How to Help Your Child Progress

Reading with your children has many benefits!

Since the reopening of schools, numerous parents have asked me, “What can I do to help my child?”  My main advice would be to show an interest in what they are doing and to create a homework routine and expectations. A large proportion of children’s learning in school is reinforced through homework. It is more important than ever to self-assess your child’s progress and a good starting point is how they are performing with homework. A significant amount of children will already be behind age-related expectations due to their significant absence from school. However, please do not wait until the next parent/teacher evening to discover that your child has slipped behind even further. 

Read Read Read!

Ensure that your child is reading every day. Try to develop a love for reading by sourcing books that will appeal to their interests. It is also important that your child can access the book on their own and that it is not too difficult for them to read. However, if you have a 7-year old that loves Harry Potter don’t let the difficulty of the book put you off. You could read it with them and ask them to follow the words with their finger. This is a great method to improve vocabulary, imagination and also creates bonding time with your child. It is critical that your child comprehends and does not simply read the words in a text. This can be improved by questioning what they have just read. It is equally beneficial to hear your child read out loud. I am aware that parents have extremely busy lives and find it hard to fit everything in. Most of the activities I will be discussing can be done in conjunction with other tasks such as making the evening dinner. 

Times tables 

I discussed the importance of learning the Times Tables in a previous article. Although I will refrain from emerging into the seemingly endless benefits of learning the tables as early as possible, it is essential that I once again stress their significance in assisting your child’s mathematical progress. One of the major benefits is that it increases children’s confidence in maths as there is clear and measurable evidence of progression. Additionally, knowing the Times Tables makes learning areas such as division and fractions much easier. You will be able to find a fun game called ‘Hit the Button’ which will assist your child with their learning. 

Send Your Child Prepared for School

Every teacher will tell you it is almost impossible to teach yawning pupils. Ensure that your child gets an adequate amount of sleep and a good breakfast before embarking on their school day. This will provide them with the energy they require to stay focused throughout the day. Attendance is more critical than ever as schools will be accelerating lessons to bridge the learning gap that has resulted from lockdown. Consequently, ensure that any absences are limited to avoid missing out on valuable classes. 

Masks U-turn

There has been another major U-turn in government strategy regarding the wearing of face masks.  It was only a few weeks ago that the education minister, Peter Weir, announced that face masks would not be necessary as their use was ‘implementable’ and corridors were low-risk areas. Now the advice is that post-primary pupils wear masks in corridors and shared areas. As mentioned in my previous articles, I feel that due to the fast-changing nature of information regarding controlling the virus, schools should have been returned in a more controlled fashion. The lack of clear guidance and decision making has also been passed onto school leaders. Headteachers and staff willingly undertake various roles within a school setting which range from pastoral care, safeguarding and academic duties. However, medical and public health decisions should not be an added pressure. Terminology within the Northern Ireland Re-Opening School Guidance regularly states that Managing Authorities and schools ‘may’ or ‘may wish’ to do something. The government is sending out the message that they expect individuals with an academic background to make medical decisions, but initially, they did not trust them to make educational assessments regarding GCSE and A-Level grades. 

Accelerate Academic Progress with Education Support Hub

Following the extended absence from schools, we are running early P6 catch-up sessions aimed towards the 2021 Transfer Test. We are starting classes earlier than normal because children going into P6 will have to cover a large section of the missed P5 curriculum. Essentially, this could mean less valuable time spent on Transfer Test Preparation

In addition to Transfer Test preparation, Education Support Hub assists children of all primary ages. Following an initial free assessment, your child will join a small group (maximum 4) with similar academic ability. Groups of 4 children help mirror a classroom environment while still allowing our fully qualified teachers to provide individually tailored lessons and carry out a continual assessment on their progress. The teaching methods we use cater to a range of different learning styles to provide the tools for your child to become a more confident learner. We also utilise textbooks that are used by local primary schools, further assisting children in applying their new learning directly back to the classroom.  

Sessions are delivered by Access NI cleared tutors through the online platform Zoom ensuring that classroom bubble guidance is adhered to, in the comfort of your own home. If you would like more information, please contact us.

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