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#31 of 50 Old 01-14-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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Preschool - they missed anytime we wanted.

Kindergarten - my son missed 10 days when we had a wedding to go to over Thanksgiving on the other side of the country. It was more than $1000 cheaper to stay longer and allowed us more relaxed time with family, but did not make the decision lightly.

We intend to try to avoid missing for non-sick reasons in the future, but given the distance between us and our family would consider it again over the next couple years if it allowed us to save that kind of $$$ on airfare again.

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#32 of 50 Old 01-14-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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But having decided to do school, she's got to be there every day, as much as possible. If we do half-measures, she's not going to be able to build relationships there and settle in.
I totally agree. We are a former homeschooling family, but now that the kids are in school, they just go! It's easier on them that way.


I'm sure it depends on the child, but for my kids, making whether or not they are going a day-to-day judgment call would just cause problems.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#33 of 50 Old 01-14-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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My kids haven't taken a mental health day yet--but their school program is pretty awesome, has a lot of different things going on during the day, lots of hands on and enrichment activities, ect. I doubt if all day they spend more than maybe 5-10 minutes at a desk (not counting sitting at lunch tables) at a time. I bet the kiddos who function best in a "traditional" environment probably would need a mental health day every once in awhile, for that reason though.

I try to schedule appointments and vacations around school break time. There's always so much going on, and my kids are all very hands on learners, getting a worksheet or a list of things that they would have covered is pretty useless. And I'm volunteering at school 3-5 days out of the week anyway, so if I don't show up I know how that impacts things too.

I think if we weren't in a co-op type of program, I might be more inclined to blow off school on a semi-regular basis. But the kids do go to museums, plays, dance performances, have authors come in to speak to their class, write/"publish" books, do science experiments mundane and cool, ect. at school. I can't think of anywhere local (aside from a lazy day at home--which I would be up for in a heartbeat but is SO not my children) that I might have personally taken the kids to that they haven't been to (or somewhere even better) with their classroom/buddy groups--and I can go too and don't even have to drive if I agree to chaperone on the bus.
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#34 of 50 Old 01-14-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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In my state kinder wasn't a "requirment anyways so there techinally was not a required attendance policy.. However because we choose to place her in a Charter school where space is/was limited we kida agreed to abide by there overall school attendance policy upon acceptance. Honestly I'm not 100% sure of what thay is but I'll keep her out not issues if shes is ill I'll and add a day or two to catch up with work if needed...take her out if the only time I can schedule doctor ect appointments are during school hours or for family emergancies ect I wont as a rule just keep her out though. We have enough time after school for fun things last year Friday were 1/2 days and we have weekends we also have from 2:30on... and thankfully HW takes maybe 5-10 mintues every other day to do. Some days are fun some are boring lots of inbetweens but she'd just get too far behind if I kept her out constantly and it wouldn't help anyone here. (that is us) plus if my DD goingto miss a ton I should give her spot to someone else..
Now this doesn't mean I'd NEVER consider a personal day.. I also hate how much the emphize "perfect" attendance to the point of making the kids feel bad for getting a cold but overall I keep out if sick send if not.

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#35 of 50 Old 01-15-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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This is one of the reasons why I'm hesitant to do public school (we're not at the age yet). I'm really on the fence about the issue because my DH often has opportunities to travel for work and we like to go with him. I feel these trips--typically international--are great learning experiences and worth a heck of a lot more than a typical day in class. But they're usually at least 5-7 days long and at random (not vacation) times of the year.

However, I don't discount the problems it can cause for the teacher...I wouldn't want to create extra work for her either in the form of advanced assignments or needing to "catch up" my child.

Right now we are in a Montessori school with no attendance policy (and it's preschool anyway). It makes things easier--all the children work at their own pace, so they're not missing much in terms of group lectures if they're gone a few days--they just pick up where they left off.
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#36 of 50 Old 01-15-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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My 10 year old doesn't like to miss school, even if she doesn't want to go. It's just part of her personality. There have been days where I've encouraged her to stay home if she was really not feeling well, but she said she wasn't actually sick. I told her that I know that, but it's kind of like a mental health day when she's just really tired or low spirited. She can stay home to rest and relax or whatever else. We've missed school to go on trips or to special outings. Her current teacher encourages that, she doesn't like to think of children missing exciting educational opportunities with parents, like traveling to other areas, but she may ask for some sort of report about what the kids saw or did.

