Childhood Cancer

Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

Keeping up with schoolwork

As treatment progresses, your child will probably return to school either part time or full time, but extended absences due to infections or complications from treatment might occur. A child who is out of school longer than 2 weeks for any medical reason is entitled by law to instruction at home or in the hospital. It is a good idea to request off-site instruction as soon as you find out your child may be out of school for longer than 2 weeks. The school will require a letter from the doctor stating the reason and expected length of time this service will be needed.

We used Skype® and had a weekly time set up so that Patrik could see his classmates, and they could see him. If an oral presentation was due, he heard a few of theirs, and presented his. If nothing shareable was due, they just traded jokes or did a show and tell of something that had happened that week. Both Patrik and his classmates enjoyed collecting jokes all year. If he was not feeling well or was hospitalized, it was cancelled for that week. It sure helped make him still feel a part of his class, and the teacher said it really helped his classmates to see he was still okay, and still himself. He wasn’t allowed to attend school at all for frontline treatment (almost 10 months).

Patrik started the first day of 5th grade this year. He was able to walk in the building, feel welcome, and step right back into his friendships. No problems at all with that. I really thank his teacher last year for keeping him a part of his class despite not being in school.

In some children’s hospitals in large cities, teachers are located onsite. If your child is at home, the home school district provides the teacher. The teacher is responsible for gathering materials from the school and judging how much schoolwork your child can do.