Parents often ask how they can help their child at home as they sometimes find the start to the educational journey a daunting time. There are many ways to help develop your child. Please read the below information, alternatively a Parents Guide has been created to help explain these crucial years a little clearer.
Counting in every day life is important so that the children learn the relevance to what they are learning. Touch the objects as you count (if possible) so that your child doesn’t learn only by rote. Make it fun and relevant e.g. counting actions such as jumps or claps. You could count the cars as you are driving along, or count how long it takes for the bath to fill up, or how many stairs are in your house or in your nan's house- are there the same?
You can help your child to recognise his/her own name by using small script letters that the children will use when they learn to write in school.
Children develop writing skills at different stages. They need to be physically ready to be able to manage the precise movements needed for number and letter formation.
Activites that aid this eye and hand co-ordination consist of jigsaws, construction toys (eg Duplo, Lego), building bricks, bead threading and using malleable materials such as dough or clay.
Crayons, thick pencils and large brushes used on large paper – in the form of scribbling, drawing and pattern-making – are excellent for encouraging flow and movement.
Please encourage children to mark make and value their pretend writing. It is also essential that they see you doing this.
You can also look at books with your child as often as possible (preferably every day). Show him/her how to hold a book correctly and point to the text, showing that the direction goes from left to right. Talk about the stories encouraging retelling in your child’s own words. Look at the cover and discuss the illustrations. Your child will have a school reading book, so they should read this daily. Mix it up a little and ask them to invent their own ending to the story! Can they change the characters name? Make it fun and engaging. Books are designed to be read more than once, so each day have a different focus.
Encourage your child to listen carefully to stories, poems and instructions. Help him or her to talk freely using clear diction. Get your child to question and respond. Stress the importance of turn taking and working co-operatively with peers. Sometimes children get a little muddled with the choice of words they use. If this is the case, model back to them the correct choice of word so they have the opportunity to learn and re-phrase the next time.