I know this is bad.... one off..

(71 Posts)
xxslkxx Fri 04-Oct-13 00:50:34

I know this post is bad before I write it, however I hope you understand a little before you say Im wrong! My son is in Yr 1, has been struggling, so recently I started a new plan (six weeks in now). Extra hour of writing and reading after school everyday, started new extracurricular activities, made a huge effort - to the point his teachers have noticed! Am so so happy with him, rewards everyweek and moved up two levels. Taken a LOT of work from him, I have signed up to lots of sites for hand writing and reading help etc.
Basically he is doing amazing and I want to reward him. I have an amazing day planned for him but it will mean a day missed from school whichI feel awful about.My husbamd says get. Life as his attendance is always 100% and one reward in the year when he is had such a marked improvement is allowable. I know he wont miss any important work but feel bad lying (yes I know this is pathetic!) Just dont know if I should?

Blu Fri 04-Oct-13 00:55:18

Gosh - a whole hour after school is a lot for a Yr 1 child.

I would take him off school for a whole week grin

Seriously, OP, well done, I am glad his work has helped him and I hope he is proud of himself, and does not feel stressed.

Can this day only happen on a school day? As a one off, oh, well, go for it!

BackforGood Fri 04-Oct-13 01:04:51

I think you'd be giving him really mixed messages about how, on the one hand, by putting in all that extra time, it means he's really improved and you are very proud of him, against, 'school doesn't really matter - we'll go and have fun for the day'.

Can you not do whatever it is at the weekend?
Or 1/2 term is coming up soon.

xxslkxx Fri 04-Oct-13 01:06:36

Thanks, yes can only be a school day otherwise would def do. Yes an hour has been a hell of a lot, but mostly fun learning for him, I spend an hour putting dots on paper for him to trace smile He is a summer born boy (youngest in class) and was really struggling.
Reward him all the time, and he seems to be thriving on the praise, I truly never expected such a big change but it really has happened and I am just so proud and over the moon! Suppose its a bit over the top that he cant miss one day as a reward, think I maybe getting a little obsessed! Thanks for your post. We will be going x

xxslkxx Fri 04-Oct-13 01:10:36

Backforgood this is my issue completely! Have been so work focused and explaining how important school is, he is now doing fab and I let him have a day off! Mixed messages. This really is a day he would adore and Iwill make sure he knows its a one off and purely due to him doing ao amazing, and in future wont happen during school time. It really is a one off, otherwise he would NEVER miss school. Hubby agrees but says as son knows importance of school everyday and attendance is bril, does one off day really matter in year one? Lots of sons friends off on week holidays which I wouldnt, but one day? Think its ok if I broach it correctly. Thanks

Applebloss Fri 04-Oct-13 01:27:28

Well done to both of you. I would go ahead with day off. In the long term it is unlikely to affect his learning disposition and he will always remember it as a positive part of his childhood.

xxslkxx Fri 04-Oct-13 01:37:17

I think my little man deserves it... know he does
.. only issue now is what to tell the teacher
Cant say he is ill in case he comes jumping in the next day saying where he has been
Is honesty always the best policy? Or should I play on my good attendence? Lol can tell Im not a regular x

Inclusionist Fri 04-Oct-13 07:46:45

School will not authorise it as schools are not longer allowed to authorise holiday in term time. This means, in effect, there is little point in asking.

I would just write a letter stating 'minislk will not be in school on x for family reasons'.

He will be marked down as having one unauthorised absence which will be the only consequence (other than his teacher's raised eyebrow when he bounces in the next day saying x was AMAZING! wink ).

fuzzpig Fri 04-Oct-13 07:52:39

He will very likely give you away after!

My friend took her DS out for a day and phoned him up sick. Arrived at school the next day, teacher greets him and asks if he was feeling better, boy says "I wasn't poorly, I went to Chessington!" shock No idea if the school did anything.

Rooners Fri 04-Oct-13 07:53:39

It depends what it is but honestly I'd struggle to say this sounds Ok.

What someone said about mixed messages...also he will tell them and they will know, probably.

I don't think it's a good idea.

Can you tell us what the plan is?

