Jump to content

Menu

Skipping co-op due to birthday -- wwyd?


Recommended Posts

I'm just full of the questions today, it seems. :)

 

My daughters and I attend a HS co-op once a week, and next week's co-op day happens to fall on my daughter's birthday (or maybe it's the other way around, hehe). My daughter feels strongly that she should not have to attend co-op that day because she basically wants to sit around and have a 'do nothing' day. The problem is that I do have a class that I instruct and I've explained to her that it is my responsibility to the children in that class and their parents that I am there, at least for my class. Even with the explanation, she still wants to stay home.

 

I'm conflicted because I feel that HSing affords us this type of flexibility to take these "do nothing" days at special times. However, we have taken quite a few of these days since September due to vacation, field trips and my own personal planning days for other activities where I volunteer.

 

I've offered her a really nice incentive for going, to treat the kids at co-op with pizza and cupcakes. She still says no. Part of me says to put my foot down and tell her she's going, but the other part of me says that this might be one of those times that I should just let her relax and enjoy her birthday at home.

 

Thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you didn't have an obligation to teach, I'd say, sure, stay home and celebrate her day. But since you have that commitment, I would not skip coop. Instead, I would let her have another day to do nothing if that's what she wants. Maybe the day before or after her birthday?

 

Lisa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I neglected to mention that I can possibly get coverage for the class I teach if we end up staying home.

 

It also ends up that we have an all day field trip on the day after her birthday. We obviously will not be getting any school work done that day, and it factors in to the decision to make her attend co-op.

 

There is also the option of her staying home with my MIL, but I feel uncomfortable with her just playing all day while her sisters have to attend co-op because it doesn't seem fair. Her sisters' birthdays fall around Christmas, so they will always be home for their birthdays. (I think my oldest daughter has put that together in her head and is trying to work that into her argument for staying home.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't skip even if I wasn't teaching. We have an academic co-op and missing is really a pain as far as work missed/ catching up, etc. That might not be an issue for you, though. Sometimes birthdays are at inconvenient times and we just have to celebrate other ways and "roll with it".

 

If you were teaching a class for my children I would be pretty upset if you missed because of your daughter's birthday.

 

I realize that I don't place the same priority on birthdays that many others do so it is possible I just don't get it.

 

When I was in college and when I worked it would always make me crazy having to work around peoples' birthdays for projects/ schedules, etc. Birthdays are fun and can be special but lots of times you have to do things on your birthday and celebrate on another day.

 

I'm mean, though.;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1.) Just because she asks for something or expects something to be a certain way, that doesn't mean you have to do it. Don't set that expectation up, because it will be exhausting to keep up with as she gets older. :001_smile:

 

2.) This will be a great lesson for her about responsibility to others. Your commitment to others trumps her desire to "do nothing." That is a great life lesson: We should think of others and their needs as well as our own.

 

3.) If I had to fill in for another co-op teacher because she stayed home for her dd's birthday, I would not be happy about it. Though I would pretend I didn't mind. :D

 

4.) It would be helpful, with more dc coming up, to set a certain procedure for birthdays: we go out to dinner, we go somewhere special one day that week, etc. In our family, we have a family party on the Sunday before the birthday and a cake and nice dinner on the actual day (or the night before if we have other obligations.) Another friend takes the whole family to birthday child's favorite restaurant on the Friday night following their birthday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you didn't have an obligation to teach, I'd say, sure, stay home and celebrate her day. But since you have that commitment, I would not skip coop. Instead, I would let her have another day to do nothing if that's what she wants. Maybe the day before or after her birthday?

 

Lisa

 

:iagree: Responsibility and flexibility are a part of growing up. If she is in high school, IMO, it is time to put on her big girl pants on this one and celebrate the day before or the day after. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1.) Just because she asks for something or expects something to be a certain way, that doesn't mean you have to do it. Don't set that expectation up, because it will be exhausting to keep up with as she gets older. :001_smile:

 

2.) This will be a great lesson for her about responsibility to others. Your commitment to others trumps her desire to "do nothing." That is a great life lesson: We should think of others and their needs as well as our own.

