Feb 11, 2009

Do Vacations Have to End in Middle School Years?

(This is a pic of the pool at our rental house this year.)

Last night I attended the parent orientation for middle school. Yes, my first baby is entering middle school next year. Where has the time gone?

Not many people asked questions, but those that did asked questions pertaining to the curriculum, homework loads, etc. Not me. I must be a slacker mom or something, or at least that was how I perceived my question to be taken.

Most speakers touched upon how you would get 2 days to make up work missed for each absence due to sickness. Nobody mentioned anything about whether or not you could request work in advance for planned absences.

The answer I got was basically no teacher will give you work in advance. If you miss school due to a vacation, then you'll pretty much be expected to catch up as soon as possible. That's it.

We are going on vacation in a couple of weeks. We go every year in February. Thankfully he is still a 5th grader. My husband gets to pick his vacation time 6 months in advance in the order of seniority at his work place. Needless to say this means we don't just get to go on vacation during Christmas Break or Spring Break. When a workplace institutes this type of structure, most employees all live in the surrounding areas, which means they experience the breaks at the same time. If someone higher up in seniority picks it, you're out.

We literally need our vacations to connect as a family each year. We work opposite schedules. Heck, I still have to work on the vacation, but since I'm not working around the needs of everyone else, especially my husband's schedule, he is more relaxed, as am I, and it is literally the only week throughout each year that we are all together. Nobody notices that I work for an hour while everyone swims, and working next to a heated pool outdoors in the suns makes all the difference in the world as to how much work you actually feel you are doing.

For those of you in similar situations, is it best to just forego the vacations altogether in lieu of schooling when the kids enter middle school, or can you really make it work without detriment to the kids? Right now we plan on seeing how his sixth-grade year goes before completely eliminating the winter vacation as an option (I can't imagine not having a brief period of sunshine, warmth, and swimming each winter). If everything seems to be going well, then we may give it a shot. If the new, more demanding expectations on him prove to be too much, then we'll have to figure something else out. What do you do?


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  2. Sorry Jake. I felt like the comment was a bit spammy.