Being a homeroom mom or room parent can seem a bit daunting. What exactly do homeroom moms do? Am I going to be in the classroom every day? Do I need to do any special paperwork for the school? Am I doing all the work for the class parties?
After serving as homeroom mom for 2 years for my middle son’s class and serving again this year as a Kindergarten homeroom mom, I love being a homeroom mom. Yes, it is some work. As a volunteer, you’re not paid, and the expectations are not always clear. However, homeroom moms get more opportunities than other parents to be in the classroom and see their kids doing stuff in school.
My first experience as a homeroom mom was a bit rough. Kindergarten homeroom moms in my children’s school help with all the class parties, plus do some extra work at home. Usually 3 moms handle the job for Kindergarten. I only had one mom helping, and she was uncomfortable about helping out. My second time as homeroom mom, next for first grade, went better. This year, there are 4 Kindergarten homeroom moms for my youngest son’s class which is wonderful!
Organizing Tips for New Homeroom Moms
My tips come from my experience as a homeroom mom and a Girl Scout leader for 2 years for my daughter’s troop. Working with parent volunteers can be fun and frustrating. Sometimes a volunteer parent can feel like they’re doing all the work.
Remember, parents feel more comfortable helping out if they know you and you’re specific about the task they need to do. Not every parent can help out for a variety of reasons – work schedule, physical disabilities, having more than 2 kids, being introverted, and other volunteer commitments. A parent who doesn’t volunteer isn’t a bad parent because they’re not actively involved in their kids’ school. It’s always better to assume a parent will do as much as they can to help out, and be respectful of their time and commitment.
Tips for New Homeroom Moms
- Get help from another parent or two if possible to handle the responsibilities.
- Send a note home first when asking parents to sign up for items.
- If the school allows it, use an online sign up system to ask parents to volunteer, remind them about their commitments, and have a list of assignments.
- Get to know the school secretary and any other staff you may need help from during the year.
- Talk to the teacher about their needs and expectations. Stay in touch and ask questions immediately if you’re not sure about something.
- Collect all fees at the beginning of the year. It’s much easier to collect everything at once than to collect for each event.
- Find out if there are food allergies in class, and plan accordingly.
- Buy supplies at the dollar store. Usually the teacher has a limited budget for class parties.
- Be prepared to follow up with parents about sign ups. Some parents are fantastic about responding quickly, and others need multiple reminders.
- Make sure you have set up and clean up volunteers. You don’t need to do all the work for the party.
- Own your mistakes. We’re all human, and we’re all busy. If you make a mistake while volunteering, do something about it immediately and apologize.