Ruprekt Fri 04-Oct-13 07:56:09

Well done on helping your son but I do not think you should take him out of school.

keepsmiling12345 Fri 04-Oct-13 07:56:15

Afraid I disagree. I can't think of anything that can only be done on a school day and not at half-term unless you have specifically booked something. In which case you had already made the decision to miss school. Your DS will miss lessons which seems totally inconsistent with your approach. Why ask him to spend 1 hr every evening (which is a lot for a y1) and then make him miss 6 hours of school?

MirandaWest Fri 04-Oct-13 07:59:20

I'm another one who thinks you shouldn't take him out of school but it does sound like you've already decided to.
What is the thing that you're doing?

Theas18 Fri 04-Oct-13 08:02:34

Sorry with Alien on this missing 6hrs of school yet making him work an hour extra every night?

THat's a bit bonkers . there WILL be stuff he'll miss, stuff he wont have repeated and may leave him a " little bit a sea" about affecting his learning and confidence. Yes only a little bit but this is a boy who wasn't finding school easy in the 1st place.

What really HAS to have a day off for that can't be done at other times?

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Fri 04-Oct-13 08:04:21

It's not long till the next holiday - surely this activity can wait? I think giving mixed messages about school is bad form and he will almost certainly give you away when he talks about it at school the next day.

Jaynebxl Fri 04-Oct-13 08:06:46

Im more concerned about a 5 year old boy doing an hour of school work every night! When does he get to have play dates? That's an awful lot for for such a young child.

StitchingMoss Fri 04-Oct-13 08:08:29

Agree with those saying its a mad idea - loads of things can be done at weekends, don't take him out of school.

simpson Fri 04-Oct-13 08:09:56

Sorry, but you are totally giving mixed messages.

He has been doing an hour a night (too much IMO) to improve his learning and yet you are going to take him out of the place he goes to learn. confused

All I can think is how he will bloody burn out and end up poorly at this rate.

He is only on year 1 FGS his social and emotional skills are what you should be developing not hot housing him each night.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Fri 04-Oct-13 08:14:49

Sorry to be po-faced, but a good rule of thumb to use, if you're thinking of lying then you shouldn't do it.

There are plenty of school holidays and inset days, you really don't need to take him out of school.

Sunnysummer Fri 04-Oct-13 08:15:02

As well as the mixed messages and the missed time, I'd be concerned most about the need to lie to the school - not an ideal lesson, plus they always do spill the beans!

He sounds like he's done amazingly, is there a way to reward him without missing a day? Or otherwise at least just be straightforward about it as a previous poster suggested?

Fragglewump Fri 04-Oct-13 08:17:00

Sounds crazy to me! But I am a mumsnet pariah teacher. You obviously don't want to listen to any advice though so enjoy your day of fun.

Take him out for the day

Write a note for school saying that DS will not be in school on date due to personal reasons

Well done to you and DS smile

LIZS Fri 04-Oct-13 08:23:37

Sorry don't get this . Sounds like more to assuage your guilt at pressurising him than as a reward . Won't he expect to get this every half term ? By all means use a weekend or half term/inset day but taking him out of lessons which you place such emphasis on seems a very odd message to send.

HowGoodIsThat Fri 04-Oct-13 08:24:37

By all means give him a reward and make a fuss of him but you can find something that doesn't necessitate removing him from school. SUre, it might not be the fab thing you have planned, but he'll never know that and you can deal with your own disappointment - you are the adult.

But I agree that it sounds like you have already made up your mind, you know it sits oddly with all the extra work that you have been doing with him and you just want us to help you justify your decision so you can feel better about it.

AmberGamble Fri 04-Oct-13 08:25:42

As a teacher I would agree with those who say you are going over the top with the after school stuff. It's not sustainable and too much for a child that age. It is excellent to hear of parents who are supporting their children at home, makes an enormous difference to a child's success but in moderation.
I can't stress enough how wrong a message you are sending by rewarding your child for his efforts by taking a day off school. As a teacher I would be mightily unimpressed. You have decided be needs the extra work at home and you have made him do it. Now you are rewarding it with taking time off school. What if he masters his spellings each week, 1/2 day off, or starts keeping his bedroom tidy - a few days off for that?

