Parents and Primary School Children: Working in Harmony
With Primary school students now learning at home for the next six weeks, parents are now more responsible for their children’s education. This is a hard task as many are working from home and trying to support their child’s learning also. Creating a consistent routine, keeping positive, keeping calm, putting rules and consequences in place, allowing time for your child, talking and reassuring them are all factors that will contribute to working in harmony with your child.
I have worked with a Primary Teacher to develop this Information that I hope you will find helpful. In this article I have included some areas I consider important to you as a parent during this difficult time. I hope they are of some help and create a safe, happy and loving environment for your child.
Creating a routine
It is important to plan a daily structure and involve your child in this process. With your child, draw up a timetable together. A child will follow a timetable better if they help plan it and this will also build their confidence. In doing this you are giving them a level of ownership of their own timetable.
Tips on planning a routine:
- Set times to get up and go to bed
- Agree on a timeline including structured work, recreational activities, practical activities and break times
- Choose activities the child likes also
- Plan short sessions e.g. 20 mins and always allow flexibility. There is no set time if the work is balanced
- Identify times you will work with your child each day and times they can work independently
- Aim to include movement breaks at regular intervals throughout the day
- Ask your child what they like to do and include this in the daily schedule.
- Introduce a positive reward system e.g. choice time, sticker chart
- Decorate the timetable and display at child’s eye level
Supporting schoolwork at home
Junior Infants – 2nd Class
The best way to support children of this age is to:
- Sit with them as they work
- Work for short intervals
- Take movement and snack breaks
- Use the outdoors to break away from tabletop tasks
- Use a reward system
- Encourage your child to focus on task in front of them
- Read words/questions carefully
- Form letters correctly
- Check correct pencil grip
- Have concrete materials readily available for number work.
- Provide practical experiences for maths work, e.g. Shapes around me, weighing food from the cupboard etc
- Ask questions, both lower and higher order format in subject areas.
- Try and relate topic areas to the child’s own experiences.
- Always give praise and encouragement
3rd Class – 6th Class
- Allow children to work independently as much as possible
- Offer support and assistance as needed
- Assess learning by observing, questioning and correcting work
- Monitor presentation of work and handwriting
- Look at their school workplan before hand to familiarise yourself with the different subject areas
Outside the Classroom
It is important for your child to enjoy free time and activities they enjoy. Here are a range of activities that you and your child can choose from:
- Practice how to keep safe during Corona virus spread
- Exercise, sport, games
- Imaginative free play
- Fine motor skills: Lego, play dough, beading, building blocks and cutting
- Linking in with loved ones and friends on voice calls and video calls as social interaction is very important
- Learn life skills: indoors and outdoors (Choose jobs that children can and love to do)
– Baking, cooking, gardening, (planting, weeding), setting the table, emptying the dishwasher, making their bed, tidying their room, folding clothes, sorting clothes, hanging out the washing, farming etc
Media and online Time
It is important that your child has access to recommended online facilities during school closure where possible. Ensure your child’s safety online and set up parent controls on devices to monitor child’s activities online. Below I will list some of the more useful websites you can work on with your child.
It’s a good idea to link with the school and class teacher through email, to give and receive feedback and to send on work samples for assessment
Twelve Useful websites for Support
helpmykidlearn.ie (Learning advice for all age groups)
twinkl.ie/offer (enter the code IRLTWINKLHELPS)
webwise.ie (Online safety)
scoilnet.ie (All curricular areas)
learn.khanacademy.org/khan-academy-kids (Words and Numbers)
krokotak.com (Arts and crafts/colouring)
positiveparentingsolutions.com (Parental Advice)
© Joe McCormack 2020