Guest post contributed by Dixie Somers
If you have a few extra hours per day or even per week, you might want to consider getting involved in your preschooler’s educational experience. There are many different ways to directly and/or indirectly participate in your child’s preschool experience. Research shows that students who have involved parents tend to do better on homework and tests, regularly attend all of their classes, pass their classes, have better social skills, and eventually graduate and continue on with college and/or a career. Even though preschool is meant as a preparation for later schooling, the trick to participation is to begin as early in your child’s education as possible. Being engaged in your child’s preschool experience can help them better adapt to the classroom setting and develop stronger social bonds with others. Below are five ways in which you can get involved.
Volunteer in Your Child’s School
If you have an extra hour or two each week, volunteer! Most schools are looking for parent volunteers to help in the classroom, during lunch, at recess, and in after-school activities. Teachers generally warmly welcome an extra set of hands (and eyes) in the classroom, and this gives you better insight into the way your child’s school and their teacher structure learning activities and programs.
Assist Your Child with Homework and Reviewing Materials
At home, spend an allotted amount of time assisting your preschooler with any work that comes home. If there is no homework, spend some time reviewing materials that your child is learning in their classroom. Ask your preschooler questions related to the in-class work that the teacher sends home with them. Any amount of review is constructive and can help your child better understand the importance of study skills.
Do Fun Learning Activities at Home
You can take review time a step further and do fun activities at home based on what your child is learning in class. If they are learning shapes and colors, break out the finger paints and have them tell you about the colors they are using and the figures they are drawing. Engaging your child’s creative side might get them more interested in what they’re learning in class.
Get Involved With Reading Partners
Taking part in your school’s Reading Partners program is a great way to help preschoolers develop stronger reading skills, especially with decoding language and fluency abilities. Members of the community (including parents) are encouraged by many schools to volunteer.
Do School-wide and Community Outreach
If you enjoy networking, get active by doing school- and community-wide outreach. Some of this work can be done from the comfort of your own home, and you can put your social skills to work by crafting newsletters or flyers for school events.
Whichever way you decide to get involved, being active in your child’s preschool experience is extremely beneficial. Not only are you helping to guide their educational experiences and cultivate their social skills and personalities, but you are also showing your child that you care.