## G is also for…Goals

Everybody needs goals – they are what help to motivate us to keep learning and improving. It’s important to make them realistic though, otherwise they can have the opposite effect and make you feel down if you don’t achieve them.

Try breaking them down into smaller steps, and thinking about what you need to do to achieve them. For example “learning my times tables” is a big goal. This could be broken down into “learning one new table every two weeks by practising for 5 minutes every day.” Improve my handwriting” is a big goal, but you could break this down into “Hold my pencil properly”, “make sure my letters sit on the line”” and “write more slowly so I can focus on my grip and letter formation.”

Related posts: F is also for….   H is also for….

## How can I help my child with their maths homework?

As a private maths tutor, I often get asked by parents, “How can I support my child with their maths homework without doing it for them?”

In the short-term, the best thing you can do, is to read through it first to make sure you understand it yourself, and then break the problem down into a serious of questions like this:

What’s the first thing you need to work out?
Which operation (ie + – x or ÷) do you need to use?
If your child is unsure, you may need to ask supplementary questions:
Will the answer you get be bigger or smaller than the numbers used in the question?
Which two operations will give you a bigger/smaller number? (If necessary, try both of   these to see which answer looks more sensible)
What’s the second thing you need to work out?
Which operation (ie + – x or ÷) do you need to use?
What’s the third thing you need to work out?

In this way, you are helping your child to see that there are lots of small steps to be taken before the final answer can be worked out, but they still need to do the work for themselves. Think about it like a building job – the scaffolders always come first so that the builders have a safe environment to work in, but they still have to carry out the building work themselves. My worksheets for breaking down word problems into simple steps is available for download from my free resources page.

In the long-term, make sure that your child is confident with everyday maths such as times tables, and number bonds as this will help them in the rest of their work.

If you live in north Birmingham (Great Barr, Hamstead, Kingstanding, Pheasey, Streetly, Sutton) and would like to book a private maths tutor for your child, you can contact me via my website.

Related post: How can I help my child with their English homework?

## How can I help my child with their English homework?

As a tutor, one of the questions I get asked most often by parents is, “How can I help my child with their homework?” They understand that they shouldn’t be doing the homework for their child, but are not sure how to go about supporting. My recommendation is to read through the homework yourself first, and then give your child a series of questions to answer.

For example if they have been asked to write a recount of an exciting day and they don’t know where to start, try breaking it down as follows.

Where did you go?
Who came with you?
What did you do in the morning?
What did you do in the afternoon?
What was the best bit of the day?

If their task is to write a review of their favourite book, you could break it down like this:

What is the book called and who wrote it?
Who is the main character?
What sort of book is it (adventure, mystery, horror, fairytale, etc)?
What’s the best thing that happens in the book?
Is the ending expected or a surprise?
Who else in your class would like this book?
Would you read another book by the same author?

In this way, you are giving them a framework to support their writing, but they are still having to think about how they will answer the questions for themselves, so the homework will still be their own work.

If you live in north Birmingham (Great Barr, Hamstead, Kingstanding, Pheasey, Streetly, Sutton) and want to book a private English tutor for your child, contact me via my website.

Related post: How can I help my child with their maths homework.