THE LIFE LONG LESSONS
Attendance is an essential component of student achievement and responsible behavior. Parents who emphasize and model the importance of regular on-time attendance during the elementary school years set the groundwork for producing future citizens who are dependable and responsible employees.
The more students miss school, the less they learn. This in turn lowers their grades and self-esteem and increases their chances of dropping out of school. There are many statistics on how truancy and crime are connected.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ON TIME ATTENDANCE
Research states that it takes three weeks for new habits to become routine. Be patient; change takes time. Be sure to reward your child for any progress! Rewards do not need to be monetary. For most children supportive words or some special time with you is enough. You can reward them by playing a game, letting them choose the dinner menu and help you cook, spending time running errands with you or reading an extra bedtime story.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
■Set up a bedtime routine. The routine can include the five Bs: bath, brushing teeth, bathroom, book and bed.
■Lay out clothes. This will help end some of the morning struggles if the outfit is chosen the night before.
■Have backpack packed and ready to go. Make sure homework and important papers are packed. Leave the backpack in the same place every night, preferably by the door.
■Have lunch and snacks ready and waiting in the refrigerator.
IN THE MORNING
■Set up a morning routine that may include the five Bs: bath (if not taken the night before), brush teeth, brush hair, eat breakfast, and get backpack.
■Set your alarm 5 or 10 minutes earlier. Not having to rush in the mornings can do a lot to alleviate morning battles.
■Eat a healthy breakfast. Foods high in vitamins and nutrients help “wake” your child up in the mornings. Good nutrition can help increase alertness and academic performance. Limit sugar intake as it can cause mid-morning tiredness.