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How to help at home

How to help at home


Talking about the sounds your child has learnt by looking through their Phonics Book is a great way to help your child progress and apply their phonic knowledge. These sounds can be revisited and they could have a go at writing the letter again, they may well be very proud of how much their letter formation has improved! They can also write some words, captions or sentences at home.

A link to the Jolly Phonics songs we sing at school can be found below:


The most important thing you can do to help your child at home is to read, read and read! Reading every single day is so important and a great routine to get in to. It can be a lovely time to spend with your child, not only with their reading book but with story books from school or home. Please write in your child’s reading diary each day you read and if you can, include a brief comment.

Help your child to be as independent as possible with these reading strategies:

  • Ask them to use their phonic knowledge to help them read unknown words
  • Discuss the pictures
  • Ask your child questions about what they have read
  • Ask your child to make predictions about what might happen next
  • Identify tricky words and use letter names to spell them out

When sharing a story book with your child you can model key skills which will support them in their learning.  For example, finger pointing to the words, scanning from left to right, spotting tricky words and familiar sounds, picking up information from illustrations and making predictions.

A great resource to support reading at home is the Oxford Owl website where you are able to read a selection of colour band books free of charge once you have registered. Follow the link below.



Broadly speaking children apply their phonic knowledge in similar ways:

  • hearing and writing initial letter sounds in words
  • hearing and writing initial and final sounds
  • hearing sounds in the order they occur in words
  • building a memory of words off by heart – often ‘tricky’ words

You can support your child in their writing by encouraging them to listen to the sounds in words and write them down, they will hear more sounds in order as they become more confident. 

You can help at home by:

  • providing opportunities for independent mark making
  • valuing and encourage all mark making
  • praise your child for having a go or being resilient when writing.
  • avoiding scribing for your child (dotting / writing over the top / copy writing)
  • practising the phonemes and grapheme correspondence
  • encouraging the use of phonemes and accept their own spellings e.g. hows (house)
  • encouraging the correct pencil grip - 'froggy legs'



You can support your child with their number skills at home by:

  • singing songs that take away or add things e.g. 10 green bottles, 1 man went to mow, 5 current buns
  • exploit all counting opportunities – count stairs, count buttons, count lampposts on a walk, count ‘red’ cars on a journey etc.
  • commercial games such as snakes and ladders - these help with the counting on strategy.
  • throwing beanbags/balls at numbered targets and adding up scores – who scored the most? The least? You could even start recording a score as you go, using numbers or a tally.
  • practise counting in 2s, 5s and 10s.
  • look for numbers whilst walking or on a journey
  • ask questions like ‘if I took one away how many would I have left? ‘ or if I add one how many have I got now?
  • use magnetic numbers on the fridge or foam numbers for the bath. Put them in order. Miss one out of a sequence – do they know which one is missing?


Shape, Space and Measure

You can support your child in developing their shape, space and measure understanding at home by:

  • Looking for and naming shapes at home and in the environment
  • Talking about 3D (solid) shape names - packaging for food items is an excellent way.
  • Junk modelling with 2D and 3D shapes – can you name them all?
  • Making pictures with different shapes.
  • Involve your child in cooking. Look at numbers on scales and measuring jugs.
  • Measure and compare feet sizes and height of other family members.
  • Shopping activities – real or pretend – use real money to help identify coins and weight.

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