Improving Your Kid’s School Attendance
Parents want their children to graduate high school. It’s the one hope every parent has because it gives the child a high school diploma and a semi-decent education. You probably want your child to continue their education by going to college and getting a great job after. Unfortunately, that becomes tougher when their attendance is poor.
Chronic absenteeism is a nationwide problem. Almost 14% of all students in the United States are absent at any one time. It’s a major problem and affects students of all ages. So, what can you do to improve your child’s attendance at school, and what signs should you look for?
Chronic Absenteeism is the First Sign of Academic Failure
Children miss school for a host of reasons, including illness. Genuine illness can’t be helped, and most students will do what they can to make up for the lessons lost. Unfortunately, many aren’t genuinely sick. Skipping a class or two might not seem like such a big deal; however, it’s often a sign the child is failing academically.
When younger children are chronically absent from school, it’s tougher for them to become literate. If a child can’t read, they may struggle throughout their education. Most will drop out of school entirely. So, it’s essential to keep a close eye on your child’s attendance.
The Struggles of Parenthood
Children need the support of the school to thrive academically. Of course, some dislike school because of a lack of friendship, bullying, and a genuine disinterest to learn. Unfortunately, you cannot monitor a child 24/7, especially when you drop them off at the school gates. Some schools don’t notify you about your child’s absences for weeks at a time, so that can make it harder to nip the problem early on.
Fortunately, a little effort on your part might just spark an effort from the child, and these simple tricks could help improve their school attendance.
Make the Child Understand Why School Matters
Children don’t have an adult’s mindset. They do not care or think about their futures, so you need to make them. Sit the child down and discuss why they dislike school so much and why they must attend. Help them understand why school matters.
Let the child know education is there to help them succeed in life, and when they’re grown, they can achieve their dream job.
Create a Regular Bedtime Routine – Even for Older Kids
Children need structure to thrive. It is necessary to create a routine for bedtime, even with teenagers. For example, a teenager should be in bed no later than 11 p.m. It gives them 8-hours of sleep if they rise at 7 a.m. It’s the cut-off point but gives the child a routine that they can abide by and is fair too.
Have a Plan to Drop the Child to School
While you can’t walk a child into their classroom, there are ways to ensure they get to school on time. For instance, walk the child to the bus stop or drive them to the front gates. If you can’t do it personally, ask a friend or parent to oversee this instead. There should always be a plan to get your child to school.
Create a Goal and Reward Chart
Children sometimes need incentives to keep them focused on a task, and you may want to introduce a reward system for their attendance. For example, when the child attends a full week of school, they are given two rewards, such as a cake and a later bedtime. If the child misses one or two days, they get only one treat. When they’re absent for the entire week, the child gets zero rewards. It might encourage the child to improve their attendance, especially when rewards are involved.
Talk to the Child to Find out if there is a Reason for their Poor Attendance
There may be an issue at school you aren’t aware of what’s causing your child’s poor attendance. You should talk with the child to see if there is a problem and what can be done to rectify it. For example, your daughter informs you they are being bullied by an older student. You can act on this and once it is resolved, the child’s attendance might increase.
Ask the School for the Child’s Attendance Records
You could identify the problem by reviewing the attendance records. For instance, the child is only absent on days with a specific subject. This gives you a good indication of where the problem lies and can explore it further.
Speak to the Child’s Teachers
It’s important to talk to your child’s teacher because they often provide an insight into your child’s behavior in class. They could even give you the answer to their attendance issues. It could be the child has difficulties understanding the subject. If this is the case, you and the teacher can work together to encourage the child to ask for help when they need it or even organize a tutor.
Ask the School for Support
It’s important to talk to the principal at the school and request their help. If you’ve identified the problem as being bullied by a fellow student or singled out by a teacher, ask the school to step in. It’ll be easier for you to rectify the problem and get additional support to encourage your child to attend school more often.
Get Advice from Those in the Same Boat as You
Your child isn’t the only one with poor attendance rates; there are many others just like them. You can turn to their parents for help and support. Ask friends, fellow parents, or family members, and they could offer viable solutions to the problem.
Enquire About the Reward System at School
Some schools offer incentives for children with excellent attendance. It could be the perfect way to encourage your child to improve their attendance rates too. Of course, you need to volunteer your time and help where possible.
Be the Guiding Force your Child Needs
You can’t shy away from the problem. You need to look for additional strategies to boost your child’s school attendance, and the ones above may help resolve some of the issues. Often, the problem can be easily rectified.