The Norman Transcript

November 2, 2012

Sick days counting against daughter’s credit

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Q: My daughter has been sick more than usual this year. Even though I call in to let the school know she will be absent, it still counts against her. I’ve been told that even though she might be passing, she could still fail or not get credit because of the absences.

We can’t afford to go to the doctor each time for minor illnesses just to bring a note to the school. I know we can’t be the only ones in this situation, so what do you suggest to others?

— Samantha, Oklahoma City

Dear Samantha,

This is a problem that we frequently deal with. As parents, we understand minor illnesses that do not require doctor’s care. However, school board policy dictates how much time students need to spend in class in order to get the credit for it. When looking at this from an employer’s point of view, the amount of time students are allowed to miss is very liberal compared to how much we could miss in the work world.

Some things to try: Make sure your kids are eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, washing their hands frequently, covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing, not drinking or eating after others, wearing appropriate clothing for the current weather and are drinking plenty of water. You might even throw in some vitamins every now and then as you so choose.

There is a lot of missed instruction when kids are absent from school, and it’s very hard for them to learn without hearing the material — and then they get frustrated. Although we don’t want kids to come to school and spread germs, we also know from our own experiences with our children that they are good fakers at times.

We remember from being in the classroom that minor aches and pains are more easily forgotten once kids get to school and get their minds on something else.

Q: My son insists on listening to music while doing his homework. We have had words over this several different times. We decided to leave this up to you. Is this acceptable or should he turn it off?

— Jeff, Norman

Dear Jeff,

Depending on what learning style your son is most successful with, many auditory learners do best with background noise to keep them focused and on task. Where it would drive a kinesthetic learner absolutely crazy, auditory learners are not bothered by it.

Some ways to tell if your son is an auditory learner are: Do his lips move when he is reading? Does he know the words to songs after only hearing them once or twice? Does he have excellent recall on past conversations? You didn’t mention his grades. Does listening to music result in bad grades? You should Google learning styles. There’s great information on the internet about how to help children with the various learning styles succeed.

Sally and Jeannie are certified school counselors with 49 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children, Sally three. The responses presented don’t necessarily represent the views of any certain school district. Please send questions to

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