Supporting your child through their education is often a challenge for parents. Whether your child finds learning tricky or they take academic studies in their stride many of us are not sure how best to help our children reach their potential.
There is, however, plenty we can do at home that will support our children. Research shows that parental engagement is one of the best ways that we can support our children in their learning. Those children whose parents get involved are the most successful and research shows that parental involvement has the biggest impact over many other methods of raising attainment.
I come from a teaching background and I am also a primary school governor and I’ve been lucky enough recently to have worked with an online tutoring company called Matr who seem to really understand the needs of primary school pupils and what parents can do to help them.
Here are some of my tried and tested ways that parents can support their children without spending a fortune.
- Attend parents evenings. This might seem an obvious one, but it is this interaction with your child’s teacher that can help you understand what they are learning and give you the chance to have a one to one conversation. Make sure you read this before your next one: parents evening jargon buster.
- Go to any parents information sessions. Many schools offer information sessions to explain how they are teaching key areas to your children. Maths for example is taught differently to how I was taught. Therefore, it is useful to go to parent’s sessions that demonstrate key concepts and how the teachers teach your child. Local libraries often run parent’s sessions too. Read this: How to Help My Child With Maths At Home
- Read with your child. Most children will bring books home from school. Listening to your child read should not stop the minute you feel they can read independently. Many children still enjoy reading aloud to their parents. Again, the library and bookshops often have lots going on for children. They are far more interactive than you would think. Our local library has coding clubs for example and games sessions.
- Get a tutor – they don’t have to be expensive. This may be controversial but the best way you can support your child is to give then one to one tuition. The cheapest way is of course for you to do it yourself but if you, like me, lack confidence in the new ways of teaching maths (or dread the idea of maths battles with your child!) then I recommend you look for online tuition. We’ve been using Matr’s online tutoring and it’s affordable and extremely good. Each one to one Maths lesson takes place with a tutor who builds a rapport with your child and takes them through a programme of study which matches their academic level. My 9 year old daughter has trialled the lessons and really enjoyed them. She has found them challenging, fun and wants to continue with them as she feels that she is learning such a lot from them. Erin is a bright, able girl and we often search for ways to extend her learning because she wants to study and has a thirst for going ahead. She is competitive and wants to do well and Matr are enabling this by providing greater depth challenges that support curriculum. A one to one tutor often charges about £20-25 per hour but the Matr lessons are an affordable £11 making this more accessible to parents. Find out if Matr is right for you here: Matr.Org
- Make homework work for you. Ask your child what they have been learning at school and do activities that will enhance and extend this. If they have homework, check it with them and help them by giving their time to do the tasks. Make a set time each week where homework is completed and shared. Read this: How to Help Your Child With Homework
There are many affordable ways that we can all help our children meet their potential and we should do all we can as parental engagement impacts positively on educational outcomes.