The unknown is always scary, and this especially true, when it comes to starting school. As the probably overprotective mom of a kindergartner, the first day of school was probably more stressful on me than it was on him. I had bought him every imaginable school supply, the backpack and lunch pail he wanted and new clothes to start this new adventure. What made the process easier on me was volunteering in his kindergarten class and seeing the day-to-day dynamic. If you’re a mom of a child embarking on kindergarten, and are considering becoming a volunteer, knowing what to expect might make the decision easier.
Between running a household, working and other responsibilities of life, you might not think you’ll be able to volunteer in your child’s class. However, volunteering is not a full-time job. If you have one to two hours a week to spare, you can become a volunteer too. The teacher schedules each volunteer to their convenience, and after a while, you get used to the routine. Whether you can volunteer one hour a week, two days a week or once every two weeks, teachers always welcome volunteers.
Volunteer work is not rocket scientry, and the teacher will always explain what you’re supposed to do. Volunteer work can include everything from making copies, cutting papers, stapling books, gluing pictures and stuffing homework folders. You’re basically prepping paper work that will be used in the classroom or for homework. As a volunteer you also get to interact with the kids including your own. Testing the kids on their sight word knowledge, helping them pick treasure chest gifts and playing games with them, are some of the activities I did. As a volunteer, you also get to help setup parties for the kids and participate during the festivities.
Throughout the year, the class takes several field trips. This is when it seems like all the parents want to come along for the ride. Expect to undergo fingerprinting, because full clearance is required, since you’ll be spending most of the day with the kids. Luckily regular volunteers tend to get the upper hand. I was able to go on all of my son’s field trips. This eased my mind, because if he wasn’t on the school grounds, I at least wanted to be able to keep an eye on him. I was in charge of a small group of kids including my son, and since I’m a big kid myself, we ended up having lots of fun. As an added bonus, I was able to take pictures of these precious times.
Bonding With Your Child
When I was little, my mother volunteered in my class, and as an adult, I still remember this. I know that my son will have the same memories when he grows up. Volunteering is a great way to bond with your child. Not only can you supervise his progress in class, knowing the names of his classmates and the daily activities he undertakes allow you to talk to him in detail during non-school hours. Also, while you volunteer, you develop a special bond with your child’s teacher that none of the other parents have. You’ll feel more comfortable approaching her with questions or problems when they arise.