A MUM has saved £5,800 by taking her kids out of school during term time to go on holiday.
Faith Skeen, 33, from South Texas, takes her two children Chris, 15, and Zach, 11, out of school to go on holiday and attend music concerts.
Faith, who works as a brand consultant and copywriter, told Sun Online Travel: “We’ve used sick days for many vacations and trips over the years.
“Most recently, I took my 15-year-old to a Twenty One Pilots concert.
“Flying on a Friday was double the price of flying on a Wednesday, so we took three days for that one. I would do that again in a heartbeat.
“I haven’t seen my son that happy since he was small, and we couldn’t have done it without missing school.”
On another occasion, Faith took her children out of school for a few days to visit her sister and her boyfriend’s sister.
The family have also been on day and weekend trips too.
She said: “Depending on our work schedules, a weekend trip might require a sick day.
“There’s a lovely campground we like to visit where you can ride camels and feed kangaroos – this is the kind of stuff that kids remember fondly for the rest of their lives.”
She added: “We travel a lot, so we try to save as much money as possible every time.”
Last year, Faith spent $7,000 (£5,800) on trips and holidays.
She said: “We’re usually able to cut the price of airfare and lodging in half by shopping dates, so I’d say we’ve saved at least $7,000 (£5,800) this year alone.
“Travelling outside of school breaks and holidays saves us a ton of cash, not just on airfare but on goods and services at our destination as well.
“We couldn’t afford half of the things we do if we waited for summer, spring, or half-term holidays.”
In 2015, the sate of Texas introduced some new attendance laws including the 90 per cent attendance rule.
In the Lone Star State the average school year is 180 days, this means a child in the Texan education system can only miss 18 days of school before their grades are affected.
Primary school students can be held back a year while older pupils could be asked to repeat a class if their results slip.
Faith has been contacted by her children’s school about their absences.
She said: “I get an automated phone call anytime one of my boys is absent or late.
“If it happens multiple days in a row, I get a personal phone call asking for an explanation and telling me how important attendance is.”
“Last year, my son was sick a lot in addition to us taking two or three holidays, so I received a letter threatening legal action from the school. I was struck by the audacity.”
Clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly has argued that taking kids abroad outside of the school holidays offers a better experience, which is something Faith is in agreement on.
She said: “I don’t believe unwavering attendance is what’s best for children throughout their young lives, and I don’t think the school system should have such extensive reach into our homes.”
Faith explained that she ignored the school and she said “nothing ever came of it”.
She said: “My kids have excellent grades and performance in school, so it’s not like we’re neglecting their education.
“We always prepare ahead of time, getting assignments from the teachers and whatnot, so the kids don’t fall behind.”
At her children’s school, Faith is allowed to use a number of “parent excuses” each year, which she sends to the school before jetting off.
She said: “I don’t plan on changing the way we schedule travel because I think it’s more important for our family to create these memories together than for them to get an attendance award.”
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