Continuing to be actively involved in your child’s education once they start school
“Our whole family are very involved in the whole school. This helps us get to know other children and the staff. I know I can’t rely on the teacher to do everything, because of all of her responsibilities so we can help with some things as a family. I couldn’t imagine not being involved. We’ve always been very involved. I also had regular meetings with his teacher which helps the teacher to be reminded of what he needs help with.”
Peter, father of Mitchell
Why is it important to be involved in the school community?
Different parents will be able to be involved in their child’s education and the school community in a range of ways based on their:
- available time
- personal skills and resources
- other commitments (e.g. children and work)
Sometimes, grandparents or other family members are able to help.
Even a small amount of time can have benefits for your own child as well as for the school community more generally.
- becoming more familiar with the routines, experiences, and curriculum which can help you to support your child’s adjustment and adaptation to their new school
- providing opportunities to meet your child’s peers and their parents
- helping the school
How can I be involved in my child’s school life?
Even parents with little spare time can be involved in the following ways:
- Participate in meetings with your child’s teacher and any support professionals to discuss goals and strategies for their Individual Education Program (IEP)
This is a valuable opportunity to share your priorities and your knowledge of your child and adapt the goals in their IEP as your child develops and changes.
These meetings may only be held a couple of times a year.
- Communicate regularly with your child’s teacher. See Developing positive relationships with the school for different ways to communicate with the teacher
- share what you are working on with your child at home including any changes to routines, new goals, progress, or concerns
- regular contact will also help you learn about what the school is focusing is on, so you can reinforce your child’s learning at home
- Arrange play dates outside of school time which can help to strengthen your child’s friendships
- Practise particular skills that the teacher may suggest at home
- Talk about current classroom topics or current areas of focus with your child at home (e.g. animals in the zoo)
“Because the school was more curriculum focussed, I would ask what they were doing in class and then say we could work towards this at home too. I let the teacher know I was there to support what needed to happen to help my child learn.”
For those with a little more time
Ask your child’s teacher how you can be involved. This can help you to match your own skills, interests and availability to the needs of the school. If you aren’t able to help, maybe grandparents or other family members can.
Children love knowing that their family is involved in their school.
- listen to children read in the classroom
- make visual supports or "social stories™"
- cover school books or sharpen pencils
- help in the classroom during Literacy (also known as L3) rotations
- assist with art or craft activities
- be involved in the school’s Parents and Citizens (P &C) Association
- assist with fund-raising events
- help at sporting events and carnivals
- attend school excursions
- join the roster for the school canteen
“Getting involved in the school was really important, for example P & C activities, reading, fund-raising. This gives you a nice presence in the school and allows you to give back.”
Karen, mother of Jason