After a long period away from the classroom, you may be feeling a little anxious that your child is behind in their learning, or has fallen into the ‘learning gap’.
With reports suggesting that most children are three months behind in their education, the start of the school term is a fantastic time to begin new learning habits to help your child catch up.
Read on to discover our top tips and free resources that you can use to start building your child’s confidence and get them back on track in school.
1. Create a regular routine
Creating a workspace can do wonders for aiding your child’s concentration and motivation. Set aside a desk or a table, such as in the kitchen or living room, and remove distractions such as toys or tablets. Have lots of stationery, colourful pens and paper to hand to aid your child’s learning.
Just a few minutes of additional practise a day, or working ‘little and often’, soon adds up to hours of extra learning. Try to incorporate a few minutes of additional learning into your day, perhaps before school or alongside any homework. For example, your child could use DoodleMaths or DoodleEnglish in the car on the way to school, which is proven to build confidence in just 10 minutes a day!
2. Identify weaker areas of understanding
A great place to start is to identify the topics that your child finds the most challenging. You may have an idea of these from your own home learning or if there are areas or concepts that often come up when your child asks for help with their homework.
If you’re unsure, their teacher may have identified weaker areas of understanding during parents’ evenings or in end-of-year reports. If you have an older child, chat to them and ask if there’s anything they feel particularly worried or unsure about.
Alternatively, parents with a Doodle account can identify the areas their child is finding tricky at the click of a button. Simply log in to the Parent Dashboard, hover over Analyse and select Gaps. You can even set extra work in these topics by clicking on them!
3. Regularly practise tricky topics
Once you know the areas your child feels less sure about, the key is to practise them regularly to gradually build their understanding.
By working for a few minutes every day, your child will remember what they cover and learn from any mistakes they make. This will enable them to build a solid foundation of knowledge, helping them to gradually master the concept over time.
For free tips and tools to help support your child with these tricky topics, take a look at our free curriculum-aligned topic guides for KS1 and KS2 and our printable worksheets.
4. Revise what you already know
Refreshing your child’s knowledge of what they’ve already learned is just as important as practising tricky areas. By doing this, your child will consolidate their learning, putting them in a great place to start expanding their knowledge and learn new topics.
Ask your child to work through online worksheets or have a go at our online range of maths questions, covering a topic they’ve already learned about. Once they’ve finished, chat to them and make sure they haven’t had any problems.
5. Use Doodle for 10 minutes a day
Although this all sounds great in theory, identifying the right areas and setting relevant work can be challenging. Luckily, Doodle does all of the hard work for you!
By creating every child a personalised work programme, Doodle automatically revises tricky topics and practises key areas, enabling every child to catch up and progress through the curriculum. Best of all, you can try it for free today!
6. Celebrate your child’s effort
As well as rewarding your child for scoring well, it’s even more important to celebrate their effort and determination. Using lots of positive language to encourage your child will build their confidence and encourage them to try their best even when they’re finding something challenging.
We all know how much children love stickers and certificates! Take a look at our downloadable certificates or our stickers and stationery for particularly wow-worthy achievements.
7. Don’t give up!
Finally, it’s important to remember that your child doesn’t need to become a maths master overnight.
Even if your child doesn’t understand something after multiple attempts, let them know that they’ve progressed so far already and that they’re showing perseverance and determination by not giving up. With a little hard work and daily practice, they’ll be back on track in their learning in no time.
Article by Lucy Hart