Is it enough to just drop your child off at preschool?
That’s for you and your family to decide. According to many sources, though, children whose parents are involved in school generally reflect positive outcomes of higher grades, better behavior, and more confidence. Here at Language Preschools, we’re big proponents of supporting your child in school from the preschool years to beyond.
Disclaimer: Some links within this post are Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click on an Amazon link and make a purchase, we get a small kickback–at no extra cost to you. By using our links, you are helping to keep Language Preschools up and running, so thank you.
Here are five ways to support your child in language immersion preschool:
1. Attend parent-teacher conferences or schedule your own.
The language immersion school our son attends has parent-teacher conferences a couple of times each year. Recently, we learned that these meetings aren’t mandatory. That’s because we just couldn’t make the most recent dates and times work with our busy work schedules. It was the first parent-teacher conference we’d missed so far, though, so we don’t feel too guilty.
If your school offers parent-teacher conference sessions, make as much effort as possible to be there. You will learn how your child is developing in a preschool setting–what he or she is doing well and what could be improved. Many children act differently with their parents than they do with teachers and peers, so you’ll gain insight into those behavioral patterns. It’s an enlightening experience. Plus, you’ll develop a stronger relationship with your child’s teacher. Positive parent-teacher relationships go a long way.
If your preschool doesn’t have set parent-teacher conferences, take the initiative to schedule your own with your child’s director or teacher. You’ll be glad you did!
2. Volunteer your time or contribute financially.
What are your skills? If you’re a professional photographer, offer to take school photos of the students. Sell them to the parents, and donate a portion of the funds to the school. If you’re a social media pro, lend that expertise to the school’s social media pages.
Volunteering doesn’t have to be time intensive. It can be as simple as bringing treats or coffee to the teachers as a random act of kindness.
Here are some of the volunteer activities that our son’s language immersion school facilitates for parents:
- Party prep, execution, and clean-up for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.
- Cleaning and sanitization of classrooms
- Breakfasts for Teacher Appreciation Week
- Preschool fair representation
In addition to volunteering, look for ways to contribute financially (if you’re in a position to do so). Our language immersion preschool is a nonprofit organization, so each year we try to participate in the annual North Texas Giving Day event for nonprofits.
Also, Amazon has a program called AmazonSmile. When you shop through AmazonSmile, at no extra cost to you, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.
Even if your language immersion preschool is not a nonprofit organization, schools are always in need of basic supplies: tissues, paper, markers, books, and so forth. Ask your child’s teacher what you can pick up for the classroom the next time you shop online or make a Target run.
3. Show up to school-sponsored events.
Every time our family goes to school-sponsored events, we gain another opportunity to listen to, read, and speak our target language. We’re surrounded by native speakers, so the language flows freely among the attendees, and we get to strengthen our skills in a natural setting.
From the St. Martin’s Parade to the Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) to the school’s very first Elternbeirat (similar to a PTA in the United States), these events are not only helpful for furthering our language abilities, but they are just plain fun and interesting.
Why? Because they’re infused with the culture from where the language is primarily spoken. More than language learning opportunities, these are added opportunities to learn more about another country and culture.
When you show up to school-sponsored events, you also send your child the message that you value education. And that might be the most important reason to be there among them all.
4. Become friends with at least one other parent.
We admit that we’re not the most extroverted people on the planet. It’s not that we’re shy; it’s just that we tend to keep to ourselves in social situations unless there’s a significant reason to mingle with strangers.
However, when it comes to our child’s school, we think that getting to know at least one other parent there–and even becoming friends with that person or couple–is a good idea. You never know when you might need help with a drop-off or pick-up–or when you can reciprocate the need. That’s just one example.
We got to know our son’s closest friend’s parents at a school-hosted party (another reason to show up to these things), and we’ve enjoyed hanging out with them several times. You could say that the school gave us couple friends. So we benefited too!
5. Learn the language (or speak the language at home if you already know it).
This is a topic for an entire blog post of its own. While our son learns German at school, we’re — well, I, Kaci — am learning German on our own, as time permits. If you’re interested in learning a new language, brushing up on a language once learned, or just keeping your current bilingual skills sharp, here are some of our favorite Amazon resources — ones that we’ve actually used (except we’re posting the Spanish versions instead of German since it’s the most commonly learned foreign language in the United States):
Also, don’t forget about italki, where you can take online lessons from teachers and tutors around the world:
Learning another language has never been easier than in this digital, globally connected age. By learning a new language or speaking an already known second language in the home, you not only reap personal benefits, but you support your child as well.