I am often asked by parents what they can do to support their child’s learning in the early years of their school careers. Having secured a place in the school of their choice, parents can support children’s learning in a wide range of ways; most of which may appear to have little direct relationship to what is happening in school but will enable that process to have the greatest impact. For young children, at the start of their school careers, they need stability, love and structure. For a child to thrive in the early years of education, a structured approach at home is essential; sensible bed times, regular nutrition, carefully monitored use of technology, consistent, clear and firm boundaries, excellent role modelling in terms of manners and courtesy and an excited interest in the world around them.
These attributes will prepare the child to be able to absorb everything on offer at their school. Unless specifically suggested by the school, it is unlikely that younger children will require extra tuition or unrealistic expectations to allow them to blossom. Parents should steer clear of comparing their young child to other people’s children. Children are unique; they grow and develop at different rates and there is no definitive road map. The child’s teacher will monitor development against clear learning milestones but will be well aware of the range of learning rates. All in all, where parents enthuse about what the school is doing, gently enquire and discuss activities from the week and encourage, encourage, encourage, children will be happy. Happiness is the key to progress!