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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 (31-40):
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 6:55 AM

 My dd's 6th gr curriculum is NOTHING BUT WORKSHEETS.  My dd is getting a d in math..the teacher considers dd one of the smartest in the class..what the heck does that say about the TEACHER?? !!

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

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. 


by Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 7:13 AM

 DD has missed two days that is one day each 9 week period she has yet to be sick for this 9 week period. I take DD to the Dr get meds she goes the next day feeling bad or whatever. The teacher will send her back home if she were to be sick at school but that hasn't happened yet.

by Platinum Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:31 AM

EXCELLENT POST!  As a math teacher, I can't begin to state HOW important the time in class is.   

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:38 AM
Our schools are really strict about missed days. That said there is always at least one parent who just doesn't care. I agree that making up work doesn't compensate. There have been days my daughter missed something critical and couldn't do her work or pass the test because of it. However when they are sick or there is some emergency, you just have no choice.
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by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:58 AM

I completely agree with you. If only I could get my SK's BM to agree, it would make a huge difference in the 10 year olds grades. He usually misses about 20 days of school each year.

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 9:03 AM
Dd just missed 3 days this week and Im going to talk to her teacher about the lessons. I want to see if she can give dd the lessons during recess or cut her music or art class.
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by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 9:27 AM

I hate when my son has to miss school. He had to miss this past Monday for being sick, but this is only the second absence he has had this year. I like to keep it to one per semester ( I prefer none) if it needs to happen.

by Silver Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 9:27 AM


Quoting ruby_jewel_04:

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... :)

 This is me too.  I'd be horrible at duplicating the teacher's lesson for the day so unless my kids are sick they are in school.  I don't even like them missing for illness but illness is hard to avoid sometimes.  Luckily my kids have only missed 2 or 3 days each so far this year and hopefully this is the end of it.

But to OP's point, this is why I cringe when i hear of families pulling their kids out of school for a week-long family vacation or something like that.  There always seems to be this, that or the other special circumstance but in general I think it does hurt the kids learning whether the parents want to admit it or not.

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM
I agree with you. My daughter, 3rd grade, has missed maybe 5 days total since kgarten.

But we have a friend, the younger daughter is in Madison's class this year and she misses at least a week each grading period. Her mom constantly wonders why she's always behind.... "She always keeps up with her work"...
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by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 1:53 PM
1 mom liked this

HUmmmm I never thought of it this way, thank you for your input I will certainly consider it when taking my dd out of school. Again thanks for the input.

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