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Children and young people learn every day, at home, at school and in the community.
As a parent you have a strong influence on your child’s learning and development from their early years and through school.
You don’t have to be an expert or know how to do the work your child is learning. Supporting and encouraging your child to learn makes a big difference.
The following advice is also available as a download for printing (DOCX 868KB).
You are your child’s first teacher and how you support your child’s learning matters. You have a key role in shaping your child’s values, attitudes and approaches to learning at home, at school, and beyond.
Research has shown that when parents are engaged in their children’s learning and build strong connections with their children’s school, there can be significant benefits for children:
- They are more likely to enjoy learning and be motivated to do well
- They have stronger relationships with other children
- They have greater confidence and social skills
- They do better at school and have increased wellbeing
- They are less likely to miss days at school.
Parent engagement in children’s learning is about working closely with your child’s teachers to help your child to succeed. Parent engagement means knowing what they are learning at school, finding ways to bring school learning into the home, and helping teachers to know and understand your child so that they can help your child to thrive at school. Strong partnerships between schools, parents and families are essential for children to be successful in their learning.
Being engaged in your child’s learning doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. The way that you engage in your child’s learning will change as they grow older, but there are three key factors that will help your child to be successful in their learning regardless of their age.
Let them know you value learning
You can let your child know that you value education by showing an interest in what they are learning at school. Ask about lessons and how their teacher is teaching them.
Talk positively about their school, their teachers and about your own experiences of education.
Show them the ways you continue to learn, even as an adult. Let them see you read, and make sure they have comfy places to read. School and public libraries are great resources, and have books that cater to every child’s interests.
Discuss their hopes for the future. Set high expectations for your child’s learning and show them you believe in them.
Build a strong and positive relationship with your child and help them to build relationships with others
Your relationship with your child provides the foundation for all their social relationships. Spend time together talking, playing games, telling jokes and sharing stories. This lets your child know that they are loved and valued.
Let your child see your relationships with the key people around them. Keep in touch with your child’s teachers about their interests, and how they are responding to school work. Share stories about weekend activities with their teachers. Encourage your child to show relatives and family friends the things they have been working on at school.
Talk to your child about their friends and their relationships. Find out their shared interests at school, and ask about the things they like to do together. Explore how they respond to problems and how they celebrate their successes.
Learn about the world together
Share learning experiences with your child every day. Learn to cook a new recipe together, play a sport, or find interesting things at the park or the beach.
Give your child the opportunity to discover new things and explore new interests. Going to museums, libraries, sporting events and concerts allows you to find what they are interested in and helps them to be a part of their community.
Let your child teach you. Find out what they are learning at school and plan activities that will allow them to demonstrate their learning to the whole family.
Being engaged in your child’s learning is one of the most important things you can do to help them achieve. Parent engagement in learning starts from early childhood and continues as children move through school and beyond. With your support, your child can thrive in their learning.