Here’s a simple way to help your child do well in school

Show up.

That’s the message Hedy Chang gave an audience at this week’s Parents as Teachers Conference. School success goes hand in hand with good attendance, she said. Starting as early as kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school. How many is too many?

When kids miss 10% (or about 18 days) of school, they start to do poorly academically. Missing 18 or more days is considered chronic absence. But students can still fall behind even if they miss just a day or two every few weeks. Even being late to school can lead to poor attendance.

Building attendance is a life skill. Eventually, an employer will expect your child to show up to work! Building a habit of good attendance early will help your child do better in school.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Know when school starts.
  • Set regular bedtime and morning routines.
  • Don’t let your child stay home even when s/he is not truly sick.
  • Have a plan B for getting your child to school if something unexpected comes up.
  • Avoid other appointments and trips when school is in session.
  • Set a good example! Show up for scheduled appointments on time yourself!
Creative Commons classroom photo credit