Friday, April 22, 2011

Is It Okay to Play Hooky?

Growing up, we would spend almost every April vacation in Florida. (Before I get emails accusing me of being a spoiled privileged brat, first picture how hard my dad, a dedicated elevator repairman worked to afford this and how much bickering they must have endured squeezing at least 11 kids at a time into an RV for the 1500 mile trip to Orlando.) Seriously, I'm not even half the parent - I practically lose my patience driving three kids in my minivan across town.

One thing that always surprised me was how cool my parents were with our missing a few days of school on the back end of our trip. It's not like we were the type of family to play hooky, school was important and we were always expected to follow the rules. But when you've got limited vacation time and you're digging deep in your pockets to finance an annual family trip, are you really going to cut it short for the sake of a couple of school days?

As a parent myself, I take school attendance very seriously. Jacob has only missed one day this year, due to a stomach bug. He does extremely well academically and can make up work in about ten minutes, when he sets his mind to it. But when Jeff and I talked about heading north for the weekend to see the grandparents, I practically hyperventilated when considering the option of pulling Jacob out of school for the day. (PS Since when is Good Friday not a day off?)

Should we just do it or wait until after school? I asked myself that question 2,342,281 times. We finally decided on... yes.

As we pile into the Hotyssey for our Easter road trip (with killer dogs and house sitter in tact), I wonder... Do you think it's okay to play hooky once in a while?


Melissa said...

School was taken seriously for me as a kid, as well. However, while I think they would have TRIED to avoid missing school days (we generally did summer trips, but not always), I don't think it was OVERLY fretted about. I remember getting off early from school for various doctor's appointments, dental appointments, or even on a Friday afternoon to visit my grandparents for the weekend.

We, however, do fret. I try to schedule appointments when my daughter doesn't have school, unless it's impossible or she's sick. Even going on vacation for excessive amounts of time has to be weighed by how much time it's going to take her to get back into routine. Is it a lot? Yes. I'm sure it's easier for some...

kim said...

Yes it's OK, but only if you take your friends, ha!

I think it's OK to take your kids out of school sometimes - it doesn't mean you don't value their education, but it's equally important to place value on family, tradition, FUN ... kids and adults need to find the balance between work/school and fun in order to maintain a healthy state of mind my opinion. Have fun!

Lindsey said...

Of course its okay! Our kids miss atleast 2 days a year for stuff like that, as long as it isn't excessive....or an important day at school.

Maggie said...

I'm with Kim! I definitely think it's okay to take your kids out of school on occasion. I'd even be okay with frequent occasions!

As Kim said, family, tradition and fun are as valuable as academics.

I also think that these and other life experiences can be an equally if not more important education than the academic education you get in school.

Donna Tagliaferri said...

Love to play hooky!! Love it!! Children learn so much from their parents out of the normal places they see us...we are horrible about rules and rules and rules...some are vital..but some can be bent, if not erased for a better cause.
Good luck my friend...go forth and enjoy your children!!