Supporting your Child's Learning

All the research shows that when school and parents work together children are more successful in their learning.

There are a number of things that you can do that will really help your child:

  • Attend Parents’ Evenings.
  • Talk about what your child has been learning about in school.
  • Find out more about learning by attending curriculum workshops for parents.

Helping your child with reading

  • Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it’s the single most important thing you can do to help your child’s education. It’s best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.
  • Think of ways to make reading fun – you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you’re both enjoying talking about the content of a particular page, linger over it for as long as you like.
  • Books aren’t just about reading the words on the page, they can also present new ideas and topics for you and your child to discuss.

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Tips for helping your child to enjoy reading:

  • Play reading games e.g. ‘Can you see a letter ‘a’ on the way home?’ or ‘Can you find the word after kind in the dictionary?’
  • Share pictures in books and make up stories together to encourage your child to enjoy books before he or she can read words.
  • When singing together, have the words in front of you.  Even though you may know the song, it’s a reminder of what the words look like.
  • Visit a library if you can and let your child borrow books and other media to enjoy at home.
  • Make a regular time for reading – perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
  • If English isn’t your family’s first language – you can talk about books and stories, look at pictures, and develop a love for sharing books together.
  • Look for books that you know your child will be interested in – maybe sport, adventure stories, cookery or poetry.
  • Have interesting children’s books available around the house for your child to enjoy.

Helping your child with maths

  • Try to make maths as much fun as possible – games, puzzles and jigsaws are a great way to start. It’s also important to show how we use maths skills in our everyday lives and to involve your child in this.
  • Identifying problems and solving them can also help your child develop maths skills. If you see him or her puzzling over something, talk about the problem and try to work out the solution together.
  • Don’t shy away from maths if you didn’t like it at school. Try to find new ways to enjoy the subject with your child.

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Please make sure that you talk to your child about what they learned in school each day. This can be the most valuable homework of all because it shows your child that you are interested in what they are doing at school and that you value the time they spend at school.

Tips for good homework habits:

  • Do find a quiet place at home to use as a homework area. It needs a flat surface, a good light source and the right equipment e.g. pens, pencils, ruler, scissors, glue.
  • Do plan a homework timetable and agree on when your child will do their homework.
  • Do discuss any homework tasks with your child and how it connects with what they are studying at school.
  • Do turn off the TV – but you could have music on if they find it helpful.
  • Don’t give your child the answer in order to get a task finished. Instead, explain how to look up information or find a word in a dictionary.
  • Don’t teach your child methods you used at school. It could confuse them.
  • Don’t let homework become a chore. Keep it fun and make it a special time that you both look forward to.