How Can I Help at Home?

There are lots of ways to do this:

  • Get to know your child and do not be hesitant to take an evidence-based approach to identifying where they need support. Know when your child is exhibiting truant tendencies. Work in partnership with your child, and those with expertise and experience.
  • Understand what’s happening at school - ask your teacher how they are teaching your child about identifying their strengths, why, and what you can do to help at home.
  • Be enthusiastic and interested in what your child is doing at school – ask your child what they learned today, talk about the skills that they are developing, and how useful they are in life.
  • Do things together that uses one or more key competencies - this shows your child that what they learn at school is connected to the things they do in everyday life, for example:
    1. Planning a meal – thinking; using language, symbols and texts, managing self.
    2. Relating to others; participating and contributing, using language, symbols and texts.
    3. Mastering the rules of an online game – thinking; using language, symbols and texts.
  • Check whether your child understands the meaning in different types of texts or languages. If they tell you that something “is” so, ask them how they know, or what makes them think that. This can help them think about other possibilities, which is what the teachers do at school as well.
  • When you flick though the junk mail or watch television together, talk about the language the advertisers have used to make you want to buy their products. Encourage your child to think about how the language makes the advertising claims believable, and what information they leave out and what that also tells us.
  • Comment when you see a symbol used in a new way, or when the same symbol used to mean different things in different contexts.” For example, the @ symbol in emails and in merchandise.
  • Notice and praise your child when they do regular chores or homework without having to be asked. This shows them that you value their independent self-management.
  • Talk about the challenges of learning, not just about what has been learned, and show them that learning is a lifelong process.
  • Support and encourage your child when the going gets tough. For example, say “the periodic table, or paragraphs for a young child, can be really hard to understand, so we’re working at it together”. Be positive, and show them that you have confidence in them, rather than letting them make excuses.
  • Support your child when they take on leadership roles at school or in the community. This could be something as simple as being the class captain.