This joint NAHT and Family Action guide is based on the latest research about what helps children to succeed at school.
Talking and listening
It is really important to talk to your child and listen to them. Finding time for both can be so difficult with busy lives!
- Set aside time for talking – without being interrupted by phones, TV, radio, computer etc!
- Tell them about your day and encourage them to tell you about theirs
- Don’t interrupt your child, be patient and allow them time to speak
- Ask your child for their opinions and value what they say
Spending time together
You can help your child if you:
- Share books and games in a quiet environment – not in front of the TV!
- Play games together as a family that encourage concentration, such as jigsaws and board games
- Encourage physical play and exercise by taking a trip to the park or the local leisure centre
- Give lots of hugs and praise
- Check your child has their name in everything they bring to school
- Make sure your child remembers to bring everything they need each day – reading book, PE kit, homework
- Keep in contact with the school and let them know if you change phone numbers and addresses
- If you have concerns about your child’s wellbeing, tell school as soon as possible so they can help to find solutions to any problems
Working out a family routine
- Children like routine so try to have regular times for going to bed and getting up, mealtimes and family time
- Make sure they have a healthy breakfast at home or at the school’s Breakfast Club
- Have a regular time for a meal together in the evening
- Try to make time for homework, reading and talking together and bedtime stories
Getting enough sleep
- Children need sleep to develop, to concentrate in school and to learn well
- Under fives need up to 15 hours, primary children about 10 hours and even older children still need 9 hours
- Too many late bedtimes can make it hard for them to learn
- A good night’s rest will help your child feel happy all day long
- Agree clear and realistic rules and stick to them!
- Encourage your child to always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and not to interrupt you or others when you are talking
- Support school rules and encourage your child to follow these
- Ask for help if your child’s behaviour is proving difficult at home