Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Helping Support Your Child's Learning

The Mister and I went along to H & E's parent-teacher consultation evening this week, and it was a mixed bag really. E, her teacher tells us, is delightful and absolutely flying ahead with her reading, her writing is coming along, and she is making fantastic progress - she has no concerns about E whatsoever, she has settled in beautifully.

After visiting E's class we went upstairs to see H's teacher and were told that H is a lovely, popular boy and she loves teaching him, and that he always tries so hard and is building his confidence and will now ask for help when he needs it, but that he is struggling a little with handwriting in particular, and spelling. I did already know this, as H has always had a little trouble with this sort of thing. He is very good at Maths and Science (his Dad is great with numbers, me - not so much) but English is proving that wee bit trickier for him.

We discussed some strategies for helping to support his learning at home, and I have come up with ways of encouraging progress and bringing him along. The most important thing, is that he wants to learn. The desire to do it is there, so while he has that we have the best chance of getting him caught up or at least continuing his progress. I don't want him to get to secondary school and to have lost that passion for learning, because by then it will be too late. We want the best for him and I am willing to do whatever I have to to get him to where he needs to be.

He received some lovely Tom Gates books for his 9th birthday last November, made up of words and pictures not unlike the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (which we also have), and he has absolutely loved reading them. The fun layout of the book is, I think, ideal for reluctant readers or those who have difficulties. H reads them before bed every night and has been thoroughly enjoying them. I will be choosing some new books for him, and I have printed out some book review sheets for him to fill out as he finishes each book.

I have visited the and websites, and printed off some of their free worksheets for both H and E to support their learning including maths, spellings, and letter formation as well as the book review sheets. I also made my own review sheets about places that we have visited, and movies that they have seen for further handwriting practice. Personally I found that Twinkl was best for early years, and Sparklebox was better for KS2 but they both have lots to offer and are brilliant resources. I have also been recommended by a friend on Twitter though I have yet to check them out - I will be doing so this week.

I've also employed some tactics that I remember from my own school days. For example, I've taught him how to spell necessary using the same method that I used - I told him to remember never eat cucumber, eat salad sandwiches and raspberry yoghurt. For the trickier words, making up a little rhyme or something funny to help them remember is always worth a try and it certainly helped me when I was young, even now I mentally recite that line in my head when writing the word necessary and I'm in my early thirties!

A few others that H & I came up with together are : Naughty = Never Ask Ugly Guys How To Yodel, and Scene = Sometimes Colourful Elephants Need Eggs. City Girl Gone Coastal shared a good one, Because = Big Elephants Can Add Up Sums Easily. H thinks these are great fun and they seem to be doing the trick! Can you think of any?

Do you have any tips, useful websites, or words of advice for helping to support learning at home? I'd love to hear them.


  1. This is lovely, H is lucky that his parents are putting all this extra effort to help him - I know a lot of parents wouldn't bother.
    For me, reading is the biggest thing - I'm sure that's what helped me to learn to spell and construct sentences properly. If he's enjoying reading books I'm sure he'll be just fine in the end.
    Thanks for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop!

    1. Thank you :) It's so important to keep them interested and motivated and if they are struggling it would be easy for them to not want to do it, I hope I can encourage him and help him make progress!

  2. Great idea. I love the effort you are putting in to helping your children learn. The rockets look interesting :) x

    1. Thank you :) It is just so important, I really want them to enjoy learning and to do well x

  3. Great post. I've actually done a couple of helping with writing posts recently. Plus a guest post on the dad network in engaging in a child's education.

    Sparkle box is a fab place so pleased that you know of it! Primary resources is another good one to check out!

    As for the word necessary....I couldn't spell it until I was 18 when my uni lecturer (teaching degree :/) told me Never Eat Cake Eat Salad Sandwiches And Remain Young! And even to this day when writing it it sound it out lol

    Drop me a tweet if you ever need any more tips or useful sites I have a few. @mr_kitney

    In the meantime it sounds like you're doing a great job and it's great to see parents so involved in their child's education.


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