More than 7 million students nationwide miss 15 or more school days per year. Whether students are late because of their own habits or for reasons beyond their control, they lose learning time and suffer academically. Slow or inefficient morning routines often cause student tardiness and poor attendance. Getting cleaned, dressed, eating, and heading to school takes a lot of time! As school leaders, you’ve experienced this time crunch, so you can imagine how challenging the morning can be for parents. Support parents by sharing this resource that can help them think through ways to strengthen their morning routines.
Think about what you have to do on an average school day, and build a routine that your kids can get used to. After implementing the system with fidelity, everyone in the house will begin to know what to expect. This routine can be flexible when things come up, but it will ensure that you are clear about how much time is needed to do homework, bathe, eat and get ready for school in the mornings.
There is plenty to do in the morning without figuring out where Ashley’s right shoe is. Be sure to lay out what your child will be wearing the next day to ensure that you are all set for “getting dressed” time. If your child wears a uniform daily then you already know what to expect and can even have the clothes ironed for the week! Have school bags packed and ready with all materials. Put them in the same spot every day so they are easy to find. If your child is older, this is a responsibility that they can take on themselves as an evening chore.
School-aged students should get between eight and thirteen hours of sleep each night. Lots of kids like to trick their way into staying up late, but the consequences are heavy. Tired students are less alert, process slowly, and are more irritable in school. Develop systems in the house that promote sleep. Refrain from having TVs and phones in your child’s room. If they have a cell phone, require them to keep it charging in the kitchen or your room. Turn house lights out, keep electronics usage low, and encourage older family members to be quiet at night.
“Me” time is a necessity. Just taking a few minutes to care for yourself can ensure that you are best ready to care for others. Set your alarm clock just 10-15 minutes before waking up the kids to prioritize self-care and ensure you are ready to have a good day!
Build independence by teaching your child to wake up on their own. Have their alarm clock go off five minutes before they actually need to be up. Teach them what to do when they wake up. Five minutes later, arrive for a wake up visit and see how much they’ve accomplished. Give them feedback and reward progress to encourage constant growth.
Preventative health care can help you get in front of sickness. From getting prescribed allergy medicine to getting an annual flu shot, being aware of your child’s physical needs can ensure you they won’t be missing school for health reasons.
Skipping breakfast can have a negative impact on energy and learning. Foods such as fruits, nuts, whole-grain breads, and cereals can be prepared and eaten quickly. Plus, they provide a great boost of energy for the morning.
Put yourself on a time crunch and track your progress. Your goal may be to get ready in forty-five minutes, but your average time may currently be sixty minutes. Practice “getting ready for school” even when school isn’t in session to improve your time. When kids have breaks from school, it can be a challenge getting back to the routine, so take a couple days before the first day they return to practice your daily plan.
Being a parent is fulfilling work, but it can be overwhelming. One of the biggest daily responsibilities is ensuring that kids are ready to have a solid day at school. Students who are at school on time with adequate rest and sufficient energy are ready to work and learn. Make mornings easier by finding a healthy daily routine and training the entire house to build habits that promote high school attendance and success.
Here at Kickboard we have seen many schools turnaround chronic absenteeism by using our mobile app, web platform, and professional development services. Kickboard provides teachers with a tool to track student engagement, attendance, and cultural programming.