 

 

 

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm mean, though.;)

 

You're not mean. :D I used to be a bit more 'meh' about birthdays before meeting my husband because my family never put much stock into them after a certain age. We were lucky to have cake every year!

 

Over the years, my husband has influenced me into taking birthdays more seriously, probably because of losing his father suddenly at a young age and him not getting to experience those special days with his most favorite person. With our children, we generally like to have a little extra fun on birthdays just because, and also for the very morbid idea that you just never know what might happen. (We NEVER express this to the kids, just an unspoken thing between us. Both of my parents are deceased, so I kind of get where he is coming from.)

 

Strange, I know. It's kind of hard to explain.

 

And honestly, I wouldn't think a thing of it if another instructor "took off" for his/her child's birthday as long as there was coverage/substituted activities for the class. Our co-op is enrichment, not academic, though, so maybe that makes a difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

U'mm life does not stop just because it is your b'day. Do the co'op - she can take cupcakes or cookies to share and the kids can sing Happy Birthday to her. You have a class to teach there. Life Does Not Stop For Birthdays.

 

Wow, I'm getting the impression that I'm such a lax parent because I'm even entertaining the idea of my child staying home from 1 day of co-op.

 

I didn't say that life stopped, nor do I expect it to stop. I just asked for advice, not underhanded judgment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One last post, because I'm starting to get annoyed at some of the posts here suggesting that I think that the world revolves around my child.

 

I lead another activity where I have a good amount of parental assistance. On one of our recent meeting days, I had one of the moms tell me that she and her daughter would not be able to attend because they were going to celebrate her birthday. This mom usually helps me quite a bit and is an official member of our organization. Could I have used her help that day? Definitely, because it was an important meeting to prepare the children for their roles in a ceremony. I didn't get annoyed or anything because she chose to skip that day and told me her honest reasons for skipping it, I just went with the flow and everything worked out. Now I'm thinking that I should have been mad that this child did not attend the meeting and her mom wasn't there to do her usual helping job. :confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're not mean. :D I used to be a bit more 'meh' about birthdays before meeting my husband because my family never put much stock into them after a certain age. We were lucky to have cake every year!

 

Over the years, my husband has influenced me into taking birthdays more seriously, probably because of losing his father suddenly at a young age and him not getting to experience those special days with his most favorite person. With our children, we generally like to have a little extra fun on birthdays just because, and also for the very morbid idea that you just never know what might happen. (We NEVER express this to the kids, just an unspoken thing between us. Both of my parents are deceased, so I kind of get where he is coming from.)

 

Strange, I know. It's kind of hard to explain.

 

And honestly, I wouldn't think a thing of it if another instructor "took off" for his/her child's birthday as long as there was coverage/substituted activities for the class. Our co-op is enrichment, not academic, though, so maybe that makes a difference.

 

My thinking is definitely colored by the fact that our co-op is fairly expensive and teachers are well paid. That and everyone has a ton of kids...no one would be there if families took off for birthdays!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One last post, because I'm starting to get annoyed at some of the posts here suggesting that I think that the world revolves around my child.

 

Please don't take it personal. Lots of members here have older kids too and see things from that perspective too.

 

I think if you want to take a day off, then do it. You don't need permission.

 

You asked for opinions and I would agree with this one:

This will be a great lesson for her about responsibility to others. Your commitment to others trumps her desire to "do nothing." That is a great life lesson: We should think of others and their needs as well as our own.

 

BUT, it's your child and your decision. :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Snickerdoodle, thanks for your perspective. I appreciate the kind words. BTW, your user name was my oldest daughter's nickname when she was a baby.

 

Ultimately, we'll make our own decision, but I just wanted to get some non-judgmental feedback from a source that isn't my husband or MIL.

 

Teachermom, in that circumstance, yes, she would be going to co-op with no questions asked. Our co-op is not terribly expensive and I'm actually a family that is "larger", plus like I mentioned, it is enrichment, not academic in nature.

Edited by fastforward
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Birthdays are a big deal around here, but we'd still attend co-op. Skipping a commitment for a birthday isn't something that we would do. We'd have a do nothing day as soon as possible, and I would take in treats for her class. Even if you can get someone to cover your class, and even if it's an enrichment co-op, it still impacts people if you aren't there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hang in there OP, your thread is young. Someone will come along soon and tell you that you should absolutely let your little bug have her special "do nothing" birthday.

