U.S. Department of Education
Office of Educational Research and Improvement
There is no one "right" way of doing these activities. Make changes, shorten or lengthen them to suit your child's attention span, or think up some activities of your own. Above all, enjoy them. And don't worry about what you might not have done in the past. Start where you are now, with the resources you have now.
Next to the star at the end of each activity is information on why each activity is important to your child's education. The suggested activities all build skills, attitudes, and behaviors children need for good study habits. They are designed to help develop personal maturity, enthusiasm for learning, and the ability to concentrate.
But that does not mean the activities are hard to do and won't be any fun. They are easy to do, cost little or no money, use materials found at home, and don't take much time.
Work out your own schedule for the activities. Don't forget to try them on vacation days or in the summer, too. If you've only used one part of an activity, you can go back to it and find the ideas you haven't tried. Experience indicates that all of the activities, in whole or in part, will be useful. Ability in schoolwork is like ability in sports: it takes practice to gain confidence, to become motivated, and to win.
The activities are arranged by approximate age levels. But, of course, you are the best judge of what your child may be ready to try. Age levels of the activities are indicated by a symbol at the top of each activity:
- Ages 5-7 The activities for these early school years focus on helping children get ready for schoolwork and get a head start on habits and behaviors important for ongoing success in school.
- Ages 7-9 These activities help children become organized and build early study skills and work habits.
- Ages 9-11 These projects for children in the upper elementary grades continue to focus on work and study habits, with more emphasis on making personal decisions.
- We can all be great teachers;
- Every home is a learning place;
- We don't need a lot of time to do a lot of good; and
- Everyone's abilities and skills can be improved.
Pick an activity and try it with your children. You will know they are learning when they say, "Let me try it." And you'll know they understand when they shout: "Let me do it! Let me! Let me."
Table of Contents
Parents and Schools
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