I was chatting to another parent the other day, who casually mentioned that her child was off school sick. I expressed concern (as you do) and was totally taken aback with the reply:
Oh no, he's not actually sick, he's just a bit tired and I thought it would be better if he had a day at home.
I can understand the concept, very tired children do need a bit of a break every now and then, but I would never think of keeping my children away from school just because they were a bit tired. The only times my kids are off school is when they are properly sick - so sick that when they lie on the sofa watching DVDs (their idea of heaven) they actually go to sleep.
I had a little moment of worry that I'm being a bit mean to my boys. Maybe they would benefit from the odd duvet day at home with Mummy.
Unluckily for my boys I thought about it a bit more. There is no reason for them to be at home, they aren't sick, there aren't any issues that they are dealing with, they are both happy at school, there is nothing that might suggest the odd day off would benefit them.
Furthermore, I believe that it is important for the class that all the children should be at school as much as they can be. Absences mean children miss lessons and learning and can start to fall behind. Group work is more difficult when one child is absent and regularly absent children somehow devalue the importance of school and education.
Then there is also the pattern that is being set for adult life. I'm a strong believer in Just Getting On With It. It is far easier to Just Get On With It when there is no temptation of staying at home on a day you don't fancy going to work. Once you've had that duvet day once it is really hard to ignore the temptation of doing it again.
I am interested to know though, am I a bit on the extreme end of things? At what point do people say 'little Johnny is too sick to come to school today?'