Why I will be taking my children on holiday during term time

There’s been a lot of debate recently about taking children out of school during term time to go on holiday. Up until a few weeks ago, it wasn’t really something that crossed my mind. However when I started pricing up our annual holiday, I was genuinely shocked to see how much more expensive holidays were during half term.

As this is the first year that our children are in full time school, it’s never been an issue before, but now that it is, I’ve found myself on the side of those who want to be able to take their children out of school during term time to go on holiday.

Obviously I wouldn’t take my children out of school if they were having exams etc, but at five years old, I really don’t see the harm in taking them out for five days.

I think as long as it’s in moderation, then it should be allowed.

One of the many comments that I’ve read on this topic was:

“No my wife is a teacher so we would have to leave her behind as she can’t just walk out. Teachers performance is now linked to the progress a child makes throughout the year. It’s very difficult to make it up if the child already has bad attendance or is struggling. A responsible parent will understand and attempt to get the child back up to speed. Unfortunately there are a lot who don’t. This causes the teachers to potentially be penalised for stuff out of their control.”

Someone then replied to this comment with:

“Well said. People don’t understand the extra pressure that taking their kid out of school adds to their teacher.”

Now, I do understand the first comment. Teachers with children don’t have the option of taking a term time holiday. I also understand their point when they say that the teachers performance is linked to the childs’ progress, but this is where my problem is.

In my personal opinion schools are too focused on hitting their own targets that they’ll do what they can to achieve this, even if it’s not in the childs’ best interests.

My twins are five. They can talk, walk, run, get themselves dressed, brush their teeth, go to the toilet by themselves, write their names, count up to 30 and beyond, and to be honest the school doesn’t really recognise some of these.

When one of my girls came home with a certificate saying ‘Well done. You can count to 10!’, they questioned why it only said 10, when they can in fact count much higher than this.

It was the second comment that got to me to be honest. Talking of the ‘extra pressure’ on teachers. What about the pressure on five year olds?

At the last parents evening, we were told that the school were keeping one of our girls in during part of her break so that they could give her extra learning. She’s five! She’s entitled to the same break as her peers. This had been going on for weeks before my husband and I found out about it. I’m pretty sure thats wrong in the first place, as they should have asked our permission before taking this action, and then failing to tell us until parents evening? Couldn’t they have told us one morning when we dropped them off or picked them up? They could have made a phone call to let us know or even booked a ten minute appointment with us to ask for our opinion.

Anyway, the comments go on…

“Nope! I chose to have children and accepted that that would mean I was limiting my opportunities to have holidays. I agree holiday companies take the p*ss with school holiday price hikes, but holidays are a luxury and there are ways and means to make it affordable.”

I’m sorry, but does learning and education only take place at school?

Holidays can help children learn about different cultures, experience new foods and visit places of interest. Not all of this would be possible in the confines of a school classroom.

Also what about trips that the school take children on? A week skiing trip in the french alps or a week in Germany? That’s allowed, but a holiday with their parents isn’t? Maybe if I called our ‘holiday’ an ‘educational trip’ instead then it would be allowed?

Children are tested so much nowadays that I think parents fail to see that education isn’t just learned at school. Real life experiences are what’s most important if you ask me.

Yes, I agree children should be taught maths, english, science etc., but how does knowing about the year in which the battle of Hastings occurred help children in the long run? Well, unless they do lots of pub quizzes, then maybe it could useful for that.

I genuinely believe schools should have classes that educate our children about finances, mortgages, leadership skills, forging a career, proper cooking and nutrition classes etc.

If my children were majorly struggling or as I mentioned above were taking exams, then no, I wouldn’t take them out of school. I think it should all come down to common sense on behalf of the parents and school.

What do you think?

16 thoughts on “Why I will be taking my children on holiday during term time

  1. I totally agree with you!! I have 2 children aged 2 and 7 and for the last 2 years we have just about scraped together the money to go away in the summer holidays but prices seem to be increasing every year! Some holidays parks are charging £1000 plus EXTRA for holidays during school holidays its extortionate!
    This year we have been given the chance to go to Bluestone during term time and will be doing it! It’s 5 days and he has never had a day off school since he started. I feel like he will get so much out of the holiday in experiences and family time I’m willing to take the chance, and if we have to do a few extra spellings or a bit of extra practice on his times tables when we get back so be it. Exploration, adventure, seeing and experiencing different things can be just as an important part of learning and growing up as what they learn at a desk! Xx

  2. I 100% agree with you. Life isn’t about learning how to add numbers together or write a sentence. Children need to learn social skills and have family time. We take our daughter out for a week each year for a family holiday. So long as they are doing well in class, and have a good attendance then I don’t really see what the problem is?
    Also I’d add that I’d never phone her in “sick” at school because I’d rather they knew she was going on holiday, and then they can discuss it with her rather than confusing her with “are you feeling better now?”
    Social skills are just as important as academic! 🙌🏻 Love this post!
    Becky x

  3. Agree wholeheartedly! I took T out last Friday to go to Gibraltar for the weekend. He learned more on the day we took to visit the rock than he would have during the 6 1/2 hours he should have been at school. I’d have no qualms about taking him for a week. Although I would be concerned if he was behind, struggling or had poor attendance. But as this is not the case I as a parent would be happy to remove him from school for a week to give him a different learning experience. X

