Parents’ Guide to Home Learning

Home learning is always an area where parents find it difficult to agree, some say it is too much, some say too little. Some feel the home learning is too easy and for others it is far too hard.

Home learning set by school is, of course, the child’s responsibility to complete. As a parent, your role is to provide a supportive, quiet space away from the TV, computer or any other distraction. If your child cannot do the home learning independently, ask them to have a go and try. If it is really beyond them with a quick and short explanation from you, your child should go back to school and speak to their teacher. Please don’t ever be tempted to do your child’s home learning for them.

The very best way to support your child’s education at home is to actively engage in conversations with them. This seems like such a simple thing to do that we forget what a powerful tool talk is! It is as beneficial to the child who struggles as it is to the bright child who needs a challenge.

  1. Play a board game such as chess, battleships, checkers or Monopoly etc  – your child learns to win and lose, take turns and be more strategic in their thinking. Planning ahead and making decisions are key life skills.
  2. Play number games, darts or a card game – this is a really quick, easy and fun way to learn number bonds and relationships. Halves, doubles, triples, bonds to 10, 20, 50, 100 and 180! Learning tables on the walk to school everyday is great.
  3. Word of the day – this will widen your child’s vocabulary and yours possibly. Take it in turns to find a good word in the dictionary, put it into a sentence and repeat it during the week. Write a sentence for each word in their spelling list.
  4. Do some cooking together – excellent for weighing and measuring, following instructions and chatting about all sorts of things. Also, cooking provides an enjoyable end product! If the recipe is for 4, how do you adjust the figures for 6, 7 or 8? What’s the budget? Who does the shopping?
  5. Do some shopping and use cash – great for list writing, counting money, working out change, discussing discounts and percentages – even cost comparisons and value for money. Cards are very convenient but they can exclude our children.
  6. Visit a museum, gallery, garden, etc – your child could select the venue of their choice (costs permitting). Why did they choose it? How you will travel there? How long will the journey be? What is the budget for the day? Are there entrance costs? They could come up with a guide for the day or a brochure.
  7. Read a book and watch the film – discuss similarities and differences. Which did your child prefer and why? How did they feel about the plot, characters and story ending? What would they change if anything?

If you are looking at selective schools for your child, then you might consider looking in W.H.Smiths, who stock an excellent selection of 11+ books.