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 Catalog-Item Reuse

Learning at home

​Parents have a vital role in a child’s learning and development throughout their lives. They provide the cornerstones that allow their child to grow and develop through everyday stimulating activities such as games, rhymes and language, which help their child to learn. Early learning and childcare settings, schools and communities can also play a key part in recognising, developing and resourcing this.

‘Learning at home’ is the learning which happens in the home, outdoors or in the community. It can take place through everyday activities that families already do and can overlap with aspects of active learning undertaken with parents, family members or peers. Scottish Parental Involvement Officers Network, 2018

Learning at home can happen through a range of events including play, leisure activities, fun events, sports, trips, cultural or volunteering experiences. It can also happen through curriculum related activities, homework, reading and sharing books. Parents and families can also engage in these activities at home as part of everyday routine activities.

Being actively involved in other fun learning activities such as gardening, baking, cooking and outdoor learning can motivate your child’s desire to learn as well as promote their curiosity. Parents and families play a key role in encouraging a child to experience a wide range of opportunities, not limited by gender. The role of parents in helping their child to learn at home will change as they get older and become increasingly more independent. Learning at home activities can help raise a child’s attainment. Some suggested learning at home activities might be:

  • encouraging your child to play with letters or numbers
  • drawing your child’s attention to sounds and letters
  • teaching your child nursery rhymes or songs
  • having toys available
  • reading with your child
  • visiting libraries, museums, galleries
  • encouraging and helping your child to cook a meal and/or set the table
  • allowing your child to help you with DIY jobs around the house
  • researching a topic of interest on the internet, in a library or from other sources
  • helping your child to learn about political parties before they go to vote
  • working together with your child on different activities eg gardening, baking,
  • showing your child how to play a musical instrument

General tips for learning at home

  • Listen, talk, and encourage – this can have a big influence on children's learning
  • Encourage your child to talk to you about their learning, what learning is happening at school and do what you can at home to build on that.
  • Talk to your child about their strengths and interests and how they are progressing.
  • Encourage your child to talk to you about their next steps in learning and find out how you can work with the school to support this
  • Ask for help if you think your child needs it for any reason.
  • Praise your child if he/she is working hard at something or has achieved something within or out of school.
  • Encourage any reading.
  • Look for opportunities at home to develop literacy and numeracy skills: money, number problems, time, measuring, matching, size, reading, writing, understanding instructions, questioning information.
  • Look for opportunities to talk about traditional gender roles and how they can limit opportunity and choice. For example through discussing how toys are marketed, characters in books, messages in social media.
  • Encourage your child to take part in activities, for example hobbies or clubs which will provide opportunities to develop a range of skills.
  • Help them work on tasks on their own and then talk about it with you afterwards.
  • Do things together where appropriate – learn together, for example if your child has a project or task to do, take an interest and discuss with them what they are doing or offer support if this is needed.
  • Help prepare for change, particularly at key transitions – talk about the change together.
  • Talk to your child about how they are feeling.
  • Work together with the school by taking part in discussions about your child's learning and progress, for example at parents' evenings or reviews.

Further information

Read, Write, Count - a national initiative which aims to improve the literacy and numeracy  skills of Scotland’s children.

PlayTalkRead - encourages parents and families to include easy and fun reading, writing and counting activities in their everyday lives.

Bookbug bags – aims to encourage parents and children to share and enjoy books together.

Our newsletters provide the latest information on education news and events, as well as details of resources and activities to help you support your child's learning