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Parents: A Quick How-to on School Activity Prep

As parents, we want our children to succeed at all their endeavors . . . among them, their school activities.    The best way that we can help our children to do well is for us to give them all the information that they need to be well prepared.  With that in mind, here are three school activities and how you can best prepare your children for these activities.

Their first show-and-tell

Your children are about to give their first show-and-tell.  To help your children prepare, help them brainstorm on topics about which to show and tell.  If your children struggle to come up with topics, a quick Internet search will provide you with myriad ideas.  Once a variety of ideas has been discussed, you can help your children narrow the list to one topic, and that will be the subject of their first show-and-tell.

When discussing the various topics, talk with your children about what makes a good show-and-tell topic:  how interesting the topics are to other children, how interestingly those topics could be presented, and how the logistics of the topics would be handled.  For example, if your family has a new puppy, the new puppy is a very interesting subject for your children’s classmates, the presentation would be quite simple (show the puppy, talk about how your family came to adopt him or her, etc.), but the logistics (i.e., an adult taking the puppy to school in time for show-and-tell and then taking the puppy home after show-and-tell) could be tricky if both you and your spouse work full-time.

Their first parents’ day (not a parent-teacher conference)
Your children’s school is about to have parents’ day . . . the first parents’ day that your children will experience.  Let your children know what parents’ day involves at their school.  What activities will be held?  What is the timing of these activities?  What is the expected dress code?  How much will the children get to interact with their parents?  How will parents’ day affect their regular school schedule?

Their first concert (in which the children are the ones performing)
Your children’s first concert can be a very unnerving experience for them.  In advance of their first concert, take them to a school concert given by a different class or school.  Let your children see what to expect from the audience perspective.  Then, speak with your children about what to expect from the performer perspective.  What is the expected dress code?  What is the scheduled arrival time at the concert hall or gymnasium?  What is the expected behavior while at the concert hall or gymnasium?  How are children expected to file on and off the stage?  What techniques can your children use to calm themselves when they are feeling nervous about performing in front of an audience?  And last, but certainly not least, ask your children to rehearse in front of you . . . and, when they do, praise them generously for things they have done well.  If you must critique their performance, do so gently and couched in positive terms.  For example, you may say, “You sang that song with such a sweet voice, darling!  Can you smile when you are pausing?  It would be great if the audience could see your sweet smile as well as hear your sweet voice.”

By following the above tips, you can help your children prepare for school activities.

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