Why You Should Volunteer In Your Child’s Classroom

The smell of construction paper, crayons and glue evoke so many memories for me.

They smell like childhood.

But for me they also smell like the many hours I worked in my mother’s elementary classroom after school on  weekends. She’d have me trace letters and cut them out, put together reading packets, correct homework, organize her in-class library and anything else that she needed. We’d listen to music and work the afternoon away.

Until this school year I hadn’t spent much time in an elementary classroom. They are such bright, cheerful places and in addition to the fond memories, I love volunteering in Lucas’s Kindergarten classroom! I wish every parent could take this opportunity.

For some parents the thought of volunteering in their child’s classroom is scary, but making this contribution can be very rewarding for both you and your child.

If your schedule permits, why not?

Why you should volunteer in your child’s classroom:

It makes my son’s entire week when he knows that I will be spending time in his classroom. He feels special and I know I’m sending a very positive message to him that I care about his class, his teachers, his friends and his school.

There is nothing better than getting first-hand knowledge of what is going on in your child’s class and witnessing their teacher in action.

Spending time with and getting to know the children your child spends a good part of their week with is priceless. These are his friends, maybe for life. No more blank stares or asking, “Who is Matthew again?”.

Working with other students helps you realize that your child is right where they need to be. What other classmates may be struggling with or excelling at can give you great insight into your own child’s progress.

Teachers need help! Often times after working in Lucas’s classroom I get a big hug and a thank you from Lucas’s teachers. They are grateful for my  help and I always leave feeling good about myself, even if all I did was filing and cutting strips of paper.

And I defy you to spend time with a bunch of insightful, cute, silly and full of life five- and six-year-olds and not leave feeling better about our world.

Related Posts:

Family Tree

Just like I knew they would, my eyes fill with tears as I tell Lucas the photos we are carefully pasting to the page are the last ones taken of my parents. It was my wedding day, seven years ago.

I thought we’d have a couple more years before Lucas had a Family Tree project.

It’s basic, immediate family only, no research required and a few fun questions about our family including, who is the oldest member of our family and who has the longest eyelashes.

I’m worried.

Lucas has been known to tell complete strangers that my parents are dead. Just like that, he’ll blurt out to anyone who’ll listen, “My mom’s parents are dead.” It was shocking the first couple of times but, I expect it now. I’m ready when the cashier at the supermarket looks at me with a blank stare on her face unsure what to say next. “It’s okay.” I say. Of course, it’s anything but okay, but she doesn’t want to hear a sob story and I’m just trying to buy dinner.

Death is a regular topic in our home. I have shared here before the many conversations we have had as a family, the questions my five-year-old so inquisitively asks and the delicate way in which we attempt to ease his precious heart and mind by responding the best way we know how, with the truth.

For us, it is normal. I realize this is not the case in other homes and assume most of his classmates have two sets of living grandparents, maybe more.

Lucas only has one set of grandparents and they are kind and loving and a very big part of our lives. I am grateful for them every day.

I could argue that my parents are a big part of our lives too, as they come up in regular conversation, there are lots of photos of them in our house and many stories and memories to share. But are my parents no longer my children’s grandparents because they are not here physically or because they never had the chance to meet my children? We refer to them as Grandma and Grandpa Adams. In my mind that’s what they are. Right? I don’t have the answers. All I know is, their lives were cut short and were they here, they’d love Lucas and Lola to pieces.

I’m not worried about what Lucas will say when it is his turn to present his family to his class, he’ll no doubt share what details he knows, however, I am concerned about how the other children may respond.

I gave Lucas’s teacher a head’s up and she was grateful and reassured me that no two families are alike and that she would create a sensitive environment for whatever the children what to discuss. 

family tree

Related Posts:

Kindergarten Is Big Time

Lucas has been in preschool or PreK since he was two years old, but Kindergarten is different.

Kindergarten is BIG time.

Our family had a lot of fun getting ready for the BIG day over the summer.

Periodically, my husband and I both checked in with him… And not once did Lucas express apprehension or nerves over a new school, having to make new friends, or what a huge milestone this was/is to his parents.

I stocked up on collared shirts a size larger than last year, crisp white socks and undies and two new pairs of sneakers. The kitchen was full of all his favorite foods; jars of peanut butter, ripe but not too ripe bananas, grapes, strawberry-flavored Go-Gurts, baby carrots and garlic humus.

I was so anxious the night before making sure we had separate labeled bags for his snack and lunch, double checking all the reuseable water bottles had matching lids and that we had a change of clothes AND shoes, a favorite blanket for rest time and that his first day clothes were laid out.

We also talked about Lucas’s goals for the upcoming school year and wrote them down so that we/he, once he accomplished #1 could revisit them from time to time. I think he is more than capable of achieving each and every one:


We are 10 days into the new school year and Lucas is as enthusiastic as he was all summer. He’s more tired at the end of the day than usual, but that’s what a five-day school week will do to a little boy who no longer naps, but he’s buzzing with new ideas and school projects.

Last week he explained sequence to me and brought home a baggie full of liquid polymers that he learned about in science class, together we created a vision writing board and he is very eager for me to plan a play dates with his new friends.


I’m proud of my boy but as a mother, it still shocks the hell of me when I think something is going to bother him or make him fearful and he demonstrates the exact opposite. I hope things continue to go so smoothly for him but I’ll be ready if we encounter any hiccups.

Related Posts:

Last Day Of Preschool

Yesterday was Lucas’s last day at the preschool he has attended for three years. We tucked a love note in his lunchbox and shared cookies and snacks to celebrate with his classmates, who had all signed an adorable farewell card for him. He brought home the name tag that has been affixed to his tiny desk since January and his personalized pencil box.


He was fine yesterday but the day before he was very emotional about not seeing his friends again. As soon as he saw me, he burst into tears. Having moved around a lot as a child, I could completely empathize. I assured him that we would keep in touch and he could see his friends as often as he wanted, in fact I wrote a note for one of the mothers right then and there to prove I meant it. She has already called and a play date has been scheduled for next week!


He has come along way, our little boy. I often wonder if we sent him to school too early; he was barely two-years-old, not even potty trained. It was only two mornings (9:00-12:00) a week to start and then three and then three full days (9:00-3:00) and then four full days.

Lucas has had three teachers and been in two classrooms at the small Montessori school. They have taught him a lot and I am grateful to his teachers and the staff for their dedication and for making his first educational experience so positive.

He has outgrown the small school now and will be attending a much bigger private school in September, where there will be new things to learn and many friends to make. We are very excited about this milestone.


And if you are getting sick of my OMG-my-son-is-a-Kindergartener posts yet, I’m sorry. They will continue throughout the summer and probably all next school year.

Related Posts: