One thing that came out after the first parental involvement was that since now you do not have a workbook that comes home every day, some of you are a bit lost as to what the children can do at home after school. There are many things that you can do together to enhance the learning in class. From time to time, I will try to put down some ideas to help you out . Remember that the most important aspect a child looks for is spending time with the proper parents which unfortunately now a days is something they are doing less of.
These ideas below are not to be done at one session but to be spread out whenever you need quality time with your child. Print it out and keep it handy
Ideas for numeracy:
- Number sequence to 30. Use the number flashcards in the children’s bag.
- Hidden number. Hide the numbers in the house. Set out a number of objects on the table (for example a number of spoons from the kitchen drawer), ask the children to count them, then they go and search for the hidden answer.
- Number before. Put the numbers in sequence first. Give the child a number (orally) and ask him/her to give you the number that comes before.
- Number after (what comes next). Same as above but this time you will need the number that follows the one you chose.
- Practice proper formation. Encourage the children to think before they write a number. Ask which way does this number look?
Ideas for Literacy 1 (English):
- Do some cutting out pictures from magazines (this could be an activity on its own to teach basic skills of cutting). Place letter flashcards in front of child, pick up a picture and ask the child to give you the letter that represents the beginning sound of the word, or the ending sound or even the middle sound if the words are short (3 or 4 letter words with one vowel).
- Blending words – give your child a short word (3 letter word) and ask them to find the correct letter flashcards to build the word. At first you might need to drawl the word when you say it.
- Reading together. Explore a story. Discuss the cover page, ask the child what s/he thinks the story will be about. Start reading the story, stop, ask the child what s/he thinks will happen next. Stop close to the ending and see what the child thinks the ending will be. Finish the story and ask the child if s/he was the author would s/he have finished the story differently – how? Ask the child to draw a picture to represent the story you’ve just read. It is very important at this age that a story is read over and over again and not just once and put away. Children learn by repetition and by exposure of the same thing over and over again. While reading it again during the week, ask your child if s/he can recognize any words. Read the ‘knocking game’ where a child ‘knocks’ when a word s/he knows how to read is coming up.
- Practice formation. Use the ‘house’ for formation, where ‘tall’ letters start at the roof, ‘short’ letters stay only in the middle, ‘monkey’ letters go to the basement. If in doubt use the handout for formation in the reference book.
Ideas for Literacy 2(Malti):
- Use the Malti flashcards (for the time being they have familja) to play games, make up a story, ask the child to draw the members of the family and label them (in maltese) using the flashcards.
- Biex tibda din? (beginning sound). Again if you have a storage of pictures you can pick one at random, encourage the child to see if they know what it is and then ask them to tell you the beginning sound. They can then locate it among their maltese letter flashcards.
- Practice formation. Again use the ‘house’ for formation (same rules as the English alphabet). Use the ‘rainbow’ handout in the reference book for Maltese letters.
- Reading together. Get Maltese books which are easy for the children to understand. At their level there are the ‘Ġiġi’ books which the children love plus a multitude of other children’s books. Chose text that is large and few. Maltese is all phonetic apart from the (għ and h) which are silent letters. Discuss the story (try to discuss it in Maltese even if your child answers in English).
Ideas for Science:
- We have been discussing ‘senses’ so use these as much as possible. Do not just use the sense of sight to watch telly and the sense of touch to use your tablet/ipad.
- Go out for walks and explore what you find. Take a magnifying glass, look at the trees, leaves, flowers without damaging any. Pick up any leaves which are on the ground – smell them, touch them, make a collage of them. Stop and listen. What can you hear? Is it near/far? Draw a picture of what you hear.
- Smell and taste things in the kitchen. Explore things you find in the cupboards. Get the children to smell and taste different food, spices, herbs. Make a game of it. Use a blindfold. Look at the children’s expressions when they try different things.
- Cook together. Prepare dinner/lunch together. Teach the children how to use proper kitchen tools rather than keeping them away from them. They can chop up soft items, mix things for you. They will be so proud to present ‘their cooked food’ to the other members of the family.
As you can see with some simple thoughts you can invest a lot of time with your child, enhancing their learning while spending quality time together. Hope this will be helpful to those who find problems or are at a loose end what they can do with their children after school. If you need any clarifying on things please do not hesitate to contact me.