Supporting your Child
How to support your child at home
There are lots of things that you can do at home to support your child with their school-work. Your involvement can make a big difference. Take an interest in your child's work - praise any achievements, but don't push them too hard.
Demonstrate a positive attitude about education to your children
What we say and do in our daily lives can help them to develop positive attitudes toward school and learning and to build confidence in themselves as learners. Showing our children that we both value education and use it in our daily lives provides them with powerful models and contributes greatly to their success in school. In addition, by showing interest in their children's education, parents and families can spark enthusiasm in them and lead them to a very important understanding-that learning can be enjoyable as well as rewarding and is well worth the effort required.
Talk with your child
Talking and listening play major roles in children's school success. It's through hearing parents and family members talk and through responding to that talk that young children begin to pick up the language skills they will need if they are to do well. For example, children who don't hear a lot of talk and who aren't encouraged to talk themselves often have problems learning to read, which can lead to other school problems. In addition, children who haven't learned to listen carefully often have trouble following directions and paying attention in class. It's also important for you to show your child that you're interested in what he has to say.
Read a book together
Helping your child become a reader is the single most important thing that you can do to help the child to succeed in school-and in life. The importance of reading simply can't be overstated. Reading helps children in all school subjects.
Watch TV together
Talk about what you've watched. Monitor your child's television, video game, and Internet use. Most children on average spend far more time watching TV, playing video games and using the Internet than they do completing homework or other school-related activities.
Encourage your child to use the library
Libraries are places of learning and discovery for everyone. Helping your child find out about libraries will set him on the road to being an independent learner.
Help with homework
Help them to plan when to do their homework as well as with the actual work. This will help to avoid last-minute panic.
Encourage active learning
Children need active learning as well as quiet learning such as reading and doing homework. Active learning involves asking and answering questions, solving problems and exploring interests. Active learning also can take place when your child plays sports, spends time with friends, acts in a school play, plays a musical instrument or visits museums and bookstores. To promote active learning, listen to your child's ideas and respond to them. Let them jump in with questions and opinions when you read books together. When you encourage this type of give-and-take at home, your child's participation and interest in school is likely to increase.
Play games together
Scrabble, snakes and ladders and card games all help with letter and number skills.
Encourage your child to follow special interests
Becoming an 'expert' in something will give your child a sense of self-esteem and achievement. It might be football, another sport, animal-related or computing.
The subject doesn't matter as much as being knowledgeable about something, and feeling recognised for that.
Encourage your child to be responsible and work independently
Taking responsibility and working independently are important qualities for school success. You can help your child to develop these qualities by establish reasonable rules that you enforce consistently, making it clear to your child that he has to take responsibility for what he does, both at home and at school, showing your child how to break a job down into small steps, and monitor what your child does after school, in the evenings and on weekends.