Both parents and teachers want the same thing for children – the best possible education. When we all work together we make a strong team.
The following are some tips and ideas for how parents/carers can support their children in their learning at our College. This is not intended to be a complete list and should you have any further suggestions we would love to hear from you!
As a parent or carer, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. When you speak you are a language teacher. When you help your child recognise colour and shapes you are teaching reading skills. Before your child goes to school you probably also teach Maths, Science, Human Studies, Art and Physical Education. Even after your child enters ASCC you continue to be the most important influence on their life. Remember, most teachers see children only a few hours a day. Parents are constantly teaching their children.
The College will teach children a lot of important knowledge, but parents play a critical teaching role. We know that children can learn even more when the College and parents work together as a team. This section of our website suggests ways you can help us to support your child’s learning. You may already be following many of these suggestions. Some may not be appropriate for your child. They are intended to get you started on home learning activities.
Get involved – We want to encourage you to be an active member of our College community.
Be visible – Attend the Parents’ Review Day so that you can get to know the teachers. When children see that their parents believe College is important they feel supported.
Partners in Education
Both parents and teachers want the same thing for children – the best possible education. When we all work together we make a strong team. Here are some ideas for helping the College do a better job:
- See that your child attends College regularly.
- Monitor your child’s subject books and College Journal.
- Support the College in its efforts to maintain proper discipline.
- Be aware of what your child is learning in College.
- Let the Form Tutor know if your child has any problems outside College that might affect his or her schoolwork.
- If you have any concerns or questions do share them with us.
- If you have any suggestions or ideas do let us know.
Let your child know that you have confidence in them, so they believe in their own worth and are more able to face the challenges of College life.
Try to establish clear, consistent rules for behaviour at home. This helps students adjust to specific rules for the classroom or College.
A good diet
One important way to help your child in College is to make sure they eat well. Children need food energy to perform well. Try to provide a healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables, fruit, cereals, milk products, meat, poultry and fish. Ensure they drink lots of water and avoid ‘fizzy’ drinks.
As part of our curriculum throughout all years, we examine some of the issues around healthy lifestyles. We believe that good health is vitally important and depends not just on a good diet but also on exercise during the day and enough sleep at night. Encourage your child to play sport, ride a bike, skip, etc. You could be a good example yourself!
Help your child become a good reader. Whether your child reads fluently depends partly on you. If a family encourages and enjoys reading children are more likely to read well and often. Certain things influence children’s success and interest in reading, such as wide knowledge and thoughtful talking. Thought-provoking questions stimulate curiosity.
- Encourage your child to think about past and future events. Help your child hold lengthy conversations to reflect on their experiences.
- Television, in moderation, could inspire children to read the book about the dramatisations they watch.
- Show interest and become involved in your child’s reading.
- Try to give a feeling of “can do” confidence.
- Children who are good readers can make very significant progress in all subjects. As a parent you can encourage your son or daughter by reading to your child (if appropriate) or encouraging them to read.
- Let your child see you reading. Let them know how important it is for the future. You could also make regular visits to the library.
- Reading well will help your child make progress
Help your child become a better writer. Clearly, writing is something we all do. It stimulates thought, enables us to communicate with friends and helps us express our feelings. To write well we must:
- think clearly
- have sufficient time
- read to become a better writer
- have an interest that we can write about
To help your child to write well and enable them to find it easier or more enjoyable, provide a place to write. Have paper, pencils, etc. available. Respond to your child’s ideas but don’t write it for them.
- Do say something good about it – such as “it is interesting, thoughtful or accurate.”
- You could write together, for example a business letter or order. This would show the value of writing in the adult world.
- Encouraging them to make lists will help your child to become organised.
- The ability to express thoughts clearly in writing is an essential skill. As writing is based on spoken language, you could talk with and listen to your child at home. As you share experiences and talk about them you might help your child develop a love of words.
- Let your child see you writing. As they see you correct or adapt your work your child will learn the importance of drafting and revision to ensure good writing.
- Encourage your child to write. Perhaps it could be illustrated so that the writing becomes a treasured gift for relatives or friends.
Help your child do better in College
Research has clearly shown that behaviour and attitude affect success in the classroom. Successful students:
- pay attention
- are interested in their work
- learn and remember
- study and know how to get help when necessary
As parents, you can help to teach your child these skills.
Children can learn the knack of paying attention. Help them think positively so that they don’t say “It’s hopeless”. Encourage them to think they “can do it”. Don’t let them give up. A useful saying might be: “Quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit”. Encourage them to answer and ask questions. This helps to focus attention.
Taking an interest
Learning is a joint effort – teachers, parents and pupils working together. Children must believe that the hours they spend studying (and the effort they put in) make the difference between success and failure. Do take an interest in your child’s work and results. Discuss them with your child. Reward your child for improvement. Stress the benefits of doing well in College.
Research has shown that success in College is determined not just by intelligence but by the strategies children use to master facts and ideas. Understanding a subject doesn’t just happen. Children need to be interested. Encourage your child to find an answer to a problem or to draw conclusions. Help your child to discover the main idea or most important point in the material they are studying. Help your child make up a mnemonic (a memory aid) to remember lists or facts eg: “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain” – ROYGBIV – for the colours of the rainbow.
You can help by…
- Providing a quiet, well lit place for work. A desk is ideal but a corner on the kitchen table will do.
- Help your child to create a schedule that is flexible but allows study on a weekly basis.
- Make sure your child has pens, dictionary, etc.
- Provide encouragement and support but most of all be available.
- There is a time when television can help but do ensure that your child actively watches programmes and does not just sit in front of the television.
- Talk about the programme when it has finished. Have plenty of books around.
- Encourage them to study by reading a little yourself first so that you can help and take an interest.
- Your child cannot remember everything so help them write notes as a summary of the important points. This helps memory and categorising.
- Encourage your child to prepare for tests by spacing study over several days.
- Help your child look forward to College as a happy place. Always talk about College in a positive way.
- Most of all – talk to your child.
Enjoy your child learning and have fun helping them to do their best: by working together we can all help to make that happen.