Part of my responsibility at work is to track attendance and grades to make sure students are on track for success. There is a high correlation between attending school regularly and better grades. There are days when it is appropriate to keep your child home from school when they are not sick, but if he misses too many days of school, it is likely he will not do well. When is it OK to allow your child to stay home from school?
Of course, when your child is sick, she should stay home. It she has a fever or is nauseated, she should stay home for sure. In fact, most schools ask that students be free of fever for a day before returning. If she is feeling tired or just does not want to go because she has a test, she should go to school. Allowing her to stay home for these reasons will teach her to give up easily, and that it is OK to avoid taking her test.
If your family is having an important event such as a wedding, graduation, or funeral, it is appropriate to miss school. These absences are not in your control and cannot be avoided. When possible, your child should communicate with his teachers before he is out. Hopefully, he can do some of the work he will miss ahead of time, and he will not be too far behind when he returns.
It is often impossible to get a doctor or dentist appointment outside of school hours. Students sometimes have to miss school for them. It is advisable to ask for either an early morning or a late afternoon appointment, so your child does not have to miss the whole day of school.
Your child needs to be in school every day that it’s possible. Regular attendance is important for learning, and equally important it helps to establish a solid work ethic that leads to success not only in school but also later in life. Encourage your children to eat properly, get exercise every day, and sleep long enough every night so they will more likely stay well. Teach them that there are good reasons to miss school, but staying home from school should be rare.
For more on this topic, read The Price for Being Absent from School.