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How to help children engage in learning:  

Given what our children have been through the last two years, we want to do everything we  can to help them access positive learning outcomes. Here are some valuable evidence based tips for children of all ages. 

Sleep:  

One of the biggest factors in educational outcomes for children is sleep. None of us can  operate at an optimal level when we are fatigued. This is especially true for our children. I  know what a battle getting children into bed can be. But remember, children don’t choose  bedtimes, parents do. Don’t wait for your child to say they are tired or want to go to bed. This  will never happen. Good sleep routines are very important for learning and processing  information

Focus on the process, not the outcome: 

Much of our world today is data and results-driven. As such it can be very easy to attend to  the end product, not what it took to get to that point. When supporting children’s learning it  is so important that we value more than the final results. Praise the amount of time they spent  on a task or their independence in getting started. Recognise how they kept trying when  something was difficult. Try providing feedback like “ I love the colours you used in that  picture” or “what an interesting idea for a story” 

Value homework & reading 

Let’s be honest, after a busy day, the last thing we often want to be dealing with is  homework issues and listening to reading. Having good homework and reading routines are  essential to reduce stress, for them and you. Set up a space for your child to work in, and ask  them what would work for them. Try to have consistency around the after school homework  and reading routines. Before dinner is ideal. Listening to your child read at bedtime is  exhausting for them and you.  

Remember reading is not something “done”, it works best when it’s a shared experience. Promoting shared book reading should be a central component of any parenting approach.  Other fun learning activities, such as playing letters and numbers games like UNO, Hangman  or Wordle are also linked to improved outcomes. 

Recognise that your child’s learning style may be different 

There are differences in the way in which individuals respond, process and recall information.  Understanding your child’s learning style, or noticing patterns in their learning preferences  can you give you great insight into what will work for them. You can provide better support  as a parent and at times you can pass this information on to their teachers. For example,  visual learners can better encode facts on knowledge when it is presented in graphs or  diagrams. Verbal learners may prefer to learn difficult topics using their primary  communication skills.

Communicate with your child’s  school or teacher. 

The two most influential roles in a child’s educational journey are parents and teachers.  When communication is consistent and the child’s learning both at home and school is  better supported. Set up a convenient time to meet or talk on the phone. Identify what your  concerns are or what you support you require. Be prepared to talk honestly about your child.  Teachers’ awareness of your child’s struggles will mean they can better understand and  respond to their needs.

Author: Deirdre @ MALVERN CLINIC  

https://www.deirdrebrandner.com.au/

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