This site has math fact worksheets, place value problems, addition without carrying, subtraction without borrowing, suites of multiplication tests using various methodologies, fractions and more. It’s done wonders for my kids. I hope it does the same for yours.
Every September, millions of parents try a kind of psychological witchcraft, to transform their summer-glazed campers into fall students, their video-bugs into bookworms. Advice is cheap and all too familiar: Clear a quiet work space. Stick to a homework schedule. Set goals. Set boundaries. Do not bribe (except in emergencies).
And check out the classroom. Does Junior’s learning style match the new teacher’s approach? Or the school’s philosophy? Maybe the child isn’t “a good fit” for the school.
Such theories have developed in part because of sketchy education research that doesn’t offer clear guidance. Student traits and teaching styles surely interact; so do personalities and at-home rules. The trouble is, no one can predict how.
Yet there are effective approaches to learning, at least for those who are motivated. In recent years, cognitive scientists have shown that a few simple techniques can reliably improve what matters most: how much a student learns from studying.
The findings can help anyone, from a fourth grader doing long division to a retiree taking on a new language. But they directly contradict much of the common wisdom about good study habits, and they have not caught on.
For instance, instead of sticking to one study location, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention. So does studying distinct but related skills or concepts in one sitting, rather than focusing intensely on a single thing.
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Lucky are the parents who have kids who love school and studying. These kids sit right next to their books the moment they reach home without being told. These kids get on with their assignments with minimal input or supervision from they parents. And the best part is, they do not hesitate to ask if they find some things confusing.
However, not all kids are thrilled with studying. In fact, most kids dislike the idea of school and making assignments. These kids are very moody when they make their assignments, and they get easily frustrated when they come across something they find confusing. On top of that, they usually complain and get frustrated about their assignments.
Because of this, some parents make their kid’s assignment to avoid getting into a fight with their kids. Children with poor frustration tolerance often make homework a battlefield, which is why parents end up answering their child’s assignment instead. In order to maintain a positive atmosphere at home, parents end up making their kid’s assignments.
However, doing this does not solve the actual problem. While parents must help their kids through their homework, they should not do the actual work for their kids. There are some parents that you can do to help your child build a positive attitude when it comes to school and making assignments. If your child finds making assignments too tiring or too boring, perk his senses up by doing some changes.
At home, make sure that your child has his own place for studying and making assignments. This will help your child see the positive side of doing schoolwork. Give him a study area that is free from distractions and interruptions. Make it ideal for learning by making sure that it is well-lit, organized, and has useful books and encyclopedias for reference.
Aside from a study area, you should also give your child a particular time for studying and making assignments. Develop a certain time routine, and follow through it every single day. When the time is set, make sure that your child sticks to it. By doing so, you will help your child feel less frustrated because he is following a structure.
But the most important thing that you should remember is to give your child a head start when it comes to making assignments. Especially if your child finds the topic difficult, help him through by giving him an idea or the first few words of the answer and let him finish the assignment on his own.
Giving your child a head start helps him accomplish his homework without over functioning. Aside from that, you are also letting your child make his own decisions and exercise his own ideas when it comes to completing his assignment.
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Guest post by Amy Simon
It is always concerning to a parent when they discover that their child is falling behind in the classroom. When this happens, it is best to systematically consider possible causes. One common cause of a relatively sudden decline in academic performance is vision or hearing loss. It may not occur to either teachers or parents that a child cannot now see the board, where they were once able to. The change might have been so gradual that the student does not realize it either. Even if they do, they may be reluctant to mention it to their parents, primarily because they don’t want glasses! So, if your child suddenly experiences difficulty, a vision and hearing assessment might be in order.
If a child’s hearing and vision is adequate, it may be time to visit the pediatrician. These medical professionals can assist with identifying attention problems and can provide referrals for others who might be able to evaluate your child for a learning issue. Ultimately, a pediatrician can rule out any organic condition that might be causing your child to have difficulty learning.
If everything checks out well from your child’s medical evaluation, it is wise to consider enlisting some one-on-one help, combined with an effective teaching system. Luckily, there are some effective strategies or teaching practices that can be implemented by teachers, tutors, and parents that can help learners who struggle in academic areas. These strategies involve setting up an appropriate learning environment, providing adequate support, and designing and implementing effective instruction.
Setting Up a Learning Environment
When considering the best ways to set up an appropriate learning environment, we should likely keep in mind the things our mother used to tell us. Find a well-lit, well-ventilated location. Work or study at a table, where there is ample space. Do not attempt to tackle a reading assignment while lying on the bed or on the couch. Most importantly, find a location that is distraction-free. Attempting to learn the causes of the Civil War is difficult to do while watching a reality show on TV!
Providing Adequate Support
When students are struggling with a particular academic task, the worst thing is for them to feel isolated. Many are reluctant to ask for help from the teacher. After all, when the teacher asks, “Are there any questions?”, is anyone actually going to ask one, in front of everyone? There are many ways to provide additional support to a learner. For example, the teacher might do a “progress check” from time to time during an assignment, to ensure that the learner understands the assignment. The teacher might provide a “study buddy” or “peer tutor”; often, children would much rather work with another student in their class rather than with the teacher or instructional aide. Parents may offer additional support to their child by monitoring homework sessions and helping students prepare for tests. They may seek the services of a private tutor for a couple of sessions each week.
