Thursday, November 18, 2010

Strategies for Juggling Involvement and Life

by Leah MacVie

Today’s students have crammed schedules. They wake up early, shove food in their face, jump in the car, run from class to class, go to band practice followed by soccer practice, get their homework done while eating, and then off to bed. If you think that is stress inducing, imagine their parents, who work full time and juggle schedules for 3 kids.

As a parent, you have to choose your priorities. Here are a few strategies for balancing life and being involved in your child’s schools.

Support your Child

Coming up with a consistent schedule during the week will definitely help students to nail down a routine. Show an interest in not only what your child is attaining in school, but also what they are learning and interested in. When adults keep asking about the grades, students begin to believe that’s all that matters. There is more to school than grades. There are experiences, friendships, open minds, innovative ideas, and current events.

Meet the Teachers

For younger students, contact your child’s teacher a few weeks after the start of the school year to say you want to stop by and introduce yourself. For the older students, you may have this opportunity at an open house.

Stay up to Date

Some teachers will send out newsletters. While you don’t always have the time to comment face to face on these newsletters, you can e-mail questions and comments at any time of day. Also, check the school Web site, and contact the webmaster if you notice it is out of date. If you can, attend school board and PTA meetings, even if for a short amount of time.

Volunteering Time

If you are lucky enough to have a flexible employer that supports families, then it’s definitely a great idea to ask your child’s teacher when an extra pair of hands will be needed and to schedule it in advance. If you don’t have daytime hours to spare, then ask your child’s teacher how you can volunteer in other ways, like baking or assembling handouts.

Juggling involvement and life isn’t easy, but being consistent with these simple strategies will help you to maximize the time you have.

Leah MacVie blogs about educational choices at She loves contemplative comments from bloggers like Rob Griffith and appreciates helping faculty that think online learning is an interesting choice.

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