5 tips for parents of Primary kids

Primary Years: the foundations for future success


Friends to learn with, reading, a balance of routine and surprise, and the practicing of skills – works.

Tip #1

Let your child know that primary school is for learning.

Do you ask,”What did you do at school today?” Change two words to, “What did your class learn today?” Friends are important, especially ones that will talk about class activities, but the expectation of learning is crucial to the Primary years. By referring to “your class” you are including your child without being directly challenging or confrontational.

Tip #2

Breakfast feeds the young brain.

Regular time, regular place. If they insist that they are not hungry, try small amounts but have them sit at the table with you during the breakfast time anyway. Here’s what the experts* say:

• Breakfast Increases your child’s concentration levels and improves his/her ability to learn
• Helps them to maintain a healthy weight and decrease the likelihood of obesity
• Brightens their mood by providing them with energy which helps build positive self-image
• And helps to develop positive breakfast habits that they will take into adulthood.

*Rachel Brooks: Life Education, NSW

Tip #3

Co-curricular activities are great for Primary motivation.

Involvement in clubs and games is social as well as educational. Music performance is fantastic for brain development and transfers learning skills across the board. Social service programs, involvement in fund-raising for charities and other appropriate, supervised, direct commitment can be hugely beneficial for a child’s growth. Very often children get more from the charity experience than they actually contribute!

Tip #4

The best homework is the practicing of skills learned at school.

Activities at home that reinforce what was learned at school that day is the most effective primary homework. They stimulates the memory. If fine motor skills are required (such as writing), the skills are learned faster and more accurately if started that day and practiced regularly. This is also the time when the solving of set problems can be practiced after the technique(s) has been demonstrated and learned at school.

Tip #5

Primary Reading: do it, or lose it.

Our children can directly draw on the vast storehouse of human stories and experiences, knowledge and wisdom through reading. They will need this skill their whole life. It is the basis for “standing on the shoulders of giants”. Read with them, sometimes out loud, and other times quietly. Help them know that the resources of other minds and imaginations are for them too.

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