Supporting school learning at home

General aims of these sessions:

Raise awareness of the important role played by parents as their first teacher. Identify ways to support children’s learning at home Familiarise parents with primary school work

Topic Content
1. Families learning together Looking at how families learn. Brainstorming what parents teach their children in the first years of life. How this teaching/learning takes place. Different styles of learning. The concept of scaffolding. Intergenerational learning.
2. Understanding the Irish school system Exploring what parents know about, are not sure of and would like to learn about in the Irish primary school system.
3. Literacy development Ways to support oral language development, reading and writing skills in the home.
4. Exploring numbers How everyday maths in and around the home can be used to support school maths.
5. Learning is fun Exploring how play helps children learn. How play can be linked to the curriculum. The use of television and digital games in play.
6. Supporting homework Discussing the value of homework in primary school. Looking at ways parents can support children’s homework. Strategies to check homework.
7. Growing up Examining the different ways children change in primary school: physical, emotional and social. How to nurture creativity in children.

 

Websites

www.scoilnet.ie
www.ncca.ie
www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/moving-country/moving-to-ireland
www.henireland.org

 

Topic 1: Families learning together

Materials:

Large poster of Irish education system
Learning styles questionnaire handout
Handouts of Irish education system
Worksheet on how to support learning styles
List of subjects covered in primary school
Pencils/pens

Task Suggested Activities
Role of parent in children’s learning Discuss in pairs what children learn at home before starting school, who taught them these skills? Share with group.
Influence of parent support on children’s learning Share research showing how having interested parents has a major effect on children’s educational achievement. Examine how to ‘be interested’ in school learning.
Intergenerational learning Invite parents to share examples of skills and values their own parents passed down to their generation. How did this learning happen?
How we learn Use learning styles quiz with parents to explore different learning styles. Ask parents to consider that their children may have different preferences. Discuss handout on activities that incorporate different learning styles.
Remembering the first day at school Invite parents to recall what happened on their first day of school? What feelings can they recall? How did they cope? How might things be different today? Discuss how to support children starting school.
Compare home and school language Divide group into two. Each group works in pairs to suggest typical phrases children might hear at home (group 1) and at school (group 2). Compare and discuss.
Compare home and school learning Use a walking debate. Parents respond to a range of statements about learning. Parents move to home or school (words placed on opposite walls) depending on whether the statement describes home learning or school learning.

 

Literacy Links:

Reading short texts (learning styles questionnaire, handout)
Writing words and phrases
Participating in discussions communicating about past, present, future activities
Following spoken instructions
Expressing opinions

Numeracy Links:

Identifying ways children learn number concepts in the home
Using language of measurement
Following the layout of the learning styles quiz
Adding up scores in learning styles quiz
Gathering data, e.g. in walking debate