Whether this is your child’s first year of school or their fourth, you may be wondering how to best support them in their learning. Our teachers are incredible at what they do, but there’s no substitute for the love and support you provide your child at home. Having your encouragement and engagement during the school year can provide your child with more confidence, comfort, and learning during the school year.
6 Ideas for Supporting Your Child’s School Experience
Since Kids Village doesn’t send home excessive amounts of homework, the school day doesn’t usually feel like it extends into the home, and we like it that way! However, there are some sweet and engaging ways you can show your child that you are excited about and engaged in what they are learning.
1. Ask Open-Ended Questions
No child likes the question “How was school today?” You’ve probably already realized that you’ll be met with a “fine,” or “I don’t remember,” or some other non-meaning answer. Instead of the typical questions, get creative and ask open-ended questions.
- What was something that made you laugh today?
- What was something you wished you could do more of today?
- How did you help someone today?
- What was your favorite thing about today?
- What was something silly that someone did today?
- If you could change one thing about today, what would it be?
2. Read at Home
We can’t say this enough: the best way you can support your child in their learning experience is to read at home with them. Yes, your child is hearing plenty of stories at school, but there’s something about extending this practice to the home that helps to solidify not only early learning and listening skills, but also a love for reading overall. Pick fun books at the library or pull out old favorites. Find somewhere comfortable to sit with your kids and make sure to use plenty of silly voices (using voices is a great way to help your child distinguish between different characters as well as the narrator, which helps reading comprehension). Aim for at least one book a day, or preferably three. If your child is in 2nd or 3rd grade, consider starting an engaging chapter book with them instead of reading picture books. It can be beneficial for your child’s development to hear parts of a story over several days as opposed to all at once.
3. I Spy
You’ll see your student’s work in their bookbag which will keep you apprised of what they’re learning at school. You’ll find your student learning about letters, sight words, math facts, and more. When you’re out and about your student, try playing a game with them to find the letters they’ve learned in the world around them or to give an example of sight words that they can see or experience at the moment.
4. Celebrate Your Student’s Efforts
Your student works hard at school, and it can be very validating to them to have your encouragement when you notice them working hard. This doesn’t mean only appreciating their perfect scores, but celebrating them when you see them working hard to learn something new. This can mean oohing and ahhing over their handwriting when they’re writing or practicing at home, cheering them on when they read a book or out-and-about signage to you, identifying shapes, and more. Remember, cheering on growth and hard work (as opposed to successes only) helps them develop persistence and grit as they grow.
5. Monthly Task Cards
You will receive a monthly Task Card with your student’s progress in each of the subjects and workshops they engaged in that month. Keep an eye out for these cards, as well as personal communications with your child’s teachers. You can expect a personalized note from many of your student’s teachers throughout the year celebrating your child’s successes and updating you on their progress.
6. Open Communication
We encourage open parent-teacher communication throughout the year. If you ever have a question about your student’s progress, curriculum, activities, or how to support your child at home, Kids Village is more than happy to discuss either in an informal conversation or by scheduling a parent-teacher conference. You can call during school hours to request information, talk with our Education Director in person at Kids Village, or send us a message via email.