 

When you ask for opinions around here you better be ready for them!

 

As an aside, I am beginning to see more value in the big birthday celebrations. We do celebrate, sometimes even with a big party, just not to the extent I see others do. I didn't grow up with them and honestly I am exhausted by feeling obligated to birthdays so I don't totally get it. But, as I've gotten older and life has worn at me I am beginning to see the value in all the celebrations. It is a chance to connect and a chance to feel special and renew relationships. I get that now. So I don't think you are totally off base by wanting to give an 8 yo her birthday wish.

 

I'd still go to co-op :D but that's just my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1.) Just because she asks for something or expects something to be a certain way, that doesn't mean you have to do it. Don't set that expectation up, because it will be exhausting to keep up with as she gets older. :001_smile:

 

2.) This will be a great lesson for her about responsibility to others. Your commitment to others trumps her desire to "do nothing." That is a great life lesson: We should think of others and their needs as well as our own.

 

3.) If I had to fill in for another co-op teacher because she stayed home for her dd's birthday, I would not be happy about it. Though I would pretend I didn't mind. :D

 

4.) It would be helpful, with more dc coming up, to set a certain procedure for birthdays: we go out to dinner, we go somewhere special one day that week, etc. In our family, we have a family party on the Sunday before the birthday and a cake and nice dinner on the actual day (or the night before if we have other obligations.) Another friend takes the whole family to birthday child's favorite restaurant on the Friday night following their birthday.

 

I have always seen this as falling under the heading: What Will Best Prepare This Young Person for the Rest of Their Life? As a grown-up she will still be expected to meet her obligations, birthday or not, so it's best to train her to do that now too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my daughter's birthday was last saturday (she just turned 9:D). our co-op was on friday, and i brought cupcakes for all of the kids. they sang happy birthday to her, and she loved it! if she had felt really strongly about not going (which she didn't), i would have tried to cover my class and we would have missed that day. my daughter is pretty level headed and rarely request such things for herself. if her birthday request would have been to blow off our normal routine, i would have obliged her if possible. she's such a great kid, and it would have been fun to do that with her, as long as my responsibilities were covered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4.) It would be helpful, with more dc coming up, to set a certain procedure for birthdays: we go out to dinner, we go somewhere special one day that week, etc. In our family, we have a family party on the Sunday before the birthday and a cake and nice dinner on the actual day (or the night before if we have other obligations.) Another friend takes the whole family to birthday child's favorite restaurant on the Friday night following their birthday.

 

:iagree:

 

We don't do any schoolwork at our house on birthdays (any birthdays - mine is tomorrow, so the kids are excited!), BUT we go to most of our "outside" activities (i.e., dd has band tomorrow afternoon & a webinar before that). We did skip a longer activity on ds's birthday last year, but I had no commitment with it.

Edited by patchfire
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is best to teach children that events do happen on their birthdays. We have gone to ERs on birthdays, we have had moves on birthdays, we have had co-ops or recitals on birthdays, etc, etc. Kids in school don't skip school for birthdays and while we can schedule school as we like, I wouldn't skip on an obligation we had to accommodate a do-nothing day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I already posted, but I did want to say we make a big deal of birthdays around here. I actually schedule our breaks around my kids birthdays (they are about 8 weeks apart) and we take an entire week off for each child's birthday. However, my son still had to go to his writing class that I paid for and both kids still participated on the swim team and ballet those weeks.

 

I totally understand wanting to celebrate the day, I just wouldn't skip something I would see as a big commitment. At the coop I taught at when my son was in first grade, I could not have just blown off teaching without majorly imposing on the other teacher, so that's where I was coming from. If you have someone who is very happy to substitute for you and can easily fill your position, then maybe it's not the conflict it would have been for me.

 

Lisa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would go. As a leader of a large co-op, I know that people can get replacements. Does that mean that someone else wants to spend their off time covering your class, maybe, maybe not. What happens down the road if someone is sick? Then you have to find someone to fill in for you again. Co-ops are a big commitment, but they only run because everyone works together.

