Without a doubt, your involvement with your child's school will most certainly benefit you, your child and the school! You are the most influential factor in your child's life and they will take their cues from you when dealing with school and the community they're part of. Knowing what is happening and helping out at the school will make you a valuable resource for your school and will also enable you to observe and participate in the changes and policies the school will have.
There has been a lot of research conducted that has clearly shown the educational benefits of parental involvement; kids generally do better across every subject, including socially. Children whose parents have clear and high expectations of their children, verbalize these ideas to them and also help them get there, will most certainly reach those goals much easier than children whose parents have no involvement.
This positive academic outcome has been seen even at high school level where parents mistakenly make less of an effort to be involved. At primary school level however, young children feel happier, cope better, are more confidant and secure having their parents partake in their school's activities. Knowing what your child is doing at their school will also put you at ease.
There are a number of ways to get involved with your child's school life. Not every parent has the time to be on school committees, or attend policy changing AGMs; helping out with homework every day, asking about their day, hunting around town for that end of year school musical… all these things will affect your child positively!
If however, you are lucky enough to have the time and want to play a larger role at your child's primary school, here are some ways you can get involved:
- Organise and help with fundraising by baking cakes, making crafts, or selling them at the school on the day
- Volunteer at your child's tuck shop or canteen, if the school has one
- Help out with reading groups
- Organise sports days and after-school sports coaching
- Use your artistic or sewing skills to help decorate and make costumes for plays/concerts
- Join school excursions by volunteering to help drive the kids or look after them at the visiting venue
- Suggest or brainstorm activities with the staff and parents of the school. The more activities schools offer, the more opportunities you have to get involved!
- Organise a cultural evening to raise funds for the school, and also to raise awareness of other nationalities and traditions.
The school will appreciate any and every effort you make to get involved, no matter how big or small it may be. Socialising with other parents will build a strong sense of community and you may even make long-lasting friendships with your peers. Showing that you care about your child's education and well-being will instill in your child a sense of responsibility and dedication, allowing them to learn and grow with their parents' full support, at home and at school.