Okay to miss school for fun stuff?

Avatar for cmkristy
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Registered: 07-05-2005
Okay to miss school for fun stuff?
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Thu, 01-31-2013 - 2:52pm

Moms cited visiting family members, vacations, special sibling events, concerts, and even “mental health days” as good reasons to take kids out of school. 

Alyssa Chirco, a mother of one who lives outside St. Louis, agrees that parents, not school administrators, know best. “I reserve the right to check my child out of school at any time, for any reason.” 

What is the harm in missing a day here or there? Teachers and administrators talk about lost learning time, but the financial reasons are just as relevant. Most schools are funded using a formula that incorporates the average daily attendance. Absences mean fewer dollars allocated.

http://www.today.com/moms/parents-split-over-whether-its-ok-let-kids-miss-school-1B8186531

What do you think?  Is it okay for students to miss class for fun things? Have you let your children do it before?

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Avatar for jamblessedthree
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Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 8:38am
Oh really. Go reconcile an earlier post then.

 

 

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Registered: 09-01-2002
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 8:39am

Bordwithyou: <<...Showing up at his or her first job to make sure everything is completed to the boss' specifications?  The point of parenting is to turn out a competent next generation.  At some point, you're going to have to trust that that work is done.>>

I agree.  And that point for purposes of this debate is certainly not beginning at age 10.  That's too young for the child to start the hands-off policy.  Simple questions like, what tests and quizzes this week? what does everyone do during study hall, library time or breaks (if any)? how does Mrs. Smith handle - insert name of unruly classmate my child mentioning earlier -.  It's certainly not "helicoptering."  There's a huge schism between keeping the dialogue open and frequent versus "helicoptering" and your earlier post claiming that the school is responsible for 1.) noticing a problem with a student; and 2.) correcting it.   No, that's the parent's job.

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Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 9:05am
I said in an earlier post that some parents prefer not to have their child tested or for the child to receive special services for fear of the labeling. That is fact. How you leapt from that statement about "some parents" to your post claiming that I believe the stigma of special education outweighs any benefits special education can provide remains beyond my understanding.
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Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 9:17am
I think that you may have me confused with another poster. My position is that parents may or may not be equipped to recognize learning problems. Some parents just aren't up on the range of normal child development and may not catch warning signs. When parents do notice these things and bring them to the attention of the school, they should be taken seriously. Likewise when a teacher notices patterns and problems that may indicate a learning problem, the teacher's observations should be taken seriously. Ideally, both teacher and parent are working for the good of the student. When I spoke of "transitioning" responsibility for schoolwork to the child beginning around age ten, I did not mean total hands-off policies, rather a gradual backing off, depending in the maturity level/strengths of the child. For instance, my kids had to keep outside reading logs all week and turn them in on Friday in grades three through five. In grade three, I kept the logs in a central place in the kitchen and made sure they were completed each night. By grade five, I no longer had anything to do with the reading logs. They knew how to do them, kept them on bulletin boards near their room, and placed then in their backpacks on Thursday night to turn in the next day. I didn't check their assignments on a daily basis, but was available if they needed help or a special resource. I might work with then to break down larger, long term assignments into manageable chunks at age ten; whereas by age fourteen, they knew how to do that. Even now, at sixteen, I introduce myself at the start of the year to my kid's high schoolteachers, let them know they can call on me if they need something or if there are any problems. I do not introduce myself to their college teachers or to their bosses at work.
Avatar for jamblessedthree
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Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 9:17am

I do think of 10 as that age kids start taking ownership and responsibility for their work if they havne't already though, 3rd and 4th grade are those years kids learn to advocate for themselves too IMO... I remember my daughter's teacher telling me one year that she didn't turn in her homewrok b/c *I* didn't do it, She called her on it and said homework is her job not mine, Ha, That was probably 3rd grade.  I agree that dialogue/conversation is always important, I have a pretty good grasp about everything my kids do and learn b/c we talk!

