Lorraine, from Fabulous Fourth Grade Froggies, is hosting a link party about Parent Communication and I thought I would join up, even though it is Friday night and just reading other people's run downs on all the amazing things they do is making me exhausted!
Having said that though, email remains my absolute favourite way of communicating with parents.
Since I got an iPhone two years ago, checking my emails on the run has become a habit. E-mail with most of my parents is reasonably quick and reliable, and since I have a good relationship with most of them, they will respond quickly if they are not sure about what I meant in a short message.
It is a problem for some parents that I like to communicate this way. I avoid paper copies because I am trying not to photocopy too much and I get frustrated by the number of notes left lying around the bag rack that will never make it home, despite the fact that each child has a special satchel in which to put notes and I always ask them to put their notes in there.
I e-mail the parents as a group at least once a week. I email the homework out on Fridays so that they have the weekend to do it if needed, and then it is due the following Friday. And I usually do an email about something we have been learning about in class, perhaps with some hints about follow up they might like to do with their own child if they think it is necessary.
The parents at my school are very dedicated to their children and are usually very busy, whether or not they work outside of the home or not. Between ballet lessons, rugby training and piano lessons, they and the students lead busy lives so a quick email is usually a good way to keep in touch.
Besides email, I have my class blog which chronicles our learning experiences and is a great way for parents to see what we are doing.
Each child also has a Reading Record book so the parents can record home reading, but I also use this book to keep their spelling and math test results in so parents can see these if they want.
I do occasionally make phone calls to parents, but I find that I am busy all day at school and then once I get home I am busy then too. Trying to find a quiet place to make a call can be a challenge!
I also get the chance to chat with many of the parents at drop off or pick up since many of them have little ones and they come into the school in the mornings or the afternoons.
So there you have it - not as formal and comprehensive as some of the amazing posts that I have read, but it works for me!