Supporting your child in school

Children can achieve better at school when their family and friends take an interest in their school and schoolwork. Getting involved, even in the simplest way, shows that you care about your child’s education. Often, the more supported a child feels at home, the more effectively she or he will learn at school. Whatever your lifestyle or family situation, it is never too soon (or too late) to start helping a child develop a positive attitude towards learning. Here are some ideas:

  • Give encouragement and show appreciation of your child’s achievements, whether great or small.
  • Allow them to make mistakes and to learn from them.
  • Give feedback rather than criticism, For example, rather than saying 'you got it wrong', try saying 'it didn’t seem to work that way'. This can help them think about where they went wrong and have another attempt.
  • Encourage a variety of interests.
  • Learn together, do things together, visit interesting places, talk about things you’ve seen on television and allow your child to ask questions.
  • Let your child develop at their own pace. Be realistic and avoid putting your child under pressure with high expectations.
  • Encourage reading by having books, magazines and newspapers in the home and let your child see you and other family members reading them. If reading is difficult for you, some schools have shared learning schemes which help parents and young children learn to read and write.
  • Help children learn about self-discipline.

All parents want their children to do well in life, and helping them get the most out of their time at school can help them on their way. It is not just about learning and exams; there are a whole range of good things about being at school like building a good group of friends, finding after-school activities to enjoy, such as sport and drama, or going on school trips. School also helps children find out how to get on with people from different ages and backgrounds. Aiming high for your child is about helping them do well and improving their life chances.

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