 

 

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Registered: 09-01-2002
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 9:26am

Bordwithyou: <<You may be an expert on your child, and I hope you are, but not all parents are experts on learning disabilities/differences.>>

That's where the experts come in.  The teachers, school, etc. working with the parents, keeping them informed.  Student services generally require informing and getting the parents' permission.

<<Some parents actively resist getting help for their kids for fear of labeling the kids.>>

That's a very sad situation.

<<I have one with a fairly severe learning disability who is also intellectually gifted.  Because of his native intelligence, he never really fell below grade level in elementary school even though he was clearly not living up to his potential.>>

Can you explain that?  I have had experience with a parent saying that very thing to me, and she saw something in her child, I did not. 

<< Luckily he had parents and some great teachers who were willing to advocate for him.   I eventually pulled him out of public school when it became clear that was not where he was going to learn best.>>

A system with great teachers who advocate sounds like a very good system.  How has pulling him out of one school resulted in improvement and getting the situation resolved?  I read above one of your children switched schools at age 16 or 17 and I have to say, that is a difficult decision since he's leaving behind his friends.  You must have seen it as a last resort.

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Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 9:37am
My son's learning disability came out quite clearly in testing, because he was in the 90th percentile or above in all but one area, where he was in the 14th percentile! With support, he could have overcome problems that presented themselves because of that disability. However, our state law only requires services if a child is performing more than one standard deviation below average, and he never did sink more than a few months below grade level. We put the kid in a private school with smaller classes and individualized instruction, and also hired a learning specialist at our own expense to help him in his problematic areas. He spent the last eight years of his school in private school, and is now in college. Our other kid voluntarily left the private school to return to public school/college for his junior and senior year of high school. He didn't "leave his friends behind." He sees his best friends from the private school fairly regularly, and already knew a lot of kids at the new school because they are his friends from the neighborhood. It wasn't a choice of last resort, rather it was the choice that best enabled him to meet his educational goals.
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Registered: 09-01-2002
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 9:44am

Ommy94: << So now, not only is it the parents fault if a child appears to be unmotivated but apparently parents just make excuses for poor behavior??>>

Jumping it, but are you saying that being unmotivated in and of itself is a learning disability?  Or a symptom of an underlying LD?  Because you've mentioned motivation several times in your posts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 9:58am

In response to Bordwithyou ~  Well, I don't understand the 14% problem of the gifted child.  But you're certainly entitled to some privacy as this debate has run far afield of skipping school for fun days.

All is rosy in your garden.  It sounds like a 180 from earlier posts where you advocate a hands-off policy starting at age 10.  Far from it, you have researched, rolled up your sleeves and done your homework enabling all concerned a happy ending.

You sound upset at paying out of pocket for small class sizes and individualized tutelage.  That's what parents do.  To many, it's simply a given.  I won't tell you what the parents here pay in school taxes.  But it's a non-issue ~ a school cannot meet ALL of a child's educational needs. There is homework, assigned reading over the summers, parental guidance and - in your case - paying money out of pocket for a school your child needed for a short time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Wed, 02-13-2013 - 10:06am

Ommy94:  <<When my child attended a private school, the principal would allow some children to miss school for family vacations. She based her decision on how well the child was doing in school. Her assumption was, if they are doing well, they know the importance of education and can afford to miss a week of school....This same principal blamed my sons academic struggles on his absences due to illness. My son was recently diagnosed with adhd, inattentive type.>>


I missed this earlier.  And I'm sorry to hear your son was diagnosed with adhd.  But why would you say the princiapl "allowed" some children to ditch if they were performing well enough in school?  It's not the principal's decision.  It's the parent's exclusive decision.  If a child underperforms due to 10 or 12 "absentee fun days," then the parent has no grounds for complaint.  She can't run to the principal and say, But you approved a few fun days earlier in the year.

(I know YOU didn't take the 10 or 12 fun days ~ I'm so surprised to hear any parent put the final say on fun days on a principal.)

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