 

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hang in there OP, your thread is young. Someone will come along soon and tell you that you should absolutely let your little bug have her special "do nothing" birthday.

 

Allow me! :)

 

Birthdays are a big deal and it's fun to get to choose how you spend them. I would absolutely go ahead and try to get coverage for that class, and if I got the coverage, great! My kid would be thoroughly enjoying her birthday.

 

With enough notice, and if I couldn't get coverage, I'd explain that it was my daughter's birthday and we had plans and I couldn't get there that day and so be it. If there was a way to have a make up day, great. If there was a way to have my class covered by someone else, great. But if all else failed, then sorry- I've got a life outside of co-op with my kids being my first priority (not someone else's kids) :D

 

With all that said, I would not cancel on short notice, I'd be planning this a few weeks (at least) in advance.

 

ETA: Just to throw this in though I've never belonged to any sort of academic or extremely structured "co-op" for what it's worth. My homeschool group mostly does field trips and educational tours and craft days and social get togethers and so on and so forth (which is exactly what I want and love about it). Every now and then we do "classes" but they're mostly for fun and there are no assignments and they're each isolated events, not like an ongoing thing, so maybe the tone is entirely different, but, regardless, I think even if I said "I'll teach a co op class for a year" there are absolutely going to be times I miss due to things that come up with my own family, and my kid's birthday would probably still be one of them.

Edited by NanceXToo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

in my co-op, we just switch...so it isn't a big deal at all (as in "hey can you cover me & i'll cover your classes the following friday?"). it's not extra work for anyone, it's just switching days. we all work together without issues and realize that life happens. birthdays are special & only once a year. i would never be put out if someone needed help to celebrate one.... and if i didn't want to cover a class, i'd simply say no. we only teach 2 of the 4 periods though, so switching is uber-easy in my co-op.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've been involved in co-op for 8 years. So we have had a lot of birthdays fall on co-op days. For us, that just made it more special. I would often buy a large sheet cake (or make something) and serve it up during breaks, etc. When the boys were young we did party hats and balloons. My boys always felt more special having a celebration at co-op with all their friends. Of course we always did something special at home as well. The added co-op celebration was a bonus. It also made co-op more fun that day for all the other kids.

 

Just an idea...

 

FWIW, whether you attend co-op depends on whether it is academic or not, IMO. Your kids are so young - would they really be missing out on anything if you didn't go? Would the teachers be OK with your daughter missing class? If there would be no problem, take the time off...do something special. Life gets in the way too much later on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 1 summer birthday and 1 school- year birthday. For that reason, we have across-the-board procedures. :)

 

We do a birthday breakfast with us and dinner with daddy. Any parties are weekend before or after (they are on even years, odd years are for family and, starting with 7--a friend stayed the night.)

 

We go to any activities I've paid for. And the week before a party is a little lighter if I need to do things.

 

I would probably go to co-op, since thats not a habit I would want to maintain year after year. I would probably let her take the day before off (even if that makes 3 non-academic days for the week) and, to make it the same for the ones who will NEVER be in school for their birthday-- institute a "you pick an activity and a meal" day.

 

But that's what I would do and don't see a big issue, unless she will expect it every year and you will eventually NOT want that to be the "birthday thing."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always seen this as falling under the heading: What Will Best Prepare This Young Person for the Rest of Their Life? As a grown-up she will still be expected to meet her obligations, birthday or not, so it's best to train her to do that now too.

 

That is exactly how we make these decisions at our house. I know there is also the "they're only young once, and it won't cause bad habits" camp. We're just not in it. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now I'm thinking that I should have been mad that this child did not attend the meeting and her mom wasn't there to do her usual helping job. :confused:

 

Nope. Nor should anyone be made at you if you decide to take this day off. If we all try to not inconvenience others AND we all are gracious when someone does inconvenience us, it's a much nicer world. :001_smile: I don't agree with the other mom, or the message she is sending her child, but I would never advocate being mad at her. Everyone has their own way of making these decisions. You asked for opinions, and we told you how we would make this decision, but it doesn't mean that we would be mad at someone who made a different choice. It wouldn't thrill me, but only because of the added work load, not because of the different choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Birthdays are a big deal around here. Because of that there is a bit of planning involved so we can have the day off.

