Encouraging learning at home for older children

Both of my boys are at an age where they have a real thirst for knowledge and there are times when they want to continue that learning at home.  We were recently sent some Letts "Wild About" learning books. This got me thinking about when it is appropriate to use workbooks at home and how best to integrate them in to our home.  I am big on learning through play and this is something that we have always concentrated on, however with my boys getting older (they are currently nine and eight) they are also reaching the point that they want to start working on some other ways. Encouraging learning at home with older kids

Encouraging learning at home with older children

 
  • Encourage discussion and opinion. I want my children to be free thinkers, to understand that having an opinion is fine and that they have to back up that opinion with reason and facts.
 
  • Make it fun. Both formal and informal learning is much easier when fun. If a book they need to read does not stimulate them, find an alternative one that does or another way for them to glean the information.
 
  • Make learning a participation sport. I freely admit to my children that I do not know everything and that I too will have to learn somethings with them. Spellings are a communal event, they test me (I am pants at spelling and I test them) usually during dinner or on the walk to school.
 
  • Use real world examples. Do science at home, encourage children to cook and engage your child in real world learning, ask questions and make connections.
 
  • Give them a place to do homework whilst supported by you. We use the kitchen table and have everything the boys will need in a bureaux in the kitchen. I can be preparing dinner whilst they are working and I make myself available to them as they need me.
 
  • Celebrate achievements. Make time to celebrate your children’s learning achievements and set clear expectations of them. My boys know that 100% effort is non negotiable regardless of the outcome. Offer positive reinforcement to inspire them to keep learning and being challenged.
 
  • Show interest in what they are learning. Do not make results and scores the focus of your questions. Show a true interest in what they are studying. Having your child put what they are learning into their own words will reinforce that learning.
 
  • Set a good example by showing them that learning is pleasurable and is a lifelong process. Additionally, parents who exude an overall positive attitude about their own responsibilities show children that while all people have tasks to complete, doing them with care and enthusiasm is far better than simply giving the minimum effort.
  Letts Wild about workbooks are matched to the KS2 (key stage two) curriculum and are all about taking your kids on a wild adventure whilst learning at the same time.  They are great for reinforcing the learning they do at school in a fun and exciting way. These books are great for snow days or even sick days, when kids need something to occupy them.  Both the boys really enjoyed these books, but do not take my word for it, they did a video below. The Wild About learning guides cover a variety of  skills including:
  • English spelling
  • English reading comprehension
  • Maths problem solving and reasoning
  • Maths
  • English
  • English grammar and punctuation
  • Maths arithmetic
I have found them a great help too, showing me practical examples of new terminology and the changed styles in learning from when I was in education! Discover more about Letts Wild About, including weird and wonderful animal facts and free activity sheets at www.wildaboutmathsandenglish.co.uk
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How to make Valentines surprise crackers

We love crackers in The Mad House and our homemade crackers  and New Years wish crackers  such a hit, we decided to make some valentines surprise crackers for the ones we love. Valentines surprise crackers

How to make Valentines surprise crackers

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Heart shaped paper chains – 5 minute craft

Sometimes you need a simple craft that will only take five minutes or so and heart shape paper chains are one of those crafts.  It is mess free, simple and perfect for kids of all ages. How to make heart shaped paper chains

How to make Heart shaped paper chains

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Salt dough jewellery

We love salt dough.  It is a brilliant art and craft material and we love creating with it.  It is not just a kids craft material and to demonstrate that we wanted to share with you our heart shaped salt dough jewellery which is the perfect craft for preschoolers through to teens. We used our go to salt dough recipe and the salt dough jewellery was made with half the recipe. Salt dough jewellery

How to make Salt Dough Jewellery

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How to make heart shaped sugar cubes

One of the highlights of my days as the boys get older is afternoon tea.  Once they get home from school we sit down to after school snacks and a pot of tea.  I don't take sugar, however, the MIL always sugared the boys tea and they love adding a sugar lump, so we have mad fun making our own heart shaped sugar cubes. painted heart shaped sugar cubes Even better I love the fact that we have my mum's sugar tongs and bowl and it makes it such an experience. heart shaped sugar cubes

How to make heart shaped sugar cubes

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5 Things Pregnant Mothers Should Include in Their New Year’s Resolutions

If you're expecting a baby during the first few months of the New Year, you'll need to negotiate all the excitement and temptation of the New Year celebrations. But rather than look upon this as a challenge, you could view it as an opportunity to make some lifestyle choices for a healthier pregnancy. These New Year's resolutions should leave you feeling healthier and more optimistic about the year ahead - and about the arrival of your baby. five resolutions for pregnant women (more…)
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Homemade Washi Tape Heart cards for Valentine’s Day

I have a real thing for washi tape as a kids craft material.  It is easy to tear (even for little hands) and looks great.  These homemade washi tape heart cards are perfect for valentines day and look great too. washi tape valentines cards

How to make washi tape heart cards

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Salt dough valentine candle holders

Our solstice tealight holders were so much fun to make and we loved using them, that we decided to make some salt dough heart shaped candle holders for valentines day.  This recipe for salt dough will make about 10 candle holders. Salt Dough heart candle holders These are so much fun to make and  were so simple that the boys made them by themselves with only help lifting in and out of the oven. (more…)
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Free kids coding lessons

Coding is now on the school curriculum, my boys really enjoy coding at school and when we were offered the chance to  try out a free kids coding lesson with Barclays code playground we jumped at it. Barclays Code Playground session at the Piccadilly branch Within two hours (one for Maxi) both of the boys had created a game with the help of the Digital Eagles.  The boys attended a 2 hour session with the Digital Eagles along with a group of around 10 other kids of varying ages and they had a blast. (more…)
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How to make a family fingerprint relief heart art canvas

We love making pieces of art that we can display seasonally in The Mad House.  Last year we made a family fingerprint heart canvas and I have been thinking about making a family fingerprint relief heart art canvas since then.  We finally got round to making it and it was so much fun to make and perfect for displaying in our home. [caption id="attachment_11302" align="alignnone" width="600"]family fingerprint relief heart art canvas family fingerprint relief heart art canvas[/caption]  

How to make a family fingerprint relief heart art canvas

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