  4. I am an elementary teacher. Yes, a lot of learning takes place outside of the classroom. I agree with you, that it is not harmful to children to miss school, if that is when your family must take holiday time. As a parent, I understand the importance of scheduling your holidays when it makes more sense financially. As for stress on teachers, please do not expect teachers to provide “catch-up” work for your children to do during your holiday. If you are taking a holiday during school time, then make it a holiday for your children too. However, I would suggest that you have your children create a daily journal of their activities. If they are able, have them write about one experience a day (2-3 sentences). If they are not writers yet, have them illustrate what they enjoyed about their day. Encourage your children to read signs, menus, or any other text that they come across. Have them “do Math” as they count, calculate, or add any numbers you may encounter in your daily activities. If your teacher needs evidence of their learning, take a picture of what they’re doing. Your holiday can be very educational without your child doing school!! And yes, EVERYONE needs a break from school once in a while, not just the students! Enjoy your time!!

  5. I have 3 children and we used to take them out of school for 5 days to go on a holiday that was from Sat-sat. They all have good attendance, so I don’t see why I should not be able to take my kids out of school for just 5 days a year. It’s ok for parents who can afford to go on trips in the school holidays, but because the company’s raise their prices during this time, it can be a struggle for parents like me to afford it. And I feel that my kids are missing out.
    My sister home educates one of her sons and she is allowed to teach him whatever she wants whenever see wants, not set subjects or hours. Meaning she can take her child on holiday or trips out whenever she wants to, no questions asked. #bestandworst

  6. Yes!! I 100% agree with you, especially with regards to school trips. Why should the school be allowed to take them away for a week but their own parents/guardians are not?!

    I think the majority of parents would agree that as long as the children have a good attendance rate then what harm can it really do.

    Far too much focus on targets, common knowledge and life skills are just as important.

  7. I have to admit, with Henry only being 2, I’ve not yet thought about this debate. However if it came down to a family holiday we could afford vs one we couldn’t, I would be taking Henry out of School too.

    But I totally agree that children today should learn about finances, mortgages etc. I’d even take the classes, haha

    Renee x #bestandworst

  8. I just had to read this post! God I wish more parents were like you. The reason school holiday prices are so high is because us holiday businesses have to make a living and demand is crazy for school holidays, thanks to the Government and their attitude to learning, while term time is so hard to fill with under 5’s only. We offer educational holidays for families and to me bring a child on holiday here during their primary years only adds to their education. I just wish the Government would recognise this and allow educational leave again without penalising parents. #BestandWorst

  9. I agree with you. I’m sure back in the day when I was at school (many moons ago) you were allowed up to two weeks off for holidays during school time (with prior aproval). I think that was pretty reasonable but then a lot has changed since I was at school.

    #Bestandworst

  10. Well, I have a very brief story to tell here. My daughter’s school isn’t obsessed with performance stats – thankfully – so I don’t hear of things like reception class kids being kept in to study at break times. Even so, the one and only time we’ve ever done anything like this, I had to take my eldest out for a Friday afternoon so she could have a bridesmaid rehearsal for her uncle’s wedding.

    I advised her teacher of this and it was suggested she might like to be ill on that day. I didn’t want to do this so submitted the paperwork for an authorised absence request and heard nothing more of it until I got the end of term report. That Friday afternoon was marked down as an “unauthorised absence”! Bit heavy handed if you ask me.

    And yes, the travel companies exploit this situation massively. I know some local try and get around this by staggering when different schools are on holiday, but I think the impact is minimal.

    Despite all this, no, we wouldn’t take our kids out during term time. I think the rules are there for good reason and there are parents out will exploit them given an inch. I’ve never known anyone be fined by a local authority for this, but the local authority should have the power (and it should be the authority, not the school or else school becomes judge, jury and executioner).

  11. Married to a teacher, we usually camp! It makes going away more affordable in the summer. Last year we upgraded to a caravan. Looking forward to a bit more comfort now mind you lol.

  12. I have four children and must admit that we have never taken them out of school to go on holiday. That’s not a judgement, I’m just saying that we never have. I think it’s terrible that prices are hiked up for school holidays but we just take it on the chin as it were. I can understand why some parents choose to of course and I wholeheartedly agree that family time is important but I also think it’s important to teach our children to ‘play by the rules’ and not skip school for a holiday. They are off for what? Thirteen weeks a year? Plus a week as teacher training days? That’s a lot of time to fit in a holiday!

  13. Yes we will do. It is expensive, often too hot and HEAVING in school hols. Look back on your childhood…do you remember family holidays or that extra week at school learning about something or other? It is so important for them and their memories and the odd week here and there up to a point and age won’t matter. Teachers choose their job and have to go in the holidays they get. I can’t have crazy hair or paint my nails or wear jewellery to work. It’s the job I choose and I’m ok with that. xx Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  14. I’m not a fan of how much pressure is applied to 5 year olds and would be pretty pissed if I found out mine was being kept inside for extra learning. I’ve been having this same dilemma trying to plan a weekend away at Disney in a few months and think I’m going to keep her out of school for a few days. They have made it clear that this is really frowned upon, but I fail to see how she could possibly fall behind over a long weekend.

  15. Totally agree! 15 days holiday leave from school booked, oops. My boy is thriving academically and in life but for us, as a family right now, there is more to life than school. Great post xxx

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