Published at Tuesday, March 14th 2017. by Vivien Leya in Worksheets.
When Not to Use Addition Worksheets. Worksheets should not be used as ”busy” work. This is a method used by overworked and overwhelmed public school teachers. With many students working in one room at different levels, teachers have no choice but to give ”busy” work to maintain a sense of order in the classroom. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with home schooling. When your child has finished his work, reward him by letting him do something he enjoys. If you need to keep your child occupied while you are working with one of your other children, have certain educational things your child can be doing such as building with Legos, educational computer games, reading a book, or puzzles — whatever your child enjoys.
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.
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.
A comprehensive set of worksheets covering a variety of subjects can be used to expand your child’s learning experience. A worksheet about shapes can be used as part of a game to find shapes around the house, counting worksheets can be used to count things you see in the grocery store and so on. Almost everything you do with your child can be turned into an opportunity to learn – and worksheets can give you the guidance you need to find those opportunities. Worksheets that include topics such as social and natural science will help to expand your child’s horizons, teaching them about their environment and how things work, while improving their vocabulary at the same time. A worksheet about farm animals can initiate a visit to the farm area at the zoo, or to a real farm, where your child can explore and learn even more.
The writing of the worksheets can also be categorized based on the focus of the study of a student. The worksheet writing activity helps the students to come up with better and polished sentences. It also helps them to organize the sentence and used much better words in their sentences. It also helps them to increase their vocabulary and it automatically makes them to use better words in their sentences while writing a document. A student can begin his worksheet writing exercises anytime in his student life but first he has to learn how to pronounce the consonants and vowels properly.
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.
3. It will help if the worksheets are well-illustrated. Use of cartoon characters would make it more interesting for a child. Encapsulating common situations encountered at home, school, in the market place etc and using common objects known to children would make the worksheets more relevant. 4. Try to supplement each worksheet with a real-life activity. For example after a worksheet on counting, you can ask the child to pick out 3 biscuits and 2 carrots from many. 5. Remember, a child is learning many new things at once. A child of this age has an amazing capacity to learn many new things fast. He can also forget them equally fast. Doing many interesting worksheets with cartoons etc would be fun for him and would help continually reinforce what is learnt. 6. Give positive feedback and encourage a child. His finer motor skills are just developing. Do not expect or try for perfection. Do not give any writing exercise too early i.e until he is fully comfortable with holding a pencil. Spend sufficient time and continually reinforce the learning in day-to-day situations. Most importantly, it should be fun for the teacher and the taught!
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