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Home Learning

The Importance of Home Learning

The key to keeping young children’s natural curiosity alive is for parents to take an interest in everything their child does and talk about it together (Desforges and Abouchaar, 2003). Parents/carers are children’s first and most effective motivators for learning and the vital role they play in their child’s early learning is recognised in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum.


Evidence suggests that parental involvement in early learning has a greater impact on children’s well-being and achievement than any other factor, such as family income, parental education or school environment. (Gutman & Feistein 2007, Sylva et al, 2004, Desforges & Abouchaar, 2003). Research shows that actively engaging with children through conversation, reading and play has a major impact on child outcomes, including school readiness and attainment and achievement up to the age of at least 16 (Desforges and Abouchaar, 2003; Feinstein et al, 2004).

Finger Painting

Spending time with their parents, carers and wider family helps to make children feel secure and loved. This supports the development of their brain and helps to build learning, self esteem and confidence.

"The human brain is still developing at birth and develops at a rapid pace. Only 25% has formed at birth and 80% by the age of three. How we relate to our children from birth to three and the things we do with them both inside and outside the home have a major impact on their development." (Norfolk County Council Children & Families).

Sharing Books

Home Learning

'Home Learning' is not the same as 'Home Education'. The term is used to describe "everything that children experience with their family” (Norfolk County Council Early Years Home Learning Environment team).

Key activities that will help your child in the home learning environment are:

  • Reading to/with your child
  • Taking your child to the library
  • Encouraging your child to play with letters
  • Helping your child to learn the alphabet
  • Teaching your child to count and learn their numbers
  • Teaching your child songs, poems or nursery rhymes
  • Drawing or painting with your child at home
But there are many other ways you can encourage your child’s learning through daily life and special activities, such as:
  • Encouraging your child to eat healthy food
  • Encouraging dental hygiene
  • Teaching your child to swim
  • Teaching your child about cultural celebrations and festivals, such as Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Ramadam, Bonfire Night, Halloween etc
  • Exploring the natural habitats of animals and birds, visiting wildlife centres etc.
  • Planting seeds, the cultivating and harvesting of crops and vegetables
  • Exploring different types of transport, such as buses, trains or planes
  • Exploring the seasons and experiencing different types of weather – playing in the snow, how to stay safe in the sun etc.
  • Experiencing the outdoors through walks, picnics, beach days or camping
  • Teaching your child basic cooking skills
  • Encouranging new interests and hobbies
  • Introducing keyboard and computer skills
  • Teaching your child to ride a bike, playing with a ball, learning to skip, taking them to the local park to use swings, slides and climbing equipment

Twinkl offer some excellent resources for home learning. You can also follow them on facebook.

Roller Painting

At nursery your child will be assigned a key worker, who will liaise directly with you and share information about your child’s development. He/she will give you ideas for home learning opportunities based on your child's own stage of development. We also hold half termly Stay & Plays to allow you to come in, play with your child at nursery and get new ideas to build learning at home.


Norfolk County Council, Children and Families, Childcare and Early Learning. What is home learning?
(Accessed 24 October 2017)

Hunt, Dr S., Virgo Dr S., Klett-Davies, Dr M., Page, A and Apps, J. Researcher Report DFE-RR142. Department for Education, Provider Influence on the early home learning environment (EHLE), June 2011.
(Accessed 24 October 2017)

Desforges, C. and Abouchaar, A. (2003)
The Impact of Parental Involvement, Parental Support and Family Education on Pupil Achievement and Adjustment: A Literature Review, London: DfES.

Gutman, L. and Feinstein, L. (2007) Parenting Behaviours and Children’s Development from Infancy to Early Childhood: Changes, Continuities, and Contributions, Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning.

Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I. and Taggart, B. (2004)
The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) project: Final report – a longitudinal study funded by the DfES 1997–2004. London: Institute of Education, University of London
(available at

Twinkl Educational Publishing
(Accessed 24 October 2017)

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