The Importance of Attendance: Learning is Cumulative

by Admin on March 28th, 2010
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H. Green

Value education and give it high priority in your family! Convey a positive attitude about school and treat going to school as part of the normal course of events, something that is expected of your child. Let him/her know that school is the most important thing in his/her life at this time, and that his/her future job opportunities will depend on how well (s)he handles his/her present “job” (school). Help him/her develop good study and work habits and praise him/her when (s)he is successful. Get to know your child’s friends as they have more influence with him/her at this time in his/her life than you do. Get personally involved in school activities, go to sporting events, attend plays and concerts, join the Parent Group/Advisory Board, volunteer, read the school paper. Know what’s going on at school [McKenny Independent School District]

Students usually begin each new school year with excitement and enthusiasm – even if they don’t show it to adults. The anticipation of new classes, new friendships, and renewing old friendships provides real motivation for daily attendance at school during those first few weeks. Unfortunately, after a brief time some students, particularly those at the middle and high school levels and those who don’t do well in school, become careless about regular attendance. Missing a few classes seems inconsequential to them. Sometimes it seems insignificant to parents as well.

The teaching/learning process builds upon itself: Each lesson presented to students is based upon or related to those that preceded it. Just as we can never regain a moment of time wasted, the child who misses a day of school also misses a day of education which cannot be retrieved.  Indeed, research shows that those children who attend school regularly are more likely to be successful during their school years.

Success after graduation is a second reason for regular school attendance. If young people don’t develop the habits of good attendance and prompt completion of assignments while they’re in school, when will they learn these things? Their success as adults in their chosen occupations is dependent upon these habits. From experience, most teachers know that students’ success in their school years is directly related to the importance that parents attach to education. If parents believe and act as if the child’s education is important, the child will most likely believe it too. So it

is with regular attendance at school. When parents believe that consistent attendance is important and communicate that belief to their children starting in the elementary years, unnecessary absences from school will be dramatically reduced [Polson k12 District 23].

What can Parents do?

1. Let your child know that you expect him/her to attend school every day. Explain that, just as you have a job, it’s his/her job to go to school and learn.

2. Set a time for doing homework each evening and a time for going to bed. Unfinished homework and too little sleep are common reasons why parents hear the words, “I don’t feel good,” on school mornings.

3. Get involved with your child’s school. When (s)he sees you in the halls or the classrooms (s)he’ll understand that school is important.

Attendance patterns are formed early in life. Children who develop good attendance habits in the early grades will be more likely to continue them throughout their school career.  That’s important, because students who miss school miss out on carefully planned sequences of instruction.  They miss out on active learning experiences and class participation. They miss out on the opportunity to ask questions. They are more likely to fall behind. And they are more likely to drop out [Copyright © 2003 The Parent Institute].

I know that it is getting warm and we have more light and the temptation to go outside is all to real.  However,  please continue to urge your child to go to school and resist the temptation to skip classes.

Categories: From the Principal, Ole Steller Yeller

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