It is the norm in today’s families that both parents are working while their children attend school. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, both parents work outside the home in 63% of married couples with families. Yet, most working parents in a recent survey shared they also want to be involved in their child’s school. Not only are parents aware of the statistics that demonstrate student success rates increase when parents volunteer at their child's school, but they also desire to create satisfying relationships with other parents.
Traditionally, when looking for a private school, the primary consideration is what the school has to offer the student. Parents should consider the type of community that is created for parents and family members as well. Consider how parent involvement is encouraged and appreciated. While personal circumstances dictate the degree to which adults can share their time and talents, a recent study found numerous benefits to students when their parents had meaningful involvement in the school. These findings include the following:
- When parents are involved, students achieve more, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnic/racial background, or the parents' education level.
- Schools that work well with families have better teacher morale and higher ratings of teachers by parents.
- School programs that involve parents outperform identical programs without parent and family involvement.
Unity and understanding, both in families and societies, are created through traditions. Schools are both large families and small societies. School traditions bring together unique students, staff, and families to create a strong and cohesive community. Traditions remind us of the history that defines our past, molds who we are today and shapes who we are likely to become.
The holidays bring a rise in giving for most non-profit organizations, including schools. Annually, about one quarter of all charitable gifts are made from Thanksgiving to Christmas, due both to the proximity to the end of the tax year and the altruistic tendencies brought on by the season. Most non-profits invest a great deal in holiday solicitations and efforts such as Giving Tuesday, immediately following Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
If you itemize deductions when you pay your income taxes, your charitable gift qualifies you for a tax deduction.
The amount of the deduction is based on your tax bracket. In some cases, up to 85% of the gift is deductible under current tax laws.
Gifts of appreciated securities allow the donor to avoid capital gains.
If an investor has held an appreciated stock or mutual fund for more than one year, they can donate those securities and receive a tax deduction for the fair market value of the securities, and eliminate any capital gains assessments.
Gifts of depreciated securities are also tax deductible and the capital loss can offset capital gains in the current year and possibly into the future.
Topics: Parenting Tips
By the time your child arrives at school, are both of you already exhausted? Rushing, tears and raised voices in the morning create negativity that lasts well into the day. Starting the school day off in a peaceful, well-planned manner will make everyone feel in control, creating a positive mindset for what lies ahead.
A great morning starts at night! By creating a pre-bedtime routine, most of the morning’s tasks will already be complete.
- Lay out clothing for the day ahead, including coats and shoes. End scrambling for lost items or early-morning disagreements over outfits. Involve your child, so they do not balk when it is time to get dressed.
- Put items to be taken to school in a convenient location. This includes homework, backpacks, musical instruments, sports gear, permission slips- anything that they will need the next day. Consider creating a checklist and hang it by the door-—and following this plan yourself.
- Prepare lunches and plan out the morning’s breakfast.
- Discuss any schedule changes for the day ahead. Include after-school plans and pick-up times.
- Have your child bathe before bed. One less task for the morning.
- Get to bed early. This means parents, too. We are all at our best with plenty of rest!
Create a morning routine that is as simple as possible.
- Rise before your child and do something for yourself. Take time for a spiritual reading, exercise, snuggle or get yourself dressed in peace. You will start the day feeling more in control and emotionally centered, allowing you to deal with your child from a positive place.
- As age appropriate, create a morning schedule and list tasks to be completed by your child. Allow them to feel in control by making decisions on how they will get themselves ready. Try posting a timetable in a conspicuous spot.
- Electronics remain off. Televisions, games and social media can become a distraction for children, as well as parents.
Topics: Parenting Tips
When you choose a private school for your child, you’re not only investing in a rigorous and broad education. You’re also choosing to be a part of a community that will develop your child’s character and leadership qualities. The financial commitment is a serious one, yet it comes with a unique opportunity—the chance to give back to the school and the community. Students and parents, as well as alumni and their families, all participate in “paying it forward” to the school and the greater community.
Community service is part of a strong private school’s curriculum. Students at all age levels benefit from age-appropriate service learning.
- Students develop a sense of responsibility and pride.
- Service programs build new skills and create empathy for others.
- Studies have shown that when community service is included in learning, student achievement increases.
- Volunteering gives young people the chance to apply what they've learned in the classroom to real human needs.
Parents and alumni also become involved in the life of the school, with many benefits for all involved.
- Volunteering in the classroom and at all-school events strengthens the school community.
- Dynamic and inclusive volunteer programs assure there are opportunities for all interests, abilities, and availability.
- Drives for clothing, food, school supplies, and other items encourage collaboration.
- Community service activities lead to natural discussions about philanthropy.
When looking for educational options for your child, it is important to select schools that not only provide a quality education but also welcome parent volunteerism. Look for options that meet your own schedule, whether you are working outside the home or are available during the school day. Schools should share their expectations of parents, as well as opportunities for them to become involved.