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FREE Worksheets for Homeschoolers

Written by Mimi Rothschild
Tuesday, 19 May 2009 10:48

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-by Mimi Rothschild

“Worksheets” can be almost synonymous with “boring.” For some homeschool families, the opportunity to switch from endless worksheets to hands-on learning is one of the reasons they’ve chosen to homeschool. So I was a bit surprised when my sons disagreed with me as I sympathized with them about having to do worksheets.

“I know worksheets are lame…” I began

“Not necessarily,” said one. His brother joined him in listing the benefits of worksheets:

  • They let you practice things so you don’t forget.
  • They help you figure out whether you really understand something you think you got – because sometimes you don’t.
  • They’re fun, for students who like them.
  • They’re easy, and sometimes you need something easy.
  • If it’s hard to concentrate on a chapter sometimes, and a worksheet can help you focus as you read.
  • They can be a good way to review and make sure you haven’t forgotten things.
  • You can see how you did on it easily, unlike complex projects, and a good score makes you feel good.

“It depends on the worksheet,” one of the boys pointed out.

But worksheets do have their advantages. Especially if your students enjoy them. Here are some tips for making the best use of worksheets:

  • Choose wisely. One of the benefits for homeschool parents is that worksheets are easy to find. They come with your curriculum, or you just go to your favorite search engine and type in “Multiplication worksheet” and print something out. But take the time to look over them before you assign them to your student, and make sure that they’re good quality. Errors in the worksheet, confusing directions, or sheets that are much too hard or easy for your student will make the worksheet frustrating rather than helpful.
  • Balance worksheets with other kinds of practice and discovery. For example, you might read about a science topic, spend some time doing an experiment, and then cement that knowledge with a worksheet. Doing page after page of worksheets can be tiresome, and may not really show what your student knows and understands about the topic.
  • Save the worksheets your student completes. It can be very encouraging to look back on earlier papers and see how far they’ve come. You can also make cumulative tests by pulling questions from earlier worksheets. Don’t save so much that you run out of storage space (maybe, if that happens, then you’re relying too much on worksheets), but keep a nice file for each student.

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

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