This is a guest post on Fatherhood from James, a work from home dad of two boys in Portland, Oregon. We’ve noticed that we haven’t had a ton of articles strictly on Fatherhood, so we thought “It’s about time!” We’re excited to have him write – check out his blog Stay At Home Dad Portland. And if you’re interested in writing for us, check out our Men’s Lifestyle Guest Posting page.
I’ve noticed a prevalent thought among dads: that education is a woman’s world.
Sure. We’re all for teaching our kids the practical things like changing a tire or setting your Fantasy Football lineup. But when it comes to the classroom we tend to view that space as somehow less manly.
I never understood this mentality. From early on I was involved in our boy’s school life as a board member of the Co-Op Preschool or a room parent for the Kindergarten class. Now that both of my boys are in school I’m the President of our school’s PTA. While I don’t think every dad needs to suffer through the meetings that decide what structure goes on the new play ground, I do think there are a couple of easy ways for men to get involved in your kid’s school.
Easy Ways For A Man’s Involvement in Their Kid’s School
Start early in their education by showing up to read.
Every school I have been involved with has spots open to read to the kids. It gives the teachers a break and it’s something I know you can do if you’re reading this post.
Whether you bring in your child’s favorite book or grab one off the school shelf, taking 15 minutes to stop in and read to the class will allow you to see who your kids interact with, what the class room atmosphere is like, and show your child that you value education. Once or twice a year on a lunch break is all it takes and you have built a connection.
Help Chaperon a field trip.
This may take a little more time and more of a commitment but the time is very valuable. You can help provide a safe environment as the kids leave the school and explore the local Children’s Museum or Zoo. There are multiple adults that sign up so you are only responsible for your own kids and a couple of their friends but again you see a side of the kids that you don’t get anywhere else. Listening to my first grade son trying to make a couple of second graders laugh on the way to the Pumpkin Patch last year is one of my favorite memories.
These are two simple ways to get involved with your child’s class that don’t require a lot of time or effort but that make a huge difference in how your child sees your role in education. By taking an active role you are showing that you value school and want your kids to succeed.
By spending a little time in the hallways and classrooms you will have a better understanding for the education your children are receiving and find new ways to engage in the process of learning. Our kids learn from watching us more than they do from listening to us and by showing up in their schools we are teaching them that education is important to us, and that they are important to us.
In what ways are you getting involved?
James Rohl is a work from home dad of two boys in Portland, Oregon. When he’s not actively involved in his boys education he can be found in the supporters section of the Portland Timbers soccer Team. Twitter. Blog.
[Featured image courtesy of Russ] [Second image from James Rohl]