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Helping out at your DC's school

(11 Posts)
DirtyThree Sun 28-Jun-15 11:26:53

My oldest is only 3 so school is a little way off for us... It looks like I'll be working full time for the foreseeable future but I'd like to keep as involved in school things as poss, when the time comes. I have some flexibility and a general annual leave allowance which will help and DH will work part time so I hope between us we can make most assemblies/sports days etc etc. but what about the extra stuff- reading, school trips etc? How often do these things crop up? How much time could we allow for being involved with that kind of stuff?

grassroots Sun 28-Jun-15 11:41:14

The main difficulty for us is that the school gives very short notice of events - so getting time off work is very difficult. Often they have dressing up days which require a themed costume at two or three days notice… On top of that there are a lot of cakes to be baked, stalls to be manned at christmas/summer fairs etc. In Summer there is more on and sometimes parents are involved two or three days a week. And thats all on top of three lots of homework a week (plus daily reading obviously). Its an absolute nightmare if you work full time but want to be involved.

DirtyThree Sun 28-Jun-15 12:33:12

Oh that sucks grassroots - are there many working parents or mostly SAHPs? Could you ask the PTA (or whoever would be appropriate) to communicate further in advance??

grassroots Sun 28-Jun-15 19:30:31

Our school is a complete mixture of full time, part time and SAHP with younger siblings. I know there have been endless requests/complaints from parents regarding improving communication but not much has changed so far! The other difficulty is that mostly the children really like you to be involved - its hard for them if you are the parent that can't attend assembly and it seems to them as if all the others in the class have their family there.

MsDeerheart Sun 28-Jun-15 19:37:17

depends on the school I think - our school has normally reasonable notice of any dressing up days - if you have flexibility to go in late then that covers quite a few things - eg assemblies and sports day. Reading is just something that people with spare time do and ditto school trip. If your DH is working part time he should be able to cover some of it.

lexyloub Sun 28-Jun-15 21:09:07

Depends on the school we usually get a couple weeks notice for dress up days if you've not got the time or patience to make an outfit then amazon Is your best friend for costumes.

DontCallMeBaby Sun 28-Jun-15 21:20:08

Big school trips have been twice a year. They're of varying popularity with parents - they've never had any trouble getting volunteers, but the trip to see Warhorse was VERY popular with parent helpers! Then there's been one or two smaller trips like cooking at Waitrose. Not a huge amount, although I've only ever gone on one - work term time only so don't like to take time off when DD is at school.

With reading the least commitment they've asked for is once a fortnight.

DirtyThree Mon 29-Jun-15 00:14:40

The dressing up and cake stuff is ok... I think I can cope with that side of things, it's more the helping out in person during the school day somehow or another.

A regular commitment for reading makes sense. I wonder how long they need each session? I could possibly take an earlier/longer lunch for something like that though thinking about it, I'd rather take some leave and go on a trip!!

HamishBamish Mon 29-Jun-15 09:32:58

We tend to split the official things between us. Generally there's something at Christmas, a sports day, end of year shows and a couple of other random bits a pieces. We tend to get a few week's notice.

As for helping out, we do what we can. We participate in fund raising activities which tend to be held out of working hours.

Homework is done as soon as they get home and then it's supper, bath and bed. There's not much time for anything else during the week as they need to be asleep by 7pm since they are up at 6.30am. Any additional activities (swimming etc) has to be done during the weekend.

HamishBamish Mon 29-Jun-15 09:35:32

I've just seen your reference to helping out with reading OP. At DS's school they send out a list of classes who need parent helpers and the regular days/times they are required. You never help out in your own child's class. The sessions are usually around 45 minutes to an hour.

DirtyThree Mon 29-Jun-15 18:43:31

Ahh as selfish as it sounds, if it's not for my own child, I don't think I'll be putting my hand up for it...

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