Get involved in your child’s school this year (without embarrassing them)

By Sheila Simpson for, Canada's trusted source for camps and schools on August 14, 2013
Many stay-at home parents opt to take an active role at their child’s school (or specifically, in their child’s class) as a room mom, a chaperone, or simply by helping out occasionally. However, this can be an embarrassment to a child. And while young children may exhibit only small signs of disapproval, the sentiment is especially prevalent in middle-school age kids who are just hitting puberty. However, there are still ways that you can take part in school activities and monitor your child’s educational and social progress from afar. Start getting involved this new school year with some of these mentoring methods that won’t leave your child pretending they don’t know you.

  1. Monitor, chaperone, plan. The easiest way to get involved in your child’s school is to volunteer on a part-time basis. With many schools losing funding during the recession, parent aides are more important than ever. So offer to monitor the playground during lunchtime or recess, chaperone on field trips or other class activities, and help to plan various events like dances, meetings, etc.
  2. Gauge your strengths. Everyone is good at something. Maybe you enjoy baking or food preparation and you are willing to cater snack times. Or perhaps you are a fair hand at sewing and you can help to create costumes for school plays. You might even have had a creative job that deals with art, film, or computer graphics and you can help the class to do fun projects or create an awesome class blog. Whatever your talents, seek ways to use them to the advantage of your child and the class (or the school at large) and become the “cool” parent.
  3. Host fundraisers. If your kid is starting to get a bit peeved that you’re always around, take a step back and try to find ways to stay involved without being ubiquitous. Fundraisers (bake sales, car washes, etc.) are a great way to ensure that the school has the money it needs to provide the best education for your child (including books, supplies, and most importantly, teachers).
  4. Offer tutoring. Most children could use a little help when it comes to one subject or another, so offer to help out in the classroom or after school for free (as there are plenty of kids who can’t afford expensive tutors). You will get to know some of the kids your child associates with, be present if your child needs you, and provide a valuable service for students who might otherwise get lost in the shuffle.
  5. Be a mentor. There are plenty of kids out there who could use a little extra love. Your child is lucky enough to have at least one parent who is engaged in their life, but many others have two working parents who are struggling to make ends meet (and unfortunately that leaves little time for the family). You can help these children in a number of ways, but mainly by giving them the love and attention they need to live healthy, happy lives.
Getting involved in the school community is something many parents want to do but never try for fear of being the “embarrassing mom.” If you try to assume one of the roles mentioned above and remember not to constantly dote, restrict or single out your child, getting involved can develop your relationship with your child, other parents and make you an integral part of the school community in the new year!

Get involved in your child’s school this year (without embarrassing them) was originally posted by Our Kids is Canada's trusted source for information on private schools and summer camps.

By Sheila Simpson for, Canada's trusted source for camps and schools| August 14, 2013

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