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Back to School
What can I do to assist in my child's learning?
Increasingly as parents, we feel a pressure on ourselves to prepare our children for school, and then throughout their school life to continually support their learning at every academic stage. Without pressurising yourself or your child, what can and should you be doing at home? A few simple literacy and maths tasks, shared together, will make all the difference. Reading together is a must, but reading the words just for the sake of getting to the end of the page can be a pretty unrewarding exercise - especially if it is a dull book. Do not limit yourself to the school’s reading list; encourage your child to read books of their own choosing with you too.
Do not make the mistake of reading something too difficult with your child! It is paramount to cultivate the habit and enjoyment of reading. ‘Hard’ books, for all their mature vocabulary, are less likely to pique a child’s interest. Discuss what you read and ask your child questions, for example: “Do you think James should have done that?” or “What else might James have done?” Encouraging your child to have an enquiring mind is a useful tool for school.
‘The principal goal of education is to create men and women who are capable of doing new things.’
Jean Piaget - Psychologist
Maths principles, too, are fun at home when put in to practice. Weighing and measuring while you make biscuits, moving the hands on a clock, pairing and counting socks and so on. “If we make twelve cakes and eat five of them, how many will we have left?” or “How many minutes are left until midday?”
Writing at home should be encouraged! Ask your child to pen their own Birthday cards to friends, or perhaps they can write your shopping lists for you. The old adage “practice makes perfect” is true of handwriting.
Consider giving your child a small treat if he or she manages to spell out a particularly tricky word, correctly calculates a measurement or works hard on their pen skills. They will likely find the prospect of a reward motivating - and will want to work hard for more!
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