This one's not exactly about math. It's kind of about math, but more education in general.
I'm not one to judge right and wrong ways of parenting. A lot of things have to depend on the individual child's needs, the family's background and values, etc. But I have some observations about different types of parents.
There are parents who apologize profusely for their kids missing school for legitimate reasons, like medical issues. Then there are those who check their kids out of class to go get smoothies.
It's not like either extreme is always great or always terrible. Sometimes the kids who miss for doctor's appointments aren't great about getting caught up on what they miss, and sometimes the smoothie-getting kids are.
Still, I wonder what message the smoothie-run parents are trying to send. That they're a cool parent? That sometimes you have to give yourself a mental-health break? (I can agree with that on occasion.)
What message are the kids getting? Like I said, those kids are often okay with making up what they miss. They're usually kids who clearly believe school is important, at least to some degree. But what about other students, who know why their classmate misses a class or two in the middle of the day? What does it say to them about where their priorities belong?
I don't know. I do know that with math in particular, if you miss a component or two and don't catch it up, you risk being very lost on concepts that follow. If you don't solidify basic equation solving, for instance, you'll have a very hard time with most other topics in algebra.
Most parents do the best they can, especially considering the bull-headedness of some teenagers. Some teens already understand the importance of their education, even the parts that don't immediately seem relevant. Others take a while to figure that out.
I just hope parents aren't delaying that understanding.