Ask the readers: Skip school to go to an awards ceremony?

DC1 currently has perfect attendance.

DC1 scored high on the 7th grade talent search.  This is a national thing which basically means zie had a high SAT score for a 7th grader.

The recognition ceremony is in the afternoon on a school day.

If DC1 goes, zie will no longer have perfect attendance and will miss some class.

I hate ceremonies, but I can’t go to this one anyway, so it would be DH taking time off work to go.

DC1 has been consulted and has no preferences.  (DC1 isn’t into preferences unless they result in getting sushi.)

What do you guys think?

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38 Responses to “Ask the readers: Skip school to go to an awards ceremony?”

  1. yetanotherpfblog Says:

    Skip the ceremony, get the award in the mail, take DC1 out for sushi.

  2. Becca Says:

    Create custom ceremony involving presentation of sushi, go to school.

    This assumes DC1 doesn’t have friends who will go to the ceremony, as ze is more likely to regret not going if ze hears what ze missed (even if it will be boring)

  3. Anu Says:

    I would go to the ceremony if she’s the kind of kid who likes being publicly awarded (I was) and will remember it. What’s the point of perfect attendance anyway? My mom would sometimes sign me out school just because and those days stand out in my memory.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Zie doesn’t seem to care one way or another. (I personally disliked and dislike being awarded things publicly, but it neither seems to bother DC1 nor excite hir. Zie is pretty chill.)

  4. tararuns Says:

    Depends on your particular Talent Search area and what they do at the ceremony, too. Some do more than others. We had one kid who *loved* recognition, so it was worth it for that one, not so much for the other. It was a weekend event for us and involved an overnight stay (6-hour drive) but we generally connected with other out-of-town friends we didn’t often get to see, friends in the area of the ceremony, and maybe threw in a touristy thing as well. If it’s local for you, that’s both easier and harder. Personally, I think perfect attendance is kinda dumb – do you really want to encourage a kid who is sick to go to school to keep up their streak, and infect other kids? My personal take would be to disrupt the perfect attendance just because it’s worth disrupting!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It’s local, and my friend whose kid did it last year said it’s really just everyone walking across the stage.

      (DC1 also does not care about perfect attendance. But wondered about missing something important at school, although I expect the chance of that is small.)

  5. Lisa Says:

    Would missing part of a day really ruin their perfect attendance? I assume they’d be in school in the morning and just take some time off to go in the afternoon. If you talked with the teachers about it, would they not understand? I like the sushi idea best, though! :)

  6. gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

    Attend award ceremonies that are little extra trouble if the kid enjoys them. Skip them if they are not fun. We skipped the talent search one my son could have gone to (it would have been many hours of bus travel to get to), but attended the local math contest and science fair ones. Basically, give the kid the choice—they sound old enough to make their own decision on this one.

  7. Cloud Says:

    I’d try again to get DC1 to pick, only because I think learning how to make a choice in a situation like this is a good thing. We had a related problem where there were two competing things my 11 y.o. wanted to do this upcoming Sunday, and I was surprised by what a hard time she had making a decision. Since a large part of what I do at work is make sure decisions get made, I’m probably extra sensitive to this, but I think being able to make a decision when there is no clear cut “right answer” is a valuable skill. This sounds like a low stakes chance to practice. (FWIW, my project manager decision-driving tricks worked on my daughter: I provided all the info on the two options and kept asking questions until she figured out what her choice should be. After she made her choice, I explained how I got her to make it, because I hope she learns this method and can use it with less prompting next time. I did not get to the “if you don’t make a decision, this is the default outcome, so that is in effect what you are choosing” phase… but if you get there, I’m with the others who say skip the ceremony, and that’s what I would make the default.)

    I also agree with everyone who says have a family recognition event that involves sushi! And congrats to DC1.

    • Leah Says:

      Do you have a good resource for learning more about making decisions? I’m not the best at it and would love some tips.

      • Cloud Says:

        Here’s something I wrote about how I get teams to make decisions. I use the same techniques on myself when I need to make a decision:
        http://beyondmanaging.com/2015/06/getting-a-decision-made/

        If you’re working on getting yourself to make decisions, probably the most important thing is to figure out what you need to make decisions. I need to gather data and then take a walk to mull it over. I can’t skip either step on an important decision!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      In general, what ends up happening with both DC1 and DH is that they do the default, which is nothing.

      DC1 was asking the right questions, but we didn’t know the answers!

  8. rose Says:

    Don’t disrupt family for something kid says they do not care about. (ceremony). DO family recognition at Sushi!

  9. chacha1 Says:

    I think whoever scheduled the ceremony so that the honorees have to miss class is a blithering idiot.

  10. Susan Says:

    If your kid doesn’t care, I would certainly skip it especially since there is significant hassle to go.

  11. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I would skip it – I went to mine and it was boring and meant nothing to me in the long run. But sushi, that would be exciting! :)

  12. Donna Freedman Says:

    I always found such ceremonies to be boring, too. That plus the fact that DC doesn’t care one way or the other would equal (for me) a “skip it, and get sushi in the evening.”

  13. bogart Says:

    I like the sushi suggestion, but if I didn’t pick that one, I’d flip a coin to decide between the original pair of options.

  14. Ana Says:

    If the kid doesn’t seem to care, and neither do the parents, I’d go with the path of least resistance…which is skipping it. In the middle of a school/work day, maybe enough people won’t go that they will reconsider timing for future events!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Last year it was on a Saturday, according to my friend whose son did it last year. I’m guessing the timing is up against University end-of-year events this year.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      (My friend is also not impressed by DC1’s scores– I think her son must have done much better. She’s also concerned that DC1 didn’t get into NJHS this year and isn’t doing any sports. I don’t often feel like I’m not enough of a tiger mom! DC1 is in a lot of extracurriculars, but none of them are competitive or public service oriented– they’re all math and music and swimming but without the competitions. It’s so much stress for everyone just to make sure that DC1 mostly turns in hir practice logs and other homework the weeks they’re due that I can’t imagine adding more on top of that. When would zie read novels?!?)

  15. EB Says:

    To me, you don’t do the SAT at a younger age to get “recognition,” you do it in order to become eligible for advanced academic opportunity. The ceremony is mostly for the school district officials or talent program administrators who get to showcase their success in getting students through the process. Save your valuable ceremony-attending-time for recognitions that make more sense.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      The advanced academic opportunities are so expennnnnsive (whiiiiine).

      • gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

        I agree, we ended up never buying any of the “advanced academic opportunities” after our son qualified for them. There were a couple that we would have bought for him, but they conflicted with theater summer camps, which he decided was more important to him.

      • bogart Says:

        I remember looking at those opportunities as a kid and thinking, “… I am being invited to ***attend school*** during the ***summer***?! No thanks!!!” Obviously your DC1 (and many others) may feel differently!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Heh. DC1 actually chose to do the computer literacy course this summer instead of waiving out of it (only need 70% on the test to waive) because zie wants to learn more excel.

      • EB Says:

        Wow. In our town, the good SAT scores had a lot to do with placement in high school advanced classes, and being recruited for local (i.e. not thru the talent search) opportunities that were cheap or free. I did not know anyone who took the talent search people up on their expensive offers.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Here those opportunities are open to all, except GT stuff which uses state tests.

  16. Matthew Healy Says:

    I’d be inclined to slip the ceremony, but that’s just my preference. When I got my doctorate I had them mail the diploma and I’m not sure I could find it now if I tried. I deeply value what I learned in grad school, but the sheepskin as a physical object isn’t a big deal to me.


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