When designing effective instruction, be mindful that very few students learn easily from information that is presented in a lecture format. Focus on teaching to a variety of modalities. For visual learners (which most children are), use pictures, videos, graphic organizers, charts, graphs, tables, and time lines. For auditory learners, use songs, music, lectures, discussions, and debates. Nearly every child can benefit from kinesthetic, hands-on activities. Isn’t it much more meaningful to learn about anatomy through frog dissection, rather than reading a chapter and answering questions about anatomy?
Implementing Effective Instructions
Besides designing well-conceived instruction, some practices will make instruction even more effective. First, provide frequent breaks for students. There is no point in asking a student with attention difficulties to sit for a long period of time and to focus on a single task. At home, parents should help students break their study time into segments in order for students to be able to engage efficiently in a task. Teachers, parents, and tutors should assist students with focusing on essential information, not trivia. For example, when studying about the Abraham Lincoln, the most important information is related to his presidency and his influence on the outcome of the Civil War, not the name of the theater in which he was assassinated. In addition, one way to ensure that students will retain information is to review often. Rather than beginning to prepare for a test two days prior to it, students should be encouraged to do distributed practice – intermittent sessions of study for more than a week leading up to the test. This prevents “cramming”, and allows students ample time to learn the information well enough to recall it.
Students who have difficulty often do not simply “pick up” on strategies or techniques that help them learn. They need to have these directly taught to them by teachers, tutors, and parents. These tips are easy to implement and teach to students. The best part is that not only students who have difficulty will benefit from these tips – all students will.
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Do these words sound all too familiar…?
“I know your son can do better work. He just doesn’t seem to care.”
“She’s really very bright. But she just isn’t working at her level”
or these…from you child…
“I’m just stupid …OK?!”
If you’ve ever heard these words you know the heartbreak of being told that your child is an underachiever.
And if it breaks your heart, just imagine what day after day of failure is doing to your child and their future.
In fact, some studies suggest that a leading cause of teenage drug use… underage sex… petty crime… even suicide can be traced to failure in school.
If you’re like most parents of an underachieving child, you’ve tried everything. You’ve talked to your child time and time again…only to be met with anger or stony silence. You’ve pleaded and cajoled till you couldn’t anymore. You’ve even resorted to bribes and threats…something you swore you’d never do.
But nothing worked, did it? And now you’re at your wits’ end.
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We have all been there. A child has homework to do and really does not want to do it. But I never realized how serious this situation could become until I saw results of an online survey about parents and homework. The survey indicated that:
10% had no problem getting their child to do their homework
18% had to remind their child to do their homework
48% said that homework was a daily family battle,
16% reported that homework often caused a meltdown
8% said that their child hated school because of homework!
These numbers are astonishing.What is going on here? Homework is supposed to be helping not making things worse! Homework should never, NEVER, cause issues with your relationship with your child. Your relationship with your child is far too precious to be threatened by you trying to get your child to do homework.
Now I know it can be difficult. I have worked with families where mothers (it is usually mothers) have been at their wits end trying to find ways to get their children to do homework. The anger and frustration caused by this situation spills out into all aspects of family life and causes all kinds of problems. I have seen parents threaten children with loss of privileges in an effort to get their child to do their homework. I have had mothers in tears on the phone because they don’t know what to do, and even know of mothers who do their child’s work for them rather than having to face the frustration and anger of getting their child to do the work!
What are you to do if your child hates homework? Unfortunately that answer is not straightforward. It depends on the reasons WHY your child does not want to do homework. Here are five reasons children hate homework and what you can do about them.
Doing homework takes time, time that you child would rather spend doing fun things.
Solution – Set a limit to the time your child spends doing homework and stick to it. If your child knows he can stop working at a certain time he will be more motivated to do the work.
The homework is too hard and your child does not know how to do it.
Solution. Tell your child’s teacher that your child couldn’t do it so that the teacher can review the work.
Homework is ‘boring’.
Solution. This is a difficult because homework often is boring. Again, setting time limits AND talking to your child’s teacher about the issue may help. Children use the word ‘boring’ to cover a variety of situations, you might need to check out why your child thinks homework is boring.
Homework is left to the last minute.
Solution. Help your child keep a homework agenda complete with dates for when work has to be handed in. Mark dates on a calendar and work backwards to decide when your child should to start work. Then let your child be responsible for getting the work done on time. Don’t let your child let his problem (no time) become your problem.
Books needed for homework are left at school.
Solution. If this happens often it is a sure sign that your child is struggling to learn and feels that the homework is too hard. Talk to your child’s teacher and try to set up a system to remind your child what books are needed but also tell the teacher if your child is struggling with homework.
So, my advice about homework is this-
The amount of benefit your child gets from finishing a homework assignment NEVER outweighs the importance of your relationship with your child. The amount of time you spend cajoling and coercing your child to do their work is counterproductive. There is no way that homework should create tension in a family, and definitely not the kind of meltdowns the survey suggests.
Stop letting your child’s homework cause family problems, it is just not worth it.
Author of this article, Dr Patricia Porter provides parents with information and advice on helping children reach their full learning potential. Take the first steps to your child’s success absolutely free by downloading the free report ‘5 Mistakes Parents Make when Helping Children Learn … and How to Avoid Them!’ at http://leading2learning.com