Keeping up with schoolwork during a child’s illness

Though it may not seem important in light of everything else going on, keeping up with schoolwork should be a priority. Whenever your child is able, he or she should continue learning, despite school absences. Good communication and preparation are key to a successful return to school when the time comes.

If your child is going to miss school for more than a few days, look into homebound or hospital teaching. The principal at your child’s school might be able to help you get tutoring while the child has to be at home. The home-based teacher will need to know about your child’s illness, treatment, medical appointments, and hospital stays.

Children’s hospitals may have education coordinators and teachers to help the child keep up if a long hospital stay is needed. The child may be able to transfer to the hospital’s school. For shorter hospital stays, especially if it’s in a different school district, you might want to get materials from the child’s school and see if hospital teachers can spend some time helping your child.

For many children, school is a safe place for learning, fun, and friendship that’s far from the world of cancer and treatments. School is the main part of almost every child’s daily life, and going back to school is a sign of normalcy. Having to go to school and learn is not only a sign that things are getting back to normal, it’s also a clear and reassuring message that there is a future.

Please see Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Returning to School, for more information on this important part of your child’s life. 

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: September 22, 2014 Last Revised: October 9, 2014

American Cancer Society medical information is copyrighted material. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.