Supporting Young Children at Home

Supporting Young Children Learning at Home

Parents and Carers often ask how they can support their child and how to help them at home.

Here are a few suggestions and ideas that may be useful in helping your child to learn and to become a sociable and responsible member of the community.

Social and emotional development

  • Make time to listen to your child
  • Talk with your child about their day, their feelings (positive aspects – ‘feel good factor’).
  • Encourage them to look at you when they speak and to listen as well as talk.
  • As an adult always make eye contact with your child when they are speaking to you and when you are speaking to them.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to talk in a variety of situations – for example, within groups, with friends, adult family members.
  • Ask lots of questions so that your child has plenty of opportunities to make suggestions, give opinions and feel valued
  • Talk about how we need to share and how important it is.
  • Provide a variety of stimulating experiences like walking in the forest and visiting the local park. Encourage your child to explore the local environment. This will also give your child lots to talk about.
  • Encourage your child to be independent in their personal care – dressing and undressing, going to the toilet (and wiping their bottom) independently, washing their hands. This will really help you (and us!) in the long run.
  • Give plenty of opportunities for positive choices to be made. There are occasions when choice is not an option and as adults you decide when this is the case.
  • Children thrive on routines and fair, consistent expectations. Set meal times are a wonderful opportunity to promote talk, social skills and family life.
  • Children need to have a realistic bedtime. Bath time and a story are ideal before bed time as this has a calming influence and is a special time for parents and children.
  • Unacceptable behaviour should not be ignored. Children need clear boundaries and guidelines. Behaviour strategies should be used consistently by all adults.
  • Children need to be taught right from wrong.

Language development. Speaking and listening

  • Teach your child how to negotiate using language rather than using aggressive behaviour. Demonstrate how we use language to work out problems and develop ideas.
  • Encourage your child to use words rather than physical actions when they become cross or frustrated, for example when they are seeking attention.
  • Good manners are expected in school and within the community. Encourage your child to say please and thank you and to respond to greetings.
  • Use plenty of opportunities to look at both fiction and non-fiction books and comics together. Visit the local library.
  • Read the books together and encourage your child to talk about the story, answer questions and try to retell the story using the pictures as prompts. Show them how to turn the pages over carefully.
  • Help your child to develop and extend their vocabulary through discussion in and out of the home.
  • Model correct speech. For example, child says “dod mummy”. Adult responds “Yes it’s a dog”. Please do not ask your child to keep repeating themselves or give negative responses as this will affect their confidence.
  • Provide plenty of opportunities for your child to use their imagination when playing.
  • It is beneficial to limit the amount of time your child spends watching the television. If your child is watching the television, watch with them and talk about the programme together. This will ensure that the programmes they are watching are suitable.
  • Provide plenty of stimulating, fun activities for your child – cooking, play dough, painting, building equipment, imaginative toys to name a few.

Mathematical development

  • Play lots of board games and card games with your child. This is a fun way to develop number recognition and counting skills.
  • Practice counting as much as possible. Sort favourite toys into groups and count them together. Encourage your child to point to each object as they count. Ask them to tell you how many they have counted; this will help them to understand that the last number said relates to the quantity.
  • Encourage your child to look at numbers in the environment – on doors, car number plates and in shops. This helps them to develop number recognition. Count footsteps when you go out for short walks. Say a number and take that many steps. Take it in turns to choose a number

 Physical development/Well being

  • Go for walks and talk about the local environment. Discuss how we keep safe and why we need to hold an adults hand whilst walking on the pavement.
  • Go to the local park and use the climbing equipment.
  • Play with bats, balls and bikes.
  • Children thrive by having regular meals. Breakfast is especially important.
  • Sweets and fizzy drinks should be seen as a treat, rather than part of each meal.
  • Give your child plenty of opportunities to use crayons and pencils, encourage them to hold them correctly.

As parents we understand how difficult it is bringing up children, but we hope that some of these suggestions and strategies will help you and your child develop a positive outlook and set them on the path to be responsible, caring, educated members of the community.

Remember

You do not have to be on your own. If you are experiencing difficulties bringing up your children – help, advice and support is available. Talk to a member of school staff or your Health Visitor who will be able to suggest support.