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Football (or Any Hobby) = Fun Learning

A fun practical way to boost your child's ability to learn at school

'Learning' is about understanding new things. A hobby can provide an excellent way to develop this valuable skill and works particularly well for young children.

Here we'll show you how helping your child learn about football can also help them succeed at school. If your child is not into football, find another activity they do enjoy. Some possibilities are swimming, cricket, cooking, art, music, board games or even Lego.

We'll also show you how -

  • You don't have to be good at the activity to help your child
  • You can use your child's hobby to help them discover links between the wider world and what they learn about in school

This is only one of the methods used by EasyStreetLearning to help children become better learners, to find out more.

Learning 'how to learn'

Football is about much more than kicking a ball around.

Football is a huge topic with lots of opportunities to learn a wide variety of things. There's something suitable for every age group.

Your child's enthusiasm, curiosity and your encouragement will help them overcome difficulties. They'll be 'learning how to learn', something very valuable but which can be neglected.

There's lots of valuable lessons that can be learnt from sport

Sport provides a great way to discover the importance of trying your best and how skills can be improved through regular practice. Trying your best and regular practice are also needed to do well at school.

We'll also show you how maths, literacy, science as well as concentration and memory skills can be improved through your child's passion for football.

Learn the ball control skills required

Most children learn their football skills by playing football day after day. However there is a better way to develop football skills that will help your child become a better player. This involves learning individual skills that they can bring together when they play in a match. Free drills to learn football skills can be found on YouTube. One example is shown below (there are many others to choose from) -

It's the same for learning Maths or English, your child needs to learn individual skills and bring them together to solve problems or complete a test. Explain this point to your child every now and then as they practice sport.

Discovering Numeracy through football

There's lots of Numeracy in football, when you think about it!

For very young children -

  • Keeping score is a great way to introduce numeracy as you play with them. At first, you keep score (show the score on your fingers as you say it) and then get them to keep score in the same way once they've learnt from you.
    This way, very young children can learn basic addition and they see the relevance of numeracy whilst associating it with fun. Get imaginative and add more numeracy by making each of their goals worth two (or more) to include harder addition.
  • Young children love playing the Top Trumps card game, so get your child the pack for their team. Before playing, talk through the meaning of each score, find the best player cards and talk about which score makes them so good.
  • Explain League Tables to your child, for the BBC ones. Children love to regularly check up where their team are compared to their rivals. This will get them confident in understanding information in the form of a table.

For older children -

  • Football championships use a 'tree chart' to show the matches played. Explain a tree chart to your child, see the example below. Find one for your child for the next football championship so they can fill-in the scores themselves after each match.

  • There are lots of statistics including percentages given during matches. Explain this to your child, see the example below.

  • Understanding the rules of football (such as 'the off-side rule') is an excellent logical exercise for your child to understand. Explain to this to your child, if you can't watch the FIFA video clip below -

  • Children can learn a lot by taking part in a Fantasy Football competition, the rules can be very complicated, which means more to understand and that's good for your child's comprehension skills. To get them going will require supervision and make sure that the Fantasy Football they join is suitable for children.
  • Learn about probability through football. for an informative video from Al Jazeerza explaining why team 'expectation' can often be different to their 'results'.

Discovering Literacy through football

There are lots of ways to use Literacy to find out more about football -

  • Football is an excellent reason to expore newspapers with your child. A child reluctant to read normally might be interested in the football pages of a newspaper. Buy a quality paper like the 'Sunday Times' and ask your child to choose an article from the sports section. There will be several words that they will need to look up the meanings of, so it's handy if they can do this using a dictionary website.
    Also, headlines often use techniques like 'aliteration' which they learn about in school.
  • There are a range of football books to suit your child from stories, biographies, football facts, club histories and coaching guides. Here are a few -

  • Reading parts of the official football rules can make a change from the reading style your child is used to. for the official rules from FIFA, pick a section suitable for your child's age.
  • Often neglected is the fact that listening and speaking are important practical aspects of Literacy. To practice these skills, watch a match or 'Match of the Day' with your child and discuss it together, Make the point of using correct sentences where reasonably possible.
  • After watching a match your child could have a go at writing a match report. They could do this on a computer using a word processor and include suitable images they find on the internet.

Discovering Science through football

How does Beckham bend the path of a football? to find out and help get your child interested in science.

Discovering Geography through football

Next time your child's favourite team play, help them locate where the opposition team are from on a map or in an atlas.

Developing memory and concentration through football

There's a lot of information to remember in football that will help develop your child's memory and concentration, such as players names, club records, the major events in key games like how goals were scored. A child who is obsessed about their favourite football team can learn to absorb this information because they are motivated.

If you have your child's favourite tream Top Trumps pack, they could have a go at learning the deatils for their favourite players.

For fun you could quiz them of the facts about their team, this will get them used to recalling the information they have read.

After watching a game you could ask you child about events during the game to get them to try and remember details. This will also help develop their memory.

Football on games consoles

These days many children play football without leaving the sofa using games like 'FIFA 13' available on games consoles.

Can any learning be gained from this activity? Yes, these games are complicated.

As a verbal Literacy task, ask them to explain how the game is played on the computer to you as clearly as they can.

Ask them to choose one of these written tasks -

  • What do they like and dislike about the game?
  • What clever features have they made the game very popular?
  • Could the write a guide on how to become a better player?

How you can help your child

Enthusiasm is infectious.

The proof of this can be found in football itself, where a parent's passion for a team often becomes the passion of their children.

You can use this fact to help your child do well at school - if you are enthusiastic about what they learn at school the more they will be too!

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