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To keep 4yo DS off school for my 40th birthday?

(269 Posts)
cadifflur Wed 21-Sep-11 11:55:02

DS has just started reception class and we're keeping him off school for 3 days as we're going away this weekend, get back Monday, then Tues it's my birthday. Am I being ridiculous to worry about keeping him off school for 3 days so early in the new school year? He's settled in ok and really seems to enjoy learning, gets a little bit clingy when I drop him off but soon settles once I've gone. We just thought we'd keep him off for my birthday too as there are many years ahead now when he'll be in school for it. DH is off for the day and we'll be going out for lunch with DD (2yo) and other family. AIBU to keep him off school for the day or is this ok?

HowToLookGoodGlaikit Wed 21-Sep-11 11:58:06

Id say YABU. Its not ok to take kids out of school for anything other than an emergency. Does yoru school not fine for taking kids out for holidays?

JsOtherHalf Wed 21-Sep-11 11:58:52

Your DS does not legally have to be in full time education until the term following his fifth birthday...

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Wed 21-Sep-11 12:00:16

YANBU - he is 4 and legally doesnt even have to be at school full time till the term after his fifth birthday anyway.

He wont be missing an important algebra exam or Shakespeare play so take him out for the day, enjoy your 40th (believe me, its not that bad) and have a lovely day smile

LeninGrad Wed 21-Sep-11 12:00:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MordechaiVanunu Wed 21-Sep-11 12:00:47


He'll already have missed 2 days.

Celebrate your birthday at the weekend or in the evening like everyone else.

Birthdays are not reasons for days off school or work.

Even 40th ones.

pozzled Wed 21-Sep-11 12:01:59

I think YABU to keep him off for your birthday. When you have school-age kids you plan birthday celebrations for the weekend, it's just the way things work. You'll have to keep him off on Monday if you're away, but I wouldn't keep a child off unless I absolutely had to this early on in Reception.

fedupandtired Wed 21-Sep-11 12:06:31

Yes you're being unreasonable. At such a young age, having just started school, 3 days will seem a lifetime to him and it'll be like starting school all over again. His new friends will have moved on and be playing with other children.

It's not always about what's allowed or not (or whether legally he has to be at school or not), it's also about commone sense and what's best for him and right now it's best for him to be at school if at all possible.

worraliberty Wed 21-Sep-11 12:07:51

Why on earth would you want to keep him off for your Birthday? confused

hopenglory Wed 21-Sep-11 12:13:06

The argument about whether he legally has to be in school or not is irrelevant as far as I am concerned. You have chosen to put him into school and you should make an effort for him to be there - it's not childcare you can opt in and out of as you fancy.

Yes, it's very early to be missing out on a few days of school - they are settling in, learning how things work and shaking down as a group and he will miss out on quite a lot in 3 days

ShirelyKnottage Wed 21-Sep-11 12:14:57


Plenty of years and years and years of education to go (14 years worth at the least). 3 days off at the age of four is nothing to worry about at all .

worraliberty Wed 21-Sep-11 12:14:59

Agree hopenglory and it's also a perfect way to teach him from a very young age that school is not that important...especially if there are other more fun things to do.

Everlong Wed 21-Sep-11 12:20:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cadifflur Wed 21-Sep-11 12:21:32

Ok, so some really mixed reactions there then! The reason we want to keep him off is we're going out for lunch with all the family that day and don't really want him to miss out, especially as DD will tell him all about it when we get home. As we're away for the weekend, we can't go out for lunch with all the family then. (I should add we wouldn't actually be making a habit of this, it's the first family holiday we've had since the DCs were born, we were supposed to be going away end of the summer holiday, but DH's dad died so we postponed it till now). we just thought it would be nice to spend the day with family. - DH has taken the day off work, as has my sister (Their choice, I haven't demanded they do it like a 40-zilla or anything grin), and as Dad has early stage alzheimer's I try and make the most of the time we've got now whilst he knows what's what still, so see no reason to not celebrate on my birthday itself.

