Should kids do some school work when home sick?

We have had a nasty cold virus creep through our house this week. Rose was home two days this week with a horrible cough and Walsh was home yesterday and today snotty with a fever.

I always worry about the kids feeling overwhelmed by work when they return to school after being home sick, especially if it is more than one day. I try to get them to do easy stuff if they feel up to it, like read a couple of chapters or do a worksheet here or there.

So I am wondering do you try to get the kids to do some assignments when they are home sick or just let them rest?

I think this also may depend on how severely sick they are. Over the weekend, Rose felt awful and didn’t do anything. On Monday we went to the doctor so she didn’t do much that day, but by Tuesday she felt better but stayed home because she needed to used the nebulizer multiple times during the day.

I tried to get her to work on math and lit questions but it was slow going.

Walsh was pretty happily playing Nintendo DSi so I felt like he could read a couple of chapters in his book and do a little math homework.

The teacher emailed me a project he could work on and an open-book test he could take. He worked on the project a little bit but not the test.

So what do you expect when they are home sick? Do you try to do a little work so they aren’t so overwhelmed when they go back or just let them completely vegetate?

35 comments Add your comment

mom2alex&max

January 25th, 2012
12:47 pm

If they don’t feel too cruddy, I make them work on some light stuff. Specially if they are gone for more than one day. One time my oldest had strep throat and the school called me because his throat hurt. I picked him up, so the nurse told me that if he tested positive for step, he couldn’t go to school the next day. He had to be on anti-biotics for 24 hrs before returning to school. SO that day, we went to the doctor and then he stayed in bed most of that day. But the next day, he was fine, and he couldn’t go to school. So yeah, I made him read and work on some math,

RJ

January 25th, 2012
12:52 pm

It depends on how they feel. If they have a high fever and aren’t up to it, the work will have to wait. If they are able to play video games, then they can do some school work. I hate when teachers give assignments over “breaks”. My son had a project due over the winter holiday break. Of course he forgot and so did I. Apparently most of the students didnt do it. What was she thinking. Weekend homework is fine (which she gives as well). But homework over breaks is unnecessary.

Me

January 25th, 2012
12:54 pm

I see no reason why it isn’t a good idea when they feel appropriate to the task. Obviously, if they are running a high fever and have nausea/vomiting then probably not but if only a general feeling of malaise, then yes.

Augusta

January 25th, 2012
12:56 pm

Let them rest!!!!

Listen to your body…it tells you when you need to slow down, or just stop all together. Kids today have so much pressure on them, I say, let them rest. The work will get done eventually. Their health, to me, is MUCH more important than homework. Catch up on the homework during the weekend when they are feeling better.

Say what, Augusta...

January 25th, 2012
1:24 pm

…”Kids today have so much pressure on them” – from whom? If parents weren’t so demanding about making sure the kids are busy 24/7, and let them be kids, they would not have this so called “pressure”…

And I do agree with you sentiment about letting them rest, whether they are pressured or not, i9f they are truly sick, there is no need to push the school work thing…

Stacey

January 25th, 2012
1:53 pm

I agree with everyone else that it depends on how sick. If he barely feels like lifting his head for a sip of water, then I don’t expect him to do any work. On the other hand, if they feel fine but are required to stay home, then I will make him do his work.

RJ…My son (5th grade) has homework for all breaks and most weekends in preparation for the CRCT. For Christmas break, he had a 32 page CRCT packet with a mixture of social studies, science and math along with the 6 hours of reading to earn the Six Flags tickets. The reading project was supposedly optional but they had to turn in one page reports on two books so it was actually mandatory.

Augusta

January 25th, 2012
2:00 pm

@say what….I don’t put any pressure on my kids at all…..they do the required homework every night, but we only spend 1 hour on homework per evening. I refuse to allow homework to rule our home life.

The pressure comes from the schools. 2-3 hours of homework every night, is a tad too much, especially since they’ve been there for 6-7 hours. Spending 10 hours a day on school is too much. Like I said earlier, homework is work that was not completed in class.

Family time is very important in our home. Homework gets finished before dinner is even started. As each child comes home, there is a discussion about their days, and co-ordination of school activities, book reports, etc, and a small snack. Once all four are home, they all sit at the table and do their homework. No more than 1 hour per day. Once that is completed and cleared up, dinner begins.

Therefore, we have our evenings as a family.