Clearly you have made your mind up and just want approval but you won't be getting it from here. Sorry!

valiumredhead Fri 04-Oct-13 08:30:36

An hour after school a day is way ott! And mixed messages about taking him out of school. Totally unnecessary.

tiggytape Fri 04-Oct-13 08:34:25

I agree with most others.
It is a crazy idea and very confusing for him - the reward for doing well and trying hard at school is ..... to miss school!

Like giving him a huge bag of jelly babies if he brushes his teeth everyday.

And it won't just be you lying. Won't it spoil his treat knowing he cannot mention it at school like a guilty secret because otherwise they are going to know it was an unauthorised absence? They probably won't fine you for a one off but they won't appreciate you lying to sneak him off for a treat right before half term.

beanandspud Fri 04-Oct-13 08:41:34

I'm sorry, I'm with the others who say that it sends very mixed messages.

Even if you're not asking DS to lie about where he's been you're almost certainly encouraging DS to be 'economical with the truth' about what he's doing on his day off.

Murdermysteryreader Fri 04-Oct-13 08:59:07

You are sending incorrect messages. By giving your child IMO too much extra work and then rewarding him with a day off school - you are in effect saying school isn't great - a treat is a day away from school. This is a very detrimental message- Also modelling lying to the school and maybe asking your child to keep quiet teaches dubious morals. A reward for good work should be something that he can be proud of and talk about. Please think about wht you are doing. If I was yr child's teacher I'd be annoyed he had missed lessons. You are not doing him any favours and think about the precedent you are setting up. Ie extra work equals time off school!!!

pinkdelight Fri 04-Oct-13 09:05:12

Yet another who thinks this is very confusing. Of all the rewards in the world, why choose one that involves missing school? It's almost like you think you're home educating him - he's done all those hours at home so you can choose how to use his school hours. It doesn't work like that. Missing school should not be seen as a reward.

claraschu Fri 04-Oct-13 09:07:48

I took my son out of school for two weeks and we went on a trip (school listed it as temporarily educated off site). He learned to write while we were away because I spent an hour or two working with him every day. The teachers were amazed by his progress.

I think it is fine to take kids out of school, though. There are many ways to learn. Unfortunately, you have to lie, because of the system. Call in sick, but do it on a Friday, so teacher and your son will have forgotten by Monday.

tiggytape Fri 04-Oct-13 09:13:42

clara - the law changed in September - what you did last term or several years ago would not now be allowed so OP would have to lie if she wanted to take him off for the day.
That means her DS will have to lie too (or be told not to talk about his treat). Which makes it much less of a treat if it is something he knows could cause upset with the school and the school think is 'wrong.' Most kids care about things like that.

It won't feel like much of a treat if he misses stuff at school and puts his foot in it about where he went when he was 'off sick'

pinkdelight Fri 04-Oct-13 09:14:00

Sounds like it can't be on a Friday though as it's this very specific thing and she's already mentioned her DS going into school the day after. I think 'temporarily educated off site' is a very different scenario. This isn't that - it's a treat, which as others say is a message that undermines the OP's whole mission. I think the title says it all 'I know this is bad'. It is, you know it, but it sounds like you're still going to do it. Great example.

Blu Fri 04-Oct-13 09:15:57

It sounds as if his success is a reward in itself - which is the most important thing, really and magnificent that you have achieved it. It is far better if children work towards intrinsic rewards rather than extrinsic. In future, will he only work hard if you offer to take him somewhere nice as a reward?

You and he have obviously worked hard and well - and as you have made it fun, does he actually feel he needs a reward?

I know I said 'take him out' further down, but if you do i would not actually tell him it is as a direct reward for his extra work or improvement.

To be honest it sounds as if it is YOU who are most wanting to celebrate with an event - and indeed you deserve a big pat on the back.

claraschu Fri 04-Oct-13 09:16:48

I feel that there is more to education than going to school, a lot more.

This is the message I want to give my children, which I hope will help them when school is boring, exam-obsessed, or petty.

I want my children to fall in love with whatever subjects really interest them, and figure out how to function well in daily life (taking exams, getting along with lots of different people, etc) without losing their sense of perspective.

claraschu Fri 04-Oct-13 09:21:02

I didn't realise that it couldn't happen on a Friday. I agree that the work is its own reward; I just think a day away from school is an educational opportunity (as well as fun).

