Well, we are now in August. School begins for some at the end of
this month, and others at the very beginning of September. A new school
year, a new start.
For many parents this is a time of many emotions. Of course they
want their child to do well in the upcoming year, but with everyone's busy schedule, adding homework into the mix is difficult.
I have worked with children and helped them learn for the past 15 years. I love what I do! I wanted to pass on some helpful hints, so to speak, for all you parents out there. Currently, the need for parental help with studies and homework has drastically increased. In order to make this job a bit easier, I am sending out some of the things I do with my students to make learning easier and more effective.
First, and most important, is teaching your student to make sure that they understand the words they are reading. For example, let's take math. Math has a huge set of words to describe different actions and word terms that are used to solve a problem. Example: In this word
problem, it asks for the sum and the product of 2 + 2 + 2 + 2+ 2. Okay so what does that mean. The sum??? The product?? If we understand
that the sum is the total of all the numbers, no problem, 10.
We added all the numbers. The product? That is the total when you
multiply. Okay we have 5 x 2 = 10. That's easy, right! But, what if
your child doesn't know those terms. I'm sure you get the idea.
Reading - example: This sentence comes from a 3rd grade book.
"Liza held up her hand and the big man SCOWLED at her." Okay, most
likely, a child this age doesn't know this word. It means " a very bad frown or a threatening look". Imagine how much more vivid the story will be to the child if they can picture what is happening in the story and imagine how the characters looks. This practice alone will increase
reading and reading comprehension. Their vocabulary will climb.
Learning addition, subtraction, multiplication and division can be very challenging for students. In my experience, games are great to help with this. Try putting index cards with addition, or anything on the door entrances to the kitchen or child's bedroom and ask them the questions each time they enter that room. When those are mastered, change them for others. Have a small reward for levels of learning. We use a toy chest with things from the dollar bin at Target. For mastering all the addition or subtraction, maybe a trip to the toy store or a visit to a favorite place.
This method is also great for site words for those of you who have
kindergartens. Reading begins in kindergarten now, so this is perfect
for helping with sight words.
Common core has presented many new concepts, especially in math. When your student is learning these new concepts, be sure to
have them draw out pictures if necessary. In my classrooms, I would take a student outside to do math if they were having trouble and give
them chalk to draw out the problems, big, big problems!! Inside of course, get lots of scratch paper and do it BIG! Make it FUN! Use colors!
As a last pointer to help your young reader, I have found that if you read a page and then your reader does a page, things will go smoother for both of you. It puts less stress on the reader and actually helps your reader to progress faster. I use this strategy in my tutoring center and it works magic!
Well, I hope this helps a bit. Please comment me and let me know of any questions you might have or subjects you want to talk about.
Here's to a great school year.