Ofsted Guidance for Home Learning

Helping your child learn at home :

You can help your child to learn through the little things you do with them, for example:

  • everyday conversations
  • make-believe play
  • games with numbers or letters
  • reading together
  • involving them in the things you are doing, such as household chores, and talking with them about it

Find ideas for new things you can try at Hungry Little Minds.

You do not need to set separate time or plan complicated activities dedicated to learning. These activities can be built into everyday life and play.

You know your child best. Avoid forcing them into lengthy planned activities if they naturally respond better to a mix of shorter activities. This can stop them getting bored or frustrated and keep them active, interested and learning through things they enjoy.

Keeping a Routine

Children will feel more comfortable with a predictable routine, so try to make sure they: Make routines fun

  • Get up and go to bed at the same time each day
  • Have regular meal times
  • Turn off any electronic devices, including the television, at least one hour before bedtime

Keeping Active

Young children should be active for at least 3 hours a day in total.

It’s also good to get some fresh air every day. If you do not have a garden and are taking children outside to exercise; Explore outside.While inside, there are plenty of things you can do to keep children active, such as:

  • playing hide-and-seek
  • seeing who can do the most star jumps
  • making an obstacle course
  • playing music and having a dance-off

Television and Digital Devices

There are lots of ways to help your child to learn such as reading together and make-believe play. You can also use what they have watched on television or the internet to help their learning. Talk with them about what they are watching or use their favourite television characters in other games and activities.

Digital devices such as a laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone can help some children learn. If your child does use them, try downloading some apps that will help them learn. Toddlers and Tablets: Ten First Steps

Set age-appropriate parental controls on any devices young children are using and supervise their use of websites and apps.

Try sharing things your child makes with your friends and family online and encourage others to do the same. Your child might enjoy seeing things they have made on the screen or seeing what other children have done.

You can also visit Hungry Little Minds for ideas of activities to do together without using a device.

Socialising While Helping Your Child Develop

While you are spending time at home together, it will help your child if everyone in the home talks with them through the day, responding to them and being led by the things they are interested in.

Click on the red headings Activities for babies, toddlers and children – BBC Tiny Happy People : Words for Life | National Literacy Trust | Words for Life for more ideas to encourage your child’s language development.

Try sitting with your child and looking at pictures of their friends or family. Talk about them and the things you have done together.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Try to keep your child away from news broadcasts that might scare them, take time to reassure them and be open to talking about their feelings. It’s normal for everyone to have the occasional disagreement in the home. It will help your child’s wellbeing if they see those disagreements resolved in a healthy way. This will also help them learn how to resolve their own disagreements in the future.

Read Every Mind Matters – guidance on young person and adult mental health

Conversations will be different depending on the age of the child, but generally you should try to:

  • get down to your child’s level so they can see your face close to them
  • let them know it’s alright to be worried, do not dismiss their concerns or try to tell them how to feel about it
  • avoid words they have not heard before as this might confuse them further
  • listen to them carefully and answer the question they ask rather than giving them information they do not need
  • be truthful, it’s okay to say you do not know the answer
  • help them give a name to what they are feeling
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