We hear about days when parents take their children to work in order to
introduce them to that environment and part of their lives. What about the
opposite approach - at least one day during the school year when a parent
accompanies the child to school?
There are several benefits that can come from parents accompanying their
children to school:
a chance to meet your kidís friends. You probably know all the closer
friends, but this is an opportunity to meet the ones your child talks about
but who do not get to visit your home.
can see a wide range of childrenís temperaments at school. If you want to
get a better understanding of your childís age-appropriate behavior, there
is nothing like seeing twenty or more peers in action at the same time.
your child in a different light. I am amazed at how often I see parents who
are surprised at how well-behaved their children are at school. They tell me
their children do not act that way at home. You, too, may be surprised.
will be guided through your childís world. She knows the ins and outs. Let
her be in charge of showing you how it all works.
to know the teacher better. What kinds of things do your kids say about
their teachers? Hereís a chance to see them first-hand.
the teacherís conflict resolution skills. No doubt, there will be
squabbles of some sort during the day. You may learn some new techniques by
watching the teacher solve school problems, thus adding to the repertoire
you use at home.
the context to the school work you have been seeing at home. See how the
teacher presents the work and what she expects in the way of independent or
have changed since you have been to school. Do you remember when we sat in
straight rows and werenít allowed to look at anyone elseís paper?
Nowadays, many kids sit around large tables and work in cooperative groups.
Get a better feel for this by being there to see it.
to ask meaningful questions at home. You will be able to go deeper than
asking, ďWhat did you do today?Ē When you know the schedule and routine
better, you can ask informed questions about all aspects of the school day,
such as the library, science teacher, physical education, and any of the
myriad people who contribute to your childís learning experiences.
your child that you value education, school, the teacher, and all aspects of
school life. Nothing shows support for your childís education more
strongly than your being there.
If you decide to do this, here are two additional suggestions:
parent should go individually on different days, since each person has his
own perspective. Additionally, you will show your children that concern for
their education is not the job of just one parent.
going to see a more typical day if you go randomly, rather than on a day
when all parents are invited together. In this way, you will
be sure that the school is not putting on a show for you.
Jay Davidson has been teaching in San Francisco for 31 years; he teaches
first grade. He is the author of Teach Your Children Well: A Teacherís
Advice for Parents, which is available for $12.95 from
Amazon.com. He can be reached through his website at www.jaydavidson.com.