Education, Family life, Parenting, The Great Outdoors, Thoughts
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The Benefits of Term-Time Holidays (10 Things My Daughter Learned This Week)

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It is a contentious subject

Holidays during term-time

I have to say I am all for it

I wholeheartedly believe that education can be (and, importantly, is) achieved outside the classroom

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But we try hard to respect Miss J’s school’s rules

So far this year, we have enjoyed trips to Amsterdam and the Forest of Dean

One was taken during the Easter holidays

The other was just a weekend

The children learned so much both times

They are always chatting away to anyone who will listen

Talking about the science centre in Amsterdam

Or the bugs they raced in the Forest of Dean

There is no doubt in my mind that I would have taken those trips during term-time if need be

To me, it is simple

The benefits far outweigh any possible or potential risks

And so when our half-term trip to Bluestone Wales

Was postponed by a week

Meaning that we would have to take Miss J out of school for four days in order to go

We decided to go regardless

I know not everyone will agree with me on this

And that is just fine

But to those who doubt that a mere holiday

Can be as educational as a week at school

Here are ten things my six year old learnt this week

(a snippet of the total sum):

  1. How to milk a goat
  2. How to read a map
  3. The defensive merits of Pembroke Castle
  4. That she is brave enough to complete a high ropes course
  5. What crenellations are
  6. How long it takes to get from Wales to Ireland in a car
  7. How to jump a wave
  8. How to use a real digger
  9. That Wales and Ireland not only have their own accents but their own languages too
  10. How to photograph a sunset

A varied and interesting week’s worth of learning

And all the while she has been having fun

She has also been keeping a diary

(A decision she made alone

By choice)

And done a lot of reading

Her spelling has improved remarkably

(Three diary entries later and there have been absolutely no mistakes)

And she will return to school on Monday

With a pocket full of treasures

A heart full of memories

And a book full of adventures to share with her teacher.

To my mind

That is the best result

Any of us could hope for.

5 Comments

  1. I completely agree with you. My son is only 3 but I’m already dreading being tied down to term time. I hope that the rules will have changed somehow by the time I have to face it but doubt it 🙁

  2. Linda guest says

    It sounds lovely but I think you ha e missed the point. The teacher cannot go back over a week of work just for one child so she has missed 25 hours of education. Maybe she won’t learn about division now. She will have a gap in her formal education that has been replaced by learning how to milk a goat? Only useful if she end’s up being a goatherder

    • I don’t think I have missed the point at all, I think I just have a different point of view. I don’t think there is anything that my daughter may learn in four days at school that cannot be replicated, or invariably exceeded, outside of school. At six years old, any division (for example) she learns is unlikely to be remembered by the time it becomes useful, if it ever does.

  3. T Stewart says

    What a narrow minded response. It’s not about the ability to milk a goat, only how thrilling is that alone? It’s about a sense of achievement, enjoyment, self worth, dexterity, life’s worth, the food chain, caring for animals and the environment………….. My daughter only went to school three days a week until she was 11. She didn’t start school until she was seven, is in a level with her peers ‘ academically’ and has a maturity way beyond most of them that enables her to deal with school life traumas far more responsibly than many of her counterparts.

  4. This is such a good post and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, as a travel blogger, because I want to take my daughter out a few times a year, but I know that isn’t allowed. I’ve actually considered home schooling but I think there’s a lot she can also learn in school that I can’t give her. I want some kind of in-between where I could homeschool her when we travel!

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