Helping Your Child
Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it is the single most important thing you can do to help your child’s education. It should be a fun time when books are shared together and discussed. Here are some top tips that can help a child who is still learning to decode the words and a child who is a more confident reader.
A child learning to decode (say the words)
· Take turns at reading each page
· Show your child how to sound words out and join the sounds to make words
· Point out parts that repeat and words that they have seen before earlier in the book
· Make a book fun by adding actions or sounds as you read it
· Ask them questions to see if they understand what is happening in their book
A child who is decoding confidently (can read most words without problems)
· Take turns at reading and show them how to use their voice to make the story sound interesting
· Ask them lots of questions to see if they are understanding the longer books they are reading
· Ask them to talk to you about the different characters and the things they have done
· Encourage your child to read a range of books, not just their favourite style or author
· Introduce them to a range of popular authors
However confident your child is, it is essential they read at home almost every day. Try to develop a routine, for example reading for ten minutes every day before bedtime, to make it pleasurable and to avoid arguments.
It is important to make maths fun, practical and relevant at home, as well as practising basic skills.
From a young age, children will learn number bonds and the more practise they get with these the better. Begin by practising pairs of numbers that add to ten, for example if you say 8 can your child say 2 almost immediately. Then practise adding any pair of numbers below ten e.g. 6+7. Can they tell you the answer is 13 without working it out? Then move onto subtraction, first with numbers below ten and then numbers up to 20. You never need to go above 20 with these number bonds but the faster and more accurate a child can get the more it will help them in their daily maths lessons.
Times tables are also essential and by the end of Year Four your child should know all their tables up to 12 x 12 and the division facts that go with them. Ask them which tables they are learning at school and then help them to practise at home. This can be through chanting, singing songs, watching videos on the internet or playing games, both with an adult and on websites or through apps. By trying different approaches you will quickly find out what works best for your child. As they move on to learn new tables, don’t forget to check that they still remember the ones they’ve already done. Ten minutes times tables practise every evening, just like the short time they should spend reading will greatly help them to do well in maths as they get older.
Real Life Maths
Finally, using maths in real life situations is essential. Can your child tell the time from the clock or tell you how long it is until their favourite programme starts on TV? Can they work out how much the things they buy at the shop will cost and how much change they should get? Can they measure weights using a scale if you are cooking at home or estimate the amount of liquid in a bottle? All these skills and others can be turned into fun games at home and allow your child to make faster progress.
Your child will need to complete home learning as they move up through the school. This may include reading at home, learning spellings and times tables, English and maths tasks, topic based activities or anything else that their teacher feels will benefit them. In general, the amount of time your child spends doing homework should increase as they get older, preparing them for the expectations of secondary school and ensuring that their learning at home supports their progress in class. Normally, homework will be based on learning already done in class and will have been explained to them by their teacher, so your child should be able to do it independently. If they are finding it difficult then you may be able to support them, but please don’t do their homework for them. Also, if a particular piece of homework has taken a long time and you feel your child has tried hard but they aren’t fully understanding it, then let the teacher know through the school planner. To find out when homework is given out and due in, see your child’s class page.