home sweet home

I am a very lucky lady and let me tell you why:
I just spent the last two weeks sightseeing in Europe.

It was amazing, to say the least.

Italy and Greece. I loved them both.

Thank you to my wonderful in-laws for the trip of a lifetime!

This vacation inspired me to create a Vacation Journal for those
students who go on vacation during the school year. 

Click the image below to download it for free!

How do you help your absent students catch up? This is something I struggle with. 
I don't usually do lots of worksheets, so to catch a student up I need to walk them through the activity. Sometimes it is hard to find the time to teach one-on-one like that. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!


  1. Wow what a spectacular vacation! I love the vacation book. What a great way to get students to write while they are gone. I don't do worksheets either so I stress to parents the importance of their students attendance. When students are absent I will send home one or two worksheets and some of the centers we've done. I ask for the parents to do the activities with them. This has worked pretty well for me. Occasionally some pieces don't come back but nothing that can't be replaced. Hope this helps you!

  2. Looks like you had a great time. Someday I would like to see Europe.

    I usually don't make my students make up all of the work they miss . . . unless it's really important. A lot of my classwork they wouldn't be able to do at home or they wouldn't have the materials/ instructions to complete it on their own. If they are gone for a long time and I trust the family then I take the time to make extras so they can take it home.

  3. Hey! I do exactly as you just created...I make them a little journal to write about their trip! They absolutely LOVE sharing this with the class when they get back!

    Marcy @ http://busybeesandcupcakes.blogspot.com

  4. Oh my...you're making wish I was in Europe this summer. Did you like Venice? I was there last summer but I felt like I was always lost-HA! I love Rome :)

    If I have students gone more than a week -- family trip --I make them journal about their trip, blog on our class blog, and read 20 minutes a day.

    For me checking makeup papers is torture!

    A Time to Share & Create


    Fabulous 4th Grade

  5. Aww...looking at your pictures makes me so happy and envious! I was married in Venice, Italy last summer and we honeymooned in Greece. Such amazing places! Can't WAIT to go back!

    Hope King

  6. Awww- I recognize those places- I was there two summers ago. I had such a wonderful time 3 weeks just my husband and I. The kids didn't want to go, their loss.

    Time 4 Kindergarten

  7. Thanks for the journal! I'll use this with my 1st/2nd graders this year! :o)

  8. Thanks for the freebie! This will sure come in handy for those "vacationers"!
    Counting with Coffee

  9. love your photos! We went to Italy in July! Venice was my absolute favorite! Where is the picture on the left? (The white building?)

    I am a second grade teacher (french immersion) for my second year this sept. I will be looking forward to reading your blog for inspiration.

    Often times, I give my students their journal and ask them to write about their trip. If I have math units already photocopied, I give them the unit, I don't give much, as much of it is teacher-directed or requires classroom materials to complete.

  10. @ Leona: That white building is in Greece! :)

  11. Just to answer your questions at the end......
    We take huge trips with in-laws every year--for as long as three weeks in the school year. We request a packet a month in advance of things to work on. I homeschool my kiddo's while we are gone. The sight seeing day's don't work as well for that (port days from a cruise ship) so we are reduced to flash cards, or a book, or iphone educational games on those days. The packet is what I do on all ship days. I have a school backpack that I keep it all in. Sometimes you get scissors confiscated if you forget and take it on the plane--just heads up. We do the reading every day for 10-20 minutes, 5-6 worksheets/workbooks, and work on a spelling list and any other established routines that happen at school. This takes under 4 hours a day. We did not finish all of our work last time (she gave me a HUGE 2 inch thick stack) but we were 95% done and she was happy. My son was caught up when we returned. The only thing she forgot to include were lessons in social studies, so he bombed the multiple choice test on his return week. When my kid needed to catch up in kindergarten, I was asked to come in and work with him during the school day once a week to help him get there. I would always ask a parent volunter to help make up the difference there. We are probably going to be gone for a while again this year (kid one in second grade and kid two in preschool) so we anticipate the same scenario. Hope this helps!

  12. p.s. We tried the journal route before and do still keep a journal, but I found for my particular child, it is not nearly enough. We also get an hour when we return to give a short presentation on where we went. Last year Asia and year before, Australia. The kids love it.


thanks for the love ♥

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