Augusta

January 25th, 2012
2:01 pm

Also, if my kids are ever sent home from school for being sick, there is NOOO playtime at home.
If you leave school, you are not allowed to play. So you better be very sick if you are coming home.

Soccer MILF

January 25th, 2012
2:39 pm

If my kids are not vomiting they are studying….or playing soccer!

Mike Vick

January 25th, 2012
2:40 pm

If my kids are not too sick they can help me clean the dog kennels.

i LOVE...

January 25th, 2012
3:02 pm

@Augustana,

It’s parents like you who’ve made giving homework almost impossible in the first place. Sometimes it is just necessary. But God forbid we let ACADEMICS ruin our personal lives.

At my school, the student has as many days to make up the work as he/she was out (absent 2 days, make up work is due in 2 days). I don’t mind if they don’t get the work while they are absent (sometimes you just need a break), but it had better be done in the alloted time. After that time, I will not grade it on a 100% scale. It gets graded on a 70% scale. Accountability.

i LOVE...

January 25th, 2012
3:03 pm

@Augusta…not Augustana. LOL

Augusta

January 25th, 2012
3:15 pm

@i Love….I do not believe homework should be part of a student’s grade. If the teachers cannot get the work done in the alloted time, then that is THEIR problem, not the students. I understand once in a while, like working on a project, but not every. single. night.

I will NOT have my kids doing homework for 2-3 hours a night, when they’ve been in YOUR classroom for 6 hours. By law I have to send them to school, but the law says NOTHING about how much homework is done in MY HOME!!!

Beaver Ridge Elem Mom

January 25th, 2012
3:22 pm

My kids were sick recently but were able to do some math word questions on Frederick Douglas.

Cobb Mom

January 25th, 2012
3:44 pm

Children shouldn’t be doing 2-3 hours of homework a night. Perhaps Augusta should see why her children aren’t finishing their work at school and need to finish at home. Most school systems state that children should have 10 minutes of homework for each grade level, Therefore an elementary level student would not have more than 50 minutes of homework. The time also includes the mandatory reading in Cobb county. My third grade child reads for 20 minutes each night and math takes about 10 minutes, homework done.

Jeff

January 25th, 2012
3:47 pm

Are they on the verge of death or hospitalization? Then no. If not, then yes.

MatthewH

January 25th, 2012
5:00 pm

@Augusta- You don’t believe that homework should be a part of the student’s grade? Do you know the purpose of homework? It is to reinforce concepts that were taught in the classroom, or to prepare. As a former teacher, homework was an important way for me to gauge if the the students were learning what I was teaching. It was NOT an extension of things I couldn’t teach them or get done in the allotted time.

While I understand that some students are overworked and aren’t allowed to be a kid, your combative attitude amazes me.

R

January 25th, 2012
5:02 pm

When I taught (elementary) school I would not give homework except what was required by the principal. That consisted of the students studying their spelling words, reading for 15 minutes and a math sheet. I did not give homework on Wednesdays or Fridays.

A

January 25th, 2012
5:17 pm

Wow, @Augusta, step off will you. Homework is important and becomes more so as students get older, so I’m all for starting out early with daily homework with weekends off. For my 3rd grader, this consists of 1-2 math pages Monday-Thursday, spelling words and reading comprehension due once a week that rarely anything else besides reading. When they are in high school and college, you can bet the homework will ramp up, so why not start them out with a few minutes in younger grades? And we wonder why other countries are passing us by in science and math.

mom2alex&max

January 25th, 2012
6:00 pm

Shhhhhh everyone. I’m fine with Augusta’s kids not being “burdened” with homework. It’ll just mean less competition with mine when it’s time to apply for colleges.

catlady

January 25th, 2012
8:43 pm

If a child is too sick to go to school, they are probably too sick to do anything except lay around in bed and (maybe) read a little. Certainly cannot play video games, go outside for any reason other than the house burning down, go to the store, or watch TV. If they are quickly recovering, I would give permission to read for a few hours, but that is it. Mostly, lay around in a dim room, breathing quietly and looking forward to getting back to school. Kids get well faster that way, and stay well more.

And no, I am not at all saying kids frequently malinger. However, when a child is sick they need LOTS of quiet and limited movement.

Misty

January 25th, 2012
8:59 pm

When I was in school, we had a packet of work that was sent home if I was out more than 2 days. My parents would call the school and ask that the teacher put the work together. One of them would go by and pick up all of my books and the packet. There was no reason to fall behind. Now if I was really sick (i.e. a high fever) then I would work on it when I felt like it.

