There are many articles out there today that have moms boasting about how they keep their kids home from school. In an attempt to curb stress, parents allow their children special days to wander museums or sit on the couch and watch TV. They argue this helps their children’s mental health and exposes them to things not taught at school. As a veteran teacher, I can think of very few things actually more stressful. And that is why I am in favor of aiming for perfect attendance.
Now, I am not saying send your sick kids to school. Fevers, fainting, and vomit are three good indicators the best place for anyone’s child is at home, resting. Sickness not only lasts longer if you don’t take care of it, it spreads to everyone else.
What I am saying, however, is avoid taking unnecessary days off. Scheduling an early flight out for a long weekend during school hours or making plans to go shopping with your child actually creates more stress. And here’s why.
When your child misses class, they miss instruction. They don’t get in depth explanations, hands-on labs, or time to create work. These assignments don’t go away. They pile up in school leaving your child behind.
Absent students now have to teach themselves the material. They don’t get input from teachers or peers. Important explanations or other references to outside information are missed.
Missing work also causes a ripple effect. If your child misses instruction, he isn’t going to turn in homework due the next class period. He may not be ready for upcoming quizzes, have the information to start a project, or properly review for an assessment. Work has not gone away, but only compiled.
When good teachers plan out their lessons, they keep your child’s life in mind. Students today have music lessons, religious studies, sports and other extra curricular fun, and your teachers want your child to experience them. They plan accordingly.
Missed work, however, throws a ratchet in these gears and takes this “free time” away. Taking a day off from school means shifting learning time into out of school time.
Some students must sacrifice their sports to catch up. Other students sacrifice their sleep to get everything they want to accomplish done. And many students just sacrifice the learning when that timing doesn’t work out.
Missing school means missing friends. Yes, kids today are connected with cell phones, but what beats being at school when something “major” occurs?
Group work in class means getting to know students outside of their inner circle. It is important to build these relationships with classmates when extra help is needed or your child is looking to make new friends.
Kids with perfect attendance understand assignments better. They have time to ask questions and get instructions explained to them. They are part of the school community. And when they go home, they have the time for fun, stress relief and rest.
Missing school means added stress. Try making this school year a perfect attendance one.