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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

It's not just about make up work!

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A reply in another post reminded me that I've been meaning to post something about missing school. 

It hurts kids' grades.

There's no getting around it. I'm not saying one missed day a marking period has a huge impact, but when students miss more than a couple of days it is bound to hurt their grades for the marking period. 

I often have parents wondering why a child's grades have dropped. When I point out that several, or many, days were missed they are often confused how this relates to grades. The answer I often hear is... 

"But he did all the makeup work."

Make up work doesn't cover a day's worth of learning. I have my students for over 5 hours a day. I might send home 2-3 pages of missed work per day. That doesn't replace the 5 hours of learning that took place in the classroom while the child was out. 

Written work in school serves two purposes:

1. to practice a skill introduced in a lesson

2. to asses mastery of a skill that's been taught.

Written work doesn't actually teach the student anything new. 

So when your child does all the make up work that's great. But it doesn't replace the lesson and activities done in class that prepared the students for the written work. 

I wonder how many parents really think about this. 

by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 7:30 PM
Replies (21-30):
maxswolfsuit
by Max on Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:49 PM

The worksheets are probably the most wasted part of the whole day. 

Curriculums are changing and will keep changing. Students are doing group work and learning through hands on activities. That's not the kind of thing that can just be sent home in a folder. 

I don't send home anything I'm putting in the grade book. If I'm using a paper as an assessment it's not fair for the child to do it at home. That could also contribute to how few pages a child has to bring home. 

Quoting GwenMB:

Funny you're mentioning this.  I've heard several moms at my son's school say that they were surprised that their child only had a couple pages of make up work when they missed a day.  This caused them to think that most of the day was somehow wasted & that they could homeschool given how long it took for their child to do the work.

I hadn't really thought of it from the side of the teacher or how much teaching there is to get to the point of doing the worksheets.

I was surprised that my son had no makeup work when he missed a day being sick last week.  But that was more because it meant he got it done in class & given his tendancy to get distracted by what everyone else is doing & sometimes have stuff sent home so he can catch up, I was impressed that he made up his sick day in class the next day. 


maxswolfsuit
by Max on Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:53 PM


Quoting momtoBrenna:

My dd has missed 7 days of school out of the 3.5 months that she's been attending an actual school. The first 5 were due to a hospitalization for severe dehydration, coupled with bacterial pneumonia and a new asthma diagnosis. The other 2 were for doctors appointments that could not be scheduled outside of school hours. She will be picked up early on the 20th for another appt. The latest appt that they had was at 2:45 and she gets out at 3:15. I will have to pick her up at 1:45 though because the check out procedure takes several minutes and it will take me 40+ minutes to drive from her school to the doc and we have to be there 15 min early to fill out paperwork. 

She had nothing to makeup for the 5 days because she had only been at the school for about a week or so before getting sick and they were still testing for placement within her class's ability groups. I always make sure that she learns what is necessary when she misses and that she completes her work. They don't get actual grades yet though so it doesn't effect her much when she misses. 

Just because it doesn't impact grades doesn't mean it doesn't impact her learning. 

I'm not saying that kids should never miss school. There are obviously times when there is no way around it. But when a child is ill sometimes there is no way to earn the grades (or more importantly, learn all the content) they could have if they'd been at school. 

You're doing exactly the right thing with the doctor's appointment. Getting checked out early is much better than missing an entire day. Many (most in some schools) parents would just let the student miss the entire day because it's easier than picking up from school before the appointment. 

momtoBrenna
by Silver Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 9:02 PM

The reason that I said it doesn't effect her is because she is in 1st grade and tests to much higher than that. We are actually meeting next week to work on a grade skip for next year so that she can go to 3rd instead of 2nd. They work 1-2 grades advanced so that should get her placed just right.

Last week, she missed an entire day for her appts but there were two of them, one at 10 am that would have lasted hours had it not been cancelled when we to there due to an emergency and one at 3:30. Her school is an hour or more round trip for me so she didn't attend that day. Had we known that the first one would be cancelled, she would have gone that am and then been picked up early that day too.

They don't get grades at all until 5th grade. I mean, they use measurements of if they meet expectations or not but no real grades. She had only attended for 2 of the 3 weeks prior to the end of the first trimester because that is when the spot opened and she was still assessed and did very well. 

Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting momtoBrenna:

My dd has missed 7 days of school out of the 3.5 months that she's been attending an actual school. The first 5 were due to a hospitalization for severe dehydration, coupled with bacterial pneumonia and a new asthma diagnosis. The other 2 were for doctors appointments that could not be scheduled outside of school hours. She will be picked up early on the 20th for another appt. The latest appt that they had was at 2:45 and she gets out at 3:15. I will have to pick her up at 1:45 though because the check out procedure takes several minutes and it will take me 40+ minutes to drive from her school to the doc and we have to be there 15 min early to fill out paperwork. 

She had nothing to makeup for the 5 days because she had only been at the school for about a week or so before getting sick and they were still testing for placement within her class's ability groups. I always make sure that she learns what is necessary when she misses and that she completes her work. They don't get actual grades yet though so it doesn't effect her much when she misses. 

Just because it doesn't impact grades doesn't mean it doesn't impact her learning. 

I'm not saying that kids should never miss school. There are obviously times when there is no way around it. But when a child is ill sometimes there is no way to earn the grades (or more importantly, learn all the content) they could have if they'd been at school. 

You're doing exactly the right thing with the doctor's appointment. Getting checked out early is much better than missing an entire day. Many (most in some schools) parents would just let the student miss the entire day because it's easier than picking up from school before the appointment. 



RMC007
by Bronze Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 9:04 PM
1 mom liked this

Agree 100%. We have a spelling test every Friday. If a student misses Friday, he/she is allowed to make up the test the following week, but now he/she is responsible for learning two sets of spelling words in the same week. Not to mention, he/she may have missed a review over whatever for a test that week or a read-aloud story that will have some type of graded work to go with it. As the student is making up all the work, he/she is missing out on going to work stations which provide independent practice. There is nothing wrong with missing school if the child is sick, but when the child is allowed to stay home whenever he/she doesn't feel like going to school, he/she truly misses out on a lot more than a simple spelling test.

arthistmom
by Bronze Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Excellent post. We think about this especially with our older son and the language immersion program he's in. Unless he's ill, he goes to school because there is no way to make up for the interaction with his peers and teacher in the target language that he would miss if he were absent. Even more important is the opportunity for teacher correction, which is critical to his learning of the language.

aetrom
by Gold Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 2:23 AM
I agree but i do not think you have to be a teacher to keep up with what they need to learn. I just took My son out three days because me parents were here (we had not seem them in a year). To me honestly that was more important than a good grade. The teacher was pissed (although i know others who Take Their kids out a week for skiing) i worked with My son And a lot of review was in that time. He is staying in the adterschool program a couple days to makeup the review tests he missed And i have worked with him on the material. I am really not too concerned. We might have missed something in class but i sat in on class And have a pretty good idea of how she runs the class And so i do not think so.... In fact i might have had extra time to work on problem areas! ;)
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GotSomeKids
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 2:40 AM

I don't know how a parent doesn't make the correlation.  Johnny rarely misses school.  I think only 2 days (that I can recall) probably his entire school career (6th grade).  My daughter has missed a bit more because she got really sick off and on for about 2 years.  But, in general she misses no more than 1-2 days a year, except in K when she missed 4 days when she came down with a serious fever and rash. 

Thank goodness that isn't the norm anymore.

EslingerCrew11
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 2:44 AM
I HATE when my kids miss school! So much SCHOOL WORK missed out on :/ that being said, my 3rd grader has missed more school this year than previous years thanks to fevers, puking and other contagious ailments :/
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ruby_jewel_04
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 3:12 AM
I hate when my kids miss school for this very reason. I am not a good teacher, and I don't want to have to teach them what they missed. The teacher is way better at her job than me. Lol... :)
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Morrigan333
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 6:50 AM

When I pull my child out of school due to her "sensory" issue that day..I always ask her to make sure she at least makes it all the way through Science and Math. Math is 1st ped, Science is 2nd. She usally will make it till lunchtime then call me. It happens one week a month and she is out only 1 or 2 days, she makes up all work, and the other classes she misses are not as intensive as the Math and Science.

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