Fred

January 25th, 2012
9:14 pm

Should kids do some school work when home sick?

Yes.

Fred

January 25th, 2012
9:29 pm

I love all these comments (like yours Misty) about how much work was missed and so forth……….. my senior year I missed like 60 days I think. I had a doctor who would write me an excuse any time I wanted. I never did homework when I was there (mostly slept) so why would I do homework when I wasn’t. I never learned anything in school. They were years behind me.

But times have changed. They actually have programs that challenge kids. Oh wait, I WAS in the gifted classes, even went to the inaugural “Govenors Class for Gifted Students” what a crock that was. Slept through that too when the “instructors” couldn’t answer my questions ( http://www.msms.k12.ms.us/assets/Uploads/counseling/MS-Governors-School.pdf).

But my child is different than me, she needs to study. So she will.

Fred

January 25th, 2012
9:29 pm

Fred

January 25th, 2012
9:30 pm

DB

January 26th, 2012
12:44 am

If they are well enough to play video games and watch TV, they are well enough to stay current with their schoolwork. Otherwise, I’d let ‘em rest. Being sick, in my house, was IN BED. No TV, no cell phone. Amazing, how boredom cured almost everything but the most persistent of illnesses :-)

Augusta

January 26th, 2012
8:54 am

@Mom2Alex – Is Homework a criteria for entry to a college? I don’t think so…..They look at grades, community service, etc. But homework??? Really? Is that how kids get into college????

justmy2cents

January 26th, 2012
11:00 am

@Augusta & others- you do realize in Cobb County, elementary school homework is not counted in their grades? It only counts as “participation”.

i LOVE...

January 26th, 2012
11:40 am

@Augusta,
Be glad your kids are not in my class. With that attitude at home, they would be failing.

Augusta

January 26th, 2012
12:03 pm

My kids are far from failing, trust me.

Two have had perfect attendance for every year they have been in school.

All four kids bring home at least a B average.

Homework gets done every night, for 1 hour, all four kids at the dining room table. They help each other, and we as parents help them too. We DO NOT do their homework, but we are there if any questions arise, or if one is stuck on a certain problem.

Two kids are in sports, two kids are in music. They switch after the end of each “season”. The two who were in sports do music, and the two in music do sports. That way we are not constantly chasing around between sporting events and music lessons. We are not a taxi drivers to our kids. We are very involved parents, and hands on. We are home with them every night. We focus on the family.

Oh and they also do volunteer work.

If you don’t like my style, then that is your problem. I do not wish to be like everyone else, nor will I raise my kids to be “sheep”.

i LOVE...

January 26th, 2012
2:29 pm

@Augusta
Congrats on the perfect life.

Doing homework doesn’t mean the kids are “sheep”. I was a straight-A student, played varsity basketball and softball, volunteered, had a part time job when not in sports, AND completed my homework each night no matter how long it took.

April

January 26th, 2012
4:41 pm

As a teacher I can attest that doing some work at home during or following an illness helps the student feel more confident when he/she returns. Think about how overwhelming it is to return to work after a vacation or illness and try to play catch-up. Kids feel the same way. To expect your. If your childreturns to school and is able to pick up in the middle of whatever has been going on in his absence, complete any missed work, and do the current class work, then not a lot is going on in the class. Most kids feel well enough at some point to attempt at least some work. If he is well enough to play video games he can read or practice math or other skills for a while.

DPF

January 26th, 2012
8:58 pm

I always make my kids do their homework when they’re sick; I’ve found that, usually, a sick kid is likely to feel their relative best mid-late morning, so I encourage them to turn off the TV and do as much as possible in that period, from the sofa. That way, if their fevers spike or they feel sleepy and yuckier later in the day, they can just rest. I was raised the same way, and it was always a tremendous relief not to have to catch up on work when I went back.

Anj

January 30th, 2012
8:05 am

Due to the “24 hour rule” (no symptoms for 24 hours before they can return)
my kids are usually feeling pretty good for at least a day. So they get work, or have to work on a website, or I make them do housework.

They are rarely out for more than 2-3 days, so catching up isn’t difficult.

Plus my kids are relatively healthy. It takes something like H1N1 to cause them to be so out of it that they can’t get up enough energy for fun stuff.