Long before school or even nursery begins, parents are the first teachers children experience. The model for learning that you establish early on has long-lasting influence on their academic success. Research support this, so the earlier you get involved in your child’s education, the better.
All of which doesn’t have to mean dull sessions at the kitchen table reciting times tables. Keep it fun. And if you feel you have let things slip, start small. Just five minutes at a time will have a huge impact. Here are some ideas:
- Read every day - even if it’s just one book
- Ask high quality questions, e.g. If you did it again, what one thing would you do differently? How do you know?
- Offer a variety of experiences. However ‘educational’ a particular activity is, if you do it too often you’re missing the opportunity for wider learning
- Revisit activities to deepen understanding
- Encourage different ways of thinking: e.g. evaluation, prediction, calculation, counterfactual thinking
- Provide lots of open-ended activities that require problem solving and flexibility of thought. This helps your child learn to think for themselves, and that’s when learning starts