Normalising reading in family life is an effortless way to encourage a personal interest in books in your child and to stop it becoming a chore. Keep lots of age appropriate and relevant magazines around the house so that there’s always opportunity to pick something up, and make visits to the library a regular habit for the whole family to get involved in. Buying magazines around a subject your child is already interested in is a sure-fire way to get them reading after school, without it feeling like homework.
Connecting maths with existing interests is another effective means of showing how their newly learned skills are relevant and worth knowing. For example, if your child likes football then try dropping the following questions into discussions to get them using their problem solving skills:
- How many points does your team need to move up in the league?
- What happens if the team above them wins next week, how many points will they need then?
- If your team is travelling 80 miles to play in Manchester on Saturday and their average speed is 40 miles an hour, how long will it take to get there?
- What time will they have to leave to get there in time for the match?
Avoid bombarding your child with questions and turning their hobby into a chore, but if you find something your child is enthusiastic about then they’ll most likely be eager to solve the odd problem. Simple tasks such as weighing out ingredients when cooking or playing board games are also useful ways to get your child using maths.
- You’ve weighed out 100g of flour but the recipe says we need 250g, how much more flour do we need?
- You’ve moved ¼ of the way around the board, how much further do you need to go to win the game?
Most important at this age is to keep your child motivated to learn and encouraged to do well. Don’t let exams put your child under unnecessary pressure or discourage them from trying. A strict stance on bedtime the night before exams, a healthy breakfast and a relaxed morning commute on the day of the tests, as well as plenty of encouragement that they’re doing well regardless of how they perform, is more than enough to help your little one do their best on the day.
Visit our Educational Books page for further support for you and your child during Key Stage 2.