General tips for parents on helping your child get the most out of his or her education

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  1. Talk, talk, talk. There is no substitute for talking to your young child and for encouraging your child to talk to you. Talk in sentences and, as your child matures, talk in sentences of greater length. As a corollary to this, if you can, take your child to places of interest; even without going far you can show your child interesting things.The chapter on learning to talk in the Usborne Parent Guide ‘Entertaining And Educating Babies And Toddlers’ by R. Gee and K. Meredith is excellent.
  2. Read to your child. From about the age of six months, a baby can look at a simple picture book. A little later he/she will enjoy being read picture books. From about the age of four or five he/she may enjoy books such as The Sam Pig Stories by Alison Utterley. I believe that between the ages of five and seven, the enjoyment of stories with fewer pictures can play an important part in the development of the imagination and of conceptual thinking. Later on, I believe, stimulating books will develop your child’s intellect and will help your child to benefit from education to the fullest.
  3. Help your young child learn the sounds of the alphabet. This can be done in a fun way.
  4. Help your child to speak clearly; this, in turn, will help your child’s reading and eventually yourchild’s spelling.
  5.  Hear your child read regularly the reading books sent home from school.
  6.  Keep reading to your child!  This is enjoyable even in the Junior years.
  7. Check the quality of the books your child reads.
  8. Develop your child’s ability to read more advanced or complex stories and books. To do this, you could read the beginning or any difficult passages aloud. Or, you could read silently together. Be prepared to do so again later in the book.
  9. Show your child how to hold a crayon or pencil correctly. The crayon or pencil should be gently pinched between the thumb and index finger, resting on the middle finger.
  10. Join your local library and use it regularly (hopefully it remains open). Good libraries have a very wide range of  books and may also include a section for parents.  Books do not have to be expensive.