- Read outside the book: A book can be quite intimidating for a struggling reader, so take advantage of your children's hobbies. If they like football, then read through a match programme or a newspaper report with them. If you’re planning a holiday this summer, get your child to read up on your destination of choice. This will improve their reading while they find out about the fun things they can do on holiday.
- Create a space to read: A well lit, comfortable area will make reading far more enjoyable.
- Do your bit: Take turns to read out loud with your child, as this will encourage them to do the same, whilst also improving their listening skills.
- Build up the layers: When writing creatively, a child should take a plain sentence then build it up, perhaps with a bit of description (such as adjectives, adverbs and similes), then an example or an experience. For example, ‘The girl had curls in her hair’ becomes ‘The girl had super springy curls in her hair that bounced around like a jack in the box.’
- Good grammar: Make sure your child knows how to punctuate properly, putting the apostrophe in the right place and taking care with the dreaded colon and semi-colon.
- Handwriting skills: Improving your child’s pencil grasp and bilateral coordination (using two hands - one to hold the paper and the other to write) are key to good, efficient handwriting. To improve grasp, get them to practise by picking up small objects with tweezers. And to improve bilateral coordination, they could try stringing beads and cutting up and folding paper.
- Practice makes perfect: Get your child to do past exam papers until they’re answering the questions confidently.
- Make maths fun: Put songs to things, such as times tables, to make them easier to remember.
- Test the weak spots: This goes for every subject. The only way to conquer your difficulties is to face them head on. If there’s something your child isn’t good at, work on it.
- Short bursts: With mental arithmetic, you can't fit it all into your head at once, so keep the revision sessions down to 20-30 minutes.