Parents and school involvement

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2003
Parents and school involvement
2586
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 8:49am

My question stems from a personal experience. My middle child is starting kindergarten next week. I've become fairly close with one of my dd's friend's moms- this is her first child entering the school system. She WOH, I do not, plus I have experience with the school, so she's been calling me with questions and comments.

It started to go bad when she called to complain that the kindy orientation is during the day- when she is working. Then it led to complaints about the parents' read aloud program (when the kids are in library) and other opportunities for volunteerism in the school. I get that these things aren't convenient for her, but I'm getting annoyed with the complaining. How can the kids have an orientation at night when they go to school during the day? None of these events are mandatory for parents or kids. And plenty of activities are scheduled for evenings: Back to school night, the PTA picnic, etc.

She thinks because she can't participate, no one should be able to, apparently. Plenty of WOHP do show up for these things. I think she's being unrealistic if she thought she could put a couple of kids through school without ever taking a vacation day. Am I wrong? Am I missing something here?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 8:54am
Down where we are (Greece), school events are typically scheduled for late afternoon or evening, because most parents work. The events that have to be during the day, like the first day of school, for example, are usually sparsely attended by parents. The kids will often show up with a grandparent or uncle instead.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 8:56am

i told my woh friend just yesterday that open house/meet the teacher day at my kids' new school was tomorrow,friday from 9-1p.....her response was a snarky "i guess working parents are out of luck then" to which i replied no,there's lunch. why couldn't there be one hour a working parent could take away from her work day to attend. shrug.

those who complain the loudest are those least involved,too.

 

Avatar for mkatherine
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 8:57am

I think it's the cold shock of reality hitting her -- and yes she is unrealistic. It sounds like your school tries to strike a balance, as does Liza's school, between evening and daytime activities. I am fortunate that 1) I have a flexible job that has allowed me to attend that 11am Christmas concert each year and 2) that I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to be a parent volunteer... ;-) But I think that her complaining to YOU is not fair -- if she has concerns she should take them to the school WITH a valid idea for how to accomodate as many parents as necessary.

Now to be fair to your friend I do know that it's hard sometimes when you feel like schools haven't quite caught on to the fact that most parents work during the day it does feel like a small few get to do everything. It doesn't really bother me b/c I don't WANT to do anything but for those that do I know it is frustrating. But she should talk to the school, not dump it all on you. I hope that it doesn't last long for your sake!
Katie

PS. I remember my late sisters one foray into trying to lead her sons cub scout troop and the troop meetings were at like 3pm or something which was hard for her to get to from work. She was at a mom's meetin gand she said "how about the troop could meet at such and such a place at 5:30 when we get out of work" (oh my poor misguided sister. She was living in the 2nd wealthiest town in NH at the time and very few of the moms worked) . She said there was dead silence in the room and one mom said to her (actually said this with one of those snort laughs) "I think YOU"RE the only one who WORKS...." my sister always tried so hard to fit in with that crowd and kept failing miserably....

 

Yes. We. Did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 10:55am

obviously, your take on this is that this woman should just suck it up—live with the fact that *her* missing kindy orientation is one of the prices *she* will have to pay for woh. my take is that this schedule is harmful to the *children*: the whole point of a kindy orientation is to give the children the opportunity to explore what is likely to be a totally new environment to them and to meet their teachers and some of their peers in a controlled, comfortable, shorter-than-a-half-day setting, all while accompanied by a known and trusted escort. back to school night is incomparable—the halls and the classrooms are swarming with bigger kids, the environment and the purpose are totally different. i think it is *brutal* that your school or teacher or whoever doesn’t schedule kindy orientation in the evening, when the maximum number of *children* are likely to be able to attend, accompanied by a parent or by another known adult—punishing children for their parent's employment circumstances or choices is a really, really ugly thing to do. i would be able to attend during the day easily, but i would still be appalled if a daytime kindy orientation were scheduled at my children’s school, and i would fight it tooth and nail.

as for your portrayal of this one individual, i think the middle of your concluding paragraph says it all—“Plenty of WOHP do show up for . I think she's being unrealistic if she thought she could put a couple of kids through school without ever taking a vacation day.” in the context of your depiction of this one person’s attitudes, that sentiment i can get behind. daytime kindy orientation, though, is a painful disservice to 5yos, and it is caviler to suggest that the effect of such scheduling is nothing more than an inconvenience to wohps.

your slant on the kindy orientation passes my own personal litmus test for mommy wars drama with flying colors—it is all about the parent’s work status and the effect it has on her, and it shows no regard whatsoever for the effect the policy has on the child whose welfare (comfort) is really what’s at stake.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2003
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 11:07am

Well I know that my son had kindergarten orientation during the day.

 

Shari mother to

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 11:19am

It is usually a big adjustment moving into the formal school situations, ime...it takes

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 11:20am

Is your dh attending this event?


PumpkinAngel

Avatar for mkatherine
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 11:23am
Then there are parents like me who say "Um...do I HAVE to?" ;-) But hey I've done my time for god and St. Catherine's parish school -- I've dutifuly sat through family bingo night and spaghetti supper night for 3 years now...

 

Yes. We. Did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 11:27am

<< I love to volunteer at the school I have gotten to know many teachers and students that way, for me it's another benefit of being a SAHM!

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 08-23-2007 - 11:28am

I hear you.


PumpkinAngel

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