Grandma Visiting and Skipping School

Updated on August 24, 2011
C.M. asks from Harpers Ferry, WV
25 answers

Hi! So, my mom is planning a visit in October for 4 days. It's a miracle she is even coming because she has a terribe HORRIBLE fear of flying. It has taken me a long time to talk her into to coming out here. She is already having anxiety about it but she really misses my kids and wants to see them and we can not afford to fly out to see her. She is in Arizona and we are in VA (otherwise she would just drive if we were closer). So, my son who is in preschool, I will just call and say that grandma is visiting and he won't be there. No big deal. My daughter is going into 1st grade. I want her to have as much time as possibly with my mom since she will only be here for a short time and we want to show her around and do some fun stuff. I do not want to lie and call her in sick when she really isn't. Will the school let her stay home if I explain our situation and maybe even get her work and take it home? This is really a huge deal for my mom to come because of her major fear and we are super excited for it! Do you think it would be ok if I just told the school "sorry, grandma is here and she will miss a few days to see her", or should I just call her in sick (even though I hate to lie)?
School hasn't even started here yet, so I can't let the teacher know for another couple weeks.

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So What Happened?

Ok I feel much better now. I will just tell them the truth and talk to her teacher as soon as I can. She is coming on a Saturday night and leaving on a Wed. night so she will be missing 3 days. Also she already bought her tickets so she can't change it to November for Thanksgiving break. She would have come before, but she has to drive my sister back to CA to go to college down there, then my dad is going out of town and they have a farm so one of them has to be there to take care of all their pets. Also the weather is the best in October (so I've heard at least, I've only been here for 8 months). So, thank you for all the advice!

Featured Answers



answers from San Francisco on

Yes, let her skip school. It's a special occasion, and it's only first grade. Ask the teacher if she needs to take some work home.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

Well, just do what you would if YOU were the ones going on vacation. You let the teacher know that Sally won't be in school on XYZ, can we have any work she'll miss and need to make up?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lafayette on

I would take her out, but also have one day when gma can go to school with her. gma can read to the kids, have lunch with dd, etc.

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answers from Austin on

If you know the dates, check with the teacher and make sure testing for placements or whatever are not going on. These are things that would cause the school to have to make arrangements for your daughter to make up.. That means pulling her out of class and a staff member give it to her alone.

I am going to guess they are going to say it is fine, but it will be listed as unexcused so make sure to keep up with how many days she misses for the entire school year.

Have a great visit with your mom.. Make a big deal over how honored you all are that she was willing to fly even with her fears.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Preschool and first grade? I would take them out in a heartbeat. You don't have to lie. She's your kid and you can do whatever you want with her! Just tell the school, and teacher, a couple weeks in advance you will be missing the days for a family event. (Our school has a policy where you have to submit your absence in writing two weeks in advance for things like this.)

Your daughter can get her work for first grade ahead of time if you give them enough notice. She can probably complete her four-day's work in an afternoon with you. And the pre-school is basically just play right? Take them out! Grandma's visit is more important.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Show up in person and tell them the facts. They will find out anyway. Grandma visiting and it is unusual and rare; get paperwork or ask to help your daughter work ahead. It is first grade, but they do so much in school even then. Maybe have Daughter not miss all 4 days but maybe only 2, every other day. Maybe she can do a special report on what your visitor enjoyed doing during her visit. Did you see special landmarks, museums, exhibits, zoo, or other tourist activities? If you lie about illness, it comes back to bite you, most lies do, so tell the truth and make it very special for your mom and your children.-Enjoy

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I would think you could just say you're taking her out for a few days and you need her make up work, just like you would if you were taking a vacation. I remember having to do that when I was in svhool, we never took vacas when we were on school break and we just had to do our make up work. Also since it's not an unexscused absence it shouldn't be too negative, and it's not for a long period of time. You should be fine. I would think you could get away with minimal expliantion. It's not really their business, especially since it's not illness related. Have fun with Gma! We just moved away from family (two weeks ago) and both gmas are already asking when they can come visit!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Just send a note stating she will be visiting with Grandma on these dates and you understand the absences will not be excused. They won't come to your home and drag her to school :) Check the district policy on unexcused absences. My kids are allowed 10 unexcused absences/tardies in a 6 month period before the school takes legal action. Also, our school doesn't give out work ahead of time, but the make-up work is definitely waiting for them when they return! Enjoy the visit!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Providence on

It's close to the beginning of the school year, and she is in 1st grade. I would talk to the teacher, and say that she will be missing these days as she will be visiting her grandma. Make it short and sweet. They don't need a long explanation. I would ask the teacher that if she would need any worksheets or homework, that you would make sure it was completed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Your mom is coming for four school days to visit? or is she coming for a long weekend where it would affect just Friday and Monday?

Either way, I personally would not have her miss those days. I would maybe take her and pick her up each day to maximize her out of school hours, maybe have even get an early dimissal one day, and/or let grandma go have lunch with her. Your mom knows your daughter is in school and if she planned her visit for when school is in session, she has to realize your daughter will be in school. Let them do someone, just the two of them after school at least one of those days.

If it was must the Friday/Monday scenario, I would have her get out early on Friday and then have Grandma go for lunch on Monday (or vice-versa).

Other than my personal thought is the fact that if you let her miss school this early in the year, you don't have any idea how much time she may HAVE to miss later (sickness, death in the family, family emergency, etc). Some schools are super strict w/ attendance policies.

