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Q: We have a son
in high school. I was shocked to get a call from school about
problems with his attendance. Occasions do come up when he has to
miss a day or a class, but I always send a note to school about it.
It appears he has been missing more than we are aware, and our
conversations with him just yield a dismissive shrug. How do we
It's as simple as this: Students can't
learn if they're not in school.
Your son stayed up too late and
now he wants to sleep in. He has a big basketball game and wants to
rest. He has an important math test and he hasn't finished studying.
All these are excuses many teens give for missing school. Some
parents even cooperate when their teens don't want to go to school.
Don't do it.
When your son is absent from school he may be able to copy missed
notes, complete missed worksheets and receive help after school.
However, other important aspects of the lessons are lost forever.
Absent students miss out on discussions, questions raised,
explanations and much more. Students fall behind and sometimes never
recover. Learning builds day by day. What your son misses in one
class session is needed as a foundation for what he will learn in
the next session.
You can play a big role in supporting good school attendance. Here are important points to remember:
Tell your son that
school is his most important job at this time in his life and
that you expect him to be there every day.
family trips or doctor appointments during school hours.
Make sure your son
eats healthy foods and gets enough sleep and exercise.
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excuses for why your son "must" miss or be late for school.
happened at school each day.
rules and consequences for skipping class and being tardy.
Make sure the
school knows how to reach you if your son is absent.
Set a good example.
Go to work every day yourself.
Attendance is one of most important factor in school success.
Attendance is a habit. Teens who get in the habit of coming to
school every day will also show up for work on time. Teens who think
they can come and go as they please may never be successful in a
job. So make sure your son keeps going to school. It's an important
lesson in responsibility he needs to learn.
For more information about helping
children learn, go to
http://www.parent-institute.com. To submit your own question,
use the form at
howitworks.php. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
Copyright 2006, The Parent Institute
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
Children" is a free, syndicated column from the Parent Institute.