School do allow us to take them out up to 10 days per school year, so they are ok with it, and DS was there all last year at nursery class, 9-11.30am every day, so the friendships are already there.
Dam holiday parks charging twice the price during half term!

Thank you for the responses everybody, interesting to hear both sets of opinions!

worraliberty Wed 21-Sep-11 12:24:46

Your 2 year old is going to 'tell him all about it'??

Sorry but he's at school now and he's going to have to get used to 'missing out' on things that happen while he's there.

As for the school allowing 10 days, I'd re-check that because seriously so many people assume that and it's no longer the case at all.

He's your child but you really are making a rod for your own back if you can't even nip out to lunch without him because his baby sister might tell him.

wannaBe Wed 21-Sep-11 12:25:12


It's just a birthday. Really not that important imo.

ativa Wed 21-Sep-11 12:25:50

I don't think it matters if he misses a day out at 4 but I wouldn't make a habit of it.

betterwhenthesunshines Wed 21-Sep-11 12:29:40

"School do allow us to take them out up to 10 days per school year" I am astonished if this is true.

I don't think it's a good way to start out a new school year - he wil already have missed days and it just gives him the idea that school is optional if there is something 'better' to do..... roll on big problems in years to come.

MordechaiVanunu Wed 21-Sep-11 12:32:43

I think missing some school aged 4 for a holiday is one thing, but missing school for a birthday lunch just seems too trivial.

I agree nothing terrible will happen if you do this, he'll be fine, his education won't be ruinedgrin, it just seems extremely indulgent and unnecessary.

BimboNo5 Wed 21-Sep-11 12:34:14

I think yab very precious tbh- he wont miss out by not going to lunch- he will probably prefer to be with his pals than at a boring dinner with boring grown ups! Why cant you do something together in the evening?

Blu Wed 21-Sep-11 12:35:17

Personally I wouldn't do it because it's a long time to be off in the middle of making new frineds, and also a break in the routine if he is still settling in. He is clingy, starts to get used to it, you take him out ofr a week (including weekend) and he has to get used to it all again.

Sorry to hear about your hols and family bereavement, but now is the time to start making family arrangements around school life.

Go for an early after-school meal out instead of lunch? Or go for lunch and then have a tea time b'day cake when your DS gets home from school. Are 4 yos REALLY that keen on going out for lunch?

ll31 Wed 21-Sep-11 12:36:30

I dont know - I just cant picture 15 yr old going off rails and refusing school shouting "but mam u let me off school when I was 4 for your birthday".. Why not send him in for few hrs and collect him early - or else keep him off and enjoy day! I also am unconvinced that 3 / 4 days off school willmean that he'll nver catch up, fit in etc etc.. School is important but so is family - only u can decide if he needs to stay off.

On a complete tangent - maybe its a cultural thing but am always amazed at what seems a very rigid attitude to having odd day off school in uk!

ballstoit Wed 21-Sep-11 12:37:33

YANBU. It's not the end of the world, especially considering why the weekend away had to be postponed. He'll learn much more from a long weekend of 1:1 attention anyway.

Have a fab birthday smile

betterwhenthesunshines Wed 21-Sep-11 12:37:35

Hnag on a mo - didn't you say he was only in school half days, until 11.30. So can go into school and THEN come out to lunch surely?

cadifflur Wed 21-Sep-11 12:39:14

Worraliberty - DD is 2 and a half. Isn't it normal for them to talk at this stage? Yes, they do talk to each other about their day when DS gets home. DD is quite capable of telling him she's been to soft play, or the farm/park/beach/library, to visit grandparents or for pub lunch etc. I really do appreciate people replying and accept some people disagree with this, which I take on board, but actually fail to see how I'm making a rod for my own back by taking him out of school for this? The only other reason we'll be keeping him off school is if he's ill.

Yes, school do allow up to 10 days, that's why I included it in my opening message. They told us about it in the welcoming meeting in July. I've discussed it with his teacher and she was fine about it and said that as it's just 3 days not to worry about filling in a holiday form, she'll just mark it on the register.

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