Talk to your child about why education is important and do not give your child any negative messages about school or their teachers. Encourage them to think about their educational goals and things they enjoy about learning. Reflect on how education can make a difference to their lives and discuss their aspirations around learning, qualifications and career. Be aware of your child’s current learning programme so that you can discuss this and help where necessary.
School is the place where your child first learns how to organise themselves and their learning. Attending school on time helps students understand the importance of punctuality. Ensuring your child comes to school in the right uniform and with the right equipment helps them work effectively in the classroom.
It is helpful for students to reflect on learning and what has happened at school in the comfort of their own home. The time you spend with your child supports them to think about what has happened during the day and make sense of it through discussing it with you. It also gives an important message about your interest in their education and learning. Ask open-ended questions such as ‘tell me about’ rather than questions that have a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer and look at/investigate any areas you can discuss further with your child.
Create an area where your child can do their homework. This can be as early as possible. Make sure it is away from the TV and other distractions and that there is enough equipment, pens, paper etc, for their work. Make the homework/study area special and ensure it is attractive and welcoming. Have a lamp and box for their books, papers etc. Include a clock for the older children as this helps them focus. Make sure they use a tablet/computer to support their work when necessary. Have rules for doing homework and stick to a routine where possible. It is important that your child takes responsibility for completing their work to an acceptable standard and you provide support for this but keep the discussion positive. Discuss any problems with their teachers.
When you help with learning try to make it as enjoyable and inter-active as possible. This could be through interviews, research, visiting places, making models etc. Your child will be a lifelong learner and this helps make learning fun and engaging.
All children thrive on praise and approval. Know and understand what your child is working hard at and encourage them to persevere and succeed. Make sure you praise small steps in learning as well as those such as test or exam success. Be clear about your expectations and try not to ‘over-praise’ as it will lose its value and may keep achievements low.