Helping your child to learn

Learning doesn’t only take place in the classroom or at school – everything you do with your children is an opportunity to stimulate their curiosity, improve their confidence and encourage them to explore their world.

Dame B’s holds regular talks designed to help you help your children. These include Developing a love of reading and Developing a love of mathematics – we’d love to hear from you if you have any other suggestions.

In the meantime, here are a few ideas of what you can do at home.

Make a song and dance about it ­

Share favourite songs and tell nursery rhymes. Dance with them, too – it’s all great for co-ordination, memory, stimulating the imagination and simply having fun.

Explore the world together

Discuss numbers, colours, words and letters you see when you’re out and about. In the shops, talk about different packaging shapes and displays.

Cultivate green fingers

Plant seeds and bulbs, so they can discover the joy of growing things for themselves and observe what happens – give them their own window box, dedicated pot or small corner of the garden.

Eat up!

Cook or bake together – it’s a great way to learn about quantities, weights and timings and even fussy eaters will normally wolf down their own creations.

Get into the great outdoors

Explore the park, garden or nearby countryside at different times of the year. Go off the beaten track, stop to listen quietly and observe wildlife.

Be a weatherman (or woman)

Sunshine and shadows, rain and puddles, snow, ice, clouds, mist – they’re all opportunities to learn how the world functions, understand the seasons and how they affect the way we live.

Have a chat

Talk to your child at every opportunity. Tell them what you’ve been doing while they’re at school, discuss appropriate films or tv programmes, share family news, ask what they’ve been up to.

Book them in

Reading is a lifelong pleasure and a great way to stimulate their imagination, as well as a way of learning, so share books with them. There’s a special joy in introducing them to books you loved when you were a child but don’t stop there. Follow their interests, ask what they think, explore storylines, think of possible endings or sequels.