When did things get so busy? Everyone is so busy that it almost seems like a contest to see who’s the busiest. As a working mother of three myself, I assure you I can relate. Between juggling our jobs, caring for our children and household responsibilities, there never seems to be enough time in the day.
So when someone from your child’s school approaches you to volunteer your time, it can feel like there’s no more time to give. But volunteering isn’t just another thing on the “To Do” list. There are so many important benefits to volunteering at school—both for you and your child. Here are a few I’d like to share:
1. Volunteering Makes a Difference in your Child’s Education
Children’s whose parents are involved in their schools do better. Research has shown that children of parents who volunteer make better grades and perform better on tests. They’re also better behaved, have better attendance, and are more likely to graduate and continue their education. The more parents participate at school, the more successful their children will be.
2. Volunteering Allows You to Spend More Time with Your Child
Our children spend A LOT of time at school. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to share in school-related experiences. It gives you more in common. It also allows you to be a fly on the wall and see your children in a different environment. It’s rewarding to watch them as they put all the skills you’ve taught them into action.
3. Volunteering Helps Create Community
I know it sounds cliché, but raising children takes a village. Volunteering at school is a great way to connect with other parents and create a circle of adult friends. Over time, these friends grow to know and love your children. Never underestimate the power of community in raising children.
4. Volunteering Allows You to Get to Know Teachers and Staff
Your child’s teacher and school staff are your teammates in parenting during the school year. They have a tremendous impact on children both academically and socially. Having a presence at school is a great way to get to know them better and show them your support.
5. Volunteering Makes Schools Better
Schools who have a strong volunteer base perform better. There are so many demands placed on schools with limited financial resources. Any volunteer effort can help bridge that gap at no additional cost to the school. Taking things off the plate of teachers, administration, and staff frees them up to do what they do best—educate our children.
6. Volunteering Allows You to Use Your Strengths
Volunteering is a great way to showcase your strengths. Look for opportunities that are within your wheelhouse. Using the skills that come naturally to you makes things easier (and often more enjoyable). If you love baking, sign up to help with the bake sale. Volunteering will feel less burdensome, and your natural talents will be appreciated.
7. Volunteering is Good for Your Health
I can’t share the benefits of volunteering without mentioning that it’s good for your health. Research shows that people who volunteer live longer, have lower stress levels, and are generally healthier. You can’t beat an opportunity that allows you to spend more time with your children AND decreases your stress.
If for no other reason than to spend more time with your children, I hope you’ll make the time to volunteer. There are no tasks too small, and every little bit helps to make the school better. And I have a feeling you’ll have a lot of fun along the way.