 

I can't tell from your posts if your dd expects to have the day off or if you've given her the option and she has decided to take you up on it.

 

IMHO if she simply expects to have nothing on that day because it is her birthday she may need (said as gently as possible) a reality check. Commitments have to be met - especially the ones that cost money.

 

On the other hand if you have given her the option, you'll have to do what you need to do to fulfill that. Do you have family that can sit with the kids while you fulfill your commitment? Can dh take the morning (or afternoon) off so you can go?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whatever!

Let me be one to say, She's only 8, give her the day off and find some one to cover your class.

 

By the time I was 5, my mom ignored by birthdays, telling me that I was too old for them. I know this isn't the case, but still. She's only 8. It's her birthday wish, and yes she should have what she wants for her birthday, especially because it's something you can give her. :D

 

As an adult, I ALWAYS used a sick or vacation day for my birthday. My children's birthdays are very important. Not a big celebration, but incredibly important. I mean, this is the day they were born.

This is another year to celebrate!

Life is too, too, too short to not celebrate your birthday. Childhood is even shorter.

 

Take the entire day off!

Do nothing but enjoy the miracle of birth you had 8 years ago and savor the past 8 years of blessings she has become for you! And take lots of pictures ;)

 

So what if it doesn't fit into the grown-up world of responsibility? It's in your power to give her the day, so give it to her. Let her be a grown-up in 10 years...it will get here soon enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only you can make the choice that's right for your family. Here are some things I'd consider if I were in your shoes.

 

Around here, having a birthday to celebrate at co-op is an exciting thing. We bring cake, etc., and sing to the birthday child. I think I would probe a bit more about why your dd doesn't want to spend her birthday with her co-op friends - there's nothing wrong with feeling that way, but it might be a good opening to discuss the co-op in general and what your child likes/doesn't like about it.

 

I think what you decide depends on the nature of your co-op. What will be the effect of your child's absence? Will there be enough other kids there to participate in the activities? Is there a class where someone would have bought supplies assuming your child would be there? Will there be lesson plans that are harder to implement if there is one less child? Are there children there who would be looking forward to celebrating your dd's birthday with her?

 

We usually consider going to co-op to be a commitment, regardless of how much we do or don't pay for it. Unless it's strictly a play group, and sometimes even if it is, we know that co-ops only work if others take them seriously and show up, on time, on a regular basis. We know how disappointing it can be for the other kids if they make the effort to come and their friends don't show up. We know how frustrating it can be for teachers to plan a lesson or activity, and buy the supplies, only to have fewer kids than they had planned for. Obviously, if someone is sick, or a major event conflicts, then we skip, but we try to minimize this and notify people way ahead of time as much as possible. We also know that being invited to join a co-op is a privilege, not a right, and if we flake out on a regular basis (not saying that one birthday would count, but if this becomes a habit for one reason or another, however justified each time), then we may be left out of co-op opportunities in the future.

 

I also am keenly aware of setting precedents for birthdays. We try to keep birthdays fun, but low-key enough that we can meet expectations each year. It might work this year, but in the future when your youngers have birthdays, you might not be willing to let your olders miss co-op, especially as they get older and classes become more formal.

 

Mostly, though, I would be concerned that if your dd spent the day at home, it wouldn't feel "special" enough, and that at the end of the day she'd feel somewhat deflated, if you know what I mean. I know that not every one is a social butterfly, but having people make a fuss of you is nice, and even though a day curled up on the couch with a book is wonderful, it may not feel quite "birthday" enough. Again, I'd gently probe her feelings about this - what are her expectations, what is she hoping for, etc.

 

If it were me, assuming that your gentle questions don't reveal any contraindications, I think I'd tell dd that you had to go, in part because you teach, but that you'd do pizza and cupcakes at co-op, and perhaps have a special dinner at home. It might help to explain (if it's the case) that daddy can't stay home on his birthday (and give other examples), but that her friends will be happy that they can celebrate with her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Allow me! :)

 

Birthdays are a big deal and it's fun to get to choose how you spend them. I would absolutely go ahead and try to get coverage for that class, and if I got the coverage, great! My kid would be thoroughly enjoying her birthday.

 

With enough notice, and if I couldn't get coverage, I'd explain that it was my daughter's birthday and we had plans and I couldn't get there that day and so be it. If there was a way to have a make up day, great. If there was a way to have my class covered by someone else, great. But if all else failed, then sorry- I've got a life outside of co-op with my kids being my first priority (not someone else's kids) :D

 

With all that said, I would not cancel on short notice, I'd be planning this a few weeks (at least) in advance.

 

 

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi!

 

I would make an effort to take the day off. I have a flex work schedule and my dh stays at home, so for the past 6 b-days we have been successful in making the day special. He anticipates each birthday (he even counts down), and we like to make it a big deal.

 

However his 7th b-day was also my brother's wedding. We just worked around it. A lot of my extended relatives were in town for the weekend, so we went out to a restaurant for a mini-reunion/birthday bash (his cousin also has the same b-day).

 

If you can find someone else to adequately cover your shift...I'd say go for it!

 

I also totally agree with the other poster about teaching them responsibility. As my ds gets older, we may not celebrate exactly on his b-days but have arrangements in advance to celebrate on another day.

 

I work with a lot of young people. Most of them will ask for requests off for their exact birthday. The older ones actually plan ahead though. For example, if their birthday falls on a Monday, they will ask for the weekend off instead so that they can celebrate and recover.

 

Even though my ds loves to feel special on his birthdays, I know that he will learn that this will not be the norm in the future.....he is well aware that I work during my own birthdays. My b-days never seem to fall into the convenient days!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cannot recall a single day in my life when I did not go to school or work simply because it was my birthday. Attending both were always expected.

 

We do school at our house on the kids' birthdays. (Though we do open presents at lunch. :D)

 

Were I the OP, I'd take myself and the birthday girl to co-op. Have her bring cupcakes for the class, or something, to make it special. If she wants a "do nothing day," suggest she has it on Saturday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is one I feel pretty strongly about as the director of a hs group. Sometime during the spring when we're taking in membership forms for the fall, I ask people not to schedule vacations, family days, dr. appts, etc. on group days. (We're a small group and it takes all hands to make things work.) I give out the dates for meetings WAY in advance--like March of the previous year--so there's plenty of time to work around these dates. I know that emergencies--true emergencies--come up. But please don't PLAN something for that time.

 

You have made a committment to this group to teach. If your child had to go to the ER, then it would be reasonable to miss. It is not reasonable to accommodate a whim to do nothing on a birthday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a friend who did this a couple weeks ago--took the day off so her son could celebrate his b-day at home. This is someone whose approach to family I deeply respect--she is a great mom and is committed to enjoying the moments of life with her kids.

 

I would be inclined to say, "Nope, we're going to co-op. How 'bout a day off on a different day of the week?" We stay on schedule with activities or commitments on our b-days, though I'll do whatever I can to make them special. We always do a family celebration at home and some sort of friends celebration the weekend before or after. I gave DD10 the day off of school, too--I think she liked that better than some of her presents! On the other hand, one year we moved on DS's b-day and none of us even remembered until 7:00 that night. He didn't mind though, because we'd already done the family party and he had his friend party to look forwrd to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read through all the responses, so forgive me if I'm repeating what someone else has already said.

 

Our co-op is a 'drop and run' co-op. If you want to help out, GREAT! If you don't, that's fine too. But, we pay a hefty price for it. The term is 12 weeks, and most classes cost at least $100. That being said, if my daughter wanted to skip a class, well, if she can pay for it, then she can skip it. AND if she misses something she needs to catch up on next week, well, that's her problem. (Our co-op has alot of enrichment classes, but there's also higher level math and science, and a couple of Writing Classes). If she's old enough to stay home by herself, and can pay for the missed class, then have a blast. I mean, when working, if you take a day off for your birthday, you have to pay the piper, whether it be with a vacation day or missed pay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

taking off another day with or without extra special treats, just does not feel the same. I support the idea of letting her take her day, 8 years old is so little, still magical....a short talk about responsibility to make sure its understood. Done. Second responsibility is to the class you're teaching....if you can get a good sub, and your class is served well, that seems to be no big deal....

just my honest opinion.

