How Parents Can Stay Involved
There are several ways that busy parents can stay involved in their children’s educational growth.
By Amanda Formaro
With today’s hustling and bustling lifestyles, we as parents often find it a challenge to squeeze everything in to our already overflowing schedule. We are lucky if little Mary makes it to the school bus stop on time with the same color socks on both feet.
Whether you work outside of the home, run a home office, or take care of other children, you too can be a part of your child’s school life that they will remember for a lifetime.
Schools have many different events throughout the year for which they need baked goods. Whether it be a bake sale or a school carnival, cupcakes and cookies are always welcome. Make it a fun activity with your kids by having them make the goodies with you. To cut down on time if you are really pressed, buy prepackaged cookie dough, or make your cookie dough and store it for baking day. Here is a basic cookie mix that you can make and store in an air tight container for up to 10-12 weeks, this recipe makes 16 cups of mix:
These recipes were found in “Make a Mix” by Karine Eliason
- 8 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 granulated sugar
- 2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 cups vegetable shortening
In a large bowl combine flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt and baking soda until well blended. With a pastry blender or heavy duty mixer, cut in shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal in texture. Put in a large airtight container, label with date and contents. Store in a cool dry place.
>From this mix you can make the following recipes:
- 2 1/2 cups cookie mix
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat over to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine cookie mix, baking soda, cream of tartar, and egg. Mix well. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small dish. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten balls slightly. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned with cracked tops. Do not overbake, makes about 24 cookies.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 3 cups cookie mix
- 3 tbsp milk (more if necessary)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease baking sheets. In a large bowl combine cookie mix, milk, vanilla, and egg. Blend well. Stir in nuts or coconut and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 24 cookies.
Every employer gives you a lunch break. Many don’t take advantage of the lunch break in order to get as much work done as possible in the short time they have at the office. Why not take one lunch break per month and head over to the school and read your daughter’s class a book at story time? Imagine the smile on that little girl’s face when you walk through the classroom door on that special day each month.
The library is a great place to go for children and adults alike. One Saturday per month is all it takes to show your children that you are interested and that their education matters to you. Libraries have many activities, groups and reading times for children of different age groups. Ask for information at your local library.
Be sure to read a book with your children each night. Stories are wonderful ways to wind down a rambunctious youngster at the end of the day, and a great way to snuggle with those you love. Reading encourages imagination, creative thought and instills a love for learning.
Turn off the TV, look through your child’s backpack with him and go over any graded school papers and additional class notes. Be sure to go through the backpack each day as your child’s teacher uses this as their main connection between you and the school. Important meetings, behavior reports, special kudos and planned field trips are just a few examples of what you will find inside.
Do Your Homework
Many parents would love to be able to volunteer at the school, but are unable due to time constraints, their job or little ones at home. If you are unable to volunteer inside the classroom, why not ask for some homework? Teachers are always thrilled at the prospect of parents helping and becoming involved. There may be some cutting, sorting or other such tasks that your child’s teacher could use help with that do not require your presence at the school. What a great way to encourage your child to get his homework done. Now you can do it together!
Staying involved in your child’s school life will show him that you care about him and his future. It will encourage him to work harder if he knows that you will be there to tell him what a great job he did on his Math test or on that Science project. Get involved, your child will love you for it.
© Amanda Formaro