How can I support my child’s learning at home?

Homework aside, there are several concepts in the government education curriculum that your child has lots of opportunities to be exposed to at home, in the car, and in the community. Here are some examples for Grade R and 1 learners:

  • When reading a bed time story to your child, let him hold the book and turn the pages.
  • Have her tell you what number is on the cake at another child’s birthday party.
  • Have him read the number for the delivery company to you when you order food for the family.
  • Have her tell you what numbers are on the door of the house/gate you visit together.
  • Ask him to help you at the grocery store by getting you the specific number of items you need off the shelf.
  • In a small parking lot, tell your child that you will count how many red cars there are and you want her to count how many white cars there are. Then ask her which colour there are more of. This helps your child learn to categorise and collect and compare data.
  • Talk to your child about the properties of things, for example which things on the dinner table can roll and which can’t.
  • Look for patterns while shopping. For example, talk about the patterns of the tiles on the floor of the mall.
  • Find shapes in the things around you. For example, talk about the shapes of the various road signs you see while driving.
  • Make observations and comparisons while enjoying a family meal. For example, who has the most/least food? Whose plate might be the heaviest? Whose glass is the fullest?
  • Help your child read and recognise familiar signs, e.g. Woolworths and Pick ‘n Pay.
  • Ask your child what sound different words start with. Make sure here that you are focusing on the sound she hears at the start of the word, and not the letter name.
  • When paying for things in cash, let your child help you. Tell him about each of the notes and coins, and talk about payment and change.
  • Let your child and his siblings or friends put on plays or shows for you where they get to practice their acting and story-telling skills.
  • Tell your child what the plan for the day is at breakfast each morning. This introduces her to the concept of the passage of time and order of events. Mention what day it is today, what day it was the day before, and what day it will be the following day.
  • After a fun day out, have your child tell you about his experience so that he gets to practice talking about personal experiences in a way that is easy to follow.
  • Let your child use paint, chalk, crayons, playdough and every other medium you can think of!
  • Have your child contribute to birthday cards you write.

Grade R places focus on the development of fine motor skills, visual perception skills, pre-numeracy and pre-literacy skills. Pinterest is your best friend for fun activity ideas to develop these skills!

In Grade 1, reading, writing and number concepts are critical. Your child should move from hands-on experiential activities into more desk-work and worksheets.