What a difference!

When I was growing up, I cherished every opportunity not to go to school.  If I had a cold, I would play up the symptoms to get a day off. Snow days were manna from heaven. And so it was with my own children in public school. As parents with our own work schedules, we would meet each school morning health complaint with skepticism. "Are you really sure you're sick? Mom or dad will have to miss work if you have to stay home."

I've found it hard to shake off this skepticism. A couple months ago my oldest had a health complaint one morning and didn't want to go to school. I started grilling her about the truthfulness of her alleged symptoms. Her younger sister came to her aid. She simply explained, "Dad, remember, she really likes school now." Which is true, there is no longer much to be gained in staying home.

In April we went to Ireland, and the kids missed a few days of school. We had a long travel day home: rental car to Shannon Airport, Aer Lingus from Shannon to Logan, Logan Express Bus to Framingham and Taxi to our house. When the kids realized, given the time change, that SVS was open, they asked if we could take them to school for part of the day! Mom and Dad were too tired, but it showed again how much they actually like going to school.

Just this week, the kids woke up feeling out of sorts. Stomach ache and allergies I think. So they chose to stay home. I work from home most days now, so that sort of thing is less stressful. Then suddenly around 11:30 (maybe after the antihistamines had kicked in) the youngest said she felt better and would like to go to school, could I take her? OK sure - off we go to SVS.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought of asking to go to school midday after getting "permission" to stay home for the day. What a difference loving your school can make! Want to see the difference for yourself? Come meet parents, students, and staff at at our next Open House.

The views expressed on this page are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Sudbury Valley School.