Elementary schools often invite parents to work as volunteers supporting learning during the day, but any school welcomes the support that parents offer when they can. Some typical school events with which parents can assist include visiting for lunch on special days, chaperoning field trips, reading to classes, helping with celebrations, assisting on field days, or manning sign in tables in the mornings or at extra-curricular and sporting events.
It is important to find out what requirements are part of the volunteer process at your child’s school. Getting prior approval from the teacher or administrators, signing in, showing official identification, and wearing an identification badge are probable expectations in line with most school policies and procedures.
There are several national parent organizations and your district has an affiliation with one of them. Most people refer to these groups as PTOs or Parent-Teacher Organizations. The school most likely has a local group and that group is a member of a national PTA group. As non-profit organizations, PTOs work to raise money for events, work with schools to identify and carry out needs of the particular building, support teachers in their efforts to create a positive learning environment for the children, and maintain a line of communication between the school and the families of its students. These groups schedule regular meetings during the school year, often enough to develop clear communication, but not excessively. Check with your school to find out how to get involved with the group for that building.
The National PTA and National Education Association both support a “10-minute rule” that says children should have 10 minutes of homework per day for each school grade. Whether your experience follows that guideline depends on your child, his or her teacher, and the school.
The following are links to homework-tips:
- The U.S. Department of Education:
- National Education Association:
The NEA keeps abreast of current research and concerns about homework. On their home page, click on the search icon; on the page that appears, type in “homework.” Relevant articles will appear in the drop window.