Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?
If your child is missing school because she's sick, then she is *not*
truant. The school cannot punish/penalized you or her for missing due to
illness. They may require that you provide a doctor's note (which is a
PITA since it means you have to take her to the doctor if she's sick), but
that's as far as they can go. If her absences are "unexcused"--IOW not
to illness, a funeral, etc.--then they *can* penalize you. In fact in my
area the courts can actually fine the parents $2500 per day for each
unexcused absence. This only occurs in extreme circumstances where the
parents obviously just don't give a s**t about their child's education.
Your statement about "taking her out of school for things you feel are
important" is getting pretty close to the line. I wouldn't want to stand
front of a judge and try to explain that one.
I read a child is limited to 10 absences excused by the parent per
year--guess this is where the 5/semester comes from. I can't get a doctor's
excuse for the flu dd had 2 weeks ago--we didn't go to the doctor. I did
call and talk with a nurse at the hospital, but I couldn't say her name. In
any case, dd will miss again around Thanksgiving due to something important
to us. That will put me over the five, even if dd stays healthy until then.
If they're not REALLY going to fine me (b/c we do care about her education,)
then who do I talk with beforehand so I don't have to have fines hanging
over my head?
As for keeping her at home 1 day a week for "home schooling," IMO that's a
big mistake, and they could definitely come after you for truancy for
If you want to home school, then do it, but don't do it half way. If she
misses 20% of the school days, then she'll miss 20% of the material that
teacher expects her to learn--or you will unreasonably expect her teacher
spend additional time every week helping your daughter get caught up on
material she missed. If you don't want to do full-on home schooling, then
do it on Saturdays instead of on a regular school day.
I think you're right about the problem with truancy and part-time
home-schooling. I'm not sure how we avoid that. As an aside, I'm not
worried about dd missing what is taught--she knows it. Nor do I expect her
teacher to spend additional time to get dd caught up--dd is ahead. 2nd
grade curriculum seems pretty limited if you're already a good reader and
good with numbers. Our idea was to give dd a day of more challenging
materials. It is hard to fit them into the weekends and evenings (piano,
scouts, time with dad and siblings, etc.) dd reads constantly, but I'd
hoped to use the day for more hands on learning--science projects, trips to
museum, etc. She's expressed interest in this (as opposed to full-time
homeschooling, which she's rejected,) but maybe this won't be allowed.