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Old 08-11-2008, 09:28 PM
 
334 posts, read 1,397,682 times
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My children will be starting their first year in a US school. We are new to the neighborhood too. My husband expects that I will be allowed to accompany my children to school and observe them in the classroom while they are adjusting to their new surroundings, and be there in the event they have any difficulties.

I am wondering just how much I will be allowed to be at the school. Can anyone tell me how the school feels about parents of new children hanging around while their children get their footing at the school?

My husband says that in the states that you are expected as a parent to be very involved in your children's education, and this means volunteering several times a week. Do the teachers really appreciate this, or is it a hinderance to the students progress having "mommy' around so much???
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:53 PM
 
2,790 posts, read 5,911,808 times
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It depends on the program. Chances are you will be encouraged to make a clean break with your children. The thinking is that permitting the parents to hang out in the classroom actually encourages separation anxiety. I have worked with children at all levels of grade school who had no English skills. We usually would assign a special friend to help them learn the routine. And the teachers are aware and sensitive to the childs needs. Depending on the culture involved, there may actually be a program to help the child learn English.

Many schools do encourage volunteers. Chances are it will not be in your childs classroom. Even if you do volunteer for the teacher of your childs class, you will probably be preparing future lessons. In which case you may be working in the teachers work room or in the office copying lessons, etc.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida
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I think you'll find that it depends on the school. I'm assuming your children are going to a public school. Here is my experience: I have a grandson who lives with us who goes to private school. We are very involved with the school and parents/guardians are frequently in the classroom. On the flip side, our granddaughter is starting public school next week and we have been told that parents are not allowed to accompany their children on the first day.

I would suggest that you check with the school and see how much parental involvment is allowed.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:22 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 35,886,688 times
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Depends on the school system entirely. Here we are encouraged to do what we feel is best for our kids. If that is staying with them for a couple of days until they get used to the school, then that is what is done. If it is dropping them off and having the teacher watch them and help them, then that is the course of action taken. Here it is expected that if you volunteer, it will be in your child's classroom and not a different class. Talk to the school they will be going to and voice your concerns and thoughts on what you feel would be best, that is the best way to know what is expected of the parent/child/school relationship.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:53 AM
 
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Well, luckily language won't be a barrier. We are from an english speaking country. I guess our biggest concern is the school size. It is four times as big as the school they went to last year. I just want to make sure they are safe and secure in the school. I am sure they will catch on to the curriculum soon enough, so that won't be a probloem. I will talk to the school when I register them this week, and find out their policy. The kids will probably adjust quicker than the parents, lol.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:04 AM
 
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I agree, it totally depends on the school. But above all, follow your heart. If you think you need to be there for your children, go to the principal and state your case. Stand up for you children, or they might get lost in the daily operation of the school, if you know what I mean. I have twins that I was told I had to seperate in kinder. But do to early illnesses, I knew they weren't socially ready to be apart. I fought for my childrens rights, and am very glad I did. When they were older and socially ready to be apart, they became better people. So follow your heart!
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:47 AM
 
Location: FLINT (yeah you read that right!), MI
336 posts, read 840,244 times
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Kids are surprisingly resilient. Starting school is usually harder for the parents than the kids. For example, on my daughter's first day of kindergarten she told my husband, "Daddy....you can leave now." Take the kids to visit the school a couple times before school starts. Go on a tour of the school to make sure they know their way around. I'm sure they will be fine.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Lapeer, MI
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I was a bit nervous when my daughter started school but her teacher encouraged me to leave - that way she could learn the routine and the rules, and look to her teacher as the one in charge instead of looking to me to know what to do.
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Midwest transplant
2,048 posts, read 5,341,252 times
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The school secretary or Principal would be the best person to speak to regarding your concerns. You would most definitely be able to at least walk or drive your kids to school (but half the fun for them is the bus ride). Often new students are invited to come in early and see their new school, take a tour of the building, see the lunchroom, their classroom and perhaps even meet their teacher before the first day of school.

Volunteering is a huge help~teachers appreciate even an hour a week of sitting with a child and helping with reading, cutting out materials for bulletin boards or art projects, grading or filing papers, contacting other parents, putting together a classroom newsletter. Most schools also have a parent teacher association that helps raise money or conduct events for the school community that the teachers just do not have the time to do.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:37 AM
 
334 posts, read 1,397,682 times
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Great advice everyone, thank you!! I spoke with the secretary at the school yesterday and she said we could walk the children to their classrooms and see them settled in. I am sure they will be fine, it is just such a huge adjustment for them. But I am certain they will make friends right away and be fine. They didn't have cafeterias at their old school either, so it will be different for them at first. Oh, and the days are so much longer here....not that I am complaining, lol.
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