I don't know what's going to happen with my 6 year old. I think she'd miss school any chance she got.
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#37 of 50 Old 01-15-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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My kids get lots of vacation, so I don't often pull them out for "fun" things. As it is they get way more vacation every year than my vacation time at work allows me to take off so we are always scrambling to cover day.

I do allow them to stay home when they are "only a little" sick on occasion on the thought that everyone needs the occasional mental health day.
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#38 of 50 Old 01-15-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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Dd's school is private and they don't have a set number of days they are allowed to miss. However, dd has to feel REALLY bad to not want to go to school (or I'll keep her home if she has a fever, but feels O.K.) She really likes school so we do everything we can to get her there (it's almost an hour away) because she prefers going.

The only reasons we've taken her out for non-illness is to leave a day early for a camping trip and last year we took her out to go to London for a week. Of course, she learned more that week than she would at school and she wrote a report (as much as a first-grader can) about the trip. In Kindy, we left 3 days early to go to Zurich and Istanbul. Again, the teacher was very supportive of this. Dd is in 2nd grade now and we kept her out one day that the school had late entry due to weather. We live almost an hour from the school and the roads were too dangerous to make the 2hr. round trip twice.
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#39 of 50 Old 01-15-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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They might persue it, depending if they have a law about mandatory investigations for truancy. (My state has such a law, a response to a few incidences of severe abuse where the kids fell through the cracks and their extended and growing absences from school were not followed up on) If that is the reason for the law, then if you're confronted and then pull your kids, I don't see how they WOULDN'T investigate after that.
It's an interesting question, actually, especially when DD isn't mandatory age yet (it's 6 here, and she's not 6 yet) and when homeschooling is unregulated like it is here in NJ.

I hate to say it, but I'll bet you a lot that it would depend on the race and economic status of the parents. I, as an educated white parent who actually holds a public school teaching license, would probably be less subject to investigation than somebody poor, uneducated, or from an immigrant or minority group. Horribly unfortunate, and sad, but I really do think that's how it would play out.

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#40 of 50 Old 01-17-2010, 04:22 AM
 
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I am very happy to take mental health days away from school. My husband is not so comfortable with it.

Tigerchild. Sounds like you have found a great school. Would you be willing to share the name of it?
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#41 of 50 Old 01-17-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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my son is in 1st and misses a lot of school. he has missed 3 days while they did the live h1n1 vaccine, he i don't know 4 or 5 because he was sick, maybe more, and there was a week where he flat out refused to go to school because they had a sub and she wasn't following his 504 plan (he has asperger's and generalized anxiety) and he was scared to go. I am not going to force my child to go into a situation that is detrimental to his mental health, and I have told the school as much. And now anytime they have a sub i have a VERY hard time getting him to go and/or stay at school, (it would help if his teacher actually wasn't out a TON- she has missed i would say at least 10 days herself) he does that a lot, comes home early because he's "sick" but the school knows him and knows what's going on, no one has said anything about him missing so many days. It helps that he is top of his class in all subjects too I think. He is also going to start missing partial days for ocunseling, because his counselor makes everyone share the school day hours, meaning no one can ALWAYS get after school hours we all have to take turns, and well so be it.

I have already decided if the school gets on my case I am going to pull him out and homeschool. I am already toying with the idea of homeschooling next year, and would have pulled him out this year but i have decided wait for many reasons.

edited to add I think I figured out why the school hasn't said anything, in Maine you aren't compulsory till the age of 7, therefore they can't enfore the rule till June. I think I will be sitting down with them in June to amend the 504 plan - since illness is an excused absense and doesn't count towards the truancy laws I want to add his mental health as part of that since he is diagnosed with anxiety. and our kids can only miss a total of 7 unexcused days. I think that's crap. We had 20 when we were kids

Nicki wife to Rich, Mama to 7 y/o DS, and a beautiful Princess Aug 2010
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#42 of 50 Old 01-17-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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It's an interesting question, actually, especially when DD isn't mandatory age yet (it's 6 here, and she's not 6 yet) and when homeschooling is unregulated like it is here in NJ.

