Sunday, 15 June 2014

Supporting your child's literacy and mathematics development at home!

There is no reason why your child’s learning should stop during school holidays. Here are some simple ways to develop your child’s Literacy and Mathematics skills at home.

Supporting your child’s Literacy development

Developing strong language and literacy skills are important for your child’s overall development and key for when they start school. 

Here are some tips on how to help your child at home during the holidays and even on weekends or after school!

1. Join in your child’s games – playing is a great opportunity for your child to develop new language skills and expand their vocabulary. Imaginative play also develops children’s comprehension of stories. By joining in, you can encourage all these skills by giving them someone to talk to. Ask a lot of questions, encouraging your child to explain what they are doing, as well as role playing with them. You will help increase their vocabulary and understanding of language, and have some fun!

2. Talk and sing songs as much as possible – ask your child what they have done today, talk about what you are doing and topics they are interested in. Try and ask lots of questions and talk about how things look, feel, work, smell or taste and how they make you both feel. Spend time singing your favourite songs together and try clapping out the rhythm of the song or syllables in words. 

3. Read with your child – spend time reading books with your child. Show them how to look after and hold books, read to them, ask them to ‘read’ the story to you (they will use their amazing imaginations here!) and discuss the story together as you are reading it. Not only is this valuable quality time but it helps develop important Literacy skills. 

4. Point out things in your environment – when you are out and about, both you and your child can point out interesting things that you see or hear. This is a great way of encouraging your child to communicate and is a fantastic distraction on long grocery shops!

5. Practice phonics – ask your child’s teacher for information on the sounds they are learning and how they are learning them in nursery. Re-enforce this at home with your little one by singing the songs or discussing initial sounds in words. Make it into a game so they learn without realizing!

Supporting your child’s Mathematics development

From birth, children are developing their mathematics skills to understand everyday life. There are so many great ways you can help your child learn key skills such as counting, shapes, colours, position and sorting. 

Here are some ideas:-

1. Counting – try counting things in the environment with your child such as the stairs to bed, crockery on the table or the number of tomatoes you are buying in the supermarket.

2.     Colours and shapes – colours and shapes are all around us and by asking lots of questions, you can help your child learn their shapes and colours. For example, ask them what circles they can see in the room (a table, coffee coaster, clock etc) or what blue things they can see. You could bring in counting as well by counting the number of items they have found! 
3. Sorting – ask your child to help with sorting items such as food, laundry or saucepan lids. There are many ways they could separate them, a great way is by size as you are re-enforcing size vocabulary and sorting skills. 

4. Position – talk to your child about the position of different objects so they learn and become familiar with position vocabulary. You could also ask them to position objects in certain places while playing (for example: can you put the cow in front of the sheep?)

5. Routines – by talking through daily routines, it helps children develop their understanding of time and sequences of events. It also helps them to become familiar with vocabulary such as before, after, next and later. 

I hope I have given you some useful ways to support your child’s learning at home. I have only scratched the surface in this post so for more information and ideas, check out our Facebook page

Have a lovely summer! 

Katie is an Early Years specialist in Dubai, where she 
manages an EYFS nursery. She has a special interest 
in psychology and early childhood development.


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