There’s been a lot of debate recently around being able to take your children out of school and on holiday during term times. Now, I’m a huge believer in that travel has so many more benefits (in some ways) than school has. The only thing stopping me from ‘world schooling’ Daisy is the social aspect. I want her to go to school to be able to make friends and learn how to socialise with other children her age. If it wasn’t for this factor then I honestly believe I’d either home school or ‘world school’ her. I will be taking Daisy our of school during term time – absolutely no doubt about it. It’s not just about the price for us – it’s about the freedom of being able to travel when we please.
If a child has excellent attendance then where is the harm in having a week out in March and then a week out in September? I understand that it gets a little trickier when exams get involved, but whilst they’re so young and in primary school – why can’t they have these lovely experiences? Realistically they aren’t going to miss out on tons and to be honest, I’d prefer my child visited an elephant sanctuary or rowed down Venice in a gondola. Tell me where the harm in that is? That’s my parenting choice. I feel like the problem mostly hides within the targets set for teachers – it’s more about teachers meeting their targets and less about what is right for each individual child. Don’t get me wrong – it’s no fault of the teacher’s. I think they do an amazing job in such an underpaid role. They work incredibly hard outside of the classroom not just during the school day – putting in extra hours because they want to.
School is meant to prepare children for the future. Yet the system hasn’t changed in what feels like hundreds of years! We still sit at desks – raise hands to speak – have to ask to use the toilet – compete with each other to get an A. What hurts me the most is the long hours. 8 hours a day they go to school, flooded with information (which half of it they forget – I can’t remember much from school!), away from their parents for so long, a ridiculously short lunch break and confined with how much creativity and innovative ideas they can actually produce. It’s exhausting. I always think off Sweden and how they have one of the best educational systems. Having cut their school day down to 6 hours, focusing on collaboration rather than competition and they actually look at each individuals dreams rather than pushing them to learn about something they take no interest in. When teaching a child about something they love, you’ll gain a lot more back from them.
I really don’t like the school system. I’ve always hated school and as I’ve grown older and understood more about how the system works, I just don’t like it. There are several reasons why, but this being the one that really grinds my gears. Why can’t a child have the best of both worlds? Why can’t they attend school and still travel? They’re growing up, they’re learning and they’re enjoying life. There’s so much that can be taught from traveling! It’s life. It’s life experiences. It’s not maths and science. It’s fun, it’s engaging. They’re going out and exploring culture first hand. Surely there’s more benefit than harm? That being said, it’s definitely a matter for analysing an individual child’s needs. If a child is falling behind in school and struggling, then maybe taking them out for traveling purposes isn’t the best idea. It all depends on the circumstances. I will take Daisy out of school during term time. I will pay the fine. and then I’ll take her out again and pay that fine. The pros outweigh the cons. They really really do.