1. Familiarize yourself—and your child—with the school’s attendance policy and the rules for getting assignments and making up work. These might be found in the student handbook or on the school or district website.
2. Your child may be able to get assignments through the school website. If not, try to find a neighborhood “buddy” who can pick up and deliver missed homework. Your child will be only too happy to return the favor when it’s time.
3. Most teachers will give as many days of makeup time as the student has missed, but be sure to ask. Teachers in older grades often issue homework policy “contracts” that give rules for making up homework and tests. Keep these in a folder to reference as needed.
4. The road back after a few days away might be bumpy at first. Encourage your child to stay after school or meet with the teacher during lunch to ask questions he might have about the material. This will also help the teacher evaluate just how many gaps he has to fill before getting back on pace.
5. It’s not easy to make up homework while also keeping up with current work. If your child seems overwhelmed by a long to do list, help break up the assignments into more manageable chunks. A small reward (even an ice cream cone will do) is good motivation to get it all done well.
6. If your child is still recovering from an illness, it’s important to ramp up slowly. Help her prioritize and come up with a schedule for doing the work. This will help decrease stress and pave the way for a smooth transition.