This week’s book of the week for Pre-School and Key Stage 1 children is ‘There’s a Monster in Your Book’ by Tom Fletcher.

This is a firm favourite in our house and is easily read several times a day!

We have included our book review and some pre-reading and post-reading activities to try at home.

We hope you enjoy this book as much as we do and have a great time reading it with your little ones.

At Home Learning for Parents we’ll be sharing tips for children, young and old, on their return to school.

To begin, we’ll look at starting school. Is your child beginning school for the first time in September? It can be a very exciting but daunting time for any parent.

When thinking about your child beginning school, you want to ensure that you’ve done everything you can to make the process as easy and stress free as possible. The advice here will ensure that your child has the personal skills needed to begin school. In around a month’s time most children will be in the process of beginning or returning to school, so now really is the time to do as much as possible to develop these skills.

Look out for more advice and guidance across the month ahead.

This really is phonics and the foundations for reading and writing.

The first phase of Phonics is all about exploring the world around us for sounds and sharing these new experiences. With speaking and listening skills at the core of these activities, you can develop the language of your little one through engagement with books and with opportunities to discover new and interesting sounds in the environment.

From an early age we try to teach our children to count. Many will pick up the numbers and in time be able to recite them to their parents which is a great starting point and underpins the ability to count. However, being able to recite the numbers to 5, or 10 or even 20 is not the same as being able to count to 20. Let us explain.

One Number, One Object

When learning to count, children need to be taught to assign one number name to each object that is being counted, ensuring they don’t miss any objects or count the same object more than once. To assist with this, it is helpful to line the objects up and touch each one as they count saying one number name per object. This helps prevent children from counting quicker than they can touch the objects and so helps them count accurately. Our Five Frame and Ten Frame documents are available for free and can help with this.

How Many?

Children also need to be taught that the numbers need to be said in a particular numerical order. This is where being able to recite the numbers really does help. If a child can not recite the numbers past 5 confidently for example, there is little benefit to be had from asking them to count more than 5 objects. If this is the case, parents should encourage and help their little ones to count aloud to larger numbers without expecting them to count that number of objects immediately.

Putting it Together and Moving On

Once your child can recite the numbers in order and understands that one number name must be assigned to each number they can begin to count properly. All they need to know is the last number they have said is the total number of items in the group. Then they will be ready to begin to move on to larger numbers, or to count things that can’t be touched such as jumps or sounds.

Next up in our series of times tables tricks is a quick and easy way to learn the 8 times tables. The 8 times tables can be a really tricky set to learn, so why not teach your child this strategy to help them along while they work on them.

We will regularly add a new book of the week which we are happy to recommend you read with your child. We will provide you with questions you can ask to lead a discussion about the book before you read it and activities that will really engage your child, before returning later in the week with follow up questions to discuss after reading it.

Our first book of the week for KS2 is the incredible ‘Cogheart’ by Peter Bunzl. We have been reading this with our classes in school since its release and year after year the kids love it!

We hope you find this useful! Don’t forget to check in for the follow up questions on Wednesday.

We will regularly add a new book of the week which we are happy to recommend you read with your child. We will provide you with questions you can ask to lead a discussion about the book before you read it and activities that will really engage your child, before returning later in the week with follow up questions to discuss after reading it.

Our first book of the week for our early readers is ‘Zog’ by Julia Donaldson.

We hope it’s useful, our little one absolutely loves this book! And don’t forget to check in next week for our next book of the week.

Today we have the first in our series of videos looking at teaching your child their times tables. We start with a quick trick to help your child learn the 9 times tables if they are struggling.