

I am NOT a fan of home schooling (sorry Chris). I have seen too many "home schooled" kids that are social neophytes who lack even the most simple ability to interact with peers. The school that my kids now attend has some home-schooled kids that are going there to learn the necessary social skills they will need to face the "real world". Some are succeeding, some have gone wild, some will one day, I believe, "go postal."

Ranch, in the end it is your decision. My advice is make sure you are not taking them with you for selfish reasons.

Good Luck - C.

ao's picture
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Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
ranch, How much of this


How much of this travel bug is for your benefit vs. your kids' benefit?  You're offering them a wonderful opportunity but I would question them very closely about why they don't want to leave school again.  The age they're at now is a critical time in their emotional and social development and I would give strong consideration to the factors that RNcarl wisely mentions.  Once they're "over the hump" of adolescence, I think they'd benefit much more from the opportunities you're offering them.  To take them now against apparently strong emotionally driven wishes might leave a hole in their life that is not adequately filled with what you are offering them, no matter how wonderful it seems from the perspective of adults like oursselves who have already gone through the maturation process.

My kids resisted a major family trip at a certain age.  I was not happy about that but respected their wishes.  A couple of years later, they were ready and we had a fabulous time.  I remember on another trip taking them to a museum and they were bored out of their gourds.  A few years later and they were soaking up similar sights eagerly.  Let them be kids while they're kids.  It's obviously important to offer your kids opportunities but it's also important to do it all in good time and let them be who they will be, not who we would like them to be.  


Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
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Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
  Simple as this .. at

  Simple as this .. at their age whether they are home educated or not .. they would rather spend their time with their ''peeps''  rather than their ''Rents''  sorry   tis a fact of life .    Leave their butts at home  because they will ruin the whole trip for everyone unless you bring their friends along with you .  

 Take the ones that want to go .. one day of  hands on field trip is worth 13 sitting in the class room .

 My experience only  ... do what you want .


   A heads up...... next thing you have to worry about is those durn stray cats !   As hard as we try  they still find their way in . LOL Wink

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