Here are some great ideas if you’re looking for ways to support your child’s learning at home. Don’t worry; I’m not going to tell you that I’m suddenly converted to homeschooling. Despite my children’s excellent school reports after I homeschooled them for a few months, I think it’s safe to say they excelled in spite of my attempt at homeschooling them during the pandemic.
However, one of the things I already miss about them learning at home is that I knew what they were learning. When they go to school, most of the time I don’t have a clue what phase of learning they are at, what they are covering in science, and how advanced their maths learning is. Yes, I might even miss Year 5 maths just a little bit. There, I said it. Below is some contributed advice on how to support your child’s learning at home, even if they are back at school.
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The state of our children’s education, post lockdown
For most kids, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that they have missed out on months of schooling over the past year. It is believed that 840 million school days were lost due to the national lockdowns. This is a considerable number of missed classroom hours, and concerns have been raised about the gaps in learning this may have caused.
Supporting your child’s learning at home is always beneficial, and if you homeschooled your children during the lockdowns, you might be keen to continue with some degree of home learning now the children are back in school. Encouraging your child’s education at home could give them an advantage and put them a step ahead of their peers.
Here are some fun & interesting ways you can support your child’s learning at home
Keep it Fun
If learning becomes a chore, your child is less likely to engage with your efforts to support their education. They are most likely getting the basic education so why not add on to their traditional learning with more fun learning. Putting your child under pressure and getting them to do too much learning outside of school can create the opposite effect you hoped for and put your child off their studies.
To support your child’s learning at home with fun and engaging activities is far more likely to keep them interested and eager to learn. This will also make the home learning experience much more positive for your both.
Read, Read, and Read Some More
The benefits of books can never be underestimated, and you can certainly never have too many of them at home. Nurturing a love of reading in your child will help get their learning off to a flying start. Having plenty of books to read will help your child to widen their knowledge of the world around them while also expanding their vocabulary at the same time.
If you don’t have space at home for storing lots of books, you could consider downloading e-books, using audiobooks, or borrowing them from the library when it reopens. My kids adore going to the library, and even though it takes them ages to choose a book, once they do, I know it’s one they will read all the way to the end because they chose it, rather than just having it assigned to them.
Any reading is beneficial, and it doesn’t just have to be fiction novels. Some kids prefer comics, or fact books, jokes, poems or riddles. It really doesn’t matter, getting your kids to love reading will definitely support your child’s learning at home.
Of course, not all learning takes place indoors, so taking your child out on adventures will also enrich their knowledge. Visiting galleries and museums together to learn more about art, history and science provides an excellent learning opportunity for you to experience together. Getting outdoors into nature and exploring the natural environment is also a great way for kids to learn. Discovering wildlife and the different habitats in your local area will help to expand your child’s knowledge and support your child’s learning at home and away from home, of the natural world and complement their other areas of learning.
‘Out of the box’ Online Learning Programmes
Most kids love tech and playing games, so choosing an online education program is a great way to keep the kids learning at home while having fun at the same time. ABCmouse is a popular choice among both parents and kids. Parents will like the range of educational activities across different subject areas, and kids will enjoy the colourful graphics and the chance to earn rewards for their progress.
Online learning programs can be beneficial for kids who prefer computers to writing, making them great for reluctant learners. There are many online learning programmes for children, from learning how to code to typing games, games where they learn how to budget and manage money, and even games such as solitaire played online can provide a learning opportunity. The range of online learning is vast; all of them are beneficial to support your child’s learning at home to build on their traditional education at school.