Heather C Heather C is a married, mom of three: big sis Lily and identical twins Natalie and Sophia. She has been guest blogging for Mumbling Mommy since February of 2012 and began working as a Social Media Editor in 2014. After nearly a decade in banking, she now works part time at a doctor's office specializing in breastfeeding medicine and spends the rest of her days in her Midwest home as zookeeper/stay-at-home-mom. Heather C is also a runner, hiker, yogi, bike rider and more. She reads when she finds more than a few minutes to herself and she hosts a lot of pajama dance parties in her kitchen. In her spare time, she's the co-leader for her daughter's Girl Scout troop and an active member of the school's Parent-Teacher Committee as well as a certified postpartum doula.
Focus on the Positive; Get a Shiny Pencil

In a year of preschool, thirteen years of public school, and four years of college, I have never once had perfect  attendance for more than maybe a quarter of the year. I remember in elementary school having assemblies where the principal gave out cool shiny pencils with all the different things we’d won. I always got the honor roll pencil. I often even got the straight “A” pencil. But never once did I get the perfect attendance pencil.

Perfect attendance is completely underrated. It is so important. Based on my 10ish years in the working world, I realized that adults really don’t care about their workplace attendance. They often call in sick, *cough, cough* and end up at the Cardinal’s baseball game. Where exactly do we learn this? At what point in our lives did our parents teach us that it was okay to lie about missing out on our responsibilities?

Too deep for you? Okay, let’s just skip that soap box and instead focus on our accomplishment this year… My oldest daughter had perfect attendance! 177 days of school and she made it to every single one of them. Want to know our tricks?

Tricks to Perfect Attendance

  • We stayed healthy. It would be unfair to say that we didn’t get sick at all. We did. We had some sniffles. We had a little cough. Little sisters had a fever here and there. I even ended up with pneumonia or bronchitis or something crazy that kept me hacking in bed for 3 straight days. I get it that once flu season rolls around, it’s hard to prevent kids from spreading germs and even the best of students miss school. With that said though, I think it’s important that each family focus on preventing getting sick rather than just hoping and praying. We had a backup plan for getting everyone who could go to school to school though.
  • We made the hard decision to not take the kids to a family member’s funeral. A death in the family is hard. It is very obviously a legitimate reason to miss school. It is however important to weigh out what this means. When my husband’s grandpa passed away last year, we dropped everything and drove across the country for the funeral, kids included. Lily missed a full week of school because of it. For us though, it wasn’t about the funeral. His grandma had never met the 3 great-grandchildren and we hadn’t seen her since our wedding. She was elderly and couldn’t travel and unfortunately, it was our only opportunity to get there. She passed away this year. My husband went to her funeral and I stayed behind with the girls. It was very hard. Funerals really aren’t a place for kids though and there wasn’t really anything left for them there. This is a very personal choice.
  • We scheduled appointments around the school day. When kids are in school from 8-3 pm, making a dentist appointment or something along those lines gets tricky. We used Winter/Spring breaks as well as teacher work days, etc to make sure no extra time needed to be missed.
  • We encouraged education. Plain and simple, if we as parents make it seem like school is an option, kids will likely make the choice at some point to not go. It’s not “just kindergarten” or “just one day.” Sure, a lot of kids like school but we all know how summer-itis gets. By supporting education, being involved with our kids classrooms and being genuinely curious about their days we can continue to motivate them all the way till the end.

No, Lily didn’t get a shiny pencil but she did achieve something pretty spectacular. I made a point of showing her just how proud I was of her and just how important that achievement was too. And honestly, I gave myself a little pat on the back to go along with it.

Category: Education

Tags: health