The start of the school year is the perfect time to think about volunteering at your child’s school. Any time you can spare would be beneficial. As a more involved parent, you increase your child’s opportunities to be successful in school. Being involved, to whatever degree possible, not only helps your own child but also improves the overall quality of your school. It also keeps you “in the loop” about what’s happening at school. Even if your volunteer time is limited, you can still have a presence in various ways.
Here are seven simple ways parents can participate at their child’s school:
- Meet your child’s teacher as soon as possible. Ask how he or she likes to be contacted, e.g., email, phone, written note, etc. Ask how you can help at home.
- Join the school’s PTO or PTA, and plan to attend as many meetings/events as you can.
- See if the school has a handbook or school policies pamphlet and get copies. These usually address year-round issues such as discipline, dress code, tardiness and absenteeism, etc.
- Check backpacks every night for homework or project assignments, important school calendars, announcements, etc. Keep all important school notices in one particular place for easy access and referral.
- Volunteer to help in the classroom if your schedule allows, or with fundraisers, events, or other after-school activities.
- Set up a special homework place and limit distractions. Have a distinctive homework folder and make sure completed homework is put in the folder and then into the backpack each night.
- Limit electronic entertainments during the school week and encourage reading. Visit your local library, or swap books with friends and neighbors to read with your child.
Simple, proactive “getting involved” actions like these can make a big difference in your child’s early school experience.