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 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
- 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
My mum always used to sit down with me and help me with my homework (up until about year 9 anyway) without asking. Even if she didn’t know the answers either, it was nice having her there!
Sara | This Girl Loves
I really enjoy spending time with the kids while they’re doing their homework 0 it amazes me just how much they know x x
I love doing these type of books at home with my little man.
Some fab tips there. I am lucky at the moment that my son loves to carry on his learning at home so I am making the most of it! I love these kind of workbooks they are so handy and these look particularly fun!
These books sound great and look great too – not ‘school like’ at all. I agree that learning is lifelong is a great thing to teach youngsters – I freely admit I am learning all the time – the key is to find things that interest you or are presented in an interesting way – which is why those books would appeal to my kids!
Letts Books are fab, I used to recommend them to parents when I was teaching.
I agree with you about real world learning, it really helps to put studying into context
I often feel like I’m learning along with them. They seem to be learning things at a much younger age. I love how they are like sponges and will just absorb all that information that you can give them.
I have to admit, my biggest weakness is around our home time after school. I struggle to juggle the needs of a soon to be 8 yo, a 6yo and 2 yo. I’d love a little fairy to come and wave her wand and give me the ability to do it.
We’ve tried books & workbooks like these and they are soon abandoned.
I am aware of this collection of fantastic learning books. My Daughter is still young but i am sure i will be learning along with her in the future!
I’m going to get hold of these when my son’s a bit older – they look really useful. Your tips are great too, especially the final one about doing jobs with enthusiasm, to set an example. I’d never thought about that before, but you’re so right!
Letts books are perfect for getting children interested in doing extra studies.
Completely agree and I’m pants at spellings as well. I think these books are great as they give little spurts of educational fun and we’ve learnt about a viperfish!!
They look like the perfect tool for me to teach my girls english.
Some really excellent ideas here. I think they are relevant even with little ones, especially the ones about making learning fun.
I wish the educational books were this cool when I was a child.
Some brilliant tips here, its always great to encourage kids to study and help them no matter what the age.The Letts books are brilliant.
I’m doing more work with my kids at home. It’s difficult to find motivation sometimes but workbooks are great. I’ll have a look at these ones
Great tips xx
Great idea, I find workbooks ESP useful to keep minds a bit active in the long summer hols, just half an hour here and there so it isn’t all forgotten by September!
These books are a fab idea – I find it challenging with the teen as they work so hard at school and then come home with bags of homework too
We always have some catching up to do with our kids. I wish they wanted to just sit down and learn…
It’s not always easy to encourage older kids to learn at home. I am not certain why, but I find that since the whole idea of giving “homework” is not used by many teachers, it is particularly difficult to encourage kids to do any sort of learning activity at home.
Our older son often times says, “if I don’t have homework, why should I work at home?”. Since my husband and I are both university professors, we always tell him that learning at home is a good habit and preparation for his years at university. He will have to learn and do work at home at university, so it is better to develop the habit now. So, we have work-books (maths, science, language, etc) at home for our two boys. We also watch documentaries, particularly those from BBC and PBS that cover all kind of topics from history to science. We also teach them using educational board games.
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I have an 8 year gap between 2 of my kids. Great idea. Thanks for linking up with us at the Inspire Me Monday Linky party this week.
Same as your previous post, as well as your Muffin post! Please come back tomorrow and link up on Share it Saturday! Thanks!! 😀
Some great tips here. Thanks for linking them up to #frugalfamilylinky