Recently my family and I took a trip to California for a family wedding and a road trip to Lake Tahoe. By the time we returned, my second grader had missed seven days of the new school year. Initially, I thought about whether or not it was a good idea to take a vacation while she’s in school. But after looking at all the angles, I decided it was totally worth it—here’s why.
1. It’s a brand-new school year.
I think we can agree that there’s not a ton of critical information being taught during the days she’ll miss. These are the early days of rules, school goals, expectations, and review.
2. My daughter is a great student.
She’s an advanced reader, her math and science skills are excellent. And, let’s be real here—it’s the second grade! If she was in middle or high school, taking a vacation in the fall would probably not be an option, but the second grade? She’ll have to do extra work when she gets back, but it’s nothing she can’t handle.
3. I am an involved parent.
I am fortunate enough to work part-time from home. I have good relationships with her teachers. We got a list of spelling words, and she’s reading for 20 minutes a day. I also left a note and spoke with the front office before we hopped on a flight to California.
4. She gets to be a flower girl!
My daughter will remember the time she was a flower girl in her aunt’s wedding for years to come more than she’ll remember the few days of instruction she’s missing.
5. She’ll get an outdoor education.
The time we spend hiking, identifying trees, rocks and animals in Lake Tahoe is a pretty good alternative to spending a week in the classroom.
6. Our family is everything.
We live halfway across the country from my family, so the hours and moments we do spend with them are precious. My daughter will see her cousins, meet new members of our family and forge a bond with her new uncle—things that can’t happen in a classroom.
Education and good work ethics are important to my husband and I. But, we also know that life offers an education that can’t be taught in a classroom and allowing our kids to have unforgettable experiences are an essential part of their upbringing. So, if they miss a day or two here and there, we are okay with that.