Peakhurst Public School

Promoting Effort and Excellence in a Caring Environment

Telephone02 9153 9157

How to help

How to support your children at home

Here are some easy things you can do at home to help your child reach their potential. Parents play a big role in helping their children develop into confident and enthusiastic learners by encouraging them to do well at school, and that trying hard and doing their best is important. You can also assist your child by developing their orgnaisation, independence and problem solving skills.

Aim high – believe in your child’s potential

It is essential to hold high expectations of your child in order for them to see you support their leanring and they inturn will try their hardest at school.

Showing your child that you believe in them and their ability is really powerful – it builds their confidence and helps them see themselves as someone who can do well.

Research shows that what parents believe about their child’s ability to do well at school is linked to their actual achievements.

  • Praise your child for trying hard and celebrate little successes.
  • Let your child know you think that learning and school are important and that putting in effort to their schooling matters.
  • Discuss children’s dreams for the future with them– this is important at any age! Talk to your child often about their future and what they want to achieve in their life.

Talk with and listen to your child

Each night, spend time talking with your child to help them to learn and grow.

Some easy ways to do this include talking about what they’re learning at school and what they enjoy or find difficult. It is important to listen to your children!

You can also chat about the times your family has spent together, your own childhood, or talk about big ideas – such as the things you and your family believe in, your culture, science and nature or important issues that are happening in the community or the country.

  • Talk with your child about what’s happening at school. Ask about activities, topics, what they are learning or what they found interesting or fun in their day. Talking like this helps them gain confidence.
  • Ask specific questions to out draw information – instead of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions, try open questions that encourage discussion.
    • 'How do you think you went with your maths or reading today?'
    • 'What made you laugh today?'
    • 'Who did you see being a helper today?'
    • 'What was the most interesting thing you did today?'
  • Keep trying, even if the answers are ‘good’ or ‘nothing’! Find out what your child’s favourite subjects are and what they are learning about. Try to make connections between what they are learning at school and everyday life, such as practicing reading and counting at the shops.
  • Talk with your child about current issues and ideas. Exploring big ideas together is a way to get children thinking critically and being curious about how things work. Children can enjoy learning and putting their thoughts into words.
  • Ask about friendships and relationships at school. Get to know who their friends are and how they spend their break times.

Learn about the world together

Parents, more than anyone, can help their children enjoy learning new things. Children learn by exploring and finding new interests. Children can learn about the world doing everyday things like cooking, shopping, cleaning, gardening, or playing sport. There are plenty of free things to do too.

  • Give your child the opportunity to discover new things, to explore new interests, and to participate in their family, community and culture. These all help to develop a positive attitude towards learning and school.
  • Talk about your own learning – tell your child about what you are currently learning or what you remember about being their age. Share the message that learning is important at all ages. Explain how you plan, solve problems and think about the future.
  • Head out to libraries, museums, free concerts, sporting and cultural events together. Check out activities for children such as after school programs, holiday activities and free community programs.

Enjoy reading as a family

Reading to children from a very early age has a lasting positive effect. Reading together can broaden vocabulary, create an environment for learning together and give you things talk about later. Having your child read to you is also a safe and nurturing way for children to practise and learn.

  • Tell your own stories. Share stories from or about your own family with your child. Tell the stories that have been passed down for generations or that are part of your cultural heritage.
  • Read and talk about books and stories with your child. Ask about their favourite character in a book or what they think might happen next in the story. Ask what they liked or didn’t like about a story.
  • Shared reading activities do not have to be in English to help with learning. If you speak a different language at home, speaking and telling stories in your first language is excellent for your child’s education and life experience.
  • Praise your child when they make an effort and keep trying, when reading. You could consider setting small milestones for reluctant readers, and involving your child in choosing a book or content that appeals to them.
  • Ask your child’s teacher or school for advice or ways to support your child’s enjoyment and skill development in reading.
  • These days, we read more than just books – reading on hand-held devices (eg iPads) also helps to familiarise your child with technology as well as build their reading skills.

Create a good homework environment

There are a couple of important things you can do to get the most out of homework. One is building your child’s confidence and the other is to support them to learn on their own. The ways to help them will change as they get older.

  • Create space – children benefit from organisation. Create a special space for doing things like homework and try to make homework a calm experience.
  • Be available to help if your child has a question. If you are helping your child, try to make it a positive time that you share together and minimise stress related to homework. Focus on building their confidence, rather than ‘having the answer’.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher about homework, and find out what the school’s guidelines are. It’s good to have rules about homework, but it’s confusing for children to be expected to do more or less than asked at school.
  • Praise your child for their effort and persistence when they are doing homework.

Support good relationships

Parents can help children develop friendships and get along with other people, including their teacher.

Children tend to do better when they get on with their teacher and classmates. Children also tend to enjoy learning and being at school when they have strong friendships.

Department of Education - resources

The following resources are available in a range of languages at the following links:

Parent guided to the NSW Primary Syllabuses


Reading with your child at home

Ideas for parents/carers to help their young children with reading.

Ten literacy and numeracy tips for parents


Helping you child with counting

A numeracy resource for parents/carers providing ideas on how to help children develop skills in counting and number.

Helping your child with arithmetic

A numeracy resource for parents/carers with ideas on how to use everyday activities to help children improve their skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Helping your child with shapes and objects

A numeracy resource for parents/carers which describes how children learn about spatial ideas and provides everyday suggestions for focussing on these concepts. 

Helping your child with measuring length and area

A numeracy resource for parents/carers which describes how children learn about measurement and offers practical and fun suggestions for developing this skill.

Helping your child with measuring volume and capacity

A numeracy resource for parents/carers which describes how children learn about volume and mass and provides advice on games and activities that will develop these skills.

Helping your child with measuring temperature and time

A numeracy resource for parents/carers which outlines how children learn about temperature and time. It provides practical ideas for developing these concepts at home.

Helping you child with mental calculations

A numeracy resource for parents/carers which describes how to foster the development of using mental strategies to solve problems in common daily activities.

Helping your child with patterns and algebra

A numeracy resource for parents/carers which outlines activities to help children to recognise, make, describe and continue repeating patterns. 

Helping your child with representing and interpreting graphs and tables

A numeracy resource for parents/carers which describes activities to promote children's understanding of graphs and tables.