Parents Resources


The articles in this section are aimed at parents, to give advice on how you can help your child in positive ways and how to support them in their education. The articles have an emphasis on encouragement and show how learning activities can be fun.
We share with you on how you can help your child with learning to read, a vital skill for accessing knowledge and information in the modern world. 
Schoolwork can be hard and it is important that children feel that they can achieve. Only then will they become confident people. Our Helping with Homework article has tips on how you can help your child benefit most from the work that they bring home.


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Ideas for language enrichment (4 June 2013)

Different types of stories:
·         Puppets
·         Dramatization
·         Illustrations
·         Reading books
·         Mimio board
·         CD
·         Internet stories (story time online)
Open ended questions
News rings
Telling the story in order
Children make their own story books
Discussion ring
Picture talk
Show & tell
Songs & rhymes
Children tell stories to one another
Make up own & tell with puppet
Informal talk about activities
Morning rings
Show photos/ drawings of outings
Discussions in fantasy corner
Listen to children when talking
Acknowledge all attempts to speak
Introduce new vocabulary: give context
Opposites
Preposition
Identify what I am describing game
What does not belong?
Give 2-3 step instruction
Follow children’s direction e.g. how to build blocks
What might happen next?
A different ending
Discuss food on menu, where does it come from
Use pronouns properly
Science ring: size shape weight
Baling stories to children
Join a library
Enjoy music together –rhythm of language < learn about the world around us
Record the child who talks
Interactive & responsive games

Field trips/ outings




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Written by a teacher, this article is aimed at parents of children aged up to about 14.

How can you help?
By showing an interest you are communicating the fact that school work is important and needs to be taken seriously.
Encourage children to complete homework to the best of their ability.
Urge children to watch less television and spend more time studying and reading.
Express high expectations for children from an early age.

The Benefits
Studies have shown that children who are supported by their families with homework are likely to perform significantly better in academic examinations at 16 years old and beyond than those who do not. If we want our children to be successful in school, family involvement is important.

Parents who take an interest in their children's homework have a better knowledge of their education. Additionally, children who are able to complete assignments successfully are likely to develop a good working attitude.


10 Tips on Hearing Your Child Read

Mother listening to her child read
As parents you are your child's most influential teacher with an important part to play in helping your child to learn to read.
Here are some suggestions on how you can help to make this a positive experience.

1. Choose a quiet time

Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.

2. Make reading enjoyable

Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurize if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.

3. Maintain the flow

If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to 'sound out' words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names'.

4. Be positive

If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don't say 'No. That's wrong,' but 'Let's read it together' and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child's confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.

5. Success is the key

Parents anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember 'Nothing succeeds like success'. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.

6. Visit the Library

Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.

7. Regular practice

Try to read with your child on most school days. 'Little and often' is best. Teachers have limited time to help your child with reading.

8. Communicate

Your child will most likely have a reading diary from school. Try to communicate regularly with positive comments and any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading.

9. Talk about the books

There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.

10. Variety is important

Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials e.g. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.

Is my Child too Active?
Are you surprised with how much energy your child has? Here are tips helping you to cope with active children, how to create a calm time before bedtime and information on spotting the signs of hyperactivity.



video

Bullying and Teasing: No Laughing Matter

Know the facts about bullying, even if you don’t think it affects your child.


Unfortunately, teasing is often part of growing up — almost every child experiences it. But it isn't always as innocuous as it seems. Words can cause pain. Teasing becomes bullying when it is repetitive or when there is a conscious intent to hurt another child. It can be verbal bullying (making threats, name-calling), psychological bullying (excluding children, spreading rumors), or physical bullying (hitting, pushing, taking a child's possessions).
How Bullying Starts
Bullying behavior is prevalent throughout the world and it cuts across socio-economic, racial/ethnic, and cultural lines. Researchers estimate that 20 to 30 percent of school-age children are involved in bullying incidents, as either perpetrators or victims. Bullying can begin as early as preschool and intensify during transitional stages, such as starting school in 1st grade or going into middle school.

Victims of bullying are often shy and tend to be physically weaker than their peers. They may also have low self-esteem and poor social skills, which makes it hard for them to stand up for themselves. Bullies consider these children safe targets because they usually don't retaliate.
Effects of Bullying
If your child is the victim of bullying, he may suffer physically and emotionally, and his schoolwork will likely show it. Grades drop because, instead of listening to the teacher, kids are wondering what they did wrong and whether anyone will sit with them at lunch. If bullying persists, they may be afraid to go to school. Problems with low self-esteem and depression can last into adulthood and interfere with personal and professional lives.

Bullies are affected too, even into adulthood; they may have difficulty forming positive relationships. They are more apt to use tobacco and alcohol, and to be abusive spouses. Some studies have even found a correlation with later criminal activities.
Warning Signs
If you're concerned that your child is a victim of teasing or bullying, look for these signs of stress:
  • Increased passivity or withdrawal 
  • Frequent crying 
  • Recurrent complaints of physical symptoms such as stomach-aches or headaches with no apparent cause 
  • Unexplained bruises 
  • Sudden drop in grades or other learning problems
  • Not wanting to go to school 
  • Significant changes in social life — suddenly no one is calling or extending invitations
  • Sudden change in the way your child talks — calling herself a loser, or a former friend a jerk  
How to Help 
First, give your child space to talk. If she recounts incidences of teasing or bullying, be empathetic. If your child has trouble verbalizing her feelings, read a story about children being teased or bullied. You can also use puppets, dolls, or stuffed animals to encourage a young child to act out problems.

Once you've opened the door, help your child begin to problem-solve. Role-play situations and teach your child ways to respond. You might also need to help your child find a way to move on by encouraging her to reach out and make new friends. She might join teams and school clubs to widen her circle.

At home and on the playground:
Adults need to intervene to help children resolve bullying issues, but calling another parent directly can be tricky unless he or she is a close friend. It is easy to find yourself in a "he said/she said" argument. Try to find an intermediary: even if the bullying occurs outside of school, a teacher, counselor, coach, or after-school program director may be able to help mediate a productive discussion.

If you do find yourself talking directly to the other parent, try to do it in person rather than over the phone. Don't begin with an angry recounting of the other child's offenses. Set the stage for a collaborative approach by suggesting going to the playground, or walking the children to school together, to observe interactions and jointly express disapproval for any unacceptable behavior.

At school:
Many schools (sometimes as part of a statewide effort) have programs especially designed to raise awareness of bullying behavior and to help parents and teachers deal effectively with it. Check with your local school district to see if it has such a program.

Schools and parents can work effectively behind the scenes to help a child meet and make new friends via study groups or science-lab partnerships. If you are concerned about your child:
  • Share with the teacher what your child has told you; describe any teasing or bullying you may have witnessed.
  • Ask the teacher if she sees similar behavior at school, and enlist her help in finding ways to solve the problem.
  • If she hasn't seen any instances of teasing, ask that she keep an eye out for the behavior you described.
  • If the teacher says your child is being teased, find out whether there are any things he may be doing in class to attract teasing. Ask how he responds to the teasing, and discuss helping him develop a more effective response.
  • After the initial conversation, be sure to make a follow-up appointment to discuss how things are going.
  • If the problem persists, or the teacher ignores your concerns, and your child starts to withdraw or not want to go to school, consider the possibility of "therapeutic intervention." Ask to meet with the school counselor or psychologist, or request a referral to the appropriate school professional.

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