Certainly compared with when I was at school, there are many many opportunities for school attendance. My mother was a stay-at-home mother – and while she did canteen duty occasionally, that was about all she could do.
For our boys this year, this is what Mr Penguin (and very occasionally me) has done
Monday – Writing help in Hungry Boy’s classroom
Tuesday (until this term) – reading help in Chatterboy’s classroom
Wednesday – helping with the gifted and talented pull out class
Thursday – helping with some of the reading recovery children
Friday – sight word help in Hungry Boy’s classroom.
And then there is an excursion once a term for each boy, an athletics carnival, easter parade, Grandparents day, Christmas concert, and a school assembly featuring each class once a year.
For our boys, there is always someone there. But that load is pretty full on for the stay-at-home parents; Mr Penguin does far more than most (because he loves it, I hasten to add, not because he feels he has to). But I rarely make it for the classtime events (assemblies, parades, etc). And for the families with two working parents (and the overwhelming majority of children have a full time and a part time worker in the family at least) it’s hard to be there for all the events. I’m not sure how much the teachers like the parent help; sometimes I suspect that it’s mostly a transitioning experience for the kindergarteners. But the impact of not having a parent there when many others do must be hard for some of the kids to cope with.
I may be biased, but I think our school is richer for all the parent involvement – it creates more community, and it does help the teacher spend more individual time with the children. But it must make the life of the families with two working parents even harder and more guilt-ridden.