Parents across the country now have the difficult task of continuing their child’s education at home. This is undoubtedly a challenge for all parents and will be additionally tough if they are not confident in their own skills alongside teaching topics that are unfamiliar or, are a far distant memory! I remember only too well, looking at a piece of my children’s homework and feeling completely overwhelmed! Add to that the natural disinclination of children to work as hard for their parents as they do for their teachers, is it any wonder that the weeks ahead seem a bit daunting?

In essence, parents (albeit temporarily) are the new TAs. The learning objectives and tasks are set by the teacher but now, will be delivered by new, untrained, ‘TAs’ in restricted environments, while looking after other family members of different ages and, who have different needs.

Schools are brilliant, they have done everything possible to support their parents and children by providing structured learning packages, online support and remote learning. The internet has a plethora of free resources to access, particularly for core subjects and let’s not forget the fabulous, free, daily fitness videos available to help get everyone moving! I think it’s important, that parents remember that this is not ‘home-schooling’ – that is a choice, this is trying their very best to keep things going during a very difficult time.

An even greater task for parents, may be the continuing of their child’s speech and language support at home. Even with a good understanding of their child’s needs, it can be really difficult for parents to think of different activities to do with

their children at home, that will support their child’s speech and language needs. We have set up the Parent Portal to help with just these issues and we are providing a wealth of free resources, advice and activities to support parents.

I asked Sophie and Louise, our speech and language therapists, did they have any advice they could give to schools to pass on to their parents who are struggling to support their children with SLCN at home? Here’s what they said:

“The best way for parents to encourage their child’s speech and language development at home is to do lots of talking and listening together – there is no need to have special tasks or extra time set up in the day. Encourage parents to use everyday activities like mealtimes, having a bath and even household chores like the washing, to develop their children’s speech and language skills. By using everyday activities, they can talk about events or situations that are really familiar for their child, enabling them to practise the language skills they have already learned, and build on these skills.”

Share this article

Please login to view this content