Whether your child has been sick or injured, there’s been a family emergency, or an extended vacation, if they’ve missed time away from school it can be difficult to catch up. In fact, many children feel completely overwhelmed and are unable to get back on track. This is an opportunity to help your child learn to manage difficult situations and to gain confidence and skills.
1. Make a List – Have your child gather all of the missing assignments, quizzes, and tests from the teachers. Some teachers won’t allow children to make up past labs or in-class activities. Your child may need to write a paper or work on extra credit projects to make up for missed class work. The list of assignments will help your child begin to get a handle on what he needs to do.
2. Know the Rules – It can help to know the teacher’s rules about missed assignments. For example, some teachers have an open-ended approach, and as long as the assignment is turned in before the end of the unit or semester it’s fine. In other cases a child may only have a few days, as many as they missed, to turn the work in. If he’s missed a week of class then he should have a week to get the material completed.
3. Make a Plan – The list will help your child devise a plan to complete the work. For example, academic classes can take priority over electives. Focus on one class at a time and tackle the hardest, or easiest, subject first. Guide your child to make the right decisions on his own.
4. Talk to the Teachers – In some cases, especially if your child is young, it may be necessary to support a homework plan by talking together to each of the individual teachers. Call or email the teachers and let them know you’ll be stopping by with your child to go over their missed schoolwork. This gives time to prepare the information ahead of time and it saves you time.
5. Be Proactive When Possible – If your child has been out of school for more than a day or two, get in touch with the teachers or stop by the school. Get the assignments your child has missed, and will miss, as well as their books. He may be unable to attend school but can manage to start on homework and spend some of the day studying.
Finally, if your child was struggling in a subject before he missed school, consider getting help right away. Schedule some time with the teacher, get a tutor, and provide help before it gets to be too much. Children all miss school from time to time. It doesn’t have to derail their year and set them back.