At the start of last week girl-child was very fragile and emotional. I almost convinced her to take the day off school but she remembered something important that she needed to do at school. One day was casual clothes day, another was SRC, she couldn’t possibly miss Thursday and choir. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to get her to stay home. When we arrived at school that fragile morning I spoke to her teacher and let her know how delicate she was and that I was around if she was too fragile to stay at school. Her teacher is divine and said she would keep an eye on her and call if it was all too much. She also mentioned that most of the kids in the class could do with a mental health day, a day to chill out and snuggle on the couch reading books or drawing. Fortunately she said it in girl-child’s presence so when I broached the topic of her having a day off school to re-group she felt that she had permission and once she worked out the day that she didn’t have specialist classes, choir, music, meetings and other exciting adventures she was content to take the day off and regroup. Boy-child was almost as exhausted as she was but I figured if they both stayed home they would badger each other all day long and be more exhausted, grumpy and peeved at the world at the end of their day off than if they had gone to school.
Today was boy-child’s get of of school free day. He was exhausted and also emotional. I had to go in to work this morning so it wasn’t exactly convenient that he wanted to stay at home. He was happy to go to work with me so it seemed like a fair enough deal, he would survive the week and all going well he will be able to survive this really long term. The poor boy was stuck in my office, drawing on the whiteboard and playing with the hole punch until lunchtime without going completely stir crazy (he normally goes nuts if he is in my office for more than 15 minutes). As a result of a quiet day at home, he went off to his dance class with barely a fuss and after the class was proud to brag at being one of the boys to do some new step.
All this makes me sound like I am really slack with my kids attendance at school when in fact it is the opposite. My kids very rarely miss school, in fact boy-child won an award the year before last for not missing a day during the first half of the year (ironically he was at the doctor’s with a chest infection or similar the day the award was presented!) The kids both know that if they have a day off school because they are sick they will spend the day in bed resting, drawing or reading. If they are sick the following day they have to go to the doctor. As they are a product of me, they are very hesitant to ever go to a doctor so I know they are really unwell if they do stay home a second day. All that said, I think there is no point in kids going to school when they are so exhausted by that they aren’t capable of learning and are more likely to distract the rest of the class from learning. I want them to enjoy their learning and I do have to admit that I enjoy the one-on-one enforced quiet time that a school free day brings. I am looking forward to school holidays and a chance for everyone to regroup and relax.
So am I the only person around who gives their kids a ‘get out of school free’ card?