How to help your child at home
Helping your child with their school work can be very worrying, particularly because so many things have changed about the way things are taught at school.
We hope the information below might help you.
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.
Tips for helping your child to enjoy reading:
- Play reading games e.g. ‘Can you see a letter 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 your 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.
Tips for helping your child to enjoy maths:
- Point out the different shapes to be found around your home.
- Ask your child to do little jobs that involve counting e.g. getting spoons out for tea or counting the right money out in the shop.
- Talk about the quantities and weights of anything you buy.
- Let your child handle money and work out how much things cost.
- Look together for numbers on doors, street signs and cars.
- Work out how long a journey took, or estimate how many steps it will take to reach the lamp post.
At school, we have different methods we teach in Maths to help your child learn correctly. These are set out in our calculation policy. If you are worried about helping your child with maths, please come into school and talk to us, we would be happy to help.
Home Learning at primary school
Home learning reinforces what your child is learning in school. It also gives you a chance to become involved in the learning process.
In Key Stage 1 reading is extremely important homework. Your child may always have a book in his or her bag – try to read the book together every night. You’ll be asked to fill in a ‘reading record’ about your child’s progress with reading.
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 home learning habits:
- Do find a quiet place at home to use as a home learning area. It needs a flat surface, a good light source and the right equipment e.g. pens, pencils, ruler, scissors, glue.
- Do be aware of modern teaching methods, e.g. in long division.
- Do plan a home learning timetable and agree on when your child will do their homework.
- Do allow your child to have something nutritional to eat before starting on homework.
- Do discuss any home learning 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.