 

Funny: my grandfather used to send flowers or a card to his three daughters on the birthdays of their children. He said that the moms did all the work, not the babies. He was quite a guy.

 

You'll make the right decision, no matter which way you go,

Happy Birthday, LBS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would take my child to co-op and bring along treats and maybe have the other children sing to her. Many children would enjoy the extra attention. BUT, you know your daughter best, and if this doesn't appeal to her, and a day at home does, then I think it's kind of you to consider her preferences. It's only one day, and she's only 7, so it's not as if she's missing an academically rigorous class. If you are inclined to allow your daughter to skip co-op for her birthday, then it sounds like you have a great alternative- letting her stay for a few hours with her grandma.

 

I think the question of whether you skip teaching for your daughter's birthday is another one entirely. Teaching at a co-op is a commitment, and other parents and children rely on you to be there. It's certainly acceptable to have a substitute cover for you for an illness or emergency or if you are out of town, but in my opinion this doesn't fall into any of those categories. I try not to take days off from teaching lightly, especially considering that any given week I could have a sick child and *need* to miss. I'd feel badly missing several weeks in a row knowing that one was completely optional.

 

To sum up, in my opinion you have a commitment to be at co-op, where a seven year old does not. I'd explain to your daughter that you are committed to teach that day, but you'd be happy to let her spend a few hours alone with grandma that day if it would make her day more special. Not to presume too much here, but my kids would be ecstatic to get grandma to themselves without the distraction of younger siblings. Then you can tell her you'll spend the rest of the day home with her and emphasize whatever fun traditions you normally would do on that day (in my house it is the child's choice of dinner, opening a gift when papa gets home from work, etc).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Birthdays are a pretty big deal around here. No, we don't have clowns and pony rides, but we do invite a lot of friends to play, have a homemade cake and let the kids make a lot of noise.

 

If it were me, I would do one of two things:

 

1. teach the co-op and let dd stay w/ grandma during co-op.

2. talk dd into going to the co-op and having a little party there.

 

Either way, I'd keep my commitment to teach the class.

 

My sons don't really like their co-op. For some reason, they haven't found a friend to "click" with at co-op. Making them go to something that they don't like a whole lot would be sad on their birthday. BUT, if they LOVED co-op, then I would strongly encourage them to go and have the party there. You'll have to assess your daughter's feeling about co-op.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the replies. I'm glad some of you came along to pat me on my head to make me feel better. :tongue_smilie:

 

Seriously though, I told my daughter that she will be going to co-op, but that we will do something special for her. She doesn't know it yet, but my DH will be there at lunchtime to surprise her, which will make her VERY happy.

 

To answer a few questions, we have a sort of routine in place already for birthdays where we have a "party" with DH, our children and their grandmother. We sing, have cake, maybe decorate the house a bit (if I can remember where I put the birthday banner) and have a meal that the birthday child requests. It gets tricky for my youngest because her birthday is on Christmas Eve and dinner is a set menu for that day, but then again, she's only 2 and hasn't requested special things yet. :D Our plan for my oldest DD was to have our usual "party" at home either the day before or the night of her birthday, regardless of the co-op decision.

 

As an aside, last year my daughter's birthday fell on a Sunday. Since it was important for her to attend ALL of her ECF/CCD classes (our Sunday School equivalent), I brought in cupcakes for her classmates. In that case, however, she was making an important sacrament and I would NOT allow her to miss class, but it was kind of a moot point since she didn't ask to miss it anyway!

 

My daughter came to me with this request to stay home from co-op, I did not present it to her. My initial response to her was that she was to attend co-op, however, she expressed her feelings so strongly that it made me take the issue to my DH to discuss it further.

 

When asked what she planned to do if she stayed at home, she requested to play all day. I told her that wouldn't be an option (she wants to play a very specific game, not just general play). She explained that she felt she should have a day off where she doesn't have to go from class to class. I'll admit, co-op is a LONG day for her and she usually does it without complaint. She enjoys her friends there and it is her main social outlet. She was just requesting one day off to relax and honestly, it seemed like a fair request to *consider*.

 

If she were to stay home, she would be home with her grandmother and perhaps her youngest sister (who I send home at lunchtime so that I can teach my afternoon class). However, I feel/felt uncomfortable with that arrangement because I would want to be with her during the day, even if it's at co-op. At least I could give her a quick hug in between classes or a quick Happy Birthday kiss right before she heads into yoga or something, kwim?

