Our children are immersed continuously in various learning environments, learning from different people they come in contact with, particularly in the school and the home. In helping your child to learn at home, your goal may be to enrich your child’s experiences, to prevent or correct learning problems, to help your child reinforce what they have learnt in school.
There is no one right way to helping your child to learn at home, but there are some ideas that lead in the right direction.
Similarly, in helping your child to learn at home, there is no one right method or technique in helping. However, there is a right stance – the helping stance, taken to help your child enjoy the process of learning. By being there for your child, you reassure him that you will always be there to support and guide him/her. To create a positive home-learning environment and experience for your child, you can try the following ways:
1. Constant Encouragements
• Praise your child’s good efforts, and not only his/her successes.
• Don’t dwell on mistakes and academic marks. Instead, always encourage your child to strive for improvement.
• Give your child the confidence to seek help from his/her teacher.
2. Build a Strong Relation with Your Child
• Develop parent-child relationships that are loving, warm and responsive.
• Listen, respond and talk to your child.
• Engage in shared thinking as a regular part of daily life. You can do this by explaining, speculating, describing, making connections and open questioning.
3. Create Learning Opportunities
• Give your child ample opportunities to explore and develop independence while offering support when needed. Your encouragement is vital to building his/her confidence.
• Provide real-life experiences to help your child make sense of his environment. One way you can do this is to include him/her in everyday routines and engage in conversations with him/her about these environments.
4. Focus on the Child
• Encourage your child to share ideas based on his/her interests.
• Allow and encourage your child to lead when playing together.
• Build your child’s self-esteem and confidence by recognising his/her efforts and not just his/her successes.
5. Develop Your Child’s Literacy
• Chat with your child as much as possible as part of daily life.
• Have oral storytelling sessions with your child by taking turns to share stories about everyday life or past experiences.
• Sing songs and rhymes.
• Introduce a wide variety of text styles when reading with and to your child, and encourage him/her to repeat or retell favourite stories.
• Support and affirm your child’s attempts at writing.
• Encourage your child to express himself/herself through painting and drawing.