Sorry my last post is a bit of an annoying rant and a reaction to people saying that taking kids out of school sends a message that education isn't important. I really don't agree, as I think parents can show they value education in lots of different ways.

MissStrawberry Fri 04-Oct-13 09:21:11

"In future it won't happen n school time."

So it is possible to do it on a weekend or half term?

The problem with lying to the school about why he is off that day is you are asking him to lie too. Either by telling him not to tell his teacher he went to X or he wasn't ill and putting it on him to deal with uncomfortable questions if they ask him how he is now.

One day is always said as it doesn't matter. I just don't think it is justified and definitely sending mixed messages.

Blu Fri 04-Oct-13 09:23:22

OTOH, if it is a day / event that you would want him to go to even if he hadn't been working after school, and which will benefit him, then just go, for the value of the trip itself, rather than as a reward, and tell the school what you are doing. They will mark it as unauthorised - very unlikely that you will get fined.

CaptainSweatPants Fri 04-Oct-13 09:27:51

Hate all the cloak & dagger stuff
Tell us what the activity us so we can judge properly !

Why not just home educate?

mumofthemonsters808 Fri 04-Oct-13 09:29:53

There is more to education than going to school but it is the law of the land that your child attends school. When you were offered the school place you agreed to the school policies and one of them is full attendance. The only exception is illness, you can not pick and choose when he attends under the banner of "enhancing his education". Perhaps home schooling would have been more suited to your viewpoint, but no you choose to take the school place but are now making the rules up as you go along.

I'm stepping away from this thread because it's making me angry.

valiumredhead Fri 04-Oct-13 09:34:07

There IS more to school, I would be the first to agree and usually I am the first one on these threads to say 'yeah, have the day off, go on holiday during term time, let them try and fine me etc' BUT your reasoning is bonkers quite frankly. You are hot housing your child, and an hour extra homework a day is way ott and not sustainable ime and then to reward your ds you want to take him out of the place you are trying so hard to impress. Eh? confused

MrsOakenshield Fri 04-Oct-13 09:34:24

I agree with a PP who says that his success should be the reward in itself - overdo the rewarding and you may end up with a child who will only do the work in order to get the reward.

I wouldn't do it - it sounds like he is getting plenty of rewards anyway - in fact, I would backpedal the whole thing.

Chocotrekkie Fri 04-Oct-13 09:39:10

How can you judge what he will miss at school.?

My daughter missed a day last year due to illness and missed the start of a new maths topic. She struggled to catch up and it took quite a lot of extra work from us for her to understand it.

If your child is struggling anyway do you really want to put this pressure on him of sitting in school the next day struggling to catch up ?

Also interested in what sort of treat for children can you only take children to during school hours - sounds like a place with a dodgy business model to me !!

claraschu Fri 04-Oct-13 09:58:19

I really feel that children can thrive in school, and be very respectful of teachers, even though their parents tell them that the school system is not ideal, teachers are not infallible, and it is sometimes ok to take a day off. It all depends on the family's attitude to education.

Floggingmolly Fri 04-Oct-13 10:05:13

He puts in an extra hour per night (just how behind was he?) and his reward is a day off school? hmm

FunnyRunner Fri 04-Oct-13 10:10:51

OP this thread was never going to end well grin

As an absolute one off I would do it, if you really, really can't do it any other time, even in holidays. But like others I would be careful that your son doesn't get too tired with all the afterschool work - you might find if he has caught up that you can do the extra work two or three hours a week rather than five, or else spend an hour on a Saturday or Sunday. As long as it is fun stuff and he's enjoying it you're probably doing fine smile

(I'm a teacher but for older kids.)

notso Fri 04-Oct-13 10:12:31

DS1's friends parents are always 'booking' days off for birthday trips, holidays, getting Alton Towers tickets in The Sun etc no one at school seems to bat an eyelid.
On the other hand Dd however blames our one off term time family holiday four years ago for the reason she doesn't get decimals.

AlmightyCitrus Fri 04-Oct-13 10:21:08

Where is the day out? Depending on what you have planned you might be able to pass it off as "Educational". I got my DD1 an authorised day off for a day in London to see an exhibition , as we managed to tenuously link it to the topic she was doing in school.

mumofthemonsters808 It is not the law that a child must attend school. It is the law that a child must receive an education appropriate to them.

