Happy New Year and 2017 to everybody! Welcome back to the new term, particularly to the children and families starting Nursery for the first time. I hope you all had a great Christmas break together and avoided the worst of the sniffles that were doing the rounds.
I don’t know if you’re a new year’s resolution type of person or not; you may have already made some (which may or may not remain unbroken!) or it may not be your thing! Either way, can I recommend some activities in support of your child’s learning that will have a really positive impact on them throughout their time in school.
1. Demonstrate a positive attitude about learning to your child: I know our fridge doors aren’t always big enough for the pictures that come home and that sometimes the homework is a bit of a challenge (!) but always value what they bring home; it makes a real difference.
2. Monitor your children’s television, video game and internet use: it’s very easy to believe that by letting children do and have what they want, we are showing them love when actually it’s our role as parents to guide our children into what is good and sensible for their growth and development – age ratings are there for a reason!
3. Encourage your child to read: studies show that children who read for pleasure do better in school, despite their starting points or their particular interests – enough said!
4. Talk with your child: you’d be amazed at the impact being involved with good quality talk can have on a child’s development. It’s never too early to start nor too late!
5. Encourage your child to use the library: books can be expensive but we are very fortunate in this area to have easy access to local libraries. Many areas have seen libraries close due to local authority funding cuts; keep ours by using them!
6. Encourage active learning: let your child lead, explore their interests – whether sports, music, drama, outdoor nature. You may be setting in motion an incredible future!
If you’re doing these already, brilliant; thank you! If you recognise that there are ideas here that would be good to try, go for it – but don’t set goals that are so high that you become disillusioned with them. Go one step at a time and if you want any advice on any of these, please feel free to ask…