Home learning is an important aspect of a child’s development as it enables children to practice, extend, and apply the skills they have learned at nursery or school.
This is particularly important during the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) as children are absorbing information from their surroundings to make sense of the world around them. As a result, any home learning environment should support, encourage, and inspire children to learn as this builds the foundation for future learning.
Home learning activities include opportunities for your child to play and interact with books, objects, and experiences that help them make sense of the world. Activities can either be completed individually or with a parent.
The skills developed at home can then be taken back into the classroom setting and applied in a practical sense.
Role of Parents in Home Learning
Parents and adults are the primary teachers in a child’s life. Therefore, it’s important parents engage and support their children throughout their home learning as this will have a positive impact on their overall development.
Research has shown that a good home learning environment encourages children to have positive attitudes towards learning and ignites their natural curiosity.
During home learning, parents play a pivotal role. When it comes to setting activities, it is essential parents clearly explain the activity to their child so they know exactly what to do. You could model the activity, so your child can follow and copy. Providing these close interactions are important during EYFS to help guide children through activities so they can begin to develop their own responses.
Parents are also encouraged to interact with their child and provide guidance about the best way to complete the piece of work. This makes it more collaborative and young children enjoy working with their parents. Time and patience are two key elements of home learning, especially in early years as young children require more support to be able to thrive.
Discussion and openness is also key, as children should feel comfortable asking questions or asking for help. Always keep talking to your child throughout an activity, gently encouraging them to work problems out independently.
The Relationship Between Parents and Practitioners
For home learning to be a success, it is crucial parents work with nursery school teachers and practitioners to achieve a shared outcome. By understanding what activities the child enjoys and what they’re interested in, learning can be directed accordingly.
It also provides both parties the opportunity to discuss any areas of improvement or concern, so they can tailor future learning to suit. For example if a child is struggling with the alphabet, this is something you could practice on more at home to facilitate their understanding.
This will increase the child’s growth as they are able to practice their skills and knowledge in the home environment. In turn, repetition will lead to solidifying these skills as part of life-long learning. This repetition is called schematic play and is a normal part of development during EYFS as babies and young children need time to work things out.
Sharing information about a child’s progress at home and their progress at school creates a positive relationship between parents and practitioners as they work cohesively together for the benefit of the child.
It also means parents will feel more comfortable to reach out and ask for help, allowing teachers to provide further home learning resources for parents when needed.
Learning Journals Platform
Here at Learning Journals we offer an online platform where parents and teachers can easily upload, share and record updates about a child.
Starting in 2012 at Arbor Green nursery in Edinburgh, we were frustrated with how difficult it seemed to create high quality observations for parents. We understand the importance of parents being involved in every stage of a child’s development and wanted to create a platform which allowed them to feel included on this journey.
This concept gave birth to Learning Journals which aims to help teachers, staff, and practitioners raise the standard of education by providing high quality observations to parents. Similarly, the platform strives to simplify how parents engage with a child’s learning, making it a collaborative process where they can comment on their child’s profile.
As a parent, any time apart from your child is time you feel like you’re missing out on. Especially when they’re young and going through nursery, it’s important to feel connected to their daily routine and to maintain close relationships with those who spend the most time with them – nursery staff. Being part of your child’s progress shouldn’t be difficult and with the Learning Journals platform it isn’t.
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How Learning Journals Can Help
Learning Journals is built by a nursery for nurseries, so we truly understand the importance of high quality observations in keeping track of a child’s progress.
Within the Learning Journals platform, there are three core services that allow parents and teachers to engage and interact with children.
Easily Create and Share Observations
Parents and teachers can create high quality, in-depth observations in just a few minutes to document a child’s learning. Even better, storage is unlimited so you will never be restricted in terms of how many photos or video recordings you take. After all, you don’t want to miss any significant points of learning as these are all key to building up a bigger picture. Regardless of how many observations you take, the price will never increase, allowing you to capture every moment with total flexibility.
Share and Engage With Parents
This feature allows teachers to share observations with parents so they never miss a moment of their child’s progress. The development of a child is an exciting journey and parents want to go on that journey with them.
Receiving these observations makes parents feel part of it and gives them a sense of ownership as they can see the development first hand. Furthermore, it gives them a huge sense of pride as they see their child taking on new challenges and progressing over time.
Another key service is being able to contribute and communicate back on posts, creating an open conversation between parents and nursery staff that helps build a strong relationship.
Track and monitor progress
Quickly and easily monitor any progress in a child’s learning, ability, and coverage over many curricula and frameworks. Either view these at individual child level or as part of a group.
This feature helps teachers and parents build up a bigger picture of development so they can make informed decisions. Also, by monitoring progress over a certain period of time they can spot any areas for improvement which can be built into future planning.
