Ways to Help Your Child to Learn



Phonics Support Meeting Notes - April 2015

Reading Together - a guide to helping your child with reading

Parents who want to help their children succeed in school must strike the proper balance. They should be involved—but not too involved. They should set limits—but allow freedom. They should encourage their kids to excel—but not expect perfection. However, it’s not as hard as it might sound to help your children enjoy their academic experience.

Here are 10 tips from experts on how to make this year a great one for your family:

1. Create a routine. We recommend getting up at the same time each morning, eating a nutritious breakfast, and instituting a positive bedtime ritual that includes 20 minutes of reading. This precious quality time can be shared with your child and will hopefully instill a love of reading for life.  They can ask questions and discuss what they’re reading.

2. Prepare for the morning the night before. Avoid morning chaos by eliminating the need for last-minute decisions. A bad morning practically ensures a difficult day at school. So accomplish as much as possible before bedtime, such as helping your child choose what clothes to wear and gathering all needed school materials in the same “launching spot.”

3. Help your child get organised. Organisation extends beyond assembling the next day’s materials. Children need help developing a system for storing and retrieving items so that they feel in control of their success. Helping children keep backpacks uncluttered and storing all school items in a safe place can also train children to develop organisational habits that will serve them well throughout their lives.

4. Provide a quiet place for homework, support them, but let your child work alone. A regular time and a good workspace to complete homework are essential, and homework should be a household priority.

5. Limit distractions. Television, computers, and video games can be a huge competitor for your child’s attention, especially when it comes to homework, so limit these activities, at least on school nights.

6. Encourage intellectual curiosity. Engage your child in dinner-table conversations. Share your own interests, such as what you’ve learned recently about gardening or another country. Talk about current events. Nourish your child’s curiosity about the world, and you will instill a love of learning.

7. Allow free time. Every child needs time to unwind, so be sure that at least part of each day is free of responsibilities. In particular, don’t overschedule your child with too many afternoon activities. “After a long day at school, if you’re zipping off for dance lessons or football practice, there’s suddenly very little downtime,” DeBroff says. “You have to make sure your children have pockets of time to replenish their energy.”

8. Build relationships with teachers. “Open the lines of communication,” says DeBroff. She suggests asking the teacher how things are going and being open to hearing about problems. And don’t criticise teachers, especially in front of your child.

9. Learn how to step back. When evaluating your child’s overall performance, be careful not to let your own ambitions take over. “When parents get too involved, by definition kids are miserable,” Needlman says. Resist the urge to micromanage your child’s education. You need to learn to trust your child and the school. 

10. Have a sensible bedtime and good routine.  Don't assume your child is in bed asleep if things are quiet.  Check on them and remove things which might disturb their sleep ( pets/games/mobile phones)... A good night's sleep is essential for good learning.  A good bedtime routine helps the brain to prepare for sleep.  A bath, a book  a cuddle and goodnight kiss can't be beaten.