How I Pace Myself as a Parent Volunteer- My School My Way

I am a mom to three boys. I have a 4th grader, a 2nd grader, and a son in private kindergarten who will start public kindergarten next year, as he missed the cut off by 4 days. This will be my fifth year with a child at our elementary school, and I have six more years ahead of me at this school, as my youngest moves up the ranks of elementary school. So that means that I will have helped out at my children’s elementary school for 11 years, so My School, My Way is this - I will help out at my child’s school and with the PTA, but I am pacing myself and picking efforts to work on that I feel I can contribute to without burning myself out.

So on that note, in the past I have been a room parent, and for two years I was the room parent coordinator (helping to find and organize room parents and communicating with them).  This year, I was asked to be the Lunch Buddy coordinator, it is a program I have participated in for two years.  Basically, I spend lunch at our school once a month for our Lunch Buddy program.  I am given a list of kids from our guidance counselor and I help find an adult, for each child, who would like to have lunch with a school student once a month.  It is usually about 30-40 children who participate in the program.

I also help in many smaller ways, such as bringing in goodies or food for PTA events, or teacher luncheons, helping at my kids’ room parties, and working PTA/school nights, like Meet the Teacher or our Fall Festival.  On occasion, I will come into school to read to a class or help for the library book drive.

But most of all, I help our school by meeting other parents and letting them know that our school is a better school because of all the parent involvement, whether through the PTA or attending school events.  Just showing your face and being a part of the school community can make all the difference. 

Here are a few tips to help you navigate through volunteering at your child or grandchild's school, my "volunteering mantra" so to speak.

  • I have said NO to more things than I say yes to.    I have a sound bite I use that is true and clear.  I am pacing myself - I have 11 years to volunteer at our Elementary school.
  • I am clear and communicate how I am able and willing to volunteer.  For example, I have been asked to head up Fundraising, but I do not feel it is a good fit with my strengths and may be too big of a time commitment, so I say no I would rather do something else.
  • If I commit to something I do it.
  • I always go to teacher conferences and ask questions.  I get to know each of my children’s teachers so we can communicate the strengths and weaknesses of my child.
  • I support the school and PTA events I can and believe in (Fall Festival, Math Night, Reading Night, Back to School Night, etc)
  • I split up responsibilities with my husband (he goes to one classroom and I go to another so I can also fit in helping out)

I also give back to parents and schools across the country through the resources we make available on a network of family websites I co-founded.  ZiggityZoom.com is a kids site geared towards kids and parents to "Spark their Imaginations".  We encourage creative learning, imagination, and positive family interactions.  We want to help parents start the school year right so here are several educational printables that will help you manage school schedules.

Homework Chart

 This is a printable that you can laminate and reuse.

 

 

 

 

Screentime Chart for TV, Computer, Video Game Time (a chart to manage tv, video games and computer time).  And here are the Screentime tracking disks.

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome Job-(Great Job Stickers for Kids)

 

 

 

Kids Weekly Calendar Chart (My Week Ahead Chart for Kids)

 

 

 

 

We also have many other charts available such as:

Healthy Eating Chart, Kindness Chart, Manners Chart, Savings Chart for Kids.

 And we created the NationalKindergartenReadiness.com site, geared to parents and teachers of pre-k or Kindergarten Students. We strive to educate and help parents prepare their children for life-long school success through kindergarten readiness.

 I also support Volunteer Spot's Back to School Campaign!

Parent leader free online sign up sheets with volunteerspot

I SUPPORT MY SCHOOL.. MY WAY! And I’m joining VolunteerSpot’s sponsored Back To School campaign to help raise visibility for parent involvement in schools.

Save time {and sanity} and get more parents involved at school with VolunteerSpot.com!

VolunteerSpot's FREE online signup sheets make it easy to organize parents and signup to help for just about anything: classroom helpers, snack schedules, carnivals, library volunteers, parent-teacher conferences and more.... No more 'Reply-All' email chains or clipboard sign up sheets! Please share with your room mom, teachers and parent leaders…

Plus there's a huge Sweepstakes on VolunteerSpot's Facebook page!
Win $500 worth of school supplies for YOUR School! Enter here

 

By Kristin Pierce Fitch

CEO, Editor- ZiggityZoom.com and NationalKindergartenReadiness.com