Published at Friday, September 15th 2017. by Clara Hiba in Worksheets.
Several months ago, as I was beginning to write materials for parents to use while helping their children with math, I decided that I should do some research to see if materials similar to mine already existed. I checked a local educational store which is primarily for home-schooling parents and I checked out the new educational section Barnes and Noble had just added to their stores. I was shocked at what I found. Worksheets, worksheets, and more worksheets. I would pick up a book with a lovely cover and catchy title, but inside–just worksheets! Both stores had row after row of very enticing books and workbooks each containing page after page of worksheets. So very disappointing! What do I have against worksheets? Keep reading. I think that everyone agrees that students today are weak in their basic arithmetic skills. Many adults are equally weak with basic skills but you probably will never hear them admit it. If you were to investigate this weakening of basic skills, most sources would point to the advent of the calculator; and there is some truth to that. But the beginning of the decline in basic skills actually goes further back–to the widespread use of copy machines. Yes, copy machines.
2. Monthly Financial Report Worksheet – After you have tracked you spending you are now ready to fill out a monthly financial report worksheet for that 30 day period. On this worksheet you will record you income for the month along with your spending in each expense category. After you have subtracted your total expenses from your net spendable income, you will see if you have an excess or if you where short for that month. 3. Monthly Budget Worksheet – Once you complete the monthly financial report for the past month, you are ready to create your monthly budget for next month using a monthly budget worksheet. On this worksheet you will record all your monthly bills, including the amounts and the due dates. You will also allow a certain amount of money for all other expense categories based on your previous monthly financial report. If you operated last month in the red, you will want to look at where you can cut your spending this month so you have a balanced budget with a little excess at the end of the month. So, as you can see, creating a monthly budget is pretty simple if you use these three must-have budget worksheets. It takes some time and work but living within your means is such a great feeling.
Worksheet Warning! Whatever you do, do not use worksheets excessively. This will become very tedious to your child and will take the fun out of learning. Once your child has their facts memorized, use worksheets only occasionally unless your child sees worksheets as a challenge and loves to do them. Some children truly love the challenge of ”beating their time” on timed math worksheets. If this is the case, give them all they want!
In my research, I did find one excellent book by Marcia L. Tate titled ”Mathematics Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites.” She is referring to the latest in brain research that shows that boredom actually destroys dendrites (connectors in the brain). She gives 20 different strategies for improving learning and provides many different activities designed for K-8 math. I highly recommend her books. Both Marcia Tate and I are saying the same thing–don’t use boring, fill-in worksheets. We want our children growing new dendrites, not destroying them. I also offer a caution here. Many of the materials offered online for parents to help their children are nothing more than worksheets. Look before you buy. You don’t need worksheets. Use a small whiteboard instead.
This sounds like an awful lot, doesn’t it! A good set of preschool worksheets should cover all of this, and more. In the preschool years, repetition is the key to learning, but you should look for worksheets that teach the same skills in a variety of ways. This not only prevents boredom setting in, but also reinforces the concepts by encouraging understanding as well. The importance of reading to your child cannot be emphasised enough, and you should encourage them to ’read’ as much as possible too. Quality worksheets for preschool can help you with a lot more than just academics. For example, once your child starts kindergarten, they will be expected to sit still and complete tasks for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time. If your child is used to doing a worksheet or two, they will be able to do this quite easily, and will understand that they need to complete the task before they can move on to the next activity. Worksheets also help your child to learn how to follow instructions, and teach them about following rules.
What to Consider When Using a Writing Worksheet. Parents and teachers should always take into consideration the child or student they are teaching. It is good to customize the worksheet based on the profile of the learner. For example, if it is a preschooler you are teaching, it is best to choose worksheets that have colorful graphics for them not to lose interest in it. Additionally, the use of simple words is also necessary to promote understanding especially for young kids. Older kids can very well benefit from worksheets that bring out their creative thinking abilities and those that will help them widen their vocabulary. Young kids can benefit from a writing worksheet because it helps them improve their handwriting skills and at the same time, increase their knowledge. Older kids, on the other hand, can definitely hone their writing abilities and at the same time, ignite a passion for writing that they never would have thought possible if it were not for the help of the writing tool and of course, from your encouragement and prodding.
Parents are familiar with using worksheets in math classes. Even when the textbook has spaces for the insertion of answers, parents find it more economical to use worksheets so that textbooks can be resold at the conclusion of the class. Additionally, worksheets help to avoid messy textbooks where there have been insertions and erasures. However, few parents have considered the vital need for homeschool worksheets in classes other than math. This article presents compelling arguments for parents to consider using worksheets in classes other than math. One web site reviewed by this author boasted of having over 11,000 worksheets! These teaching aids were not just for math – they covered a variety of courses. And most importantly, they are all available to parents at no charge!
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