I hate to say it, but I'll bet you a lot that it would depend on the race and economic status of the parents. I, as an educated white parent who actually holds a public school teaching license, would probably be less subject to investigation than somebody poor, uneducated, or from an immigrant or minority group. Horribly unfortunate, and sad, but I really do think that's how it would play out.
I agree with you, even though in WA state the law was changed so that it wouldn't be as discretionary. Virtually all of the folks I know who have been "called in" so to speak over tardies and abscenses have been white, middle-to-upper class, educated folks! But that's who's at the meetings where people are complaining about it, for the most part. Even though it's not supposed to be as discretionary, there is always wiggle room there.

I think though, given the animosity of *some* administrators towards homeschooling, if there was a perception that you were pulling your kids out of a school in response to not wanting to answer questions or because you'd maxed out your truancy limit--then I think a lot of good administrators might call if it was a combative discussion. Some might for a power trip (I wouldn't consider them good administrator), but that would send up HUGE red flags for others (that are good). I have to admit, as much as I support and advocate for public schooling, that would raise a red flag for me as well (because I think there are many abusive white, educated, middle+ class folks who are able to hide behind that status and work the system) if I didn't know the person in question.
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#43 of 50 Old 01-17-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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I think though, given the animosity of *some* administrators towards homeschooling, if there was a perception that you were pulling your kids out of a school in response to not wanting to answer questions or because you'd maxed out your truancy limit--then I think a lot of good administrators might call if it was a combative discussion. Some might for a power trip (I wouldn't consider them good administrator), but that would send up HUGE red flags for others (that are good). I have to admit, as much as I support and advocate for public schooling, that would raise a red flag for me as well (because I think there are many abusive white, educated, middle+ class folks who are able to hide behind that status and work the system) if I didn't know the person in question.

I have to comment here since I did bring up pulling him out, the school is well aware of my displeasure towards them, and the fact that they are repeatedly and blatantly disregarding the 504 plan set in place. I have already told them that I am thisclose to homeschooling him since they can't seem to provide him with a free and appropriate education, and that I can and will at any time pull him out and homeschool him in accordance with the state laws. So honestly I don't think that they would be surprised in the least, nor would they pursue it, especially since I have made it perfectly clear in writing every instance that they themselves have broken the law.

Nicki wife to Rich, Mama to 7 y/o DS, and a beautiful Princess Aug 2010
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#44 of 50 Old 01-17-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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sometimes my kids stay home because they're tired or because we're going somewhere, i.e. I have no problem pulling them out to go to the beach on a beautiful day!! they often miss school to go up to their grandparents for long weekends, last year they missed two weeks for a trip to Florida.

I have never had a problem with the school's admin although they did give me heck the year before for so many lates!!! I agree with that though, it's disruptive to have someone come in late but I had a new baby and it was a LONG adjustment!!! I have had one teacher who had a problem with so many absences but usually when I explain that I believe in the value of life experiences they've been more than willing to work with us if the girls are going to miss something pertinent to their curriculum and mark generation... I think it's important for the girls to have multi-generational experiences and they learn about fishing and baking and sewing and other life skills that school doesn't teach... of course, I am an un-schooler at heart... my kids just like school :S go figure!!!
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#45 of 50 Old 01-18-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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I have always taken my kids out of school to go travelling, the longest was four weeks when we went to France. Recently I took them out for a week to visit family in a different state, although I do think DD suffered a bit that time because she wasn't there to work on a project. But she didn't regret missing school, so i'm okay with that. Their public school has always been very supportive of our adventures, but I do insist that they go to school on days when they just plain don't want to, but aren't sick. DS in particular would love to stay home all day every day, but he's not at all interested in homeschooling (i gave him the option) so as I said to him, he has to learn somewhere.

