Is there any benefit of pushing your child to go to school each and every day, except only in some unavoidable circumstances?
Some children have serious, correct reasons to avoid school. Perhaps a teacher (or other member of staff, or pupil) is abusing them; perhaps there is bullying; perhaps the child has a school phobia.
Once you have established that none of those are happening the answer becomes clearer.
It is important to keep a child going to school because it might be reauired where you are; the child doesn't miss any work; etc.
But also this is a chance to teach the child techniques to build resiliance. People have to do things they do not like and it's useful to have techniques to cope with these.
Thus you can talk to a child to find out why they don't want to go, and then use techniques from cognitive behaviour therapy to help them overcome those reasons.
I feel bullets will work best here.
- Establishment of routine
- Getting an education
- Socializing with same-aged peers
- Discovering social boundaries (romantic relationships, topics of discussion, trends)
- Discovering more of the world (geography or social studies courses)
- Learning respect and tact (dealing with teachers)
- Learning disrespect and indiscretion (and the consequences associated)
- Learning to play by the rules (following is sometimes easier)
- Learning to bend the rules (when necessary)
- MATH! SCIENCE! (These are extremely important in our global society today)
- (Depending upon the school) dressing for success
- Gives the parent time to either work at a job or at the home.
- Allows the parent to have peace of mind that their child is getting a good education which will later benefit them and the family (if need be)
- It might be mandatory. Some states/countries require that a child go to school for a certain amount of time.
Devil's advocate time
- Schools often teach the "get a job" mentality, as in, grow up, go to school, get good grades, get a good job, get secure, and retire at 65. If you can escape this and actually have teachers who teach, unbiased to their pupils future endeavors, then their is no reason they shouldn't go
- If the child's career path is already chosen for them, i.e. they're going to be a farmer whether they like it or not. An education will definitely help them in terms of math, for calculating acreage for crop growth or proper amounts of seed to cover an area, and science, for understanding how living organisms work, especially plants. It will help, but it's not necessary.
- Everything else is an unusual circumstance as you mentioned already.
There is a lot of research out there to support child directed learning, what the homeschooling community calls "unschooling." To summarize, children who learn at their own pace about topics they are individually excited about and ready to learn, tend to learn in more depth and retain knowledge better.
Take my son, for example. His school teacher had trouble motivating him to write at all. At home, he will happily write for an hour or more. The difference is, we let him write about whatever he wants. That doesn't mean we don't challenge him. We can introduce advanced vocabulary just as easily when writing about ninjas as when writing random sentences about a topic he doesn't care about.
My son learned about Columbus by visiting replicas of his ships. He learned about atomic energy from a museum in Oakridge, TN. If these are the kinds of educational opportunities you're providing by occasionally (once every month or two) taking him out of school, I say go for it. My son has flourished since we started homeschooling him with this philosophy.
That being said, schools are not set up to encourage individual pacing, because of the simple logistics of needing to teach an entire class "in bulk." Topics are introduced in specific orders, and build on each other, so that missing too much classroom time risks putting your child behind. That's why they have attendance policies. Other answers have covered specific benefits of a classroom approach, and I agree wholeheartedly if that's the right approach for your child, but those benefits come with the cost of requiring regular attendance to work well. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
I would say yes it is important because it establishes a routine that most people will have to follow for the rest of their life. But I would insert some caveats.
1)If the the child doesn't want to go to school because they are being bullied. This situation needs to be resolved ASAP and depending on the severity of the bullying you may want to keep your child out of school.
2)Lack of intellectual stimulation, If the child is just not being challenged enough the school is failing to provide for their needs. It might not be worth keeping the child out of school for this but it is worth speaking to the principle and getting it resolved.