Monday, 4 November 2013

I broke Gove's rule, and my children benefited


We recently went on holiday to Mallorca, and to save ourselves a heck of a lot of money, we went three days before the girls broke up for half-term.

The delightful Michael Gove says that by taking your kids out of school for a few days during term-time for a family holiday will harm their education.  And so he has imposed a ridiculous new rule on us. Bollocks!

For the sake of missing a few days from school, my children were exposed to a whole wealth of new experiences - which they would never be able to get at school.

It was the first time we've been abroad as a family, and everything was new.  My girls experienced an airport for the very first time.  They learnt about aviation, and had the thrill of taking off into the sky and being above the clouds. They saw a bizarre circular rainbow. They got to go into the cockpit, and meet a real life (extremely handsome) pilot. They got to see almost the entire length of England and France from above - the millions of green fields and 'toy houses', and the Pyrenees, and the boats on the English Channel. And then they had the thrill of sucking lots of sweets, popping their ears, and landing in a different country. They marvelled at the hot weather, seeing real palm trees and giant cacti, swimming in a warm sea, and having massive grasshoppers crawl up their arms. They learnt how to expertly peel a prawn, and they got to speak proper Spanish, and drink Fanta (and watch mummy drinking PiƱa Coladas). They saw magnificent cathedrals, quaint Spanish villages, donkeys, beautiful pink flowers, incredible street entertainment, and Dolly got to meet Mickey Mouse. They got to splash around in an outdoor pool without getting frostbite, play on lilos, and greatly improve their swimming and ball skills. They got excited about the hotel lift and took it in turns to press the buttons. They experienced a crazy electric storm and flooding on the streets, and a terrifying drive along a windy and steep mountain road. They learnt about a different culture, the people, the food, the language, the plant and animal life, the time difference, and driving on the wrong side of the road. 

And as a family we had a very important and happy and relaxed time together.

So, Mr Gove, if you think there's a more educational and wholesome way to spend a few days, I'd like to hear it... 

11 comments:

Not From Lapland said...

*stands up and claps* Mr Gove doesn't appear to know one end of his body from the other. Education is about a lot more than classrooms, spellings and sitting with their legs crossed and fingers on lips. Bravo for taking them out. We are considering it for next year so they can go and work on a farm in Italy for a week. What did the school say? Did they fine you?

Elsie Button said...

Working on a farm in Italy for a week sounds fantastic! Gove is an idiot - I agree. The school marked their days off as 'unauthorised', but no fine (hopefully)

Bojangles said...

Hi Five sister ! We have previously taken ours out for holidays to save money and often because one child is already off (schools never synchronise holidays) why is it ok for schools to have video or fun days and adhoc inset days (i have one of my three off today) yet Gove has the audacity to tell me one or two days off from school not permitted. Makes me want to do it even more. Interestingly son at Judd Grammar and the head there actively supports such family time. thank god for common sense !

Elsie Button said...

Supporting family time is exactly how it should be! This ruling makes me so mad, and like you, it makes me want to do it all the more! And as you say, when you have kids at different schools with different holidays (because they can't even get that right), it's impossible. Thanks for your comment :)

Domestic Goddesque said...

Mallorca is such a great place for a family break! I think it a very prudent decision: if you gain as a family, then the world gains. Governments spend so much time telling us that parents are responsible, families should be the centre of our kids lives, that families come first etc. By going on holiday in term time, you grow as a family which means they grow as people which means society as a whole benefits. Win.

nappy valley girl said...

Agreed - I think there are much bigger issues in education than having a go at parents who take their kids out of school for a family holiday. Being back in the UK for only a little while I'm only just catching up on all the Gove bashing, but he does seems like a plonker..

Tony Margiocchi said...

Well said! So long as exams are not affected a great way to learn about life!

Elsie Button said...

Hi DG, bloody well said, hear hear!

Elsie Button said...

Hi NVG, a complete plonker! He's a ridiculous man...
X

Elsie Button said...

Hi Tony, absolutely!

Sally said...

Super, good for you! Was nodding all the way through. A great post Elsie