Helping You To Help Your Child
Here are some practical ideas for helping your child to learn.
The strategies and techniques are all tried and tested and based on research.
It is an advantage for students to develop good learning techniques as soon as possible. In year 7 they are useful: by year 11 they are essential.
We have included tips and techniques for parents and children to share and try out together. We hope you'll enjoy doing some of the things in this guide.
We learn best when:
- We are relaxed but a bit puzzled or challenged
- We are well hydrated
- We use techniques which maximise the brain's natural preferences for pattern, colour and novelty
- We do things ourselves
- We talk about and explain what we do
- We are well rested
- We exercise regularly
- We are encouraged and praised
Planning family time
Hot tip: Plan the family diary together.
Help your children to manage their time. They need to allow time during the evenings and weekends for homework. How does this fit in with their other activities and family events? Your children have a homework timetable. For year 7 students about one hour a night is scheduled.
A simple but effective system is for students to have a short break when they get home from school, but then to get straight on with homework before doing anything else.
Hot Tip: Use mealtimes to find out about your child’s day
Research shows that the children of families who eat together do better in exams. Even time in front of the television can provide a stimulus for debate and discussion. Chatting about the day's events helps all of us. We all learn better when we explain things to other people, so by chatting about something the children have done at school you can reinforce learning.
V. A. K learning
There are three main ways to learn and some students have strong preferences towards one style:
- Visual (seeing things)
- Auditory (hearing things)
- Kinaesthetic (doing things).
Example: you have to learn a list of French vocabulary
Visual learner: likes to make a colour-coded list with some little pictures
Auditory learner: prefers to make a tape and chant out the words
Kinaesthetic learner: associates the words with actions and acts them out
In practice, most of us seem to be a bit of a mixture and to learn best when we combine the three styles.
Reading is a fun and enriching experience for many of us. In addition there are strong links between love of reading and academic success. The English faculty and the Library staff work constantly to encourage enjoyment of reading. Students have one reading-related homework per week. Parents can support this by:
- Encouraging your children to enjoy reading for fun
- Have a light touch - don't be judgemental
- Everything counts: sports reports, magazines, websites
- Help them choose books and magazines
- Encourage them to get books from the school library/local libraries
- Encourage them to join the school Reading Group
- Let them see you enjoying reading
- Audio books are a good way of entertaining children in the car
- Talk about books
- Books make great presents.
Hot Tip: Reading the same book as your child enables you to engage in discussion with them.