School absenteeism might often be related to students who skip school or don’t care about school. However, parents might not realize that missing school days has to do more with family travel.
Of course, you want to take advantage of those sunny days during Spring Break or long two-week Winter Break. While your kids need to reenergize, you need relaxation from the daily routine as well.
So, you might extend those extra days as vacation time. What most parents don’t realize is that those additional days can turn into unexcused school absences.
Make sure to contact the school ahead of time, plan schoolwork, and avoid unnecessary absences.
Family Vacation or Excused School Absenteeism
Many times you plan those long family vacations without perhaps taking into consideration school absences. Nothing is more disappointing than planning a great family getaway only to find out you can’t go.
That is, you might need to consider school break days and schoolwork. Also, if you have more than one child in school, you probably have to think about each child’s school absenteeism and schoolwork.
Before booking that cruise or family travel, talk with your child’s counselor about your options. If you’re taking a family vacation that will take extra days, then ask about excused school absenteeism.
What are the requirements so that your child doesn’t end up truant or suspended? There are special occasions where extended school absenteeism allows students to take extra time. Some instances might be a family funeral, illnesses, bullying, or hospitalization.
Regardless of the situation, consult with your child’s school before making plans for family travel.
Actionable Steps to Take Kids Out of School for Family Travel
One of the most preventable ways to avoid school absenteeism is to talk with your child’s teacher.
- Once you have approval from the school, set an appointment with each teacher, if possible, to arrange schoolwork or project deadlines.
- If your child is in elementary school, then you might get the work from a few teachers.
- However, upper-level grades like in middle or high school could take more time to get schoolwork.
- You often might have to chat with several teachers.
- Also, upper classes might have more work students need to turn in regularly.
- So, take into consideration the time of the year, you want to take a family vacation.
- Preferably, most parents plan family travel during the holidays, the middle of the year, or towards the end of the school year.
- Try to avoid weeks with state testing, school district counting days, or teacher planned test days.
- These are special days that most likely can’t be made up.
Also, if your child has special needs, you might need to consider special arrangements. Especially if your child has an IEP or specific accommodations, the disruption of the learning environment can affect your child’s progress.
So, use special school breaks where the learning is least interrupted and helps your child succeed.
Avoiding Regular School Absenteeism
Taking your child for family travel is a good idea. After all, encouraging long or short breaks from school helps your child academically and emotionally.
Isn’t that why young children have recess, and older children have extended lunch breaks? Schools know that kids need brain breaks from continuous studying.
Research shows children benefit from school breaks helping with brain activity, boosting learning, and encouraging relationships between peers.
Taking a break from learning is so vital that studies found out that learning can’t occur without it. You might think that the brain is idle when you stop learning.
That is not the case. The brain is actually processing and capturing memories of what you learned.
Once your mind renews, you can begin to learn again. A child’s brain is no different. However, the brain is like any other part of your body that needs constant stimulation.
So, when long breaks turn into school absenteeism, there is a lack of learning detrimental to your child. But, of course, you want to plan those long family travel days with caution.
Taking kids out of school for family travel can be an enjoyable experience. After all, you want your kids to experience life, and you want a break from daily life.
However, don’t let those school break days turn into truancy or absenteeism that can deter your child’s learning experience. Plan ahead and talk to your child’s school to avoid school absenteeism.