Parents often ask what they can do to support their child’s learning. They can do all kinds of things and it doesn’t need to be daunting for them. Here are three easy ways parents can help
Parent Tip 1: Read Aloud
Read to your child, read with your child. It doesn’t have to be novels at bedtime.
Read books, magazines, newspapers, takeout menus, cereal boxes, instruction leaflets, supermarket brochures. It’s about language acquisition – the more words children are exposed to the more language they pick up.
Read Educa learning stories with your child. After all they’re the main character in the story.
When reading a new picture book ask them what they think will happen next. This is called “predicting” which helps your child make meaning from a story. Another strategy is discussing pictures so they begin using “picture clues” to help when they begin reading themselves.
Parent Tip 2: Talk Together
Have opened ended conversations with your child. Open-ended questions are ones that can’t be answered by “yes” or “no”. Invite them to tell you “all about” a specific topic.
“Did you have fun playing with the Lego today?”
“Tell me all about building a castle with the Lego”
Let them be the expert. Ask their opinion. Prompt them to explain in words when they want something. They may feel frustrated if they don’t have the words they need but gently encourage them. Tell them funny stories about when you were a child. Talking together works on their expressive language and social skills.
Parent Tip 3: Make Numbers Count
Point out numbers to your child in books, in menus, even on TV. Count everyday things together: the stairs you climb at the park, crayons they use, pieces in a puzzle. Ask questions ‘How many apples are left in the bowl? Give them the bowl so they can count. If they’re eating a snack after school get them to count the crackers – line them up and get them to point with their finger as they count. This helps them understand that numbers and objects correspond.