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Some useful websites

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) has an excellent website that has a designated page for parents. Here you will find information on all levels of education: Early Childhood, Primary, Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle.

The What, Why and How e booklet is a particularly good resource that has advice on helping your child through all the stages of Primary School and is well worth a look.

Maths video clips to help your child with 1st and 2nd class maths.

Websites for reading activities Owl is an award-winning free website with 250 FREE tablet-friendly eBooks and activities to help you support children’s learning. Now it is even better, with dedicated areas for school and for home. opened in September of 2002 as a free public service to teach children to read with phonics. Their systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice, is perfect for preschool, infant classes and special education. MightyBook is the perfect place for children who enjoy books, music, art and games. Online educational learning games and activities for young children This site provides educational ICT activites linked to the Primary School Curriculum. These games are generally targeted at infant school teachers and parents of infant age children.

Helping your child with phonics

You can help your child at home by playing sound games which highlight the individual sounds in words.

Ask your child to find an object, as you sound it out.
“Can you find a ‘p’ ‘e’ ‘n’?”

Encourage your child to sound out words for you too!

Talk about the different sounds in words:
“What’s the first sound you hear in ‘bat’?”
“What’s the next sound you hear in ‘bat’?”
You might need to stretch out vowel sounds so children can hear them.
Work through each sound in order.

When your child can blend together three sounds, try some longer words.

When you are reading with your child, you model how a good reader reads.
You can also give your child the opportunity to practise the new skills and information that are being learned in school.

Stop at words your child should be able to read. The teacher will let you know what these are!

Your child will be learning to read each sound and then to blend these back into words. All children enjoy showing how much they can do by themselves! Encourage your child to show granny, big brother or any one who will listen.

If your child does not know or remember a sound or a symbol, (letter/or letter combination) simply point to it and say what it is.

Remember to stop and talk about what is happing in the story or text. Ask your child what he or she thinks about it, e.g.
“Why do you think the mouse did that?”
“What do you think will happened now?”
“What would you do if you say the big box under the tree?”

Encourage your child to write as many words as possible, using the sounds that are being learned in school.
The teacher may send home word puzzles to help practise word-building.
Help your child to listen for each sound as you point to its place in the word, and say what is heard. Then ask your child to show you how that sound is written.
After the word has been built, ask your child to point to each symbol while saying each sound, e.g.
‘m’ ‘a’ ‘n’
Then blend them together into the word ‘man’.

Show your child that you are enjoying reading with them!

Helpful hints for handwriting

Handwriting is a complex motor task. It is also a perceptual skill requiring recognition and reproduction of different shapes and understanding of their orientation on a surface. Children with handwriting problems often experience difficulty with the movements needed. Sometimes because of purely physical control, sometimes due to poor perception of various sorts. This desk based set of activities is helpful to improve handwriting. Five minutes is enough, daily if possible.

Good sitting position, feet flat, back straight, head up, bottom back on chair.
Lift (shrug) shoulders up and down.
Shake to loosen them.
Hold edges of chair (two hands). Push self up and down……sitting press ups.
Circle wrists – clockwise and anti-clockwise.

Two fists on the table (elbows bent).
Straighten elbows, bend again.
Repeat with flat hands, alternate.
Put clasped hands behind head, stretch elbows back.
Stretch arms up and forwards with hands still clasped.

Wrists and Fists:
Shake wrists till floppy.
Up and down, sideways.
One higher, one lower.
Mix the above.

Flat Hands:
Two flat hands on the table – thumbs out.
Spread fingers, thumbs touching.
Turn over, little fingers touching.
Repeat, alternating hands.

Fingers and Thumbs:
Wriggle fingers in the air.
Wriggle them up and down.
Hands flat on table, palms down.
Tap thumbs, tap all fingers.
Singly, together, alternately.

Correct Pencil Grip
Correct position:
Thumb on side, index on top, middle on the opposite side.

Practise letter formation with younger children.
Write some lists – shopping words, colours, days, some holiday news etc.
Draw some pictures – label with words, use some speech bubbles.

Enjoy and have fun!


Your local library is a wonderful resource! Up to 10 books can be borrowed for three weeks.
Look for the following reading Schemes

  • Tadpoles
  • Leapfrog
  • Twisters
  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • Bananas (Yellow, Green, Blue, Red)
  • I am reading
  • Pandas
  • Flyers

Librarians will help.
Talk to your child about what they are reading.
Read with them.
Ask them to retell their favourite part.
What do they think will happen next?

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