This year DD moves to a private school for middle school, & one thing that was key to me is that the school is supportive of her taking time off school to travel. She'll miss two weeks this year, at least, when we go back to the US for a visit.

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#46 of 50 Old 01-18-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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I have always taken my kids out of school to go travelling, the longest was four weeks when we went to France. Recently I took them out for a week to visit family in a different state, although I do think DD suffered a bit that time because she wasn't there to work on a project. But she didn't regret missing school, so i'm okay with that. Their public school has always been very supportive of our adventures, but I do insist that they go to school on days when they just plain don't want to, but aren't sick. DS in particular would love to stay home all day every day, but he's not at all interested in homeschooling (i gave him the option) so as I said to him, he has to learn somewhere.

This year DD moves to a private school for middle school, & one thing that was key to me is that the school is supportive of her taking time off school to travel. She'll miss two weeks this year, at least, when we go back to the US for a visit.
I honestly think there's a different attitude in Australia about this. Travel is such an integral part of the national character. It seems to be assumed that everyone will move around the globe as much and as often as they can. So there's a tolerance that grows along with this. It's a lovely, wonderful attitude .
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#47 of 50 Old 01-18-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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I find that disrupting ds' routine isn't worth it. We are taking a family vacation in a couple of months that coincides with the school vacation. The ils are in another district and are coming on the vacation; if the vacation weeks did not line up it would be based on the adult work schedules.

Our district has a "don't come to school withing 24hrs of a fever" rule and I think the vomit rule is just that they should not come the morning of school. Ds just started K and I think has been absent 5-6 times. I've only had a Dr.'s note for one day, though we had documentation for two other absences, along with ds obviously appearing uncomfortable or "off" to the teacher (if their is no fever I usually go with what ds wants to do, and the teacher knows I will pick him up if she thinks [really, the Nurse] it is necessary).

If we write notes the absences are "excused," but with very frequent or strange patterns of absences they will start investigating (not necessarily involving the law; they may start by comparing absences with siblings).

Absences affect school funding, but sick children in school can result in the absences of more students (lost of funding) and even teachers; I think that my district tries to strike a balance. Fortunately, my district realizes that more that 3 absences will not torpedo a years worth of learning and hold a student back.

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#48 of 50 Old 01-20-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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My kids have missed for non-sick days...a lot!

A week in Disney the week before Christmas vacation, extra days for long weekends when visiting family, five day trip to London for ds with his grandmother, last two days of school for dd to go to CA with grandmother, and the list goes on....

I am of the feeling that these trips, visits to family, etc. are all part of educating the person/the child and makes them "whole."

I also give my kids two PHDs (personal health days) each year. I figure that I used to get Personal Days when I worked and everyone just needs a day off once in awhile, ya know?

Usually they miss about 6-10 days of school each year.

For the record, this past November my ds got the swine flu that turned into pneumonia and he missed two full school weeks. The poor guy was SO SICK but he caught himself up the first two weeks back and just took midterms and got all As! So proud of him...and all my kids.

Kim , mom to Amanda (16):, William (13), and Annie (5)
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#49 of 50 Old 01-21-2010, 10:32 AM
 
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Yeah, I agree that the Australian attitude towards school & travel is different to the US. Probably so much so that my opinion here is really quite irrelevant. But i do put it out there to show that there is more than one way to view things. I have to admit that I feel a bit sorry for those who are threatened by law or other consequences when they step out of the school attendance box.

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#50 of 50 Old 01-21-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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Yeah, I agree that the Australian attitude towards school & travel is different to the US. Probably so much so that my opinion here is really quite irrelevant. But i do put it out there to show that there is more than one way to view things. I have to admit that I feel a bit sorry for those who are threatened by law or other consequences when they step out of the school attendance box.
Bolding mine. I think it would be great if this attitude was adopted elsewhere in the world - at least a little bit. Thanks for sharing the insight into another view.
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