Encouraging learning at home | Mum In The Madhouse

Encouraging learning at home

I have blogged previously that we are not big fans of homework for primary-aged children here in the mad house, however, I am aware that it is a necessary evil in the years to come and know that we have to start encouraging learning both in school and at home.

10 ways to encourage learning

When it comes to homework and whether or not they need to do it and when they need to start doing it then we had several reasons, including the fact that a couple of their friends are starting senior school and they will have over an hour homework each evening and also that other friends although not local are receiving tutoring for their 11+  using tutors.   But how do you find a local tutor? This is where Tutor Hunt comes in, they search for tutors locally or online within the parameters that you set .

We have learned that getting expert help with education and learning is something that is brilliant if you can afford it. MadDad tutored Math’s GCSE and A’Level when we first met.  Tutoring isn’t always about just improving grades, but about raising confidence and giving children the encouragement they need. We feel that the time has come to start the preparation for future learning.  

We want to keep this encouragement as simple as possible and make homework and learning fun and not a chore. We have been encouraging learning at home through play and reading throughout the boys’ lives at home, so the transition to doing homework doesn’t scare me or the boys at all.

Tips for encouraging learning at home

  1. Fill your home with books.  Both the boys love facts and fact books.  We have and still are fostering a love of reading in our children.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.  This too applies if using a tutor,  make sure that your child finds them inspiring (has a connection) and enjoys learning with them and that it isn’t a chore

  4. 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.

  5. Encourage learning through play from a young age.  Play matters and is key to everything your child is and will be.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

THe Mad House


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