Supporting your child’s learning

acd resource learning together 52

Many people think of school as the beginning of their child’s education. But your child has been learning since they were born.

On this page:

Your child has been learning from their play and kindergarten experiences, from you and from other family members their whole life. They will continue to learn from family and their lived experiences, and they will also have an opportunity to learn other things at school. Parents and carers teach many things to their children and you can share important information with the school about how your child learns best.


Sharing what you know to help your child

How does your child like to learn? What environment do they need, to focus and take things in? What are their strengths? What is their personality like, and how do they like to be helped or encouraged?

In your discussion with your child’s teachers, and in Student Support Groups meetings, try to give a sense of who your child is, and what will help the staff to engage and teach your child, and support them to learn. The teacher and other Student Support Group members (including you) can use this information to develop goals that expand on your child’s strengths, skills and abilities. Remember that teachers and consultants bring professional expertise to these discussions, however families have a unique contribution to make. There are many things that only you, as a parent, know about your child.

Information about your child’s likes, dislikes and interests can also help others to understand your child as a learner. Teachers can use your child’s interests to capture your child’s attention and motivate them to learn.


Understanding your child’s learning needs

Here are some questions to consider. If you can share what you know about these kinds of aspects of your child’s learning needs and preferences, that will help the school understand and engage them better.

  • Does your child enjoy listening to stories or prefer looking at a book?
  • Does your child prefer to watch you do something first and then copy?
  • Does your child like to explore and ‘have a go’, or to they prefer to observe first?
  • Does your child need instructions to be given one by one, or for tasks to be demonstrated?
  • Does your child enjoy drawing and colouring? Making things? Doing messy art exploration?
  • Does your child respond well to humour? Or do they need communication to be more literal?

Also consider aspects of the classroom that might help your child learn, or make it more difficult for them:

  • Does your child prefer small groups or enjoy the hustle and bustle of a large group?
  • Does your child get distracted or overloaded, if they are in a noisy environment?
  • Does your child find it easy to sit still and concentrate, or might they benefit from ‘movement breaks’?
  • Does your child focus best at particular times of day, or when they’ve had a chance to be active?


Building on your child’s strengths and interests

Its important that the school have a sense of what your child can do, or is confident doing. The teachers can then design activities to expand on these areas of strength. This encourages your child to feel confident in their learning. It can also help you to maintain a positive outlook on your child’s education.

  • You can have input into your child’s learning goals, which will be part of their learning and support plan. Find out more about learning goals and the planning process in Education support planning for your child.
  • There are resources available to help schools to better understand your child’s abilities and strengths and tailor learning to help meet them. Visit the DET website and search on ‘ABLES’.

Sometimes you might be able to help your child to demonstrate abilities to the school that they might be unaware of. You might be able to do this in ways that also strengthen your child’s relationships at school:


Supporting your child’s learning

You can also continue your role as a partner in your child’s learning by reading at bed-time or asking them about their school day. This reinforces what they learn at school. Many things that you do together as a family, from playing ‘eye spy’ in the car to helping around the house, will continue to shape your child’s knowledge and learning.

Sometimes, schools might offer ideas or tools to support learning that that you can also use at home:

Sometimes staff can offer ideas or approaches that can really change the course of a child’s or young person’s educational journey, especially if it can be supported both at school and at home: