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Let’s Skip School and Go to Disney!

February 10, 2010

     First and foremost, let me state for the record that I hope all of my children will one day be gainfully employed.  I hope that none of them will have to sleep in ditches and use old newspapers for blankets.  I hope that when they are employed that they will be honest and dependable workers.  I hope they’ll leave things better than they find them.  I hope most of all that the careers they choose offer a good supply of vacation days.  I hope that when they go to work each day that they are doing something meaningful and aren’t just clocking in hours until the next vacation.  

    I tend to clock in the hours between vacations.  It’s just who I am.  

Playing hooky in 2008. They look happy and well-adjusted, don't you think?

Anyway,  we have a couple of vacations coming up in April.  First of all spring break.  We’ll be spending Easter week at the beach and we’re planning to lull around and do nothing.  Grill some fish, bake in the sun(weather permitting), boil some shrimp, take long walks while carrying  yummy drinks.  Perhaps, put out an herb or two in the herb garden.  We’re going to be there, I hope, from Friday til the following Sunday.  Should be nice.  

But, more to the point we have a birthday coming up.  Sam our youngest will be 5 years old.  In this family, we celebrate your fifth birthday with a Disney vacation.  It’s a great place to turn five.  Or 105 as far as I’m concerned.   We recently joined DVC, Disney Vacation Club, and are planning our inaugural visit.  We’re doing  ten days.  Four in Bay Lake Towers and six at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village.  Can’t wait.  Since DVC is based on a point system, some weeks or days cost more points than others.  Since we’re going for 10 days, it made sense to get an annual pass.  I think the season passes  are good for 15 months, or some such thing.  So, I want to get the most out of my points.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to return a time or two during the life of that annual pass.   Thanksgiving is my favorite time for a Disney trip and the school calendar is very cooperative.  We’re able to work in at least 10 days and only have to play hooky two.  

Well, the trip in April could have been planned for our kids spring break.  But, I wasn’t looking forward to the crowds, but it was a possibility.  Until I looked at how many points we were going to have to burn up.  So, we’ve decided to go later in the month.  We’re also having to let the kids do some major hooky playing.  They are really smart kids and usually are ahead of the curve in school.  So, I’m not worried that this week is going to throw them so far behind that they aren’t going to be able to get into decent colleges.  Actually, I’m not worried at all.  We have taken a week during the school year almost every year since my fifth graders started school.  The teachers have all been great. No one has turned up their nose(to our face) at doing this.  And none of them have piled on the homework so that we had a ton to make up on our return.  Hopefully this year will be no different.  

This year, we’ve had a few more absences than we’ve planned upon.  I’m not sure that they promote kids whose parents take them out of school for vacations if they miss more than the allotted 10 days.  Who decided on that anyway?  10 days with little kids is just silly to me.  I am in favor of an education, I just think that the world needs to lighten up and be a little more flexible.  Why is it no one frowns upon taking the kid out of school to get their teeth filled?  I know that’s necessary.  But, so is a vacation with your family.  These are the experiences that your family will laugh about over dinner, and spend time thumbing through scrapbooks looking at for many years.  And if you can pull it off at an unusual time of the year, due to jobs, money or just the way the spirit moves you, why not?  

To get on my soap box for a second, if we’d quit being so rigid and allow our kids a little room to wiggle, they’ll be great.  They’ll be creative and flexible and accepting of others.  Because they won’t have grown up thinking there’s only one way to do things.  Now, I don’t mean give them a bag of weed and nothing but refined sugar to eat while you ride around without seatbelts.  But, you know, bend a little. 

I have all the confidence in the world that these kids will be successful in spite of their parents.

Twenty years from now, are my kids going to remember what they learned in first and fifth grade  during the third week of April?  Or, are they going to remember having a great time as a family, celebrating the littlest member turning five?  Which one is going to matter?  Well, in my mind that decision is already made.  Vacation booked and Mickey Mouse Tee shirts are all ready.  

What do you think? Do you take your kids out of school for fun things?   I’d love to know where other parents came down on this.

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