Moreover, this feature also allows historical tracking to be conducted. For example, if a teacher wanted to measure the progress of a group of children for maths in the last 6 months. This helps forecast lesson planning for the next 6 months and identify which children (or classes) need further support.
If it’s a framework that currently doesn’t exist in the system, simply ask and it can be added in for you. This offers more usability and flexibility, keeping the platform focused on what’s most important – making observations easier.
Who We Help
At Learning Journals we understand the importance of the collaborative relationship between nursery school owners, staff, and parents in the development of a child. Information needs to be easily shared to enable all parties to work together towards a common goal and to keep the needs of the child at the forefront.
Nursery School Owners
We understand that your time is valuable and you don’t want to be spending it sifting through stacks of paper. Compared to traditional methods, Learning Journals offers an online platform which gets rid of the need to keep paper records (which can be hard to keep track of and organise).
With the Learning Journals platform, nursery school owners can quickly access the information they need and assess the quality of the observations from staff. Furthermore, nursery school owners will be alerted if a child has missed an observation and any issues that arise from this, as well as being able to monitor coverage of the full curriculum.
Nursery school practitioners should be spending their day interacting with children and engaging them in different activities. They should not be spending their time being bogged down by written observations and taking photographs.
These traditional forms of observations are very time consuming and because you’re relying on printed documents and folders, can be easily lost or mislaid. Furthermore, simply jotting down a few notes does not provide the same level of detail or context that an online platform does. Also, by the time these notes get written up, the teacher might have forgotten what photograph they related to which can lead to inaccurate recordings.
Make way for the Learning Journals platform. This easy-to-use service allows teachers to record and share observations in the moment, preserving their valuable time for spending it with the children. What’s more, is that children can provide their own input alongside the observation making them an inclusive part of their own development.
The Learning Journals platform allows parents to be actively involved in their child’s learning which is especially important for home learning.
Parents can easily log into their child’s profile at any time and upload their own observations and achievements from home. This creates a collaborative process and gives teachers an insight into the child’s activities after nursery/ school.
For teachers, this allows them to stay updated with a child’s progress and spot any areas for improvement. Similarly for parents, it’s important to stay informed so they can offer further support in areas where it is needed and ensure the home environment caters for these needs.
The online platform also saves parents a great deal of time, instead of making their way through a chunky folder full of printed documents. Parents are very busy and usually spend little time at nursery apart from picking up or dropping off their child. But, this shouldn’t mean they miss out on important information about their child’s progress. Learning Journals provides an insight into their child’s day so they feel involved and engaged at all points of their journey.
Don’t Just Take Our Word For It
Our customers reap the benefits of using the Learning Journals platform and explain how it has helped improve the nursery experience for children, staff, and parents alike.
But, we’ll let the numbers do the talking…
Over 5 million observations have been taken, 40,000+ parents and more engaged with their child’s education, and 12,000+ teachers have got more free time to focus on the children.
Stockbridge nursery and Waterfront nursery are just examples of happy customers.
According to Stockbridge nursery, the Learning Journals platform has saved them so much time that they no longer need to take work home with them. They also report that observations are now straight to the point with a clear focus.
These benefits are reiterated by Waterfront nursery who are a large childcare provider with hundreds of children in their care everyday. They emphasise that Learning Journals has saved them time and money, and has increased child involvement. The nursery also noted that staff find the system easy to use – even those who are less comfortable with technology.
Want to hear from other nurseries who have benefitted from the Learning Journals Platform? Take a look at more of our case studies.
How Learning Journals Supports Home Learning
Home learning is a key aspect of a child’s development as it gives children an opportunity to extend their learning and develop ways of sharing their experiences at home.
Parents and adults are essential in home learning as they need to nurture and support the child’s progression by setting tasks that further the child’s development. By understanding what the child is learning at nursery, parents can structure home learning around these subjects. This gives children more time after nursery to practice and fine tune the new skills they have learnt during the day.
To enhance home learning, there needs to be a strong working relationship between nursery school practitioners and parents to ensure they are both working towards a shared goal. Also, parents need to feel comfortable to ask for help or guidance if they are unsure about how to support their child.
Learning Journals facilities this collaboration by allowing parents and nursery staff to record, upload, and monitor observations in just a few minutes. Parents can also comment on posts so that they are engaged in their child’s profile and can upload their own observations from home.
This means parents never miss a moment of their child’s progress and are kept fully informed about the current stage of their learning. This information supports and sets the basis for home learning as they can tailor activities to suit, providing an environment where children can thrive.
Still not convinced? Request your free trail to see the advantages for yourself.