 

Lastly, I was in the process of discussing this situation openly with our co-op's director and the other parent who would likely fill in for me. I take my instructor role quite seriously and wouldn't just leave the kids high and dry.

 

Sorry for the novel. I just wanted to answer anyone's questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a sidenote for your Christmas baby-- a friend with a birthday on Christmas grew up celebrating her half-birthday. Even in college, her parents sent her a card and a gift in June. So, maybe that kiddo could do things like pick a meal then.

 

Just an idea. Hope your dd has a great birthday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it was a "fun" co-op we might miss, but if it was an academic one I was paying for, no way. Perhaps you might suggest to your daughter that next time it's your birthday you are not going to cook any dinner, or take her to her favourite dance class (etc) that falls on the same day. The point is that responsibilities remain, despite special days.

 

But we'd certainly do loads of fun things before and after co-op - we like birthday's!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I'm conflicted because I feel that HSing affords us this type of flexibility to take these "do nothing" days at special times. However, we have taken quite a few of these days since September due to vacation, field trips and my own personal planning days for other activities where I volunteer.

 

Thoughts?

 

this is where i say "don't miss." you have already missed "quite a few days". being involved in a co-op cuts into your flexibility. i think your plan is a good one. daddy coming to lunch will be fun!

enjoy the day. all mine are in double digits, but we still enjoy our birthday fun! :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well, ya'll are going to think i'm nutty, but here goes....

 

we hardly ever celebrate birthdays or holidays on the EXACT date they fall....We celebrate when it is easiest for me...

 

just b/c my oldest was born on dec 23 and my youngest was born on may 2, doesn't mean that is when we celebrate their birth. If they want to have a party, they get one in june when the pool is open and all the kids can be outside here in our backyard...

 

We travel on christmas day...we 'celebrate' christmas on the 24th. wake up and open presents all day and hang out. wake up on the 25th and get in the car.

 

my parents visit my brother for Easter. we do the easter celebration a week early so they can celebrate with us...more important to do these things with the people we love then the actual day.

 

so, i actually have no opinion on what you do with your kids.. just sharing what i do with mine!!

 

Robin in NJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now I'm wondering if tomatoes will be thrown for not giving the desired opinion.

Here's my opinion, spoken while ducking - Since you have a planned obligation I think you should still go to co-op and fulfill it. I am not in any way anti birthday.

We have needed to change plans on birthdays, out of consideration for others.

One of my daughters birthday is on 9-11 so we had to postpone a planned birthday party because on that day in '01' everyone was too traumatized and distracted for it to have been appropriate to expect them to come to a party for my daughter. She still had a fun party, just not on the exact day of her birthday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, I'm getting the impression that I'm such a lax parent because I'm even entertaining the idea of my child staying home from 1 day of co-op.

 

I didn't say that life stopped, nor do I expect it to stop. I just asked for advice, not underhanded judgment.

 

Personally, I'd let her take the day off, and arrange for coverage so I could stay at home, too. If your other dc attend the same co-op, I'd let them have the day off, as well.

 

But at our house, life DOES stop for birthdays. We make them really special, and my ds loves it.

 

I honestly can't imagine how it's so important for a child of your dd's age to have to accept the responsibility of having to go to co-op on her birthday, or that she needs to understand that you have an obligation to the co-op.

 

She's a kid. Let her have some fun. She's got lots of years ahead of her to "have" to do things on her birthday. And you'll both have great memories of a special family day together, instead of it being just any other day at co-op.

 

What's the big deal about missing co-op for a day, anyway? We homeschool because of the flexibility to do things like take the day off for birthdays!

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While birthdays are special-to me a commitment is a commitment. If my kiddo wanted a day to schlump around-we would do day before or after. You can also make coop special with treats-maybe a pinata....

 

We also take off school for Birthdays at our house and usually do a field trip-but we would just pick another day. When I worked, I even took family days off work, but signed up for vacation for those up to 1 year ahead. Still, I would not break an agreement to do it-even if the coop wasn't academic...just me

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...