My six-year old son experienced his first sick day home from school yesterday. He made it through all of kindergarten without missing one single day and it's taken this long for the germs to find him this year.
He was legitimately sick - fighting off a head-cold and fever so he had every right to stay home but we made sure it wasn't a fun experience.
Although he's doing really well in school, it's not a place he'd choose to go so when he woke up Monday morning and said "As a treat today, can I stay home from school?", my husband and I knew we had to make the day anything but a 'treat'. This kid has taught me how to think on my feet and not show fear so I quickly explained to him that he would need to not only get work done while he was home for the day but also make up the six hours of class work he missed. I ran to the book shelf and pulled out some random math workbooks we had and told him to pick two addition and two subtraction pages (luckily they were Transformers themed so it wasn't too painful), complete two book reports, and write out his spelling words that his younger brother would be bringing home at the end of the day. I also e-mailed his teacher and had her send home a packet of worksheets he missed to make sure he saw the gravity of missing a day of school.
And the best part was that between his father and his grandmother, he wasn't allowed to even look like he was enjoying his day at home. Every time he moved from the couch they directed him to lay down again and wouldn't let him exert himself in any way. As an exhausted, over-stressed mom I would love to be told to stay on the couch but for a 'very energetic since the Ibuprofen kicked in' kid, this was torture!
Now you may ask, did it work? Does he understand that sick days are to be home and be sick? My answer is YES! Today he got out of bed, took a shower, got dressed, ate breakfast, and went off to school without a hint of longing for another day at home.
Aimee is the owner of Kite Tails and mom to two wonderful little monsters ages 4 & 6.