Helping at home

Ways to help your child at home: 

Reading

Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it's the single most important thing you can do to help your child's education. It's best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.

Think of ways to make reading fun - you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you find a text that you both enjoy and can discuss its themes together then your child will be more eager to engage in the book. As a result, their comprehension knowledge and skills with improve as well as their reading fluency.

Tips for helping your child to enjoy books:

Log on to Bug Club - https://www.activelearnprimary.co.uk/ This is set up for your child through our school. Not only does it have a wide-range of text, it also has comprehension questions and well as other activities to try at home.

Use picture only books especially when your child is beginning to read – but it is also beneficial for older children too – it is a way of helping early readers but also to develop a vivid imagination which will in turn develop their writing ability.

Schedule a regular time for reading - perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed – At St Anne’s we ask that children read every night to an adult – it doesn’t have to be an extended period of time but little and often.

Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in; it will encourage them to access reading more readily. Also, sharing your favourite books from your own childhood is a great way of developing a love of reading as well.

Make use of the local library, take out CDs and DVDs as well as books – they all contribute to comprehension and understanding of English.

Keep a dictionary close by to check the meanings of tricky or unfamiliar words. It is an excellent way of building your child’s vocabulary.

Alternatively, use an e-reader such as a Kindle – not only are there a vast collect of reading material readily accessible but it will provide the definitions of trickier words if you hover over the word. 

Writing

The basis of developing into a good writer is to use 'good talking'; when you visit places, encourage your child to talk about what has been seen, heard, smelled, tasted, touched. For example, if you have been to the cinema with your child, ask them to become a film critic - explaining the plot, why they liked it, was there anything which could have been better & giving the film a star rating; explaining the reasons for their choice. Encourage children to share their experiences in as much detail as possible to help develop a wider vocabulary to enrich their writing. 

 Tips for helping your child to enjoy writing:

Let your child write their own cards; thank you letters; cards or e-mails to friends or relatives; invitations to a party or a list of things they need to take on holiday.

Play word-building games like Boggle or Scrabble. Games like ‘Guess Who’ can also develop their descriptive vocabulary.

Create silly sentences or tongue twisters using alliteration (a group of words that all begin with the same sound) E.g. Slimy snakes slid silently.

Different types and colours of paper, different pens and pencils, envelopes, stampers and various other stationary can all be motivating when your children is writing.                                                        

Encourage your child to rehearse their sentence out loud before they write it down.

Always encourage children to punctuate their sentences with a full-stop and capital letter.

Handwriting does not have to be boring! Let children practise drawing letters in sand, water or paint, or use white boards or chalkboards. Pattern books can be fun to do and allow children to practise mark-making. Children can also make letters using playdough, pastry or shaving foam.

Let children write a small part of your shopping list. Let them be responsible for carrying their list and finding those items when you go to the supermarket.

Make up fun ways to remember how to spell a word eg. Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants = because.

After making a cake or doing a craft activity, challenge children to write the recipe or the instructions for someone else to use.

Write an information page or booklet about something they find interesting e.g. Dr Who, dinosaurs, cats, Little Mix etc. Draw a picture and label it.