Published at Saturday, April 01st 2017. by Estelle Eléa in Worksheets.
With the new school year starting soon, many parents will be concerned about school readiness and looking for ways to help their children prepare for big school. While there are many preschool worksheets available, some are more useful than others in terms of versatility. There is a lot more to school readiness that just knowing the alphabet and counting to ten. Academically, parents can use preschool worksheets to help teach their children some of the basic skills they will need for kindergarten and school. This will include counting to ten, recognizing shapes and colors, being able to hold a pencil or crayon properly, and coloring in without scribbling. Basic math concepts such as recognizing patterns, understanding quantity and some simple addition and subtraction will be useful. By the time your child is ready for kindergarten or school, they should be able to recognize their own name and other simple written words. The sounds of each letter of the alphabet should be familiar to your child, and they should understand the principle of reading from left to right, which way to hold a book, and possibly even be starting to read three and four-letter words.
By the age of three, your child is ready to move onto mathematics worksheets. This does not mean that you should stop playing counting and number games with your child; it just adds another tool to your toolbox. Worksheets help to bring some structure into a child’s education using a systematic teaching method, particularly important with math, which follows a natural progression. Learning about numbers includes recognizing written numbers as well as the quantity those numbers represent. Mathematics worksheets should provide a variety of fun activities that teach your child both numbers and quantity. Look for a variety of different ways to present the same concepts. This aids understanding and prevents boredom. Color-by-Numbers pictures are a fun way to learn about numbers and colors too.
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!
7. Goal setting worksheets provide time frames and deadlines. Breaking larger goals into smaller sections, determining which steps have to be taken, and setting a completion date is a great formula for success. The best way to turn procrastination into motivation is to assign a deadline. You may even benefit from being accountable to someone who will check to make sure you have met your time frame guidelines. Committing your goals to paper will provide direction, keep you motivated and focused, and increase your self-confidence as you monitor your success along the way. By mixing big dreams with a practical approach you can bring clarity and focus to your goals that will keep you motivated and increase your chance of staying committed no matter what obstacles you may face.
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.
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.
Having a goal is not enough. You need a plan, and goal setting worksheets will help you organize your goals and walk you through the steps necessary for success. We have all been taught the importance of goal setting and, in truth, our everyday lives consist of a series of little goals that we are constantly setting and achieving, even though we are often not conscious of this process. Arriving at work on time, preparing for a business meeting, or even completing household chores are all examples of goal achievement. These same principles can be applied on a larger scale to help you work toward your longer term or lifetime dreams. Wanting something, or even spending a lot of time thinking about it, will not provide enough focus to motivate you to move forward with your goal. You need to write your thoughts down and create a blueprint or road map that is very specific and provides clear direction so you know exactly what you are working toward and what steps you need to take to get where you want to go.
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