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Supplement Your Child’s Education at Home

Ten Tips on How to Supplement Your Child’s Education at Home

There are some parents that choose to educate their children at home and many that send their children to school. However, a growing number of parents choose to do some education at home while their children attend school full time. This can help the child to increase their knowledge and build on the things that they have learned at school, but it can be hard to know exactly where to focus.

  1. It is wise to start with working with the child on those things that school want them to do. This means making sure that they complete their homework. Most primary schools ask parents to read with their children daily, so this is something else that parents can do. They may also have specific things that they want them to learn, such as number bonds when they are younger and times tables as they get older. Certain tasks, such as learning to tell the time can be difficult for children and it can help if parents help with this as well.
  2. It is worth considering your child’s interests when designing extra work for them. You want them to enjoy working with you. It can be a great bonding time between parent and child, where you can enjoy each other’s company and learn together and so you want to keep things fun for them. You could talk to them about whether there is anything that they wish to study in more detail with you.
  3. Do a variety of different things with them. They may need help in a specific area but if you only work on that it could get boring for both of you. Do somethings that they really like as well, even if they are already very good at them. This will mean that they will be more likely to look forward to the sessions where you work together.
  4. There is a selection of books that you can buy which cover the curriculum for various stages of school. If you want to go over things that they have done at school or should have done there, then these can be useful. They tend to be colorful and fun with reward stickers so they encourage the children to want to do them.
  5. You may want to teach them things that are not on the school curriculum to extend their knowledge. This can be very useful, but you will have to look for resources elsewhere. You could start with the Internet, local library and bookshops. Do not think that written resources are all you can use though as there are plenty of videos that can be a better resource for some. You can also go out and use nature, museums, art galleries etc to learn from.
  6. Find a certain time when you know that your child will be most responsive to learn. For some that is in the evenings, for others it is in the mornings. It may be that this will depend on a day to day basis and you will have to just pick a time when they seem to be ready on that specific day.
  7. If you are working in the home, find a special place to go. You want to make sure that you will not be disturbed, there are few distractions and you have a suitable surface to write on. If you want to work intensely then make sure the television is switched off and there are no mobile phones or tablets to add extra distraction.
  8. Stay with your child when they are working. If you ask them to do a task that will take some time do not be tempted to wander off and do something else. They will be less likely to focus if you are not there to keep an eye on them and you will not benefit from the togetherness that working with your child can bring.
  9. Sometimes working with a child can cause arguments between children and parents. This can be because parents are expecting too much or children want to be doing something of their choice instead. Do not lose your temper but reason with them, discuss why you are doing it and explain that you like being able to spend the time with them. Work together on coming up with a work schedule that they will enjoy too.
  10. Do not expect too much of your children. They work hard at school and they are young so will not be so quick to do things as you might be. Do not lose patience when they do not understand things right away and try to explain things in more than one way. It is not always easy to put things into words so that they will understand which is why sometimes a book or online resource can help you.

Maggie Cooper