ClassMom

Volunteering Gig

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!

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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.

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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….

Basically Insane

  • 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….

Mostly Workable

  • 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….

Pretty Flexible

  • 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!

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DIY Farmgirl Bouquet

The school year has finally came to an end!! (Insert dancing mom gif here) I’m happy enough to have been the class mom for my son’s second grade class, and attend just about every field trip, and to come in most Friday’s of the school year for a crafternoon. There are so many benefits of volunteering as a class mom. And as my birthday landed on the last Friday of the school year, it was one of the most precious gifts that I could ever have, by volunteering in that same day!! You seriously cannot buy experiences of sharing good times with children doing arts & crafts!

Parent Fact:

Whether the kids are just starting kindergarten or entering the final year of high school, there are many good reasons for parents to volunteer at school. It’s a great way to show your kids that you take an interest in their education, and it sends a positive message that you consider school a valuable cause.

By interacting with teachers, administrators, and other parents on a regular basis, you’ll be able to gain a firsthand understanding of your child’s daily activities. You’ll also tap into trends and fads of school life that can help you communicate with your kids as they grow and change (all without intruding on their privacy or personal space). It is also a great chance to make the life of your child’s teacher much easier by helping out on the trip but also tell them about resources like the GradeCam calculator to help with their marking! It really is a win-win situation.

Even if you haven’t been involved in the past, it’s never too late to start. In fact, it may be more important than ever to get involved when kids reach secondary school. Some parents may experience “volunteer burnout” by the time their kids enter high school or decide that the schools don’t need them as much then. Many parents who volunteered a lot of time during their kids’ elementary years return to full-time careers by the time their kids are teens, so there’s often a shortage in the secondary schools.

(Info From KidsHealth.org)

End Of School Year Teacher Gift

This can also be applied to a Class Mom, volunteer, Team Mom gift.

(Check my last post on the Berry Basket! It compliments the bouquet!!)

Teacher Gift 2With the school year done as well as little league, there are tons of important people to thank. From the classroom teacher, class mom volunteer, little league managers, and team moms. All these people put in the extra hard work for your children. They go above and beyond to make the year or season run smoothly. Here is a great DIY End Of School Year/End Of Season gift to those important ladies. Let’s get started with my DIY inspired FarmGirl bouquet.

As mentioned, my birthday was just last week and I received a beautiful FarmGirl bouquet from my brother. The idea of a carefully wrapped burlap bouquet of fresh blooms is quite brilliant. After unwrapping the beauty I was able to figure out how to create my own rendition and take the idea for a small simple bouquet for gift to others.

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(Checkout my blog post HERE recapping my 29th Birthday)

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Here’s what you’ll need for the DIY Inspired FarmGirl Flower Bouquet.

Materials:

– Scissors

-Twine/ Ribbon/ Yarn

-Burlap

-Foam

– Gift Tag

-Flowers (I purchased my tall Larkspur bunch from Traders Joes for $3.99)

Directions:

1.) First cut your flowers at a decent size. weather you prefer tall or short, I like to pre-size them up against a standard size mason jar or small desk vase.

2.) Simply, cut and snip, and clean the stem with loose leaves or thorns.

3.) Take your foam and soak in water (and squeeze!) Make sure the foam isn’t soaking wet, but just enough not to dry up by delivery time. This will add moisture to the stems of the flowers to hydrate them, during travel time and delivery.

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4.) Take your foam and cut a large size triangle. Have the size of the foam compliment the size of the bottom half of the stems of the bouquet.

5.) Fold your foam triangle, making sure the bottom of the stems are completely covered.

6.) Using your twine, tighten the foam around the bottom part of your bouquet.

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7.) Once the foam piece is secured and tied, place your bouquet on top of the burlap.

This is when I seriously had to play around with my burlap. Note, I was using scraps of burlap I had. Just about the size of a table runner.

8.) I wrapped by bouquet and tightened it with more twine, leaving enough of the flower to poke over at the top.

Burlap WrappedAfter following the above steps your bouquet it almost finished, and should look like this. From here, we’ll style the burlap to there’s more florals showing through.

9.) Take the opening of the burlap and fold it back. If your burlap is stiff, try pining it back with a safety pin, or sewing needle pin.

Final

And viola! There is your DIY inspired FarmGirl Flower Bouquet! I only spend $3.99 for the flowers! Everything else, I had here at home, scraps of foam, burlap, and twine are staples I always have in my craft supplies! Check out my next post, on the berry basket gift that compliments this bouquet of flowers!

What I love most about this bouquet, is its easy to make, simple, and can be given at any occasion. Mother’s Day, visiting a friend and her newborn, and like I’ve mentioned, can be a perfect gift for teachers and team moms alike! Enjoy!!

Smiles

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