Tutor Courses






Session 1

General Introductions: Does everyone know each other etc.

Introduction to Family Learning – Aims, Fliers,

Setting the context:

  • Parents first teachers
  • Home is a learning place
  • Babies beginning to talk
  • Listening to sounds, building up recognition skills, reading and spelling.

Activities: What are your child’s favourite rhymes or action songs at present. Demonstrate with an imaginary child one that tutor did with their child / or that they remember from their own childhood.  Gives a feeling of comfort of what is expected. I do ‘Horsey Horsey don’t you stop, just let your feet go clippety clop.’

Parents do one rhyme or action song each if they are comfortable to do so with their child. Parents from other countries do their own language rhymes.

Give out sheets from Round and Round the Garden book of 3 action rhymes /songs we will work on today.

Go through each one twice or three times. Allow time for each parent and child to do it on their own then, before moving onto the next one. Have some sitting down and some active for more interest in each session.

Music: Give each child a choice of instrument from the box. Children must stay seated with these. Might need to make some or suggest to parents how to make shakers.

Stop and start: Stand in front of the children and parents, demonstrate: if your hands are in the air they should shake or blow or make music. When your hands are by your side, they must stop. Try this a number of times. Give them time to play freely.

Recap: Go through the main points mentioned.


Session 2

Recap what they can remember from the last session. Ask the children what they remember. Ask if anyone practiced since last session.

Remembering: Ask the group if they remember any rhymes they were taught by their parents or grandparents. Some people have been told rhymes in Irish by their Grandparents! Allow time to hear these and see the actions.

Suggest that parents could work with their children at home on a rhyme using the letters in their child’s name. Give some examples.

Listening to what is around us tv, radio in magazines for rhymns, jingles etc. Ask the group: Why are they so easy to remember? Illiteration, Liam loves liver, John jogs journeys etc. Words at end are rhyming or what is said is funny etc. Be more aware as you listen to your child, as they will hear these sounds and will also make up their own similar sounding words.

Work on 3 or 4 new action rhymes/songs. Do these 3 times and then allow parents and children to work on them together. Give handouts for these.

Listening skills, how to listen and the importance of listening when children are at school.

What would they suggest are good listening skills?

Ask the group if they would like to borrow rhyme books, give the handout with recommended authors for various age groups. Good quality books. Using the library.  Are there any nursery rhyme times in the library? (Tuesday 4pm for 2-5 year olds in Shannon. Children learn to say the rhymes and perform them in front of the others. Librarian does this. Each day of the week she does work with a different age group.)

Suggest recording their child singing or saying rhymes, builds up confidence and self esteem in the child. Give some blank tapes to those who have tape recorders still! Some record already using camcorder/ digital video recorder.

Music: Children love this part. Work on starting and stopping, then move to loud and soft. Children were really interested.

It’s too noisy for parent to say a rhyme and children to do the rhythm.


Session 3

  • Introductions, if new people have joined.
  • Revise what was done in last weeks session.
  • Ask if anyone was practising their rhymes over the week?

Look at TV and watch 5 minutes of parents and children working together on rhymes in other languages. Check volume is ok in advance.

Has anyone remembered any rhymes/ action songs that we haven’t mentioned yet? Ask if new people have joined the group. Hear and see these. Perhaps join in.

Go through the 3-4 new rhymes, give handouts. Practice each one 2-3 times. Allow time for parents and children to do each one in their own time.

Music: Children choose an instrument. Guide them through start and stop, loud and soft, and hearing rhythm. The latter didn’t really work.


Session 4

Introductions if new people have joined the group.

Recap on the important points over the last 3 weeks.

Any new rhymes / action songs group have remembered that we haven’t heard yet?

Hearing sound patterns.

Bring word cubes, get parents to quickly suggest words, see if the children will join in.

Note the beginning and not just the endings of words.

Go through the 3-4 new rhymes, give handouts. Practice each one 2-3 times. Allow time for parents and children to do each one in their own time.

Ask if any of the children would like to show us what they know. ( This worked in Shannon, 2 went up and we all joined in.)

Music: Children choose an instrument. Guide them through start and stop, loud and soft, and hearing rhythm.

Show parents booklets and DVD Who,What,Why,When,Where and How that are available. INTO booklet through the internet as it is out of print. DVD is available to all parents of primary school children.

The importance of play in childhood cannot be emphasised enough. Children develop socially, emotionally, physically, linguistically and ultimately cognitively through play. Cognitively development includes intellectual and language development, thinking skills, memory, attention and concentration levels.

Children need opportunities and space to create their own play with whatever resources and materials are available. In playing imaginatively and creatively children act out real life situations, they take on different roles, they construct things, they invent games, they make rules and in so doing expand their use of language.

They develop social and emotional skills through interaction with other children. Through play they act out their inner selves and they make sense of the world around them. Play helps children to discover, to practise old skills, to experiment and to develop physically.

In many cases the foundations to more formal learning is formulated through play activities and should continue to be part of children’s lives in the primary school. Above all play should be fun.