**updated after your SWH....I would have your daughter go to school Monday and have Grandma join her for lunch. Then Tuesday, I would let your daughter leave early from school and do something special w/ Grandma afterwards, and Wednesday I would send her on schedule as normal. Your preschooler, I would keep him home on Monday and Tuesday and send him on Wednesday to give you some time w/ Mom before she leaves.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Yes, the school will let you take her out. You don't have to lie. Ask for work to do at home.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlottesville on

I would tell the school the truth and pull her out for those few days. And now is the time to do it while your kids are young. Once they start getting older (i.e. middle and high school), it is much harder to take them out because so much is covered each day and much more is expected of them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Just be honest. You'll be setting a good example for your daughter and saving yourself a lot of hassle. Tell the school what's going on and they can decide what to do with regard to how the absences are labeled and work with the teacher about the make-up work.

We had family come into town (for the first time in a long time) a few years ago during a school week. I took my daughter out of school one day so we could have a big family picnic. I told her teacher and she was very supportive. My daughter didn't get perfect attendance (only faithful attendance) - but we have some great pictures and amazing memories of that day. =)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Say the truth, but act confident. Just say exactly what you wrote in quotes. You don't need to explain yourself or justify your choices to anybody, not even the school. "Will the school let her stay home"??? Um, last I checked YOU are the parent and you decided what you let your child do, not the school. You know what's best for your child, and I would have to agree that spending quality time with a dear relative you rarely see is a better use of her time for that short period of time. We always got to stay home from school when my cousins were in town. I have many fond memories of those times, and I graduated with all A's and as class Salutatorian. If your mom's trip is overlapping with the weekend, maybe only have your daughter miss a few days of school and not the whole time. But if she wants to be with Grandma the whole time and you feel comfortable with it, let her. My son rarely misses school, and I also make sure to make up the work, but relationships are the most important thing in life to me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Honesty is always the best policy. Be honest & open & upfront with the details....& the odds are the teacher will send work home beforehand with your daughter. The teacher may even be open to a visit from Gma if there's a day when your daughter could actually go to school.....

Our school district is very strict when it comes to attendance policies. Even calling her in sick would not have to have a drs written note for it to be excused....or it counts against her attendance record - requiring makeup time or nonadvancement. Be very careful how you use her allowed time off. One round of illness + those 4 days could really hurt her! AND with our district, if you go over the allowed ratio - the child has to attend afterschool detention to make up that time. Check the handbook before you make your choices!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Go to the school and talk with her teacher. The teachers are probably in their classrooms getting ready. I'm sure the teacher will spare a few minutes of her time to speak with you.
Explain the situation. Ask for the work well ahead of time.
If your mother is leaving on Wednesday, I'd send your daughter to school that day -- ditto with your pre-schooler. That will give you and your mom time to spend together just the two of you. You need your time, too.


answers from Norfolk on

In our district vacations can be pre approved by the principal and school work can be sent home for the days she won't be at school.
Most schools require a note from a doctor if child is out sick for 3 or more days, so I wouldn't bother to lie about it.



answers from Roanoke on

I would pull her out in a heartbeat. Quality time with Grandma is a must, especially when it is so rare, and this is obviously very important to you and your mother. Let your instinct guide you on this one. The school isn't going to come after you for your daughter missing three days of 1st grade.

Our district tells us not to schedule vacations around *potential* make up days for weather-related cancellations. I don't think so. I'm pulling my Kindergartner out for a week at Disney in November. I talked to some other parents who had kids in KG at that school last year and they said it was no big deal - one student was out 2 weeks for a trip to Hawaii.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Our school, even in K is pretty strict about absences. Now...if you can somehow take 1 or 2 days and pass it off as an "educational absence" you might be OK.



answers from Chicago on

Let her stay home. So long as she is not a child that misses a lot of school, the school does not take any action. So long as her attendence is good and she is not struggling no one will say a thing. She is in first grade....don't worry about it. Don't lie. Tell her teacher ahead of time and get any work that she might miss and work on it while she is off. I have seen many families take full week vacations during the school year to go to Disney and such. I have a 3rd grader and Kindergartener and I am a preschool teacher we are all taking a full week off in February to go to Hawaii with their grandparents (inlaws).... I can tell you that I am not feeling one bit guilty about that!!! :) Let her enjoy her grandma.... school will always be there, grandma may not.



answers from Dallas on

It really depends on the district and school policies about missing school. Find out what the policy is and talk to the teacher and make your decision. In first grade it is probably not an issue, but as the child gets into higher grades, they are docked with zeros for unexcused absences which can drop their grade point average quickly. I wouldn't lie about the visit from Grandma--you child will be so excited she will be talking about it at school. Schools are under tremendous pressure to improve student attendance--the state funding depends on the number of students in the school at a certain approved time. When kids miss class, the district gets less funding from the state.



answers from Houston on

While I understand what your circumstances are I would not take my 1st grader out of school. You can minimize things by having grandma have lunch with her one day. School is school and she needs to understand that she has to go regardless.



answers from Tulsa on

our public school policy is officially no, but i found out the principal excused trips to Disney. I would ask.



answers from Redding on

When school starts, I would just explain to the teacher that your mother is coming out to visit and your daughter will miss 4 days of school. She is coming a long way, it will be a brief visit, it's a really special thing, and you don't know how long it may be before you get to see your mother again.
Just be up front with the teacher.
You can ask her if she wants to give your daughter any homework (which she likely won't).
It won't be an "excused" absense, but that's okay. I think the teacher will be very understanding.

I wouldn't wait. Just be up front as soon as possible so it's a scheduled thing.
Have a wonderful time with your mom!



answers from Oklahoma City on

You are the parent and have the right to keep your child home if you choose to do so. It may be an unexcused absence so make sure she goes to school as much as she is able to, no sick days!!! LOL.

What about Fall Break, grandma could make her reservations for that week and make life easier for all the family too.

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