During the hectic and often stressful back to school season, it is important for parents and children to commit to good school attendance. Being on time and ready to learn each school day is essential to a child’s academic performance and overall school experience.
Fortunately, there are many resources available to help parents address school attendance issues. Attendance Works, a national and state initiative that promotes awareness of the important role that school attendance plays in achieving academic success starting with school entry, has some great downloadable tools.
Getting your child to school on time every day is a big responsibility. These are some things that will help you and your child to make attendance a priority and start the school year on the right foot.
Set Expectations about School Attendance. Talk with your child about attendance. Let your child know that attending school daily is important to you. Start early, like in pre-k or kindergarten, and be sure to repeat and reinforce the message throughout the elementary, middle, and high school years.
Set a Regular Bed Time Schedule. Make sure your child gets to bed early and gets enough sleep. School age children should get at least 10 hours of sleep each night. Before or during bed time, give your child time to talk about the day and to make goals for the following the day.
Establish a Morning Routine. Allow you and your child enough time to get ready each morning. Help your child avoid distractions (especially TV and electronics) and to stay on task. Start off the day on a positive note by showing your child affection and promoting a pleasant, cheery mood.
Plan Ahead. Plan and prepare meals and pack all necessary school materials and supplies ahead of time. If possible, set up back up transportation and child care plans in case there is a change in the regular routine.
Be Involved in Your Child’s School Activities. Show interest in your child’s school work and attend classroom and school events when possible. Communicate regularly with your child’s teachers and work with them to address attendance issues before they affect your child’s school performance.