Periwinkle007 Fri 04-Oct-13 10:30:40

I thought they had introduced fines now?

my personal view would be no child should need that much work after school, it isn't sustainable and he will have to stop it at some point at which time he will settle back to his 'true' place in the class anyway. If a child needs an extra hour every day to be doing well then they aren't really destined to be achieving at that level. just my view.

and I don't agree with missing school. Perhaps exceptional circumstances if dad in the forces, going to a close family wedding that involves traveling on a friday or whatever but otherwise I don't agree with random time off school. We do without a holiday rather than take our kids out of school and I wouldn't book a day out somewhere during school time. I want to take my kids to lapland to see Santa but weekdays are cheaper, can't afford weekends so we won't go.

lljkk Fri 04-Oct-13 10:50:57

If OP is 6 weeks in then she must be in Scotland & started this program in mid August. In which case they're on holiday next week or 2, I think. So why need for day off?

Sorry none of my business, but I do so like the world to make sense.

PastSellByDate Fri 04-Oct-13 12:08:02


Can't you find a happy compromise by booking something on an inset day, half-term or Christmas holidays?

It is possible and usually works out cheaper if you plan way ahead. You can tell him now that in reward for all his achievement you're doing X - but arrange it at a time that doesn't interfere with school (thereby avoiding - 1) mixed message but 2) getting in trouble with school/ LEA if they find out it was an unexcused absence).

The rules about leave in term have changed and are much tighter. Penalties can be charged by LEA for unexcused absences, etc....

Yes reward your son but may also be useful to do so within the rules.


simpson Fri 04-Oct-13 12:28:12

A boy in my DS's class was taken out of school for 2 days and has got a £120 fine which doubles if you don't pay it in 28 days.

MrsTruper Fri 04-Oct-13 15:27:13

Why not be honest? Say to the school that you have been home eding him evenings to catch up because the school has failed him. Then say I you are rewarding him with a day out. Sounds like he won't be missing much at school?!

What can they say? At least it will be in the school record that you are disappointed with how the school is progressing your son, and you have had to take his progress in to your own hands.

MrsTruper Fri 04-Oct-13 15:32:33

Also I don't think it sends mixed messages, it's a one off.

What about teachers strike? Or showing videos all day long at school....is that giving kids a mixed message about learning?

PastSellByDate Fri 04-Oct-13 15:45:05

Hi Mrs Truper:

I get your point on mixed messages but as I see it schools are sending us mixed messages by having whole days devoted to videos/ golden time or taking a class on a residential where they're hiking, climbing, kayaking, etc... (all wonderful stuff) but not exactly educational and certainly not a million miles away from what parents might want to do on holiday with their children?

Also don't completely get why our school is always closed for voting?

Surely this can be organised in such a way the school doesn't have to be closed. Oddly enough our school never seems to organise inset days over voting days - so we always lose 1-2 days extra a year.

tiggytape Fri 04-Oct-13 16:42:31

Inset Days aren't lost school days though. Schools have to educate children for 190 days per year. Teachers have to work for 195. Those Inset Days therefore come directly out of teacher's holiday. They are not 'extra' holidays for the children. Children still get their 190 days as always.

The schools have no choice about the polling days - they are classed as public buildings and get no say in it. It is a local government decision and the Head is forced to shut that day since it would be impractical to have voters using the dining hall all day and having unchecked adults going in and out of a school full of children.

And I don't know if people are remembering whole days watching videos from when they were at school. Most schools now work right up until the bitter end each term with maybe a fun activity like a school play thrown in. With SATS and screening and assessments, teachers don't have the luxury of sticking the kids in front of Toy Story 2 and hoping for the best!

ouryve Fri 04-Oct-13 16:44:19

It's half term in a couple of weeks. You could plan a fab day out, then.

momb Fri 04-Oct-13 17:01:26

If you want to take your son on a thrilling educational experience on a school day which cannot be done outwith the school term/week then do it.
You are an adult and must live with the consequences. Don't lie; just inform the school what you are doing and they will mark it down as unauthorised. Don't ask your son to lie. That woudl be something you don't want him to learn.
Also, I wouldn't present this to him as a treat for doing well in his tutoring. I'd present it as something you think he will find really interesting, and as a one off, so he doesn't ask to be taken out of school whenever he does well.

