We all want to be involved at our kid’s school. But squeezing in the time and figuring out where you fit in can be hard. It’s not just fitting it in – in your schedule, but socially too. I’m a young mom, well, I’d like to say I’m a young mom now approaching 30 but done with the diaper/toddler stage. Both my children are now at grade school level, and fitting in with other parents is difficult. While some were starting college, I was in 2nd grade. Now, as adults we’re both in the same communities for our children. I’ll come back to socially fitting in as a parent at your child’s school later on, but let’s continue to focus on volunteering.
This guide below inspired by Scholastic.com will help match your life to the best volunteering jobs. You’ll be helping out without stressing out before you know it!
Above is me at my son’s Nursery school. Once a week I’d come in and develop a greater bond with my child by sharing his nursery school experience.
Early Days Of Volunteering
Many years before having children, I was volunteering at hospitals, after-school programs, care homes, to community churches and festivals. All throughout high-school my best memories were helping out the community. My very first volunteering gig was being a candy striper hospital volunteer. Candy stripers make a hospital visit pleasant by eating with, reading to, assisting or delivering items to patients. I passed out snacks to new moms in their recovery rooms, and also took pictures of the new borns! I also did afternoon crafting in the corner of the pediatrics department.
My first job was a SCORE! coach for an after school tutoring service called SCORE! Educational Centers. Helping out children has always be of some interest to me I enjoyed helping out with children, practicing methods of positive reinforcement, and helping students set and achieve academic goals. Jumping straight into motherhood at 21, helping out children has been a background of mine. Below is a guide I follow with have two children 4 & 8. As a stay-at-home mom I believe it’s my duty to give back. Check out I was able to find my perfect volunteering gig.
That’s me and my son Tristan. Coming into his classroom gave me an opportunity to observe how my child gets along with other children and adults.
Become A School Volunteer!
You life is….
- You and your partner work crazy long hours.
- You have a kid (or two) still in diapers.
Start as a booster or attendee: If you have more money than time, write a check for the new monkey bars or the after-school art instructor. Don’t feel guilty- a donation is always welcome.
If you have more money than time, attend school events! You’ll be expanding the PTA community beyond the same few families, which is a good thing!
You life is….
- Your boss lets you arrive late or leave early, and your partner’s job is flexible, too!
- Your youngest is in elementary school.
You’d be great as an event volunteer or committee member. What to know: If you’re signing up for an event, look for opportunities that let your bond with fellow moms and dads, like joining a craft table pr the cleanup crew.
A year ago I had enrolled youngest son was put in a Nursery school, where I developed a greater understanding of my own child and all children. As it was a parent-run, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing a high quality preschool experience for children. One day a week positions were given to the parents to sit in and help in the classroom with active rolls and duties to complete. Weekends, parents we were come in a care of the facility and school yard. It was a really interesting approach in learning for my son, and myself. Co-Ops or cooperative schools is definitely a great intro to learning with your children socially and as well with other parents. However, participating parent obligations are needed, this boosts future willed volunteering positions later on in your child’s school life.
If you want to be a committee member, set specific parameters instead of taking on a open-ended role. That way, you know what’s expected of you-sending out the email blasts, say-and you don’t put in more time than anticipated.
When my oldest son was in 2nd grade, I arranged with his teacher that I can come in every Friday for a crafternoon (Crafting afternoon.) It was perfectly set, as the kids just arrived back from lunch, winded down with a book reading, and settled into groups as the teacher and myself rotated groups with different activity tables. What was fun was most holiday events landed on a Friday that school year, and I hosted the classroom party as well.
Your life is….
- You work part-time and have an understanding partner.
- Your grade-school kids are fairly independent by now.
Set you sights on class parent and be prepared to: Plan parties, collect donations, send emails, and round up snacks. Partner with someone who has what you don’t, like time in the mornings or an outgoing personality.
This is one stage I am currently at right now with my boys. The time flexibility is there, but I don’t quite have the outgoing personality as I think I might have. So, I plan class treats, all day volunteering a few times a month, and plan the holiday parties.
Your life is….
Ready For More!
- You work at home and have a chill partner!
- Your youngest kids is already in grade school (or you have ultra-reliable childcare)
PTA Positions Keep in mind: This is a commitment, and full time job. The role is to listen to parents and ideas. Being a school advocate as district meetings, and maintaining a good relationship with the principal. It’s a lot of work, but the rewards are pretty exciting: After all, because of the hard work and dedication, you’re sure to see positive changes at your school!
Alternately Edited By Francesaca Castagnoli Scholastic.com/ParentAndChild
Overall, as parents, most of our plates are not only full but overflowing; our schedules are so tight they’re cutting off blood flow and our to-do lists are endless. The last thing any of us truly wants to do is commit to another project, group, or organization. But the one area of volunteering shouldn’t be ignored. The ongoing social, academic and emotional success of our kids relies heavily on the amazing network of parents and guardians. I hope the above tips can help you find a place within your lifestyle to help out at your child’s school.
What do you do for your kids school? Are you a stay-at-home-mom, that comes into class once or twice a week? Are you part of the PTA, and take a pretty active roll within the school? Comment below!