There have been many studies conducted that link a direct correlation between a parent’s involvement with their child’s education and that student’s overall success in school. And the good news is, you don’t have to give excessively of your time; even a few volunteer opportunities throughout the year that you can get involved in will show your child you care about his education. Kids love to see their parents in school; it gives them a sense of pride when mom and dad take an interest in the place kids spend the majority of their time throughout the week. As a parent, look for opportunities such as those listed below to give of your time; even if you work full-time or are a single parent, there is always a way to get involved. As a teacher, highlight these volunteer and involvement opportunities for parents so that they’re aware as they come up during the year. The kids will be happy you did.
Volunteer Your Time
The number one way you can get involved in elementary school is to volunteer your time. Whether you come into your child’s classroom to help with an activity, sort and shelve books in the school library, or even help plant flowers outside the building, donating an hour or two of your time can make your child’s school a better place. Some parents are able to make this a weekly or monthly activity, others can manage once or twice a school year. But either way, your child will be proud you’re there, and teachers and other staff will appreciate the help and remember you, making the overall school experience a better one for your child.
Observe The Classroom Instruction
Helping your child with his homework is a great way to get involved in his education and help reinforce the concepts he’s learning at school at home. However, methods are continually changing, and you may not understand exactly how your child is learning in school. Request a time that you can come in and observe the lesson in a particular subject, like Math. Even if your child doesn’t struggle academically, it’s always helpful to be aware of what he faces every day. Knowing more about your child’s day is a way to show that you care about what he works so hard at daily.
Become a Homeroom Parent
I can still remember the pride and excitement I felt every year when my mom volunteered to be a homeroom mom for my classroom. She was always there to help out with parties and go on field trips, and now I have that same opportunity with my own kids. I find this job fun and rewarding, as you get to work with the teacher and other parents to plan some of the most special moments of the school year-holiday parties. This has also been a great way for me to cultivate a more personal relationship with my children’s teachers and classmates. Their friends know who I am, and their teachers are happy to converse with me about any help my child may need because they know me and are thankful for the help I can provide to them.
Join the Parent-Teacher Organization
Most elementary schools have a parent and teacher or home and school organization for parents to get involved with. These groups are invaluable at keeping all of the extras going each year, from field trips to book fairs and other special events. These groups also provide much-needed support to teachers, helping them get funds and supplies for their classrooms. If you want to help your child’s school run more smoothly, or have a hand in shaping certain policies, then this is the perfect way to get involved. The best part is that the meetings are usually held monthly and in the evenings, making it easier for working parents to attend.
Attend School Events
If you’re not able to help out in one of the ways listed above for whatever reason, the best thing to do is attend some after school or evening events with your child. Schools usually host a variety of events throughout the year, from game nights to May Fairs, that are perfect for families to attend together. Use these as an opportunity to get to know your child’s friends, friends’ parents, and his teachers on a deeper level. Cultivating relationships with others integral to your child’s day shows that you really care about your child and his education, which can be invaluable to him.