Learning at home is a great way for your child to keep on top of what they’ve been learning at school. Plus, it can be great fun! Below are our top ten tips for encouraging your child in their learning and creating productive work routines in your home.
1. Little and often gets results
When learning the piano, it’s not necessarily the most gifted or those with the best teacher who move through the grades – it’s the ones who put in daily practice. The same goes for home learning, so try and do a little every day. The little and often approach is key!
2. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
There’s no such thing as mistakes, only lessons. Here are some of our favourite books to help show children that it’s okay to make mistakes:
3. Celebrate effort
We recommend rewarding effort over ability. Consider the progress your child has made, such as mastering a times table or reading independently. It’s really important to adopt a growth mindset and positive attitudes towards learning!
4. Relax and recuperate
Try to avoid home learning immediately after school or a tiring activity. It’s important that children have time to reset and clear their head.
It’s also a good idea not to start home learning if your child is sad, upset or tired. This will prevent any tantrums and ensure your child associates positive feelings with learning!
5. Encourage, encourage and encourage!
When used correctly, encouraging words and phrases can have a powerful positive effect on children and their confidence. When a child displays good effort, try and use some of the following when praising them:
“I saw the way you solved that tricky question, well done!”; “You found a clever way to do that, super work!”; “I can see you tried really hard there!”; “I knew you could do it!”.
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6. Remind children of how far they've come
Subjects such as maths and English are life skills - they’ll help your child to move through the world with confidence! Make sure your child knows how proud you are of all they have achieved in these subjects, as well as the worries they’ve faced, the mistakes they’ve learnt from, and for everything they’ve learnt so far. And, most of all, for being themselves!
7. Create a reward system
Whether it’s stickers or getting a high score, every parent will know what motivates their child. Try to introduce these into your home learning
8. Play games together
Games are a fantastic way to learn. There are tremendous benefits of playing with numbers and words, from introducing children to new words to refreshing their memory of what they've been learning in the classroom.
Have a look at our ideas for games you can use to help your child learn their High Frequency Words and our creative ideas to memorise times tables.
9. Bring learning to life through conversations
Contextualising subjects by looking at how they are used outside of the classroom is a fantastic way to bring learning to life. Most importantly, it can be really inspirational for children!
We’ve put together Real World Maths, a page with lots of interviews with professionals discussing how maths is vital to their careers. Use these interviews to help motivate children by discovering more about these exciting jobs.
10. The importance of reading
It can be argued that the most important thing a parent can do is to provide children with access to a wide range of books.
The greater a child's vocabulary, the more likely they are to be successful throughout their education. Reading to your child can also provide a great bonding experience and also helps children to see that their parent values literature.
When a parent makes their reading more theatrical it can greatly promote the child's enjoyment of a book - who wouldn't love to hear their parent's impression of the Gruffalo!
Article by Laura Young-Santos