Would you take your kids on a gap year abroad if you could afford it?

Aug 17 • Featured, Uncategorized • 1111 Views • 11 Comments on Would you take your kids on a gap year abroad if you could afford it?

There are some raised eyebrows this morning because actress Emma Thompson has announced plans to take her 10-year-old daughter on a gap year abroad between primary and secondary school.

Personally, while I would have done it slightly earlier, before the transfer to secondary school, I think the idea of taking your primary school children travelling for a year is a wonderful idea, if you can afford it. We did a lot of travelling with No 1 Son when he was younger – including Europe, New Zealand, Australia and the US – and although most of our trips were in school holiday time, I would definitely have considered going for longer if we could have afforded it. It's often said that children are like sponges. They soak up every experience and nugget of knowledge, and I'm convinced that our travelling is one of the reason he is so good at languages and history. There is, in my opinion, only so much you can learn at school. And of course Emma will probably have the best tutor for her daughter money can buy.

It's also the reason why we've never had any qualms about asking permission to go on holiday during term time, although I realise not all schools are quite as tolerant.

One of my favourite bloggers is actually taking her primary school children on a gap year and their plans sound wonderful – you can read about them here. But meanwhile, I'd love to know what you think. Would you take your kids on a gap year abroad if you could afford it? Or do you think children shouldn't miss any school at all?

written by Liz Jarvis


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11 Responses to Would you take your kids on a gap year abroad if you could afford it?

  1. Clare Manley says:

    Yes yes yes. I travelled alot as a child as we lived abroad on extended summer holidays mainly but we went through India on a train, did New Zealand in a campervan and the UK in a canal boat. I wish I could give my kids those experiences but sadly work is all consuming at the moment! I would certainly take my kids out of school if I could afford to and show them the real worls – they would learn so much. Yes we all have to learn to live in reality but whose reality and why does childhood reality have to hit so hard so young? My children love animals and have chosen toadopt animals at Chester Zoo – butI wish I could take them to see animals where they reallly belong. Good on you Emma Thompson!

  2. MrsLJHall says:

    I love your blog – you always pose questions that I generally wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. Yes I would – which would surprise almost everyone who knows me! The only issue for me is money, which sadly stops me doing a lot of things that I would otherwise do. I think it is a fab experience that can only convey to a child how small the world is, how surmountable travel and other cultures are. It must open their horizons to so much more and open their future to more possibilities – in my humble opinion. So my answer is, I can’t do it, but I would if I could :o)

  3. Victoria says:

    You know my views! Can’t think of a better way of spending my children’s inheritance. Thanks for the mention Mrs, much appreciated.

  4. Erica says:

    Oh definitely! I think it’d be an amazing experience.

  5. nappyvalleygirl says:

    Definitely. I think that kind of experience is very valuable . Although I would do it when my kids were slightly older than they are no (3 and 5). So that they could really appreciate it and not just whinge about when we are going home the whole time…..

  6. New Mummy says:

    In a heartbeat!

  7. Sali says:

    When I was teaching I always encouraged parents who were thinking of taking their children abroad. There is so much more to learning than a curriculum. I think it’s a shame that some education policies make it difficult to give children this experience.

  8. Tattie Weasle says:

    Still hoping that I can take them away for an adventure like this in 2016…have no idea if dreams come true but there again…!!!

  9. Adipose says:

    I watched this story on TV yesterday and agree that it’s something I’d love to do for my children – had to laugh at the GMTV audience reaction though – they had many texts complaining that they had trouble taking the kids out of school for a week to go on holiday – I somehow think the experiences Emma Thompson’s daughter will have will extend beyond sitting in the Costa Kids Club while her mother gets trashed on the All Inclusive Sangria!

  10. John and Rafia Willmott says:

    Hi there, reading your blogs we feel we may be able to help as we are the family featured in Channel 4’s up and coming series called My family’s crazy gap year – due to start on 6th September at 9pm. To publicise the series there is an article in today’s Times in the Body and Soul section. Our advice is research well, save up and go for it!! Good luck and don’t let the whingers talk you out of it as it is everything we could have possibly imagined and a lot more. Good luck and if you need any help or advice please let us know.

  11. Esther says:

    We’re just back from our Gap Year with kids aged 3 and 6 and would do it again in an instant if we could afford to (although I think both husband and kids would rather stay put for a while now!) We had an amazing time, spent loads of quality time together and had some great adventures. Do it now whilst interest rates are low if you can!


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