Primary schools have changed a lot over recent years and expectations for young children are high. English and Maths are top of the agenda and our children have a whole lot to learn. Many will benefit from additional support at home, some sporadically and some on an ongoing basis.
Supportive learning at home doesn’t have to be in the least bit intense, in fact it can be a lot of fun.
Here are some ideas:
Reading is an essential part of following a recipe and a great way for your child to practice without even realising. They will use their maths in weighing and counting and if you double up a cake recipe and have them work out quantities, then their times table will be getting a good refresh too. They will just think they are baking!
Through counting the money in your purse to helping you write a shopping list, your child will be putting their adding up and their spelling into action. If you notice they have spelt something wrong try just casually pointing it out and asking them to write that word again so you can read it properly as you shop. Because there is purpose to your request there should be little fuss.
Once in the store encourage them to keep a tally with you of what you have spent (maybe rounding up to nearest £1 on each purchase.)
Tell a tale
Writing a story together is the best fun and captures many children’s imagination. You could write a sentence each and see where it takes you. Or, if they are younger, you could have them fill in missing words e.g. ‘The lady decided to wear her __ t-shirt.’ This is a great way for them to practice writing and you can correct spelling as required.
You could also set them a little challenge along the way by missing out the grammar in your sentence and asking them what you need to put in. You could give them points for every bit of punctuation they insert as your story progresses.
TV can be a real asset to children learning at home. The Big Spell is a recent quiz show on TV that got lots of kids excited about being a good speller and there are many more such shows that make learning fun. Passive learning can go a long way to educating and entertaining your child at the same time, and it can feel like a treat!
Study books can be a fun way for your kids to brush up their learning skills at home. They now come with quick quizzes, colourful illustrations and clear explanations. For some children it is most helpful to work through these a little at time with you on hand to give one on one encouragement and support. A bit of extra practice at home to support what they are learning at school may help to increase confidence. Just 10 minutes a day with a good study book can make a lot of difference.
Making sense of learning
Learning at home helps children realise Maths and English are actually useful in all aspects of life, not just something you learn unnecessarily for the sake of it in school. It is also lovely for you as a parent to follow your child’s progress and be a light and supportive part of their learning.