Most parents have to deal with truancy at one time or another. Whether it’s your child saying they are sick to avoid school or if they are pretending to go to school and then going elsewhere, playing truant will result in poor grades and is dangerous as students remain unsupervised while their parents are at work.
Skipping school is becoming a part of our culture and is a far more widespread problem than we would like to admit. The Get School Foundation recently investigated the issue and their report is disturbing. Their study showed that 15% of students miss 18 days or more of school a year. Most of these students cited boredom as the main reason why they skipped school.
If you find out that your student has been skipping school or they claim to have fictional health issues that prevent them from going to school, its time to take stock. Find out what the underlying problems are. Many students are genuinely bored at school and can’t see the relevance of algebra or history to real-world applications. Here you need to outline the consequences of a poor education and how it limits choice. You may also try a more challenging course, class or school. Engaging a tutor to help students to find academic challenges is also a great idea.
If students feel overwhelmed and lost, they may also skip school. When they don’t understand what is going on, they may feel helpless and skip school because they fear that they may fail anyway. If this is the case, then you need to help them to catch up and understand what is going on in class. Get an in-home tutor to work with your student to help them to fill gaps in their understanding.
Many students stay home because they are being bullied by fellow students or perhaps they don’t like a teacher they have been assigned. You can help by teaching coping techniques or changing classes or schools. All schools have anti-bullying policies that help to protect students, so speak with your teachers.
Always include your students in any discussions about their academic futures. You need to include them in the implementation of any strategy if you want them to participate. Try to understand the reasons why they are skipping school so that you can deal with these effectively or the behavior will persist.
Your school Councillors and teachers are a wonderful resource. They may have a better insight into the circumstances which your student faces every day at school and they can help with strategies on how to combat the causes of truancy.