Are you realy not able to share whatever it is?

SoupDragon Fri 04-Oct-13 17:07:53

I completely disagree with taking your child out for a "fun day". You should have planned the reward for a weekend or school holiday.

HollaAtMeBaby Fri 04-Oct-13 21:56:26

You've clearly decided already so what was the point of this thread? The best reward for your son's hard work is the pride and satisfaction he should already be feeling - you will completely undermine that by giving him the message that the point of hard work is external rewards, that school actually that important to that it's ok to lie to teachers.

pyrrah Fri 04-Oct-13 23:04:21

I never understand why people think that hard work shouldn't result in external rewards.

Most adults I know reckon that their hard work should pay off in terms of better jobs/promotions/pay rises etc and not just pride and satisfaction.

Certainly for women, who tend to undervalue themselves in the workplace I think that teaching children that hard work has tangible rewards is very healthy and might lead to girls having better expectations in the work-place.

chauffeurmummy Fri 04-Oct-13 23:39:04

Oh just take him out! If he's worked hard, made progress and this special treat can't be done any other time then just do it. Our children are little for such a short time! Just don't lie about it and don't ask your son to lie about it. (I would also review the hour a day now he's caught up!)

Ferguson Sat 05-Oct-13 00:15:54

Having worked in primary schools for over twenty years, mostly as a TA, I am afraid I find your attitude one of the most disturbing - and, possibly, disturbed - that I have ever come across.

Yes, of course parents should be supportive and involved in their children's education and activities, and most MN are just that, but I believe that this 'hot house' attitude is excessive, and as several other professionals have clearly stated, it should not be necessary.

Are you REALLY doing this only for HIM, or are YOU wanting to bask in the reflected glory of his progress? Why was he not progressing from the normal school day, as, presumably, most of his peers are? There is a lot more to school life than just 'reading and writing', and it should hardly be necessary to 'draw dots' for him to learn to form letters correctly. Unless, perhaps he has some disability, which you haven't told us about.

To me, this smacks of the 'failed dancers' who spend thousands of pounds on their tiny daughters, taking them to never ending dance classes, buying expensive, glamorous dresses, and transporting them all over the country to dance competitions, so the mothers can pretend to themselves that this is what they COULD have done, if only . . .

I am sorry to be harsh, but I would ask you to examine YOUR OWN motives very carefully, before you continue on this regime of extra work. In the long run, it could end up doing more harm than good. And are you totally confident that your own knowledge of HOW to teach a young child, and what methods are used in schools is fully reliable?

I am also forced to wonder what your own school days, and experiences were like.

Do think about it carefully.

SoupDragon Sat 05-Oct-13 09:14:39

I never understand why people think that hard work shouldn't result in external rewards.

I fully agree with external rewards.
I do not agree with taking your child out of school for them.

pyrrah Sat 05-Oct-13 12:29:45

SoupDragon - I totally agree that taking a child out of school is not an appropriate reward.

I would be more inclined to think that taking a child out of school for an educational experience that could not be repeated at another time would be... so, trip to museum/LEGOLAND etc would not be acceptable, a one-off opportunity to do some kind of workshop (I don't know... maybe something like spending a day with a palaeontologist learning how to preserve fossils) that is not going to be repeated at a weekend or holiday I would say is a good reason for a day off.

There were a couple of things that my parents could have taken me out of school for and didn't and now really regret - a one-off meeting of my whole extended relatives many of whom I have never met at a historic house that used to belong to a shared 5th great-grandfather with a series of lectures from eminent historians was one example.

Floggingmolly Sat 05-Oct-13 15:01:56

If it was something of that nature op would have no issue with disclosing it, pyrrah. bet it's Legoland

ihearsounds Sat 05-Oct-13 15:07:59

Can you not do it on one of the inset days? A lot of schools have one coming up very soon.

zingally Sat 05-Oct-13 20:53:39

Fair enough to take him on a "I'm really proud of you" day. But do it on a weekend. Also... This is giving him the message that he'll only get your approval if he does well in school... And that you'll change what you mean at any moment. "School is important" until he achieves your goals, then all of a sudden "school isn't important, let's party!"

Take him out for a weekend day, but don't apply it to any specific reason. You'd be setting yourself up for bother.

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