Best tips for helping your child with their homework

  • Build routines and set goals together.
  • Be encouraging. Homework helps your child review and helps the teacher identify what your child has learned. It’s okay if they don’t get it all correct, or if they can’t do it all.
  • Let the teacher see their mistakes.
  • Help them to self-correct. If you see a mistake, ask your child questions for example – are you sure this is correct? Is that word missing something.

Best tips for getting your child to use English

Parents have the power to boost their children’s language and literacy development when they: 

  • Make it easy for their child to start conversations
  • Respond with interest to whatever their child tells them, with or without words
  • Talk frequently with their child about things of interest to the child
  • Have conversations with their child that go back and forth a number of times
  • Talk at a level that their child can understand and learn from (not too complex or too simple)
  • Expose their child to print in a variety of ways, especially with books 

It's very important that you spend some time speaking and reading with your children, and encouraging them to enjoy using English.

Here are Hannah's top tips for homework:

  • Be encouraging
  • Set goals together
  • Build routines
  • Let the teacher see their mistakes
  • Help them to self correct

and for spelling practice:

  • Make it fun
  • Hangman, anagrams, wordsearches, I Spy
  • Make it tactile
  • Letter cards, plastecine, string
  • Make it a routine
  • Before the test, new words book, look, cover, write and check

How to learn from your mistakes

Our student counselor, Chris Lucas, shares some tips:

  • Write things down. Have a section of your learner notebook where you keep corrections and check it regularly so you don't make the same mistake again.
  • Find out why. You might not understand the reason for your mistake. You can ask your friends in class, your teacher or the Grammar Guru on Facebook. Finding out why something is incorrect helps you get it right the next time.
  • Help each other. Your teacher cannot correct every mistake. Your classmates are a great learning resource and you should help each other. 

Keep it simple. Use simple sentences until you are confident you are correct.

What are the most common English mistakes?

We asked some of our teachers about the common mistakes their students make.

James says:  Lots of my Malaysian students use Past Perfect when they need to use Simple Past. For example, 'I had gone shopping yesterday' instead of 'I went shopping yesterday.'

Chris says:  Not using auxiliary verbs - especially in questions.  My students often ask 'What means?' instead of 'What does it mean?'

Mary says:  Lots of students miss out the verb 'to be.'  Like "I happy' instead of 'I'm happy.'  Sometimes it's because they don't need it in their own language.

Madeleine says:  Missing the letter 's' from the ends of words when they are plurals or 3rd person 's' - my students often write things like 'he go' which is not correct.

Julie says:  Missing out a, an and the - or putting it in when they don't need it.  The rules are really tricky for this.

Make Reading at Home FUN!

Reading aloud is fun for parents and children. Here are some ways to get the most out of reading to your young child:

  1. For small children, read with drama and excitement and use different voices! Use your child's name instead of a character's name.
  2. Re-read your child's favourite stories as many times as your child wants to hear them, and choose books and authors that your child enjoys.
  3. Point to words as you read them and encourage your children to do the same so as to make a connection between the words they hear and the words they see. 
  4. Read all kinds of material and get your children to do the same – stories, poems, information books, magazine and newspaper articles, and comics, and not just from a computer - there is still plenty of beauty in books
  5. When your child has a birthday, encourage relatives and friends to give your child books as gifts.
  6. Why not subscribe to a magazine for your child. Kids love receiving mail, and will be even happier when it's a new edition of National Geographic!

Finding out what happened in class

To keep up with your child's progress on a weekly basis make sure you find out from your child what happened in class:

You can ask questions like these:
What did you do in class today?
What did you read/talk about?
What did you listen to?
What did you watch?
What did you like most about it?
Did you complete your work?
What did you do at break time today?
What was your favourite part of the lesson today?

Check your child's notebook and workbook to see what has completed and to find out if he is having any difficulty.
When you come to pick up your child, do introduce yourself to the teacher!