Helping your child at home can make a huge difference to your children’s learning and their progress. It is far more likely that they will achieve at school when their family and friends have taken an interest in their school and schoolwork.
By getting involved in your child’s education, even in the simplest way, it shows that you care about them and their school life. Often, the more supported children feels at home, the more effectively they learn at school.
Whatever your lifestyle, or family situation, it is never too soon (or too late) to start helping a child develop a positive attitude towards learning.
We appreciate that time can be a factor in busy families but there are small ways of being involved in your child’s education which can still have a big impact. If you are a non-resident parent, it is just as important to be involved in your child’s learning too. You can help to inspire them and set them on the path to achieving their dreams.
Give encouragement and show appreciation of your child’s achievements, whether great or small as this will make a big difference to their confidence and also build their relationship with you. By teaching some basic organisation and time management skills you can help make sure they are not overwhelmed with projects or homework – especially in the run up to test and SATs. It is important to be realistic and avoid putting your child under pressure by having over-high expectations. Let your child develop at their own pace, but if you do have concerns, please speak to us. The class teacher will be happy to speak to you about any concerns you may have.
Rather than give criticism, try to give feedback such as by saying ‘that didn’t seem to work’ or ‘perhaps another way might work better’ rather than ‘you got it wrong’. This helps them think about where they went wrong and how they can improve in future, rather than just feeling like a failure.
Education is more than just Maths, English and Science… and your child’s talents may lie in sport, art, music, drama, computers, or anything else. So you can always help them aim high by boosting their confidence:
- Encourage them to join after-school clubs or activities.
- Tell your child how proud you are when they do well.
- Let them hear you praising them to other people.
- Talk together about their future and the kind of job they think they would enjoy.
- Ask them to help you with things they are good at.
- Help your child to find someone to look up to; a relative, friend or celebrity.
If your child has Special Educational Needs (SEN), it is even more important to be involved so you can understand what support your child is receiving at school and whether he or she is on target. You can speak to their class teacher or the SENCO. You may hear terms that are unfamiliar and if this is the case, you can always speak to the school or your Local Education Authority about what these mean.
Your child may have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) which is reviewed on a quarterly basis. This will indicate what support your child needs and how this is being met by the school. These plans should be set with your involvement in a meeting with the teacher and SENCO. If your child does need extra help, find out from the school how he or she can be supported at home. This may be something as simple as allowing them to draw more often to help with fine motor skills, etc.
Young people live and learn in two worlds – home and school. The way the two connect and communicate can make an enormous difference to how children learn to manage in both places. If teachers, parents and young people all trust, listen and talk to each other, the final goal of helping children learn and develop to their best ability is most likely to be achieved.