How to Support Learning at Home

Your child is struggling in preschool and you’re worried about their future success. Whether it’s reading, writing, math, you name it, it can be daunting when you feel your child is behind where they ought to be. Maybe even the teacher points it out: they don’t see any developmental delays, but your child is struggling a little bit.

Time to whip out the flash cards, right? Time to sit them down and get this done!

Pause: Imagine you had a long day at work and when you came home, your partner very lovingly gave you more TPS reports to complete. You’re tired, you’ve already been struggling at work, you just want to relax, but your partner reminds you this is for your own future success and the TPS reports need to be done before dinner.

That. Would. Suck.

As an educator, when a child is struggling with a concept in the classroom, I don’t recommend they go home and use flashcards or homework to make them better, especially as a preschooler. (Preschoolers do not need homework.) They’ve already spent their day with me, their teacher, working on these skills so when they get home, they should be taught and encouraged to relax with their family.

However, a great way to relax is by playing games! And those games can involve the skills they are working on! I had a child struggling to recognize numbers. Her struggle appeared to be one of confidence and she wanted to “give up” before she started. Her parents and I came up with a list of games that involved the use of and recognition of numbers. After they implemented family game night, she started to see how fun numbers can be to her overall life (not just her school life) and how important it is for people to recognize them.

There are so many fun ways to encourage and support a child when they are struggling with a skill; ways that don’t make it feel like extra work. We don’t want to treat your child’s skills like TPS reports - something to get on my desk by Monday. The foundational skills that your child learns in preschool should be attained in a fun, loving way to remind them that life, while full of struggles, is also full of fun and loving ways to overcome them.

Photo by Jorge Franganillo

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