For those with some at home and 1/some in public school - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-25-2005, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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in the fall my oldest will start kindergarten. we expect he will go full day. i am very eager to be a VERY involved parent. i want to volunteer in his classroom, help with field trips, bring home-baked stuff if i can, and whatever else i can do that will be helpful. i also want to get involved in the PTA and then, in a few years (8? 10? 12? I want to run for a position on my local school board.

so, since i am going to have two other small ones at home, and no money for a babysitter since i'm a SAHM, how do i do all that stuff with my son's class and school? any ideas?
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#2 of 11 Old 04-27-2005, 12:57 PM
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Hi Vicki!

I found that I have a harder time doing all those things that I thought for sure I would be doing...With my first, I was very involved and I just took my then 2 year old with me. Since then we have moved to anohter school district, and I have realized that this new district is not very "kid" friendly. We are not permitted to bring siblings to anything. I also can't spend $$ on babysitters, so I am sort of stuck. I feel badly I can't be invovled. Although I am getting a little more bold and I have brought Jackson to things in the sling.

I just try to send things in when I can, but I have never been able to attend any of their class parties. Another mom and I have been discussing trading next year...there is a program where once a week you go and read to the kids. We were thinking of doing it every other week each, then the other can watch the at home kids. Between us we have 8 kids, four will be in school, so it should work out. Maybe that would work for you?

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#3 of 11 Old 04-27-2005, 02:27 PM
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I also wanted to be very involved. The girls are in a second language school so they could get more out of it, and be in a smaller school/class setting. I love their school. However, I have 1 in gr.1 and 1 in kindergarden and an infant. I don't/can't vollunteer. I wish I could and I feel so guilty, but I don't have anyone I can leave ds with. The teachers say I could bring him with me, but honestly how much help would I be chasing a 14month baby around? Sometimes dh will take a day off and I can help on a field trip, but not very often. I do what I can for special days and offer to bring food (it's more for me so I know they will be having at least one healthy treat).
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#4 of 11 Old 04-27-2005, 03:43 PM
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My oldest is in Kindergarten (1/2 day) and I was sad to find out that 1) it is VERY competitive to get on the committees and the mamas all seemed to already know each other, and 2) most activities and chaperoning adventures do not allow for younger siblings. This may be different in other areas, but that's how it is where I live. So far this year, and mind you the year is almost over, all I've gotten to do is attend 1 "family" function (sibs were allowed to come) and I've sent in tons of bought stuff for the parties, every single party. They basically only ask me to buy stuff. I get to bring the other two boys to the Mother's Day function coming up. I'm looking forward to that very much! It is sad b/c I thought I'd be so involved with Ricky's first year of school and it just isn't like that. I hope you get to do tons, b/c the kids do tons of fun stuff!
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#5 of 11 Old 05-02-2005, 02:08 PM
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The official rule for our school district is no siblings, and until recently, I thought it was followed, but I found out it really is up to the teacher. I haven't volunteered at parties, but I have been able to stop in and visit (not a surprise visit though), and eat lunch with my boys. I also do a few PTA jobs that I can do from home. In general, if you want to volunteer, and make it known, teachers are greatful, and even if you can't do much, they appreciate support.
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#6 of 11 Old 05-02-2005, 02:21 PM
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Definitely check with the school and teacher. My sister volunteered weekly with in her oldest son's classroom and brought along her youngest with her. When the oldest was in preschool the little one was 1. The oldest is now in second grade, the youngest in preschool and my sister has volunteered in the classroom every year.

My son is starting preschool in the fall (3 days/wk for 3 hours/day) in the same school district so I'm hoping that I'll be able to bring along my little one (she'll almost be 2 at the time) so I can volunteer as well.
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#7 of 11 Old 05-02-2005, 03:20 PM
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My dd is in 4th grade. I do go to the parties and stuff and I do bring my ds but I can'thelp out on field trips. Another thing that has really been hard for me is often haing to wake ds from his nap to pick up dd

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#8 of 11 Old 05-06-2005, 02:51 PM
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My mom just brought my little brother with her everywhere. He was born on Halloween of my kindegarten year. Mom just continued volunteering in the classroom like she had done all along.
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#9 of 11 Old 05-10-2005, 10:47 AM
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I have done a few things at dsd's school (1st grade), but only on occasions where ds won't be disruptive - supervising recess, bringing a dish for a class party. With another one coming this summer, I doubt I'll be there at all next year.
It seems to me that most of the moms who are at the school 24/7 are there pretty much for their own entertainment and social outlet; they are SAHMS without younger children who would otherwise be at home alone during the day. So I don't feel bad letting them be the ones to obsess about tissue paper flowers for the bulletin boards etc. .
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#10 of 11 Old 05-11-2005, 10:57 AM
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Former teacher chiming in!

I would definitely check with your child's teacher. I taught kindergarten. I didn't mind young babies in slings or carriers coming to volunteer. Those moms usually read with children or did one on one math games, etc. and the young babies were not a problem. When siblings were a little older and mobile, it became a little more difficult for them to come during volunteer time. For some students, a toddler, even a very calm toddler, was super distracting. So, if a mom had to bring an older sibling along, I just asked that she let me know and we could plan a situation where it would work well for everyone. Any siblings were always welcome at classroom parties. My students enjoyed haveing siblings there and it made our classroom more family-like when the whole family was welcome. I also always made open houses for the whole family. If you do bring siblings to events with snacks, you may want to make sure to bring your own or make sure the mom in charge knows to have extra for any siblings.

Hope that helps.
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#11 of 11 Old 05-11-2005, 11:25 AM
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I didn't volunteer with my oldest when she was in K. I didn't care much for the teacher and couldn't handle being around her. I also didn't have anyone to care for my other 2 kids. Last fall when my dd went into Grade 1 my dh's work schedule changed and he had every Monday off except he had to work every 4th monday. So the Mondays he didn't work I went to the school for the morning. I loved it, the teachers appreciate it so much. I did alot of menial work like cutting and photocopying but I had fun doing it. I also helped the kids with their spelling, reading, math, etc. I have brought my younger 2 twice. Once was during a read with a parent/grandparent day. I had to chase my then 2yo once or twice. The other time was at Xmas when Sobey's brought in gingerbread houses for each kid to do. They had extras so my younger 2 got a gingerbread to decorate too. In January I started babysitting and every Monday I did not have the baby dh had to work so I haven't been back since Feb. I miss it alot, but I know that once my younger 2 are in school I can volunteer again. I have 2 years until then.
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