Helping your child at home


At Preschool we prepare children for the start of reception in many ways.  These include in academic areas and with their social, emotional and life skills.  Here are some tips for helping your child at home.

 Helping your child with reading 

Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it’s the single most important thing you can do to help your child’s education. It’s best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.

Think of ways to make reading fun – you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you’re both enjoying talking about the content of a particular page, linger over it for as long as you like.

Books aren’t just about reading the words on the page, they can also present new ideas and topics for you and your child to discuss.

Here are some reading and writing targets you could work toward as your child reaches Reception age:

  • Use the correct pencil grip
  • Writing their own name with correct letter formation
  • Begin to form recognisable letters
  • To make attempts at words and tell you what it says
  • Recognise familiar letters in their environment
  • Say the name and the sound of approximately 10 letters
  • Look through a book and tell a story
  • Begin to show an awareness of rhyme

Tips for helping your child to enjoy books:

  • Encourage your child to pretend to ‘read’ a book before he or she can read words.
  • Visit the library as often as possible – take out CDs and DVDs as well as books.
  • Schedule a regular time for reading – perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
  • Buy dual-language books if English isn’t your family’s first language – you can talk about books and stories, and develop a love for them, in any language.
  • Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in – maybe dragons, insects, cookery or a certain sport.
  • Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.

Helping your child with maths

As with reading, try to make maths as much fun as possible – games, puzzles and jigsaws are a great way to start. It’s also important to show how we use maths skills in our everyday lives and to involve your child in this.

Identifying problems and solving them can also help your child develop maths skills. If you see him or her puzzling over something, talk about the problem and try to work out the solution together.

Here are some maths targets you could work toward as your child reaches Reception age:

  • Number recognition to 10
  • Ordering numbers to 10
  • Counting small groups of objects
  • Beginning to add two groups together
  • Recognising shapes
  • Order according to length and size
  • Recognise and create simple patterns
  • Use mathematical language such as plus, add, take away

Tips for helping your child to enjoy maths:

  • Point out the different shapes to be found around your home.
  • Take your child shopping and talk about the quantities of anything you buy.
  • Let your child handle money and work out how much things cost.
  • Look together for numbers on street signs and car registration plates.

Social and Life Skills

It will make life easier for your child if they can master these self-care skills before they start school:

  • Play well with other children; use phrases such as ‘can I join in?’ ‘do you want to share?’
  • Remain attentive and quiet when being read a story
  • Use the toilet on her own
  • Washing their hands
  • Feeding themselves
  • Using a tissue
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Tidying up
  • Successfully use zips and buttons