Helping your child to learn
As a parent it is what you do with your child that makes a difference...
You are able to help influence the way your child learns starting from when they are born and taking place in the home. This is often referred to as the Home Learning Environment.
Research tells us that if you involve your child in the following 7 key activities then the benefits to your child will be: Good social skills, better understanding of what is right and wrong and an appetite for learning.
Here are some ideas on how as a parent you can support activities:
- reading books (Bookstart)
- visits to the library
- playing with letters and numbers
- songs and rhymes
- drawing and painting
- encourage your child to play with friends
- getting out and about; e.g. trips to the park or woods - 'Come rain or shine' ... explore your neighbourhood with your child. Not only is it healthy (and pets can get walks too!); the experience of all weathers encourages a range of activities (jumping in puddles, collecting leaves, making a snowman, etc) and conversations. Lots of talking is good!
Did you know?
1. If you and your child know 8 nursery rhymes then your child will be prepared for reading.
2. If you ask your child a question you should give them 10 seconds to reply as they need this time to think!
3. Singing with your child releases 'happy hormones'.
4. Your child will be following the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework when attending their nursery, pre-school or childminder. Here is a booklet which helps parents understand how well your child learns and develops. It also has practical ideas on what things you can do with your child at home.
As a parent would you like to improve your own skills to help your child?
We don't take exams in order to be a parent - with our first child we have 'L' plates and we learn parenting skills on those early journeys. Sometimes we take a wrong turning, get lost or confused, but Life continues to educate us and provides opportunities to build on. So it's worth checking out your local Adult and Community Learning centre to see what courses or workshops are available. They can also provide 'taster' sessions so you can try things out without committing long term if it's not right for you. There are also opportunities to learn with your child, details of Family Learning classes can be found here, or contact your local children's centre.
Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP) and Children's Centres
You might want to take a peek at 'PEEP' - the Parents Early Education Partnership. PEEP is all about children and parents learning together. For details of courses running near you, visit or contact your local children's centre.
Children's Centres provide a range of groups and activities for parents/carers and their children to engage with. Some are for fun and socialising, family learning, and others provide advice and support support for families regarding parenting skills or health needs. Visit your local children's centre to see what's on offer.
For further information about helping your child to learn check out the links and resources listed on the right hand side of this page.
Useful websites and links
- Disability Matters
- Early Education
- Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS)
- Family Information Directory
- Family Lives
- Gentle Parenting
- ICAN - helps children and young people communicate
- NHS - Being a parent
- NHS - Why play is important
- Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP)
- The Incredible Years - training series for parents, teachers and children
- The Parent Zone
- Triple P Parenting
- What to expect, when? - A parent's guide to the EYFS