Participating in your child’s education is a great way to make a difference. Participation by parents strengthens schools and shows children you value learning. In addition, research has shown that students who have their parents involved in education are more likely than others to get better grades, perform better on standardised tests and go to college.
- Get started now: Introduce yourself to the teacher of your child. You don’t need to wait for parent-teacher conferences to get to know your child’s teacher. You can say hello to your kindergartner’s teacher anytime during the first week of school. Send a handwritten note or an email to the teacher. Ask the teacher if she has any questions. Ask the teacher how she prefers to be reached. This will help set a positive tone throughout the year.
- Volunteer in the classroom: Parents who are enthusiastic about helping kindergarten teachers will be welcomed. The teacher will dictate what you do in the classroom. This could include reading to students, preparing art projects and making copies of worksheets. You can let your child’s teacher know if you cannot keep a regular work schedule.
- Be a room parent: Kindergarten teachers often assign one or two parents to plan special activities, coordinate communication and organise class parties. It is a commitment that can last a year to be a room parent. In addition, it’s a wonderful way to get to know your teacher.
- Volunteer at home: You can volunteer from home if you cannot make it to the classroom during the school day. You can make calls to other parents, prepare materials for lessons, and help with their preparation. Your child will be proud to see you bring your volunteer spirit home. In addition, this will strengthen your relationship with the teacher.
- You can be a special guest: To share something about yourself with your children, such as your profession, cultural background, or interesting hobbies, visit their classroom. Your child will be proud that you are her parent.
- Find out more about the school your child attends: To learn more about Kinder Cottage’s kindergarten program, read the school handbook. Next, keep up to date by reading the newsletters of parent-teacher groups and schools. Finally, check the website of your school for any updates or information.
- Reach out to other parents: Find ways to meet the parents of your child’s classmates. For example, you can volunteer to chaperone field trips. Participate in assemblies and class parties. Do not be afraid to introduce yourself, and make sure you exchange email and phone numbers. The support of other parents is invaluable during the first year and beyond.
- Attend school events: Attend school events such as open houses, art shows, assemblies, and open houses. Meeting staff and parents at school events is a great way to make friends and help your child feel more at ease in his new school.
- Teach your child that school is essential: Praise your child’s efforts. Post artwork and school papers to your refrigerator so that everyone can see them. Let everyone know that school is vital by communicating words and actions.
Talk to your child about school. Ask your child specific questions when she comes home from school. For example, instead of asking “How was your day?” you should ask, “What was the most memorable thing at school today?” and “Tell us one thing you learned in Nerang kindergarten today.”