We’ve always been a family who enjoy holidays. Before Erin was born me and John managed to go to some pretty amazing places; Rome, Paris, married in Orlando and we even managed New York while I was pregnant. Since then we have been away somewhere at least once a year. We have really tried to make sure Erin has experienced all kinds of different holidays and we have been places such as London, Majorca, Center Parcs and Haven… just to name a few, over the past few years.
We have been very lucky that John can take holidays anytime in the year apart from February and March so up until now we have really made the most of term time holidays. Center Parcs can cost around £300 for a 4 night break out of school holidays and around £200 for a 4 night break at Haven in a upgraded caravan. These kinds of prices have meant that we have been able to go on holiday more than once every year. This year we squeezed in a Center Parcs break and a short Haven break just before lockdown happened in March and we were very lucky with the dates!
However, Erin moved up from nursery to reception class in Infant School in September and this has changed how we do holidays completely. This year we did have a lot more planned but due to Covid we have had to reschedule 3 different breaks for 2021. Some of these have had to be moved from term time to school holidays and therefore ended up incurring a bit of an addition cost. I didn’t mind this though as it meant we could rearrange easily and still go to places we had planned on for this year.
I know quite a lot of parents who have already booked to take their children out of school for holidays during term time and I didn’t really know how I felt about it until maybe a month ago. I can obviously see that a lot of families might not be able to afford the prices of school holidays, especially when places like Center Parcs charge over £1000 for a break that is usually £300. It’s a crazy amount of money and quite unfair really but they get pretty booked up so I guess if people are willing to pay then they’ll never change their prices.
I heard a lot of people say that reception is a good time to take kids out of school. ‘Oh, it’s only reception. A week won’t make much difference.’ I really have to disagree though. Erin’s only been at school for a term and she has learned SO much. Those first few weeks saw her learn to write more letters and more importantly, take an interest in it which she hadn’t done before. Erin would come home so excited to tell us what she had learned and what she had been doing.
Just before October half term we had to isolate due to Erin having a cough and thankfully her Covid test came back negative. Erin missed only a few days of school but it was easy for her to miss quite a lot. Her class had been learning new letters and sounds and although we did our best to keep up at home, it’s not the same as being taught by someone who knows what they are doing. For that short space of time I realised what it would mean if Erin missed a week of school due to us taking her out for a holiday.
School can be a hard enough time and when children are so young they need routine and consistency in their lives. We are lucky that, although we might not want to, we can afford the more expensive dates for holidays with a bit of careful saving. It might mean not going away quite as often as we have been but I know we will at least be able to do 1 or 2 trips a year like this. I would much rather do this than have Erin suffer at school.
Obviously, this is just my opinion and the way that I feel about holidays. It definitely won’t be the case for everyone and I totally get that prices of things make a real difference. We’ve been in the position where we wouldn’t have been able to afford the school holidays.
How do you feel about taking your children out of school during term time?