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What is home learning?

Home learning is everything that a child learns at home. Learning starts when we are in the womb.

In the first two years of their lives babies make billions of connections in their brains. These connections are strong when babies are talked to, listened to and played with.

When mums, dads and carers pick up a crying baby, and sing or talk softly to them, or play peekaboo over and over again, they are literally building their baby's brain.

We all want the best for our children: feeling secure and loved supports the development of the brain. It helps to build children's self-esteem and confidence.

Parents are our first teachers

Parents really are our first teachers. Babies learn how to respond to feelings and experiences by watching their mums, dads, carers and other close family members.

Research shows that parents who:

  • Are responsive to their babies needs 
  • Talk and play with their babies

have a positive influence on their child's education, right up to 16-years-old.

All parents can improve their child's learning and life chances. There is no need for special training. Daily life and routines offer daily learning opportunities.

There is no need for expensive toys. It really is true that a box is often more fun, and the most exciting play for a baby or toddler is with you, their parent.

Children whose mums and dads play, talk, sing and read with them do better at school.

Children who are good learners, can:

  • 'Have a go'
  • Make choices
  • Try again

Mums, dads and carers help their children to learn these qualities by being good role models.

When children are afraid of a new experience, show them how to 'have a go'.

Simple choices such as would you like the red cup or the blue cup give babies and toddlers feelings of growing importance and confidence.

Toddlers whose mums, dads and carers help them to try again often become more resilient children.

In nursery education and at school, we call these qualities 'characteristics of effective learning'.

Hungry Little Minds

In July 2019, the Department for Education launched the Hungry Little Minds campaign.  It encourages parents and carers to adopt positive activities and behaviours to boost children’s communication, language and literacy development.  The three-year campaign, aims to help parents understand that they have a massive impact on their child’s learning.

Reading, playing and chatting with your child is a simple thing you can do to help them to develop - even when they are too young to say much back.

You can get tips and activities from the Hungry Little Minds website.  You can search for things to do on the Norfolk Community Directory.

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