How well is your child doing at primary or secondary school? If things aren’t going as well as you’d hoped, or your child is struggling with literacy lessons, there are many simple tricks you can emply to turn things around.
Time is always the enemy every day, especially if you work, you’re a single parent or you have a large brood to take care of. So, here are some ideas to help your child do better at school.
1. Spend 10 minutes reading together every day. It might be during bath time or bed time. If you do this regularly, the routine will pay off. If your child asks to stay up for longer at the weekend, tell them they can read in bed for an extra hour.
2. Read to your child with expression to teach them how to put meaning into words. Your enthusiasm for reading can also rub off on your child. If you are enjoying the book, they will be more likely to take more notice of it.
3. Get your child to create a ‘book’ about themselves full of pictures and writing. It can feature their likes, dislikes, favourite things to do/eat, skills and special talents. Get them to give each page a title, labels and a paragraph.
Introduce some fun. Perhaps the family cat’s paw prints wander in and out of the book. This activity is a really nice way to build self-esteem, and for you to keep an eye on your child’s literacy skills.
4. If you come across a word your child doesn’t understand, explore its meaning together in a dictionary. Then play a game to extend learning. Play ‘guess the meaning’ game. Each find a word that you think the other doesn’t know. You have to guess what you think it means.
This is a great way to discover new words, and have fun. If you keep score, it becomes a competition. Kids love beating their parents at this!
You can also suggest online games to motivate your child to learn. Visit the LearnEnglish British Council for a few online learning games. BBC Bitesize KS2 and KS3 are fantastic resources too! Year 7 and 8 boys would especially enjoy these activities.
5. Take an interest in your child’s homework. Children sometimes wriggle out of doing homework when they get back from school, or rush it to get it out of the way. Rather than go into battle with the kids, support them by trying these tips:
- Encourage them to tackle the most difficult homework first. Sit down with them, offer to go through the task with them and give them plenty of praise when they have finished.
- Turn off the TV or radio when your child is doing homework to show them that their work matters. A ‘quiet time’ can help them to stay focused.
- Build in rewards for completing homework. If it’s a large piece of homework, you could suggest your child breaks the assignment into chunks. ‘Do the first five quetions now and then take a break’ can work really well.
Lots of praise is key. Though it feels frustrating when your child shows little interest in their studies, stay positive and upbeat about it. Praise like mad for the smallest achievement. If you keep doing this, your child’s self-esteem will grow.
Help your child sprint ahead on the academic track
Let us know how you get on and which tips work for you? In the meantime, when you want to get your son and daughter back on the academic track to help them sprint ahead, drop us a line.
With wonderful private tutors available across Surrey from Weybridge to Guildford, Woking to Cobham, we can inspire your child to grasp literacy concepts in no time.