Education starts at home

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Education starts at home

By | October 1999
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Some parents think that once their children are at school, they can relax and let the education system take control. But this is not the case at all. As research shows, parents have an even greater influence on their children's academic results than the school does. Most of a child's ability to communicate, to relate to teachers and peers and their attitude to learning, is formed from home. Parents can help give their children a head start, by beginning their education at home.

Many parents don't realise how they can help their children at home. Things as simple as baking a cake with their children can help them with their education. Measuring out ingredients for a cake is a simple form of maths. Another example of helping young children with their maths is simply planning a birthday party. They have to decide how many people to invite, how many invitations they will need, how much the stamps will cost, how many prizes, lolly bags, cups, plates, and balloons need to be bought, and so on. Children often find that real life experiences help them to do their maths more easily.

Another way that parents can help their children with their maths, is to give them pocket money. It does not have to be a large amount, and they may have to do chores to earn it. This not only teaches them about the value of money, but they may need to use basic maths to work out how long they will have to save to buy the special toy that they want. This means that children are developing their money sense, as well as their maths skills.

Reading to children at an early age can give them a head start when they start school. But parents should not stop reading to children when they do start going to school. They still like to be read to, and it can help to increase their sight vocabulary as well. Parents can also help their children with their reading skills by providing them with reading opportunities. Parents can read their children books, signs, magazines – or...